Sarum Centre for Formation in Ministry is committed to effective, missional ministry in the wide variety of different rural church contexts.
The rural pathway is overseen by Canon Jill Hopkinson, who brings her enormous previous experience as the Church of England’s National Rural Advisor and a commitment to seeing thriving rural ministry.
This pathway runs alongside our standard ordination pathways as an identifiable group within the larger student community. It shares some core modules with our standard ordination pathways together with two new modules that are wholly rural-specific, and other modules containing rural-specific material. This follows the DipHE pathway, and rural modules are also available to students on the CertHE pathway.
You are placed in a church context that is rural, usually the home parish if that is appropriate, but for some this will require a move. You will be encouraged to think deeply about your own situation and those different to your own. You will attend to the narratives that surround living and working in rural contexts: developing discipleship and mission; nurturing vocations; intergenerational ministry in small congregations; the use of buildings for mission; collaborative and imaginative ministry in multi-benefice parishes including pioneer ministry; and self care and resilience in ministry.
This pathway doesn’t preclude you from deciding that rural ministry is not for you, and exploring other contexts – you will have been through all the appropriate academic and formational training to be able to minister in a variety of situations. However, those on this pathway will have engaged deeply and prayerfully with the particular challenges and opportunities of rural mission and ministry, and be better equipped for the changing rural environment they will encounter.