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.
On Sundays during term-time students go on placement to a local church, perhaps of their own tradition, perhaps to a church very different from previous experience. First year students are expected mainly to observe and reflect on their experience, second and third year students to preach and lead worship on a regular basis.
During the summer, students go on a four week parish placement. Usually this is an important time of transition from lay to ordained ministry. Students both shadow their supervisor, usually the vicar of the parish, and work on their own initiative. Summer placements may take place in the local area or in inner cities, in your home area or in another part of the country, and a few go overseas.
Placements give a rich variety of experience to become familiar with the range of worship styles represented in the Church of England, through pastoral care in different contexts, the challenge of unfamiliar situations, and practice in attentive listening, practical service, preaching and leading worship, and responsible initiative and theological reflection.
Usually one afternoon per week is devoted to a community-based placement. There is a variety of placements available, such as in a hospital, school or prison, working with asylum seekers, homeless people, or with the elderly. The choice of placement follows discussion with your Placement Tutor.