About the Common Awards

About the Common Awards

Theological education for ministry and mission is being reshaped through the advent of the Common Awards in Theology, Ministry and Mission. From September 2014, institutions training ordinands in the Church of England and partner churches will be doing so through a common suite of awards that will be validated through a partnership with Durham University. The catalyst for this initiative has been the national changes in higher education funding. However, the decision to respond to these changes by developing the Common Awards has opened up possibilities for re-thinking ministerial education for the 21st century, offering greater coherence for both lay and ordained training while lifting the administrative and financial burden of a large number of small institutions currently offering awards through 19 validating partners.

The Sheffield Reports were presented to the House of Bishops as part of the decision-making relating to the Common Awards approach.

The Common Awards strive to combine creativity and academic rigour in developing pathways of learning that are transformative while promoting the flourishing of distinctive patterns and cultures of teaching and learning. They embrace the formational dimensions of the pursuit of knowledge and the acquisition of skills, encouraging learners to explore and inhabit their calling and become lifelong learners open to the dynamic of the Spirit.

The Preface to the Common Awards describes the pedagogical and theological themes that shape the teaching and learning embodied in the Common Awards.

A framework for the awards was created, based on extensive consultation among theological educators in colleges, courses and dioceses. The Common Awards provide a full range of undergraduate and taught postgraduate programmes from Certificate to Masters level. The structures of the programmes are such that they encourage integration across disciplines and between classroom learning and practice. Developing an intellectually rigorous, emotionally intelligent, and spiritually discerning practice of theological reflection and reflective practice is at the heart of the awards.

The Proposal for the Common Awards sets out some key structural features that have been embedded in the Common Awards.

Who will benefit from the Common Awards?