Training will help you deepen your knowledge of Christian faith. It will give you skills to be a minister. It will ensure you are developing habits of prayer that will sustain you in ministry.
Find out more about the different pathways below:
An immersive community: residential pathways
Training on a residential pathway typically involves living in college. You will be part of a close community, learning, growing, praying, and worshipping together.
We recognise a number of different residential colleges for theology training, each with its own distinct history, character, and flavour. We would encourage you to find out more using the links below.
Learning by doing: full-time non-residential pathways
Training on a non-residential course (sometime referred to as context based) typically involves a mixture of classes and placement. You will train in a parish alongside your studies, learning and developing through practical experience.
The balance between the learning through study and learning through practical engagement will vary between different courses.
We recognise a number of different non-residential courses for theology training, in principle allowing you to train anywhere. We would encourage you to find out more about the different courses on offer using the links below.
Studying whilst working: part time pathways
Training on a regional part-time course enables you to continue working in paid employment alongside your studies.
We recognise a number of different regional part-time courses for theology training, in principle allowing you to train anywhere. We would encourage you to find out more about colleges offering these courses using the links below.
Research degrees for potential theological educators
We need ministers with a range of skills and abilities, including those who will be the theological educators of the future.
If you intend to pursue a research degree, including at doctoral level, the first step is to talk to your diocese.
We will work with your diocese to approve a pathway and disburse a budget for your study.
Testimony: Matt Rogers
Matt knew that he was called to do more. Once he got involved the opportunities to minister only grew.
I’d grown up in a traditional church. I remember thinking church was fine, I just wasn’t overly excited by it. When I went to secondary school was when it got interesting. I just got completely rinsed really, for being a Christian, believing in God, and called all sorts of ridiculous names. I remember feeling I was the only Christian.
I wasn’t ready to decide it was stupid and not go to church, but I remember praying “God, if you’re there, you’ve got to give me more than this, because I can’t continue with this”.
My church youth worker organised a trip to Spring Harvest. I’d never been to anything like that before. I remember praying that same prayer “Dear God, this is it really, this is breaking point, if you’re there show me.”
I remember a particular moment, praying that prayer and closing my eyes and having an amazing encounter with the Holy Spirit. I don’t remember ever hearing about the Holy Spirit, I didn’t know who the Holy Spirit was, and I didn’t have any preconceptions of it, I just encountered the Holy Spirit and knew it was God’s presence. I had the most amazing sense of peace and love that I’d never felt before. And a voice that wasn’t my voice saying “Matt, will you follow me?” How could I say anything but yes? I can remember walking out from that moment of encounter and jumping for joy, overwhelmed with having encountered God in that way.
Going back to school was even harder now. People would say “Oh no, he’s had it now, he’s found religion!” but for me that was what I needed. I needed that confidence. I wanted to be open about my faith and talk about my faith. My faith became quite public.
God gave me great opportunities to step forward into leadership. I joined the Christian Union, and we started doing school assemblies, I got connected with a new church from the one I’d grown up in, St Stephen's, and when that happened the youth and children’s workers there really encouraged me in my faith. I was asked to get more involved in leading the group and helping with children’s ministry. The responsibilities just snowballed really.
When I finished school I did an apprenticeship with Volvo. I wanted to work with people and I like cars. I was straight into the workplace, but carried on doing church youth work which I loved. I had the best of both worlds, but I suspected God was calling me to get involved in employed youth work. Part of that came out of a youth drop in centre we were going to start running. I remember thinking “I really want to do that, but 3pm on a weekday isn’t going to work because I’m at work”. I took that to God and was praying “Is this something I should be involved in? How will this work?” and I can remember God saying “Do you want to make a difference to people’s lives or just their cars?” My response was “people’s lives”. From then on everything just fell into place. I kept a prayer journal that I’ve still got and look back through. It’s amazing.
The specific calling to explore ordination was always at the back of my mind, but I was treading carefully. I didn’t want to step out of the calling I’d stepped into, so I continued to serve as a youth minister for several years. I wasn’t denying it was there, but I wanted to know what God was calling me to in the moment, and not go off track.
So I prayed, “God make this clear”. A year and half later, three people who I’m really close to, my mentor, my vicar and another person, all said to me separately (and they don’t know each other) “Do you think that now is the time to explore ordination?” and I just felt God say “OK, now this is me saying to you, explore it”.
So I got in touch with my diocese and suggested we meet. They were nice, encouraging conversations, felt natural and they said I was ready. I felt God saying “Now is the time to go for it.” It felt like I’d pushed the door and fallen through it! The whole time I was praying that if it wasn’t right, God would close the door.
I was recommended for training and began studying at St Mellitus. The people are remarkable, and from so many different working backgrounds. It’s rich with amazing people, so to get to know people and chat with them, and swap ideas is just brilliant. It feeds my ministry back home and I really like that. The lectures were fascinating.
Get to know people who are in ministry, I’ve had the privilege of knowing so many ministers, I look back and I know I’ve watched their lives and their family lives really carefully and have been working out how they manage life, their joys and their struggles. Part of this exploring has been thinking, can I see myself in that role? What’s attractive about it? What would I do differently?
"Then Jesus said to Simon, 'Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.' So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him."Luke 5: 10-11
A senior ordained person who has oversight of clergy and lay people in a diocese.
Study exploring the meaning of God's word
The smallest pastoral area within the Church of England. A parish usually has one main church building.
Main administrative and pastoral area in the Church of England – often roughly coincides with local county boundaries. There are 42 dioceses.