CertHE in Theology, Ministry and Mission

  1. About the course

    St Augustine’s offers a programme of study for students training for Licensed Lay Ministry (also known as Reader 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, and Worship and Liturgy.

  2. 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.

  3. Qualifications

    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), if they have studied theology previously. This is to be agreed in consultation with the Diocese.

    After completing the standard programme, students can continue their studies independently to gain a higher qualification (e.g., DipHE, BA, MA).

  4. How long will it take?

    The pathway for Licensed Lay Ministry training consists of two years of study with us, followed by one or two further years of training provided by the relevant Diocese. (In the case of Canterbury Diocese, an additional module with us is included in the third year).

  5. Where can I study?

    Candidates for Licensed Lay Ministry may take shared modules either through 27 evening classes each year (on Mondays at Trinity House, Southwark, or on Wednesdays at Malling Abbey); or through fortnightly teaching days (Fridays at Malling Abbey); and in either case there is a need to also attend a one-day ‘Saturday School’ in either mid-December or early January. Please Contact Us for next year’s Academic Calendar.

  6. 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 the placement, to the practical aspects of ministry and to your personal formation as a minister.

    You’ll also one placement-related module. This provides opportunities to develop your practical skills and integrate your core learning with ministerial practice.

  7. Academic Calendar

    Please Contact Us for next year’s Academic Calendar.

  8. 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.

    Introduction to Church History

    This module provides a broad overview of church history focusing on the historical development of the doctrine of the Trinity. Key stages in the development of Trinitarian thinking are related to the church’s social, cultural and political context and to the historical roots of specific denominational identities.

    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.


    As a candidate for Licensed Lay Ministry you’ll also take the following placement-related module:

    Ministry and Worship in Context

    You shall examine core areas of congregational ministry: leading worship and preaching. 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.