With students coming form diverse backgrounds there are a variety of courses available. We discuss the most appropriate course with candidates when they visit. This chart guides you through the typical options available but the College also tailors courses to individual student needs. We are also able to offer a variety of part-time and tailor-made courses for people in other forms of training who would like to spend a period in residence in a theological college.
For a guide on which course is best for you please follow the diagram below:
Oxford University Master of Theology (MTh)/Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Theology
This programme is designed for those who have gained some experience of theology in their first degrees to deepen their theological expertise in the distinctive setting of a theological college and in a number of other ministerial and social contexts.
The MTh degree, which is a higher degree of the University of Oxford, and is normally only open to those who have gained a good first degree and consists of two parts. For Part One, taught in the first year, students are required to engage in theological reflection with others in organised seminars, and will also be given individual guidance through tutorials and essay supervision. All students must take two compulsory units in applied theology, and two options. The second part is a dissertation of 15,000-20,000 words on an aspect of applied theology written during the second year. For Part One, each unit is externally examined by an extended essay of up to 7,000 words.
The academic programme is concerned with deepening and expanding the ability of the student to do theology in context, and to communicate and proclaim faith in a variety of different settings. Although the primary context for theological education is the praying and worshipping community of the College which offers a stable and supportive background for the challenge of the Gospel, students also experience a number of other contexts in which to articulate theology.
Oxford Brookes University Post Graduate Diploma in Ministry by Portfolio/MA in Ministry by Portfolio
These two programmes have essentially the same course structure, except that the MA course includes a dissertation of not more than 20,000 words. The courses are offered in collaboration with Oxford Brookes University, and the full course regulations are given in the separate handbook for the courses.
The Postgraduate Diploma in Ministry is taken by third year students, who have completed the Oxford University BA in Theology in their first two years. It is also taken by ordinands in one year, who already have a Theology degree or equivalent qualification.
The learning outcomes of the course are listed as the ability to:
- Display mastery of complex and specialised areas of theological and ministerial knowledge and skills.
- Critically review, consolidate and extend a systematic and coherent body of knowledge, applying specialist skills across a wide and often unpredictable variety of ministry contexts.
- Critically evaluate new concepts and evidence from a range of sources.
In addition students completing the MA should be able to:
- Demonstrate mastery of the knowledge and skills necessary to conduct significant research in an area of professional activity.
The PGDip requires the completion of six gifts and competencies. In order to satisfy course and/or formational requirements, the following gifts and competencies must be done:
Living the Christian Life – the Inward Journey
Planning and Leading Worship – Preaching
Planning and Leading Worship – the Eucharist
Engaging with Personal and Community Ethical Issues
For those who are on the MA programme, or may wish to do an MA in the future, the sixth gift and competency is Research Methods. Those who are completing the PGD, Research Methods is not compulsory, and may be substituted by options in
Developing Knowledge of the Story of the Church;
Developing and applying knowledge of the Bible – Hermeneutics;
Interpreting Christian Doctrine.
The Research Methods Gift and Competency gives the opportunity to develop a research proposal in the first year, which will become the basis of dissertation work in the second.
In the case of students who are not ordinands in the Church of England, or those who have studied courses at the appropriate level prior to entering the programme, further options may be available from the full range of modules set out in the MA/PGDip handbook. Students will discuss options with their mentor.
Candidates who can show appropriate learning in one or more area of studies may be given Accredited Prior Learning, allowing them exemption from certain parts of the course. Each learner will discuss prior learning with their mentor at the beginning of the course, and where there are significant areas of overlap with previous courses of study, more options may be made available.
In addition to the work required for the completion of the degree or diploma, students are required to attend courses which are integral to their formation for ministry. These requirements are described after the formal descriptions of the gifts and competencies.
Please note that the Church of England is currently reviewing the University Courses which will be funded for residential students training for ordination. At present the Oxford University two-year Certificate in Theology and three-year Bachelor of Theology are under review. It is not certain that these courses will continue to be funded after 2011/12.
Oxford University Two Year Certificate in Theology
The Two Year Certificate in Theology Course is for those who are over thirty years of age and have no formal qualifications in theology, but who would benefit from a more traditional academic course. It leads to the award of an Oxford University Certificate in Theology.
