CertHE in Theology, Ministry and Mission
About the course
St Augustine’s offers a comprehensive programme of study for students training for Licensed Lay Ministry in the Dioceses of Canterbury, Chichester and Southwark.
You will take most modules together with students on other pathways. Each year you will study two or three of these ‘shared modules’, which cover the traditional theological disciplines: Biblical Studies, Christian Doctrine, Church History, Worship and Liturgy, and Pastoral Theology.
Who is it for?
If you’re part of the Dioceses of Canterbury, Chichester or Southwark, or in the Channel Islands, and have been approved for Licensed Lay Ministry training, St Augustine’s College of Theology is your training provider.
Typically, Lay Ministry students take the Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE) in Theology, Ministry and Mission. Sometimes students can work towards a different qualification (e.g. GDip), depending on whether they have studied theology previously. This is to be agreed in consultation with the Diocese.
After completing their standard programme, students can continue their studies independently to gain a higher qualification (e.g., DipHE, BA, MA).
How long will it take?
The standard pathway for Licensed Lay Ministry training consists of two years of study with us (with an additional module in the third year for Canterbury Diocese students).
Where can I study?
Candidates for Licensed Lay Ministry may take shared modules either through 27 evening classes each year (Mondays at Southwark Cathedral, Wednesdays at Malling Abbey) plus a one-day Saturday School; or fortnightly teaching days (Fridays at Malling Abbey).
How much study time is involved?
Study for Licensed Lay Ministry is on a part-time basis. You are expected to undertake at least ten hours of private study per week and normally to complete two assignments per module.
You will attend one residential weekend and three study days (Saturdays or Sundays) in each year of your course. These allow delivery of teaching related to placements and ministry-specific modules, relating to the practical aspects of ministry and your personal formation as a minister.
You’ll also undertake placement-based modules. These provide opportunities to develop your practical skills and integrate your core learning with ministerial practice.
What will I study?
The following modules are shared with students on all pathways:
Introduction to Biblical Studies
This module introduces you to the contemporary study of Scripture. You learn how to use the major critical tools that scholars employ to interpret the Bible. You shall study how these critical techniques have developed and so understand the story of modern biblical criticism. In this way, this module introduces you to the most important issues raised for Christian life and worship by the study of Scripture.
Spirituality and Discipleship
This module puts spirituality at the heart of your study of theology, integrating that study with the life of discipleship. You shall examine the place of prayer and repentance, of contemplation and ‘bearing the cross’, of ‘detachment’ and pilgrimage, both literal and metaphorical. The module also looks in detail at some of the most important scriptural and doctrinal sources for Christian prayer and spirituality. Along with all this, you shall choose and undertake a set of spiritual practices that will help stretch your soul.
Introduction to Christian Doctrine
This module examines central Christian theological affirmations about the person and work of Jesus Christ (Christology and soteriology) and considers what follows for Christian life and practice. It introduces you to theological debates about the person and work of Jesus Christ down the centuries and explores some of the implications of these for Christian life and practice.
Foundations in Christian Worship
In this module, you shall consider daily, weekly and yearly patterns of worship in the Christian churches today. By way of a local history project, historical study will complement your exploration of the contemporary diversity of these patterns. You shall also visit a variety of churches to grasp something of this variety at first hand. Examining the way Christians shape and mark time through their worship, this module concentrates on the vital relationship between past traditions and present realities.
Old Testament Studies
This module gives you a broad overview of salvation history, that is, the history of the covenant people in its relationship with God, as portrayed in the narrative of the Old Testament. It will also extend and develop the range of critical skills you use to interpret Scripture and link these skills to the roles of scripture within the Christian community. As the vehicle for achieving this, you shall analyse specific biblical texts related to the themes of creation and covenant.
New Testament Studies
In this module you shall study the mission and ministry of Jesus in the Gospels, as well as and the early Christians’ experience of the risen Christ and of the Holy Spirit. You shall pay particular attention to Luke-Acts and to Paul’s epistles, especially Romans. You shall examine how Jesus drew on the theology of contemporary Judaism and reshaped it. The module explores the experiences and concerns of the earliest Christian communities and discusses to how the beginnings of Christian faith and practice continue to shape the ministry and mission of the church today.
As a trainee for Licensed Lay Ministry you’ll also take the following placement module:
Ministry and Worship in Context
You shall examine three core areas of congregational ministry: leading worship, preaching, and Christian nurture and education. The module emphasizes developing your facility in reflective practice as crucial to leading and enabling worship and discipleship in local churches.
The placement element of this module enlarges your experience of ministry in these areas by work in a church that differs in some key respects from those with which you are most familiar.