Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about ordination training at All Saints Centre for Mission and Ministry. If you have any other questions, please contact us.
What is Ordained Ministry?
This page gives an overview of the different types of ministry All Saints trains people for. For more information, click here. Also visit our Links page to access some helpful websites on different types of ordained and licensed ministry.
Is this just for people training for part-time ministry?
No – though the training is part-time, many of our students are training to enter full-time (stipendiary) ministry when they complete their training. We also have people training for a variety of part-time ordained ministries (Self-supporting ministry and Ordained Local ministry). All Saints trains people for all types of ordained ministry – Stipendiary, Self-supporting, Ordained Local Ministry, Pioneer Ministry.
I’m really interested in training for Ordained Ministry. What do I do next?
Click here for the What next? page.
How long is the training?
Training with All Saints is usually three years part-time, though many students who have done previous ministry training or theological study do a shorter course – click here for more information on the standard 3-year course and click here to find out about different training pathways.
Can I do this alongside my job?
Most students training with All Saints are in full-time or part-time employment and are balancing their training with the demands of work, family and church commitments. The course is designed as a part-time course – see the next question for a bit more on what that means
How much work is it?
We often say that though the course is part-time, it is not possible to do it in your “spare time”. To complete the Course students must be able to commit to:
- the formal study programme (up to 30 weeknights, 6 weekends and 1 residential week each year)
- an average of 4 to 5 hours per week in placement activity in your home or external placement church (this includes most of the time trainees already spend on church commitments)
- up to 5 hours of reading per week, plus the time needed for additional private study, completing assignments, meeting with supervisors and tutors, etc.
Ordination training does involve a considerable time commitment. In some cases, it is important for trainees to make some space for training by laying down some commitments, including ones at church. However, this needs balancing with the important element of experience in preaching, leading and other areas of ministry.
When does training take place?
Weeknight sessions are organised in three terms with a half-term break in each. Weeknights begin in early September and continue to the end of May. For ordinands, there are six Residential Weekends beginning on a Friday evening and ending after lunch on Sunday. Ordinands also attend an eight-day residential Summer School in their first and penultimate years of training and an Easter School in their final year. Click here for a diagram of how weeknights and weekends fit together and click here for more information on the where and when of training with All Saints.
Where does it happen?
Weeknights are held across the region in a number of centres and residentials are The Summer School is usually held at Chester or Liverpool Hope University and for the Easter School we have often used a residential centre near Leeds. Click here for more details on the locations we use.
Is it all about writing essays?
Each module is assessed to make sure that those in training are meeting the required standard for ordination. There are assessments for each module but as it says on the page on assessment (click here), they use a variety of methods. There are written assignments, some of which are more like essays than others – as well as exercises like a formal study of a passage from the bible, they include other written exercises like theological reflections, a rule of life, a survey of mission opportunities in a parish,. There are also some exercises which are very much rooted in practical ministry – sermons (both written and also a recorded sermon on video), plans for leading worship, a presentation in a church context
Is it part of a degree course?
All the modules can be studied as part of a Foundation Degree in Mission and Ministry awarded by the University of Chester, but they can also be studied without that university link. All Saints also offers the option for your training for ordination to gain credit towards a Bachelors or Higher award. Click here for more information on Studying for Credit.
What support and resources are available?
There are a variety of resources available to support trainees during their ordination training with All Saints. A significant resource for those on the course is Moodle – this is the name of the online system that we use to support students on the course. Students can access Moodle using a web browser of any computer. Using Moodle we are able easily and quickly to distribute study materials (e.g. session notes, excerpts from books, pictures, and much more) to students, give feedback for assessments, send out messages, and so on. Students are able to use ‘forums’ to talk to each other, share information and discuss the topics they are studying, and submit assignments. Students are shown how to use the system at the beginning of their course. The important point is that all students need to have regular access to the internet or their experience of the course, and indeed their learning, will be affected. Click here for more information on Moodle and other resources such as libraries.
We also offer a variety of resources for supporting students through their training, both in terms of study skills support and pastoral care – click here for more details on what we offer.
What about money?
All course fees for ordination trainees are paid by central church funds. Central church funds also pay towards travel costs and some other costs of study such as books. Most students training with us continue in their existing full-time or part-time employment and the financial arrangements that go with that.