Training for Ministry >

Diploma of Higher Education

The Diploma of Higher Education in Theology, Ministry and Mission is a 240 credit award for Church of England Ordinands who are sponsored for three years’ training, and who have limited or no experience of either ministry or theology.  The academic award is validated by Durham University, through the Common Awards framework.

The pathway has been formulated with ministerial formation in mind; and includes both accredited and unaccredited elements.

This is our 2019/20 programme; our revised 2020/21 Curriculum is being finalised following a comprehensive review and will be announced shortly.

Year One:

Semester 1: Introduction to Christian Worship and Introduction to Preaching
Semester 2: Introduction to the Old Testament
Residentials: Foundations for Ministry and Mission in Context
Foundations for Reflective Practice in Context (Short)
Pastoral Practice on Baptism
Summer School: Introduction to Missionary Movements and the Gospel in Global Context

Year Two:

Semester 1: New Testament in Context
Semester 2: Mission and Evangelism
Residentials: Introduction to Christian Doctrine and History
Spirituality 2
Pastoral Practice on Funerals
Summer School: Pastoral Care

Year Three:

Semester 1: Topics in Christian Doctrine
Semester 2: Leadership and Theology for Ministry and Mission
Residentials & Easter School: Introduction to Christian Ethics
Independent Learning Project: Interfaith Focus
Preparing for Ordination
Pastoral Practice on Marriage
Developing Preaching
Old Testament Text Study in Context
Christian Worship: Principles and Practice

Introduction to Christian Worship
In this six-session module we help you explore and develop your understanding, knowledge and practice of designing public worship in the Church of England. Drawing on the rich heritage of ecumenical liturgical collaboration, it will establish some of the basic principles behind all Christian worship. It will help you to understand and reflect on the nature and purpose of these principles in forming a Christian way of life. Our worship holds up a mirror to our belief, and what we believe determines how we worship. It will draw on the insights that you already have, and those you will have from your participation in worship in your placement church context.

Introduction to Preaching
This module is designed to help preachers explore and develop understanding, knowledge and practice of preaching in pastoral contexts. Sessions include taking a look at the how the content of sermons might be identified and shaped through exegesis and imagination, how congregations play a role in preaching and how we grow in understanding of ourselves as preachers.

Foundations for Ministry and Mission in Context
“Foundations” helps you to explore the bases of ministerial practice and is closely related to your parish placement. It will introduce you to skills, ways of thinking and questions on ministry, mission and leadership which – we pray – you will continue to explore and develop throughout your life. Three questions run through the module;

  • what is required of ministers of the Gospel?
  • how are our ministries to be shaped by our biblical and theological heritage?
  • what skills of analysis, reflection, collaboration and leadership might we need in our ministries?

Foundations for Reflective Practice in Context
This module is about developing reflective practice. It is a placement-based module which is supported through teaching at residential weekends. Supervision sessions
with your placement supervisor are also an important resource in developing as a reflective practitioner in ministry.

This module has three main aims:

  • To help students understand the importance of context and how to analyse a context.
  • To introduce students to different approaches to developing their reflective skills, including journaling.
  • To help students make the connection between reflection and action, and to develop reflexivity – in other words, ensuring that our perspectives and practice change through learning and reflection.

Introduction to Missionary Movements and the Gospel in a Global Context
This module introduces the world church and global mission. We look at Christian missions and how Christianity has been encultured in different contexts around the world.
We look too at some case studies on how belief has developed in different areas.

New Testament Text Study in Context
This module will focus on exploring the city and culture of Corinth to assist in examining the ethical issues Paul addresses in 1 Corinthians. We will engage in a hermeneutical process based on social-science and cultural-historical criticism to discern the principles Paul uses in guiding the Corinthians church to investigate how they can shape the life of the church today.

During Easter School time will be spent investigating the Passion and Resurrection texts in the Gospels.

Mission and Evangelism
This module will explore mission theology and evangelism, it will give an overview of the range of Christian patterns – in Scripture, history and the contemporary church – of relating to the world in witness to Christ. It will aim to equip students with the understanding and basic skills necessary for engagement with, and leadership of, the church’s participation in the mission of God. Students of this module will explore debates and practices of ecclesial missiology, and contemplate the attitudes, words and actions necessary to enable people to witness to Christ in a diversity of ways appropriate to his/her vocation.

