Certificate in Christian Rural and Environmental Studies
CRES is a distance learning course run jointly by Christian Rural Concern (CRuC) www.cruc.org.uk and The John Ray Initiative (JRI) www.jri.org.uk, and is ecumenical, with staff and students from many denominations and diverse churchmanships. The course had been run in its original format by CRuC since the 1980's. Many students, interested in rural ministry, had taken the course, and benefited from it. For example, clergy with experience of ministry in towns took it as a conversion course when moving to the countryside. In 2002, CRuC and JRI formed a partnership to revamp the course, and introduce modules in environmental studies. Our writing team included Prof. Sam Berry and Sir John Houghton, and we now have a course with options that allow for specialisation in either rural or environmental studies, with a central theological strand. Rural ministry is facing major challenges with the current crisis in the countryside. Environmental issues are only likely to grow in importance this century, and the church is beginning to wake up to this and the role it can take. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, the Bishop of Liverpool, James Jones, and the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, have all shown considerable recent interest in this area. In February 2005, The Oxford Diocese acted on this, and organised a major conference entitled Climate Change- How Christians Respond.
The CRES course is usually taken over two years and provides an opportunity to study rural and environmental issues from a Christian viewpoint. This part-time modular course by distance learning will be of interest to all with a personal or professional concern for the environment and countryside, rural communities and churches. Although CRES is a distance learning course we undertake to find students a local personal tutor to guide them through. We also set up regular course meetings, which are opportunities to meet with other participants. We offer full website support with a dedicated password protected area for students. CRES has great flexibility enabling students to tailor coursework topics to their own particular concerns. There are no entry requirements.
Cost is £590 in total, which includes two residential weekends, payable in two annual instalments. We encourage students to seek support from their church or denomination or government provision. CRuC has a small bursary fund.
For further information please go to www.jri.org.uk or contact the CRES Course Secretary, Joy Gadsby, 5 Cedar Court, Addington Road, Sanderstead, Surrey CR2 8RA, tel: 0208 657 0831 or email email@example.com
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