Licensed Lay Pioneer Ministry Training

Discover how you can innovate and minister in our changing and diverse world as a Lay Pioneer.

Key info

  • Next enrollment: Applications now open for September 2024

  • Duration: 2 years (part-time)

  • Location:

  • Entry requirements: Approval for training from your diocese

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

  • Award/study level: Level 4

  • Cost:  All course fees covered by diocese

“There are many reasons I learnt so much during my two years of Lay Pioneer training at St Augustine’s – from the great tutors and modules to the friendships and connections I made.

I loved being able to travel to West Malling every other Friday for class. The site is beautiful and peaceful, allowing me to really focus on my studies. It meant I could also take part in worship and get to know the people I was studying with.

This course has given me a good theological grounding and, at the same time, enabled me to consider how to approach Pioneer ministry and mission.”

Philippa Parry
Lay Pioneer at St Augustine’s College of Theology

About the course

This exciting course combines practical, formational and academic aspects of training, allowing Lay Pioneers to innovate and minister in our changing and diverse world.

You will learn from experienced and engaging module teachers with course material embedded within a pioneering context, allowing learning and practice feed into one another.

As part of your Lay Pioneer 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 Lay Pioneer focus.

Alongside this, regular tutorial support from an experienced Lay Pioneer will ensure your own formation and development as a minister remains at the heart of your training. You will also attend four Saturday study days per academic year.

“Studying at St Augustine’s was a precious and very special time in my Christian life. Because my mission is focused on Japanese non-Christians, my time spent at St Augustine’s was a way to focus and reflect on God and faith.

I enjoyed all the modules and found I could readily apply the knowledge to my mission. The Lay Pioneer pathway has given me a greater appreciation of the impact of culture on faith.”

Minako Hall
Lay Pioneer at St Augustine’s College of Theology

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.

What will I be studying?

As part of Lay Pioneer training, you’ll study alongside students on other pathways, exploring subjects like Biblical studies, ethics, and spirituality.

You will have assignment questions for each of these modules, which orientate the classroom learning to the practicalities and experiences of pioneer ministry.

Lay Pioneer specific learning

As well as tutorial support throughout training and your own placement experience grounding all learning in practice, in the first year you will be taking the Introduction to Missional Entrepreneurship module.

Teaching for this module will take place over five consecutive Mondays in January and February 2025, via in-person classes at our Southwark campus. Attendance for these learning session is expected, however, an alternative could be found if this proves especially challenging.

In your second year, you will study Mission and Evangelism, which will be taught via Saturday study days.

“The Lay Pioneer pathway has enabled me to integrate my Pioneer practice with much greater theological understanding.

The Pioneer modules have given me the confidence to grow and mature fresh expressions of church. I now feel equipped to listen and respond to how the Holy Spirit may be calling others.

I particularly enjoyed working and collaborating with other Lay Ministry students and exploring how we can work together in the future.”

Ethan Glackin-McColga
Lay Pioneer at St Augustine’s College of Theology

Discover what it’s like to train for Lay Pioneer Ministry 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

As part of your two-year course, you will take part in four Saturday Study Days each academic year.

In the first year, these study days will focus on Lay Ministry and introduce topics such as Theological Reflection and Teamwork & Collaboration. They will take place on:

In the second year (2025/26), your study days will focus on the Mission and Evangelism module.

As part of your course, you will be assigned a tutor who is experienced in Pioneer Ministry to support you through your training.

Meetings with your tutor will take place a couple of times a term, focusing on your formation as a Lay Pioneer Minister.

The dates and times of these meetings will be arranged between you and your tutor.

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.

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

Once you achieve your CertHE qualification, many students choose to continue their studies to earn their Diploma or BA (Hons) in Theology, Ministry and Mission.

Because the Certificate forms the foundation of the Diploma/BA (Hons) course, you’d essentially pick up where you left off, choosing a programme of theological study that suits you.

If you have any questions, you can speak to our admissions team to chat about your future study options.

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.