Introduction to Christian Doctrine and History
Doctrine is often defined as a set of beliefs held or taught by a Church, political party or another group. Sometimes it can be seen as a quite dry and intellectual subject.

However, this module will, we hope, convince you that what people believe and why they believe it in the way they do is an endlessly fascinating subject with very practical applications for life and ministry.

In the Theological Reflection sessions we will see how to apply our Christian heritage of doctrine and history to practical issues today.

Our primary source for exploring doctrine is going to be the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds and our secondary sources are what people through the ages have believed, said and thought about doctrinal topics and what you as an individual believe, say and think. All thinking, believing and practicing of the Christian faith is contextual and so gaining an understanding of the history of Christianity and the church is as important as understanding ideas, concepts and notions.

Pastoral Care
The way All Saints approaches learning together about Pastoral Care in this module is summed up in the introduction to Ewan Kelly’s book Personhood and Presence (2012).

Our purpose:

  • “is to offer an aid to those who seek to understand their individual personhood better, with a view to enhancing the quality of the pastoral relationships they
    are in and will enter into” (p.5)
  • ” . . . purposeful reflection on practice, thus deepening self-awareness, is a moral
    imperative for those entrusted with the care of souls.” (p.6)
  • “The dimensions of our personhood are primarily explored through a theological lens, as
    this is what makes the role of spiritual or pastoral carer, who is rooted in the Christian
    tradition, distinctive.”

Following preparation sessions, we use theological reflection to explore aspects of pastoral care.

Topics in Christian Doctrine
This module will build on work done on early church and Reformation history and doctrine in earlier modules.

We will look at the relationship between theological developments and their social and historical contexts. We will focus on some key theologians, seeking to understand the contexts from which different theologies arise, how those theologies have developed and how they are relevant to ethical and pastoral issues today.

Leadership and Theology for Ministry and Mission
Part of the point of this module is to explore the ways in which all Christians are called to be involved in leadership and live out the way of service in their churches,
communities and places of work. It also explores the leadership role of clergy working collaboratively with others.

A significant issue is linking what is good from “secular” disciplines with a distinctively Christian approach to leadership and service. Christian language (from servant leadership to vision and mission) has been appropriated by secular management thinking. What distinctively Christian approaches to thinking about leadership are there – and what can Christians learn from other disciplines and experiences?

Introduction to Christian Ethics
Ethics is about deciding what actions are right or wrong, good or bad. We will focus on the practical question “How do we make good moral and ethical decisions based upon our Christian faith?” To answer this question we will consider the resources we have and the ethical theories and principles we can use.

Christian ethics is important because:

• Our actions are a witness to others of our faith in Christ (ethics relates to mission)
• For God’s will to be done on earth, the Christian voice needs to be heard in the public square about how society conducts and organises itself (ethics relates to politics)
• We frequently come face to face with ethical and moral questions in our pastoral work (ethics relates to pastoral work)

Even though Christian ethics is based upon our theology, good ethical decisions are not automatic. We still need to be open to God’s will and wisdom to make good decisions.

Independent Learning Project – Interfaith Focus
There are two versions of this module; one dealing with Judaism and one with Islam. Both involve a visit to a synagogue or mosque and an opportunity to discuss the heart of each faith with a faith-leader. The question then, is how does each religion see and critique Christianity, and how might you respond to that in a parish setting?

Developing Preaching
In this module, you will have an opportunity to reflect on your instincts and approaches as a preacher. There will be opportunities to engage critically with key aspects of preaching including: the theology and theory of preaching; different models and forms of preaching and how to prepare; critical approaches to engaging with Scripture and practical skills of delivery.

Old Testament Text Study in Context
Reading the Book of Job can be daunting – so how can we develop a theological reading which takes account of its many different aspects; human suffering, sin and suffering,
justice, the need for answers and experiencing God?

This module introduces four perspectives on Job and how we might consider the relevance of the book for today.

Christian Worship: Principles and Practice
This module is designed to enable you to continue to integrate your personal experience of worship with liturgical studies, drawing on the planning, delivery and celebration of worship in a variety of contexts. The module begins in the autumn, anticipating, and then participating in the worship of Holy Week. A significant formative aspect of the module is the critical reflection on the practice of worship design groups, created to enrich our immersion in the events of Christ’s passion, death and resurrection.

The module draws upon insights from the human sciences, addressing the relationship between worship and mission in current contexts.


Share this page