Rural Pathway

The Sarum Centre for Formation in Ministry Rural Ministry focussed Ordination Pathway will be running from September 2017.

It has had encouragement from our supporting Dioceses, particularly from Salisbury and Bath and Wells, as well as from Canon Dr Jill Hopkinson, National Rural Officer for the Church of England. We are excited to be offering training that considers some of the specific issues facing those ministering in different rural contexts.

We are responding to the 2016 “Released for Mission” Report to General Synod which highlights the importance of rural ministry and the different opportunities for ministry and mission. In the report’s recommendations, Recommendation 6, says ‘clergy should receive specific training to work in rural multi-church groups, to develop an enabling and equipping style of leadership that seeks to grow and facilitate the ministry of lay people’ (p32).

To meet Ministry Division requirements, this pathway will be run alongside our other ordination pathways so that Rural Pathway candidates belong to the larger student community, but they will be an identifiable group. It will share some core modules with our other ordination pathways together with new modules that are wholly rural-specific, and existing modules rewritten to contain rural-specific material. We work within the Common Awards framework validated by Durham University.

The pathway uses our blended learning of residential periods, training in context, and online learning material, and is taken part time over three years.

In our Rural Pathway, we are very conscious that there are a huge variety of different rural contexts, and students will be encouraged to think deeply about their own situation, as well as considering situations different to their own. It will attend to the narratives that surround living and working in rural contexts: developing discipleship and mission; nurturing vocations; intergenerational ministry in numerically small groupings; the care and use of buildings for mission; collaborative and imaginative ministry in multi benefice parishes including pioneer ministry; and self care and resilience in ministry.

On completion of the course, students will have been through all the appropriate academic and formational training to be able to minister in a variety of situations, not just rural. This pathway doesn’t preclude students from deciding that rural ministry is not for them, and exploring other contexts. 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 go into.

For more information, please contact the Sarum Centre for Formation in Ministry via our academic administrator, Annette Young. Email ayoung@sarum.ac.uk or telephone 01722 424820.