Modules of theological study

An overview of the modules students can engage with across undergraduate and postgraduate study.

The modules that you can take as a student depend upon your level of academic study, usually defined by the qualification you’re studying towards.

We’ve broken this page down so you can see the kinds of modules you might engage with if you are studying at four distinct levels of higher education:

Level 4 Modules

For those studying:

  • Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE) in Theology, Ministry and Mission
  • Diploma in Higher Education (DipHE) in Theology, Ministry and Mission
  • BA (Hons) in Theology, Ministry and Mission.

All modules are worth 20 credits, unless stated otherwise. Which of these modules you will take depends on your pathway through the programme.

Introduction to Biblical Studies

This module introduces you to the contemporary study of Scripture and some of the most important issues raised for Christian life and worship. You will learn how to use the major critical tools that scholars employ to interpret the Bible, alongside studying how these critical techniques have developed.

Learn more about the Biblical Studies Module >

Using the Bible Today

In this module, you will study various understandings of Biblical authority, approaches to Biblical texts, how the Biblical text may be used appropriately. The module will also introduce you to some different approaches to using Scripture in Christian communication and ministry.

Elementary Biblical Hebrew & Elementary New Testament Greek
These two language-focused learning modules are undertaken together and are worth 10 credits each.

Introduction to Church History

This module provides a broad overview of Church history focusing on the historical development of the doctrine of the Trinity. You will explore how Trinitarian thinking relates to the Church’s social, cultural and political context, and to the historical roots of specific denominational identities.

Introduction to Christian Doctrine

This module examines central Christian theological affirmations about the person and work of Jesus Christ (a study known as Christology and soteriology) and asks you to consider what follows for Christian life and practice. You’ll be introduced to theological debates about the person and work of Jesus Christ down the centuries and explore some of the implications of these for Christian life and practice.

Spirituality and Discipleship
This module puts spirituality at the heart of your study of theology, integrating that study with the life of discipleship. You will examine:

  • the place of prayer and repentance
  • ‘detachment’ and pilgrimage.

The module also explores 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.


Foundations in Christian Worship

Examining the way Christians mark time through their worship, this module concentrates on the vital relationship between past traditions and present realities. In this module, you will consider daily, weekly and yearly patterns of worship in the Christian Churches today. By way of a local history project, you will study both historical and contemporary diversity of these patterns. You will also visit a variety of churches to grasp something of this at first hand.

Foundations for Reflective Practice in Context

The focus of this module is on your existing church involvement or (in the case of Licensed Lay Ministry students) your current ministry as a trainee. It is mainly a practical module which allows you to engage in a structured way with your ministerial activities, in dialogue with your theological learning in other areas. (10 credits)

Foundations for Ministry and Mission in Context

This module explores the relationship between mission and the diversity of contexts within which the contemporary Church serves and witnesses. You will reflect upon the theology of the mission of God, as well as contemporary practices of outreach in the Christian Churches. The placement element of this module involves an extended team mission project.

Foundations for Ministry and Worship in Context

As part of this module, you will examine core areas of congregational ministry. The module emphasises how developing your facility in reflective practice is crucial to leading and enabling worship and discipleship in local churches. The placement element of this module enlarges your experience of ministry by working in a church that differs from your own.

Level 5 Modules

For those studying:

  • Diploma in Higher Education (DipHE) in Theology, Ministry and Mission
  • BA (Hons) in Theology, Ministry and Mission.

All modules are worth 20 credits, unless stated otherwise. Which of these modules you will take depends on your pathway through the programme.

Biblical Studies

This module enables focused study of specific books and passages from the Old and New Testaments. It explores different critical approaches to the study of Old and New Testaments, and the responsible use of the Bible in Christian theology, preaching and learning.

Learn more about the Biblical Studies Module >

Intermediate Biblical Hebrew & Intermediate New Testament Greek

Gaining fluency in Biblical Hebrew and New Testament Greek respectively (worth 10 credits each).

Topics in Christian Doctrine

This module examines central Christian theological affirmations about the doctrine of creation, Christology and soteriology, and considers what follows for Christian life and practice. You’ll be introduced to theological debates about these doctrines down the centuries and explore some of the implications of these for Christian life and practice.

