About the course

St Augustine’s offers this pathway for people new to the study of theology, as well as students training for various types of Licensed Lay Ministry (LLM) in the Dioceses of Canterbury, Chichester and Southwark. For these LLM students, the pathway includes teaching and placements relating to the specific types of lay ministry for which they are preparing.

You will take most modules together with students on other programmes, in particular ordinands. With these students you will take ‘Shared Modules’, in addition to the modules specific to your programme. These Shared Modules  cover the traditional theological disciplines: Biblical Studies, Christian Doctrine, Church History, and Worship and Liturgy, and so on.

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.

You will also follow this pathway if you’re part of the Dioceses of Canterbury, Chichester or Southwark and have been approved for Licensed Lay Ministry training – for example Reader Ministry, or Licensed Lay Pioneer Ministry (Diocese of Southwark).


  • 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 (i.e., not preparing for Licensed Lay Ministry) 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.

LLM students follow the pathway on a part-time basis. The initial two years of study at St Augustine’s will be followed by further post-licensing training provided by the relevant Diocese.

Part-time and LLM 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. For Licensed Lay Ministry students, the teaching will also focus on the practical aspects of the various forms of ministry they prepare for, as encountered and explored in their placements).

Those studying independently will attend one residential weekend and three Saturday study days over the course of the programme (one year full-time, or two years part-time). LLM students will attend the same amount of teaching events in each year of the programme.

All students engage in some form of lay ministry in their local context during their first year, and write a reflective assignment in relation to their experience. LLM students undertake a more extensive placement and related coursework in their second year. All these components provide opportunities to develop your practical skills and integrate your core learning with ministerial practice.

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

If you are a part-time or LLM student, you can take our Shared Modules by attending either our weekly Evening Classes (Mondays at Trinity House, Southwark, or Wednesdays at Malling Abbey, West Malling) 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).

In addition, each year you will attend a one-day ‘Saturday School’ in either mid-December or early January – or both if you are are a full-time student. Please Contact Us for next year’s Academic Calendar.

Furthermore, all students 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.


Similarly, LLM students who have studied theology before may follow a bespoke academic programme that takes their previous learning into account. This is to be agreed in consultation with the Diocese. And after completing their initial training pathway, LLM students, too, can continue their studies independently to gain a higher qualification (e.g., DipHE, BA, MA).

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 one or more of the following practice-oriented modules:

  • Foundations for Reflective Practice in Context (Short) – all students
  • Foundations for Ministry and Worship in Context – Reader Ministry students only
  • Mission and Ministry in a Specific Context – Lay Pioneer students only
  • Creating New Christian Communities – Lay Pioneer students only

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