The aim of our training programmes is to prepare the whole person for mission and ministry in today's world. Courses in both mission and ministry help to develop an understanding of the mission of God and the tasks of ministry. And courses in human development and pastoral practice equip you to know what it means to live a fully human life and how pastoral care is responsibly exercised. There are additional optional courses in pastoral psychology, covering topics such as group dynamics, conflict, sexuality, mental health issues and human identity.
Good listening – to God, to oneself and to other people – is the foundation of effective ministry. Courses are offered in the skills of attentive listening at both a basic and an intermediate level, taking into account previous training and experience.
This is the skill of applying theory to practice, and in a manner that is theologically informed. Although unfamiliar at first, most students quickly get the hang of theological reflection and use it enthusiastically to help them get the most out of their placements.
A course in communication focuses on some of the important areas of preparation for the ministry of preaching, such as the nature of communication in contemporary society, Biblical interpretation, authority in ministry and the preacher’s relationship with the congregation. Next, a series of workshops looks at various aspects of sermon preparation, such as structure, visual images, the language of the preacher, introductions and conclusions. This is then all brought together and practiced in small preaching groups.
Themed Study Weeks
Four times each year, a week is given over to focusing intensively on one particular aspect of ministry. Everyone takes weeks on communication; leadership; sacraments; the use of the Bible; and death, dying and bereavement. Additional options include rural ministry; inter-faith dialogue; marriage and family life; faith and work; congregational studies; financial leadership in the parish; community mission; and working with children and young people. The range of themed study weeks is constantly developing to meet current needs in ministry and mission.