Licensed Lay Ministry Training

Begin your licensed lay ministry training in earnest through engaging and spiritually stimulating study.

Key info

  • Next enrollment: Applications now open for September 2024

  • Duration: 2 years (part-time)

  • Location:

  • Entry requirements: Approved for training via the diocese of Canterbury, Chichester or Southwark

  • Award/study level: Level 4

  • Qualification level: Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE) in Theology, Ministry and Mission

  • Cost:  All course fees covered by diocese

Susan Patterson talks about why she chose St Augustine’s for her Reader training.

About the course

As part of your Lay Ministry training, you’ll complete the Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE) Theology, Ministry and Mission.

Accredited by Durham University, this course enables you to dive into the exciting world of theological study with a focus on Lay Ministry training.

The programme will provide you with opportunities to establish your skills in theological reflection as you discover and develop your own faith-based perspective on all aspects of daily life.

As a Licensed Lay Ministry student, you will attend four study days per academic year. Depending on the year of study, you will also take part in a placement in which you will join a church that differs in some way to your own typical style of worship.

During these periods, you will engage in modules specific to your training pathway, developing your theoretical knowledge and your skills in Christian ministry and worship.

“Over the course of my lay readership training at St Augustine’s, there was not one single day – not even in the depths of winter – when I woke up thinking ‘I really don’t want to be going into college this morning’.

Alongside a rewarding study experience, I was able to meet people from all walks of life with varying life experience and worship styles. Studying alongside everyone was such a stimulating experience and I made some very good friends during my two years of study.”

Lay Reader at St Augustine’s College of Theology

Discover what your St Augustine’s student experience might be like.

How and where will I be studying?

This course involves two years of study, completed on a part-time basis. Classes take place both in person and online; you are invited to choose an approach that best suits you.

You can choose from one of these three options:

  • Weekly Monday evening classes at our Southwark campus in central London (6:30pm to 9:00pm)
  • Fortnightly teaching days at our West Malling campus in Kent (10:30am to 4:00pm)
  • Weekly evening classes online via Zoom every Wednesday (6:30pm to 9:00pm).

We understand that life can sometimes get in the way of study. If you’re unable to attend your normal class, you can arrange to attend the class at an alternative teaching centre.

“My placement as a Lay Reader has not only enhanced my learning, it’s also been spiritually uplifting.

I was amazed at how much I managed to cram into my six-week placement, from attending leadership meetings, talking with the pastoral team and leading intercessions, to hearing some very moving testaments from the congregation.

Having attended the same church for the past 17 years, it was a bit of a shock to the system to be worshiping in such a different style. But my placement experience has made me think very differently about what makes a church a vibrant and engaging place to worship God.”

Lay Reader at St Augustine’s College of Theology

Required learning sessions for Lay Readers

While you can attend classes online throughout your two years of study, all Lay Ministry students will be required to attend the following sessions in person:

First year

In the first year, you will take part in four study days focusing on Lay Ministry and introducing topics such as Theological Reflection and Teamwork & Collaboration. They will take place on:

Second year

There are also 4 study days in your second year (dates tbc)

“For anyone called by God to preach the good news – I would thoroughly recommend Lay Reader training at St Augustine’s. You meet and learn from the most amazing people. I’m in my second year of training and I am sure that I’m making friendships that will last a lifetime.”

Student at St Augustine’s College of Theology

Discover what it’s like to study at St Augustine’s

Come along to one of our open-day style taster events. Meet the staff, chat with fellow students, sit it on classes, and join us in worshipping together.

Frequently asked questions

You will take six modules over your two years of study, alongside an additional module focusing on practical skills.

  • You will typically take one module per term.
  • Each module involves two written assignments.
  • You can expect to dedicate at least ten hours of study time a week outside the classroom.

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

In order to be accepted on this pathway, you will need to have been approved for Licensed Lay Ministry training through the diocese of Chichester or Southwark.

Your tuition fees will be paid directly to St Augustine’s College of Theology by your sponsoring diocese. This will cover all of your training, teaching sessions and attendance at residential events.

There are some costs that you may need to cover yourself, including travel to and from your home to your place of study, textbooks, and other study materials. You may wish to claim reimbursement of travel costs and apply for book grants through Ministry Division.

As part of your studies, you will take the following modules:

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

Alongside these modules, you will also take Foundations for Reflective Practice in Context module and its corresponding placement, which focuses on your church involvement.

To read more about the modules that you will be taking, take a look at the modules page.

If you are selected by your Diocese to train for Licensed Lay Ministry, then you will receive instructions from them regarding enrolment with the College.

Theology books on the shelves St Augustine's Trinity House library

Next steps

Take the next step on your journey into studying theology.

Need help or have a question? Contact our admissions team for further assistance.