In talking about the course we often quote the twentieth century Swiss theologian, Emil Brunner, who wrote: “The church exists by mission as a fire exists by burning.” If there is no burning there is no fire. So our training focuses on mission and ministry together.
We also believe that ministry belongs to the whole people of God, that leadership begins with discipleship, and that the specific context of an individual’s ministry is vitally important to their training. These themes run throughout the course and give it a particular character and shape.
Some themes are important in every module and run throughout the course. These include prayer and spirituality, mission, making disciples, and working with young people. Students also undertake guided bible reading in years one and two, and by the end of that time will have read the whole bible at least once. Preaching is also very important and, with tuition, help and guidance, students will prepare and preach sermons on a regular basis throughout the training period.
Learning on Placement
Work-based learning – otherwise known as placements – makes up around 25% of the learning hours required to complete the course. No one can complete the course without a placement context with which to engage. In addition to the ‘home’ church context, all students will complete one or two 10 to 15 week placements in a context appropriate to their experience, needs and development. Placements are arranged in negotiation with course staff.
Worship – at the heart of our life and learning
Worship is a key part of the experience of being on the All Saints course – worship in home and placement churches and worship with others on the course. As well as giving lots of opportunities to learn about worship and to develop skills in leading worship, the course is designed to points where those in training are participating in worship as a worshipper rather than a leader or a learner. Maintaining a healthy rhythm of spiritual life and worship is a vital part of this course, and forms a specific part of modules such as Discipleship & Ministry, Service & Leadership and Faith & Belief.
The aims of the Course are to
- Develop in Course participants an understanding of Scripture, Christian doctrine and worship and of how these inform faith, both historically and in the world today.
- Enable Course participants to understand the nature and practice of mission and how this relates to the church in 21st century.
- Help Course participants to develop transferable and sustainable skills in working collaboratively, in communication studies and in personal and pastoral relationships as applicable to the exercise of ministry and discipleship within the church today.
- Provide effective structured learning opportunities for both understanding and reflecting theologically on the local church and/or community in the context of a broader understanding of the church and of the world.
- Assist Course participants to develop a pattern of learning, personal spirituality and professional development which will support them in their ongoing ministry and discipleship.