Diploma, BA (Hons), Graduate Diploma and MA in Theology, Ministry and Mission

All Ordained Ministry students study for a qualification in Theology, Mission, and Ministry, accredited by the University of Durham as part of the Church of England’s Common Awards. The particular qualification awarded depends on the length of your programme and whether you have recently undertaken accredited study in Theology or a related subject.

Our training programmes for ordained ministry involve you in theological learning that:

  • unites biblical witness and the traditions of faith with contemporary life;
  • insists on contextual reflection, enabling us to discern God’s call in the times and places of our work;
  • fosters a personal formation that engages your prayer and deepens your trust in God’s love, strengthening you to minister that love to others.

Who is it for?

The Ordained Ministry training pathway is for those who have received a bishop’s recommendation to train for ordination for the Church of England. This pathway is also taken by those recommended for ordination training training through the equivalent process of another denomination.

Qualifications available

  • Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE) in Theology, Ministry, and Mission
  • BA (Hons) in Theology, Ministry, and Mission
  • Graduate Diploma (GDip) in Theology, Ministry and Mission
  • MA in Theology, Ministry, and Mission

The length of your programme depends on a number of factors, such as previous theological learning and/or ministerial experience. The following are the most common scenarios:

  • Part-time study for three years
  • Full-time study for two or three years
  • Mixed-mode study for two or three years (In additional to their academic studies, mixed-mode students work part-time as lay ministers in settings that contribute significant experience to their ministerial education.)

“I have felt wholeheartedly supported by every single member of staff and found the course content diverse, eye opening and relevant. The more I learn, the more my faith is opened up to me – and that has been a real blessing. Personally this has been life changing.”

Jeanette Kennett – Part-time Ordained Ministry Student

Full-time students attend evening classes or daytime classes, or a mixture of these. They typically take two modules each term in Biblical Studies, Christian Doctrine, Church History, Ethics, Worship and Liturgy, and so on.

Part-time students attend either evening or day classes, taking only one module per term in the above subject areas.

Ordinands, both full and part-time, also take one or two pathway specific modules each year. Each of these involve a placement and one or two assignments. The teaching for these modules takes place at residential teaching events.

The placements are as follows:

  • a mission placement, undertaken as a group project
  • a placement in a hospital, prison or similar setting
  • a parish placement, generally in a church context significantly different from your ‘home’ parish

A module typically involves two written assignments. Full-time study requires at least twenty hours of study per week, outside class time. Part-time study requires at least ten hours of study per week, outside class time.

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

Ordained Ministry training students study either part or full-time at our Malling Abbey and/or Trinity House (Borough High Street) teaching centres. Each year, they also attend at least six residential weekends and a week-long residential school in Canterbury.

Most modules are taken with students on other pathways. You will follow these ‘Shared Modules’ either through weekly evening classes each term (Mondays at Trinity House, Wednesdays at Malling Abbey), plus a one-day Saturday School; and/or weekly or fortnightly teaching days (Fridays at Malling Abbey).

Please view next year’s Academic Calendar.

What will I study?

The exact selection of modules will depend on the length of your programme, and the qualification for which you will study. The overview below represents the DipHE pathway, which is our most common pathway for ordinands (full-time or part-time).

Most of these modules listed below you will take as ‘shared’ modules with students on different pathways. The three modules marked ‘residential’, however, are taken by ordinands only and are taught at Ordained Ministry residential events. They each involve a placement, in mission, pastoral ministry and parish ministry respectively. (See also above, under ‘How much study time is involved?’)


Ordinands studying for higher qualifications will take similar ‘shared’ and ‘residential’ modules. For more detailed module information, please refer to the following pages:

  • Introduction to Biblical Studies
  • Introduction to Church History
  • Spirituality and Discipleship
  • Foundations for Ministry and Mission in Context – residential curriculum
  • Foundations in Christian Worship
  • Introduction to Christian Doctrine
  • Using the Bible Today

For more detailed descriptions of these modules, go to Level 4 modules.

  • Pastoral Care – residential curriculum
  • Christian Faith and Ethical Living
  • Biblical Studies
  • Developing Worship and Ministry in Context –residential curriculum
  • Sacramental Theology and Ministry

For more detailed descriptions of these modules, go to Level 5 modules.

“I crossed the Thames to train at St Augustine’s because it has always been a place where ideas and action meet. As someone training for self-supporting ministry whilst working full time the ability to integrate study with my professional and personal life is essential. I expected to find a diverse student body but I’ve been delighted to find even more variety than I imagined. Amidst the differences there is a common commitment of staff and students alike to grapple with thorny issues and grow in the knowledge and love of God.”
Duncan Gray Part-time Ordained Ministry Student
“When I speak to clergy and talk about training, I am so glad that I chose to study here. The standard of teaching is second to none and the staff are very accessible, approachable and supportive. So too are fellow students who share the same demands and pressures, both in their studies and in daily life. It was a big step for me, giving up much that I was comfortable with in order to study. Would I do it again? Without a moment’s hesitation I would.”
Barry Knott Full-time Ordained Ministry Student

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