Q: I was never very successful at school and have done no study since, so could I join WEMTC?
Yes. WEMTC has no formal entry requirements. Students are taught to university standard, but what matters is not qualifications but motivation. We often find that students without a formal educational background do very well because they are highly motivated to learn. Study skills courses to help you will be available on request.
Q: Where are you based?
Our office is at 12 College Green, Gloucester GL1 2LX (01452 874969). Our training centres are Redcliffe College, Gloucester and the Bishop Mascall Centre in Ludlow. Ordinands and Reader candidates also have residential training weekends at various local venues.
Q: How much does it cost?
If you are sponsored for ordained ministry or for Reader ministry then the national church or your diocese pay all the costs, including travel allowances and a book grant (these vary for Reader candidates depending on their diocese).
Independent students pay a fee per module (currently £105 per term) and do not attend the residential weekends.
Q: How long does training take?
Training for a recognised Anglican Ministry (e.g. ordination, Reader ministry) usually takes three years, at the discretion of the sponsoring Church. Independent students usually register for a Certificate in Higher Education course, which takes just under three years.
Q: I have done previous theological training, will it be recognised?
It probably will, depending on the nature of your previous training. Reader training, Local Preacher training and theological degrees may all be taken into account using Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL), if it is clear that our modules have been covered to an equivalent standard. However, in some cases a refresher course may be advisable as the discipline of theology has developed substantially in the last ten years. In all cases, WEMTC makes a decision after discussion and consultation with you and colleagues at Ripon College Cuddesdon. We can also offer Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning [APEL] in a number of cases, where there is no formal previous accreditation.
Q: When does the Course start?
The course year begins in September. It is strongly recommended that independent students begin with the initial module on Theological Reflection in September, especially if they have done no previous theological study.
Q: Are there exams?
No. WEMTC modules are assessed through students building up a portfolio of evidence to demonstrate they have achieved the required standard of learning.
Q: Is this just an Academic Course?
No. The amount of academic work depends on the track being followed. The Certificate Course for independent students is primarily an academic course, involving study groups, reading and assignments – there is, though, a practical slant to both the teaching and the assignments. For ministerial students (Readers and ordinands) the remainder of the training is practically based and the final award is a Foundation Degree or Certificate in which ministerial skills and personal formation play an equal part alongside knowledge.
Q: How does a Ministry Course compare to a Theological College?
Residential colleges and regional courses are both recognised by the Church of England for ministerial training. In three years of part-time training, WEMTC students reach exactly the same standard that most residential ordinands reach in two years. The Courses and Colleges offer different strengths. We recommend that all ordinands weigh up what suits their training needs best. Regional Courses enable students to remain in their employment and keep existing family links intact before moving to start a curacy. For many married ordinands a course like WEMTC provides more residential experience than a college does!
Q: Does WEMTC have a particular 'churchmanship'?
Many Theological Colleges fit broadly within a particular tradition of the Church (evangelical, liberal, Anglo-Catholic etc.). The Regional Courses, however, take students from all traditions and sometimes across denominations. We have discovered that, through the broad experience of WEMTC, students come to understand and love their own tradition while being able to appreciate and learn from others.