Christian Faith and Ethical Living

This module addresses the foundations of Christian ethical reasoning, offering a theological account of core Christian moral concepts. You will discuss their application to issues currently subject to sharp controversy within and outside the Church, including: sexual ethics, family, distributive justice and poverty, and Christian participation in public life.

Texts and Traditions in Christian Spirituality

Through this module, you will engage with a range of voices from the Christian spiritual tradition in relation to disciplines of academic study, including disciplines shared by non-theological subject areas. You’ll be introduced to the study of spirituality as well as to a range of texts from the writings of great figures within the tradition of Christian spirituality.

Sacramental Theology and Ministry

Discover the way that the sacraments of baptism and eucharist or communion are celebrated in our Churches, and explore the historical, cultural and theological factors shaping this. You’ll draw on what you are learning from academic sources to help Christians in their local context grow in understanding of these pivotal practices for church life. 

Reflective Practice in Context

The focus of this module (and corresponding placement) is theology in the contemporary public arena. It offers the opportunity to experience and reflect upon the ways in which theology might be expressed and exercised in the realms of business, civic organisation or politics.

Mission and Evangelism

This module explores how modern methods of mission seek to offer the world the news of God’s unconditional love. It examines:

  • contemporary, contextual and pioneer approaches to Christian mission in theory and in practice
  • one’s call to mission, with the aim of better understanding
  • how to live that call in one’s own future ministry.

Developing Ministry and Mission in Context

This module explores the relationship between mission and the different contexts in which the contemporary Church serves and witnesses. You will reflect upon the theology of the mission of God as well as contemporary practices of outreach in the Christian churches. The placement element of this module involves an extended team mission project.

Developing Ministry and Worship in Context

You will examine core areas of congregational ministry, including leading worship and preaching. The module emphasises how developing your facility in reflective practice is crucial to leading and enabling worship and discipleship in local churches. The placement element of this module enlarges your experience of ministry by working in a church that differs from your own.

Pastoral Care

In this module, you will learn the theory behind effective Christian pastoral ministry and what skills are needed to implement it, including the settings for pastoral ministry and what discernments and sensitivities are required. The module also examines the relationship between pastoral care and mission. The placement element of this module is an extended placement in pastoral ministry.

Ordination training students shall also study pastoral theology and practice in relation to sexuality and marriage, as well as to bereavement ministry and funerals.

Independent Learning Project

This module provides an opportunity to undertake self-directed study on a topic of your choice under the supervision of a tutor.

Level 6 Modules

For those studying:

  • BA (Hons) in Theology, Ministry and Mission
  • Graduate Diploma (GDip) in Theology, Ministry and Mission.

All modules are worth 20 credits, unless stated otherwise. Which of these modules you will take depends on your pathway through the programme.

The Bible and Christian Faith

This module will explore specific Biblical texts and themes from a range of different perspectives and examine how they might apply to contemporary contexts.

Further Old Testament Studies

This module includes an in-depth exploration of selected texts from the Old Testament, highlighting key critical issues in scholarship and in contemporary interpretation. You will consider the ways the selected texts can be used in ministerial contexts to address contemporary situations.

Further New Testament Studies

This module includes an in-depth exploration of selected texts from the NewTestament, highlighting key critical issues in scholarship and in contemporary interpretation. You will consider the ways the selected texts can be used in ministerial contexts to address contemporary situations.

Advanced Biblical Hebrew & Advanced New Testament Greek

Advanced understanding of Biblical Hebrew and New Testament Greek (worth 10 credits each).

Christian Doctrine in Focus

This module focuses on the Christian doctrines of Trinity, creation and the person and work of Jesus Christ. It studies how these areas of Christian doctrine have been subject to critique within and outside the Church, both in modernity and post-modernity. You will explore various constructive theological responses to these critiques, for example radical orthodoxy and post-liberal theology.

Church History in Focus

This module explores one or more important areas of Church history, typically including a focus on the Protestant Reformations. It will include study of relevant primary sources:

  • consideration of the chosen area’s connections to the wider history of Christian life and thought
  • the relationships between this historical area and contemporary Christian practice and experience.

