Exploring Pathways for ordination training

Where do I start?

There is no such thing as a typical Cuddesdon student and we are here to help you work out the best fit for your training. With flexible full-time, context-based and part-time pathways, and a range of academic courses for all levels of study, there is a place for you here.

If you are in the early stages of exploring your vocation, some useful information about the discernment process can be found on the Church of England 'Your Calling' webpage.

Once you are accepted for training by your diocese, they will commit to pay your tuition fees and allocate grants for living expenses depending on your training pathway and financial circumstances. More information can be found at Financial Support for Ordinands.

When to arrange visits

We are happy to receive enquiries from candidates at all stages of the process but your Diocesan Director of Ordinands (DDO) will usually advise you when to start looking at colleges. Often the first step is to come to an Open Day or Open Evening to get a feel for the place and the community you would join, and to chat with staff and students.

When you are ready for more individual and in-depth conversations, we arrange for you to come for an overnight visit to get a fuller experience of College life. Visits usually take place from Wednesday tea-time through to Thursday lunchtime during term-time, and are called a Candidate's Visit. You will spend time in the student community, meet with the Admissions Tutor to discuss which pathway and academic course would be most suited to you, meet with the Admissions Administrator to talk over accommodation and any special needs, have an informal interview with the Principal or Academic Dean, and have time to ask all the many questions you are bound to have.

You do not need to have attended an Open Day before coming for a Candidate's Visit but it is very useful to visit at least once during term-time. It's also absolutely fine to visit before you've attended a Bishops' Advisory Panel (BAP) as a conditional offer can be made to you depending on your BAP result. If you have children who need to move schools for your training, our local primary and secondary schools are used to receiving children from the College but it is very helpful to make them aware of your situation as early as possible.

How to choose a pathway and programme

These are our routes through training:

Full-time Pathway residential at Cuddesdon for one, two or three years depending on prior learning
Context-based Pathway part residential and part context based for two or three years
Ordained Pioneer Ministry training shared between Church Mission Society and our Part-time Pathway for two or three years
Part-time Pathway non-residential training for two or three years at Cuddesdon, Gloucester, Hereford or Portsmouth
Part-Time Pathway Accelerated non-residential training at Cuddesdon plus an additional day with the full-time pathway so that training can be achieved in two years
Reader training training alongside ordinands at Gloucester, Hereford and Portsmouth

If you’re not sure which option is right for you, come along to an Open Event to explore things further.

The academic programme you will take is determined by prior qualifications, whether any prior theological study has been completed, length of training, and the type of course that individuals are interested in undertaking. Please see each pathway section on this website for more information on which courses are offered for each. If none of the existing pathways and programmes feel like a good match, we are usually able to offer bespoke training routes arranged through a conversation with our Admissions Tutor.