Academic theology is taught during the morning and residential elements of the programme. The following curriculum shows the usual pathway for ordinands on the BA in Theology, Ministry and Mission programme. Diploma students will engage with a subset of these modules. Ordinands studying for an MA degree follow the relevant academic pathway and will audit modules relevant to their ministerial formation and development.
- Foundations for Theology and Reflective Practice
- Introduction to Church History
- Introduction to the Bible
- Spirituality and Discipleship
- Foundations in Christian Worship
- Evangelism in Practice (Audit)
Pathway A – Introduction to Preaching in a Contemporary World
Pathway B – Introduction to Preaching and a Biblical language
- Topics in Christian Doctrine
- Bible in Context
- Christian Faith and Ethical Living
- Developing Ministry and Mission in Context
Pathway A – Leadership and Theology for Ministry and Mission
Pathway B – Exploring Leadership and Theology for Ministry and Mission and a Biblical language
- Mission and Apologetics in Contemporary Culture
- Further New Testament and Old Testament Text Study in context
- Christianity and Inter Faith Engagement
- Sacramental Theology and Ministry
- Further Reflective Practice in Context (placement)
Students may also select from a combination of optional modules which may include: The Arts, Culture and Christian Ministry and Mission; Church History in Focus; Christian Doctrine in Context: Politics; and either an independent learning project or an extended dissertation.
healthy church leadership
All full-time students, regardless of their academic programme of study, engage with the Healthy Church Leadership Programme. The afternoon programme on the midweek teaching day focuses on ordinands becoming more effective leaders of growing and healthy churches, church plants or pioneering missional initiatives. The diverse programme explores some of the more practical elements of ministry in the light of theology, prayer and listening to God, and examines specific issues of leadership and ecclesial practice and how we might exercise that wisely and well in the church today. Leadership development is more than just learning skills though – it also requires a focus on the sort of people we are becoming and so the programme also includes consideration of formation and openness to the work of the Spirit of Christ. Many of these sessions will involve experts and practitioners from the wider church who we bring in to share their experience and wisdom in ministry.
The programme includes sessions each year relating to and building on the following themes:
- Approaches to Church Leadership – practitioner led sessions examining approaches to leadership within different mission and ministry contexts (eg rural, church plants, parish)
- Personality, Character & Relationships – character is a fundamental part of the leadership we offer, sessions include examining and developing character, guarding your heart in leadership, resilience and conflict resolution, and leadership for the long haul
- Ministry & Church Growth – looking at some of the practical aspects of ministry such as evangelism, finances & fundraising, leading worship, pastoral case studies, small group structures in church life
- Preaching – input from a wide range of excellent preachers, sharing their advice and wisdom on this vital task
- Leadership – looking at how to understand, step into and exercise church leadership, including sessions on teams, developing leaders, communicating vision, change management, PCCs, committees & meetings, and an opportunity to hear from SMC alumni about their experiences serving in curacies
- Prayer and the Spirit – the role of prayer and the Spirit within ministry and leadership
- Communication Training – these sessions are designed to develop wider communications skills beyond preaching, including soft skills and non-verbal communication
- Reflections on Leadership – opportunities to hear from key Christian leaders about their experiences of ministry and leadership
Overall we hope that the material will enable ordinands to flourish in the following three areas:
- The Life of a Leader – how we can develop in our personal and missional formation as leaders
- Leading People – how as ordained leaders we can help other people to flourish around us
- Leading Organisations – how we can effect change in churches, organisations ad wider society
All this is enabled and supplemented through:
- Formation Groups – where we try and draw together the academic teaching you have been hearing with your life and ministry experience and try to discern what God is doing and saying in and through your training. These groups may also include practical follow up based on leadership input received. They will also provide staff and peer support, prayer and reflection.
- Preaching Practice – where you get the chance to give brief talks and sermons and get input and feedback from formation group tutors and your colleagues.
- Housekeeping – including tutor-student interviews (particularly related to the writing of reports), supervisor days, and so on