Science and Faith

This module explores the relationship between science and faith, including its historical and doctrinal dimensions. It aims to build confidence in ministerial practitioners for engaging with doctrinal, ethical and apologetic questions arising from the natural sciences.

Texts and Traditions in Christian Spirituality

(Not available if already taken at Level 5)

Through this module, you will engage with a range of voices from the Christian spiritual tradition in relation to disciplines of academic study, including disciplines shared by non-theological subject areas. You’ll be introduced to the study of spirituality as well as to a range of texts from the writings of great figures within the tradition of Christian spirituality.

Further Reflective Practice in Context

This placement-based module explores the various contexts of Christian ministry. You will examine the particular opportunities and challenges that arise from these contexts and develop the skills needed to meet them effectively. A placement offers the opportunity to experience and reflect upon the various ways in which theology is understood as well as how Christian responsibility is exercised in the realms of business, civic organisation or politics.

Christian Theology, Ritual and Pastoral Care

In this module, you will learn the theory behind effective Christian pastoral ministry and what skills are needed to implement it, including the settings for pastoral ministry and what discernments and sensitivities are required. The module also examines the relationship between pastoral care and mission. The placement element of this module is an extended placement in pastoral ministry.

Ordination training students shall also study pastoral theology and practice in relation to sexuality and marriage as well as to bereavement ministry and funerals.

Further Engagement with Ministry and Worship in Context

This module draws on ideas about reflective practice in order to prepare you for sustaining a transformative ministry, where you can best enable worship and discipleship in local churches. It explores three core areas of congregational ministry: leading worship, preaching, and Christian nurture and education.

The placement-based element of this module extends your experience of ministry in each of these areas by being part of a church that’s new to you.

Specific Foci for Reflective Practice

The following modules are used primarily for diocesan curacy training programmes, as part of Further Study After Ordination.

  • Inhabiting Public Ministry
  • Spirituality and Ministry
  • Mission and Evangelism
  • Law and the Public Minister
  • Leadership and Collaboration
  • Christian Worship.

Independent Learning Project

This module provides an opportunity to undertake self-directed study on a topic of your choice under the supervision of a tutor.

Dissertation in Theology, Ministry and Mission

This module offers you the opportunity to do an extended piece of work under supervision from one of the staff on a topic of interest to you (40 credits).

Extended Project in Theology, Ministry and Mission

The module aims to provide an opportunity to apply previous theological, ministerial or missional learning to a particular piece of practice. This typically focuses on a specific opportunity to enhance the Christian life of a congregation or group, although it may also pertain to a non-ecclesiastical social or work-based setting. The module aims to enhance your reflective practice as you work in situations calling for theological acumen, ministerial proficiency and pastoral sensitivity (40 credits).

Level 7 Modules

For those studying:

  • Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) in Theology, Ministry and Mission
  • Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) in Theology, Ministry and Mission
  • MA in Theology, Ministry and Mission.

All modules are worth 20 credits unless stated otherwise. Which of these modules you will take depends on your pathway through the programme.

Please be aware that not all of these modules are available every academic year – availability depends on curriculum, student numbers and ongoing programme development.

As part of your postgraduate studies, you may undertake a small number of lower-level modules, mostly Level 6.

The Bible and Christian Faith

This module will explore specific Biblical texts and themes from a range of different perspectives and examine how they might apply to contemporary contexts.

Advanced Old Testament Studies

This module includes an in-depth exploration of selected texts from the Old Testament, highlighting key critical issues in scholarship and in contemporary interpretation. You will consider the ways the selected texts can be used in ministerial contexts to address contemporary situations.

Advanced New Testament Studies

This module includes an in-depth exploration of selected texts from the New Testament, highlighting key critical issues in scholarship and in contemporary interpretation. You will consider the ways the selected texts can be used in ministerial contexts to address contemporary situations.

Study of a Biblical Text Employing its Original Language

This module will allow you to study a Biblical text employing its original language. This module is typically taken combined with one or more Biblical language modules.

Advanced Topic in Christian Doctrine

This module will involve critical study of an area of doctrine. You will have the opportunity to integrate critical doctrinal thinking further into your own spiritual formation.