The academic programme is designed to equip students with a good working knowledge of the Bible, the Christian faith and the Anglican tradition, with the opportunity of learning Greek and/or Hebrew. They also participate with all other students in the ‘common core’ of pastoral studies, the Mission and Ministry programmes, the preaching course and placements.
On leaving Ripon College Cuddesdon, students have the opportunity to continue studying for two years part-time to receive Oxford University's Bachelor of Theology.
Oxford Brookes University Foundation Degree in Arts in Ministry by Portfolio (FDA)
The work set is for modules which are described in full in the course handbook. Students should consult the Handbook for full details of the modules. The details given here show how individual courses offered as part of the formation for ministry at Ripon College Cuddesdon relate to the constituent modules of the degree. Associated with each module are gifts and competencies, which give a more detailed indication of what is required for each unit. Mentors will guide students on how to present work set by students in the final portfolio.
The FDA by Portfolio makes allowance for the accreditation of prior learning. This can be for up to two thirds of the qualification for which you are enrolled.
Oxford University Three Year Bachelor of Theology (BTh)
The Three Year Bachelor of Theology Course is normally for those students who are under thirty years of age and have no formal qualifications in theology. They will, therefore, be in training for three years.
The experience of most of these students is that of the world of higher education. Only a minority have had jobs for more than two or three years. Consequently, this particular group of ordinands needs to have its overall experience, as well as its theological knowledge, extended and deepened.
The academic programme is designed to equip students with a good working knowledge of the Bible, the Christian faith and the Anglican tradition, with the opportunity of learning Greek and/or Hebrew. They also participate with all other students in the ‘common core’ of pastoral studies, the Mission and Ministry programmes, the preaching course and on attachments and placements. In their case they will have three secular and three church attachments during their time in training.
In the Hilary term of their second year, students will expect to spend up to half their time on extended placement in the village of Berinsfield, where they will encounter many of the characteristics of an outer-city estate. Students will observe and take part in ministry in both church and community settings and reflect on these under the supervision of the vicar, Revd Ros Latham. This period of partial immersion in a particular context is an important element in ministerial formation for this group of students.
Three year Oxford University BA Degree and Theology Graduates Programme
This course is designed for those who already have a good honours degree in a non-theological subject (at least a II.1). It enables them to work for the Honour School of Theology at Oxford University over two years, and for the one year Oxford Diploma in Ministry.
The academic programme is principally related to the degree requirements and gives students a good knowledge of the Bible and the Christian faith. In addition, there are a range of options which enable students to pursue their own particular interests in more detail. It is also important to note that the choices that students are given in the Honour School syllabus are made by them in consultation with the Director of Academic Studies, always having in mind that the degree forms a part of training for ministry.
Students also participate with all others in the ‘common core’ of pastoral studies, the Mission and Ministry programmes, the preaching course and on attachments and placements.
In the final year an attempt is made through a one-year version of the Oxford Diploma in Ministry course to concentrate on the practical aspects of training for ministry and on using the theology acquired in gaining the degree for some substantial reflection on important and contemporary issues. They are assessed externally in four subjects, at least one of which is from the three core areas: Pastoral Projects (Reports arising out of placements and showing an ability to reflect theologically), a Study Project relevant to ministerial training and a substantial Theological essay. Some students may choose to be assessed in the same areas by the Oxford Certificate for Theology Graduates.
The following course outline needs to be read in the light of the nature of the Honour School programme as recently revised by the University of Oxford. All students doing the Honour School, along with the core biblical and historical subjects, do the key core papers in Patristics and Doctrine and Interpretation. Specific tutorial work in these subjects normally takes place during the beginning of a student’s second year. Other tutorial work, in the Further and Special Subjects, some of which include an element of choice, is arranged according to the availability of teachers (if these need to be arranged outside College), or in line with classes or seminars taking place in the University. There is, then, a necessary flexibility about the precise order and timing of some teaching in the Honour School programme within the basic structure of the degree as a part of training.
For further details of the BA course, please click here.
OUR APPEAL - WAYS TO GIVE
There are lots of different ways you can help our Appeal, from online gifts through to spreading a donation over a fixed period.