About the course

St Augustine’s offers this pathway for people new to the study of theology, it introduces you to theology with modules in placing particular emphasis on the core beliefs and practices of Christian faith.

Sometimes students in a diocesan programme choose to study with us as part of their discernment process.  This allows you to explore your motivation and aptitude for theological study.

As well as covering all the traditional theological disciplines, the programme provides you with opportunities to develop your skills in theological reflection, and learn to a faith-based perspective on every aspect of daily life.

There is also a significant practical component to the course, which connects your ongoing classroom learning with activities in church, in your workplace in the public arena or elsewhere.

Who is it for?

The Certificate is for anyone interested in theology and without previous experience of studying theology at Higher Education level. To enter the programme, you’ll need to be a regular member of a church, but need not have any particular role or experience within that church. We welcome students from any denomination.

If you have haven’t studied at undergraduate level before, or if has been some time since you left formal education, you might want to try our ‘taster module‘ first.


  • Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE) in Theology, Ministry and Mission, a qualification awarded by the University of Durham.

Often, students who have completed the CertHE continue their undergraduate studies, proceeding to Levels 5 and 6 in order to complete the Diploma or the BA (Hons) respectively.

Students following this pathway independently have the choice of studying either full- or part-time. Full-time students complete the programme in one year, part-time students in two years.


Part-time students are expected to undertake at least ten hours of private study per week and normally to complete two assignments per module. Full-time students should expect to need at least double that amount of time each week.

You will also attend a number of pathway-specific teaching events. The teaching during these events focuses on  basic skills in theological reflection and reflective practice for lay ministry, with attention to your personal formation as a Christian disciple and lay minister.

Those studying independently will attend 5 Saturday study days over the course of the programme (one year full-time, or two years part-time).  With an optional weekend residential.


You have a choice of locations and study modes to suit you.

If you are a part-time student you can take our Shared Modules by attending either our weekly Evening Classes (Mondays at Trinity House, Southwark, or Wednesdays online) or our fortnightly Teaching Days (Fridays at Malling Abbey, West Malling). If you are a full-time student, you will take a double amount of Shared Modules and will therefore attend a combination of these options: two sets of Evening Classes; one set of Evening Classes plus a set of Teaching Days; or two sets of Teaching Days (i.e., weekly Fridays).

Please Contact Us for next year’s Academic Calendar.

Furthermore, all students are invited to attend our annual Theological Symposium at Canterbury (coinciding with the Residential Week for ordinands).

Please view next year’s Academic Calendar.

What will I study?

You can find more detailed descriptions of these (and other) Level 4 modules here.

If you wish to enrol for independent study but have studied theology previously, it may be possible to enter our undergraduate programme at a higher level – or indeed start on one of our graduate or postgraduate programmes.

You will take the following modules with students on other pathways:

  • Introduction to Biblical Studies
  • Introduction to Church History
  • (Introduction to) Spirituality and Discipleship
  • Introduction to Christian Worship
  • (Brief) Introduction to Christian Doctrine
  • Using the Bible Today

You will also take Foundations for Reflective Practice in Context module (and its corresponding placement) which focuses on your church involvement.  This mainly practical module develops your skills in analysing and reflecting upon specific situations from a theologically informed point of view.


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