Advanced Topic in Christian Ethics

This module will explore sources for moral theology, including:

  • scripture, tradition and reason, including philosophical sources and experience
  • modes of ethical enquiry in a Christian theological context
  • specific issues in Christian ethics.

Advanced Study of a Christian Figure

This module will focus on one major figure from the Christian tradition. It will include detailed attention to:

  • the historical context within which the individual lived and its impact on their work
  • critical analysis of selected theological themes from the individual’s work within the context of their life
  • exploration of the nature of and reasons for the enduring significance of the individual’s contribution to the Christian tradition
  • an examination of the ways in which this figure’s work informs the life and mission of the Church today.

Advanced Study of a Theological Text

This module will explore a major theological text and will include detailed attention to:

  • the text’s historical context
  • extensive, sophisticated engagement with the text itself
  • and exploration of how this text may have shaped contemporary thinking in relation to theology, ministry and mission.

Ecumenism in Theory and Practice

This module is a general introduction to the problem of Christian disunity, including some outline history and some concentration on particular issues of difference.

Contemporary Spirituality in Historical Context

This module will involve in-depth exploration of major historical and contemporary strands of Christian spirituality, enabling you to develop your own spiritual practice and to resource others in theirs.

Spiritual Direction

The module will offer in-depth exploration of various approaches to spiritual direction, informed by classic Christian and alternative models of spirituality. It also enables development of and reflection on either initial or ongoing practice in spiritual direction.

Liturgy and Spirituality

This module allows you to explore both liturgy and spirituality in various contexts, including:

  • an academic review of the ways in which the concepts of liturgy and spirituality are related
  • a critical study of the historical relationship between the liturgy and spirituality
  • an analysis of selected liturgical practices or texts considered as a practice of spirituality.

Patterns of Spiritual Growth and Personal Transformation

This module involves in-depth exploration of personal and corporate transformation, conversion and growth. These concepts will be articulated by key spiritual figures and texts from different periods of Christian history. The module also includes:

  • analysis and comparison of distinctive patterns of Christian spiritual growth and transformation in these sources
  • assessment of the significance of these accounts for human growth and transformation today employing a range of approaches.

God, Beauty and the Imagination: Theology and the Arts

This module will explore how God, beauty and the imagination have found expression in art, literature and music, and how these themes have been reflected in theology. You will interpret these works from a theological perspective and relate what you have learnt to ministry and mission. Take a look at this video with Reverend Canon Chris to learn more.

Reflective Practice: Christian Worship

This module will support you in your ministerial development. You will explore how to engage with well-informed and structured forms of theological reflection, many of which underpin reflective practice in a ministerial context.

Term Study Abroad

This module will allow you to gain experience of the study of theology and ministry in an overseas context, all while receiving qualifying credits for your studies.

Independent Learning Project

This module provides an opportunity to undertake self-directed study on a topic of your choice under the supervision of a tutor.

Research and Reflection: Resources and Methods

This module will introduce you to research skills for theological study at Master’s level. Seminars will allow you to explore your own area of research interest (in preparation of the dissertation, if applicable) as well as engage with your fellow students’ interests. This module is compulsory for the PGDip and the MA.

Dissertation in Theology, Ministry and Mission

This module offers you the opportunity to do an extended piece of work, under supervision by one of the staff, on a topic of interest to you. This module is compulsory for students undertaking the MA (60 credits).

The following modules are typically by those wishing to enter into ministry at some point and are taken as part of a programme of ministerial formation.

Reflective Practice Placement

This module draws on ideas about reflective practice in order to prepare you for sustaining a transformative ministry, where you can best enable worship and discipleship in local churches. It explores three core areas of congregational ministry: leading worship, preaching, and Christian nurture and education.

The placement-based element of this module extends your experience of ministry in each of these areas by being a part of a church that’s new to you.

Specific Foci for Reflective Practice

The following modules are used primarily for diocesan curacy training programmes as part of Further Study After Ordination.

  • Inhabiting Public Ministry
  • Spirituality and Ministry
  • Mission and Evangelism
  • Law and the Public Minister
  • Leadership and Collaboration
  • Christian Worship.

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 in on classes, and join us in worshipping together.