Initial Ministerial Training

Ministers of word and sacraments

Northern College was originally founded to provide education leading to ordination for ministers of word and sacraments, and this work is still at the heart of who we are and what we do. We are now situated near the centre of the richly diverse city of Manchester.

All the theology explored within the college is contextual, and all our learning integrates academic work with placement experiences, as well as honouring and building upon the experience each student brings.

Candidates for full-time ministry will normally study for four years, completing the BA and/or the MA. Those who already have a theological qualification may begin with the MA or a research programme. A student’s programme usually involves two days in college each week, with occasional courses taught in blocks. The formational programme, covering practical and denominational-specific aspects of ministry, is included within the timetable. Each student undertakes supervised church and community placements in their home area.

Candidates for part-time ministry usually study courses on the BA programme and complete a higher education diploma. This involves six residential weekends a year, occasional block-taught courses, and placements in the student’s local area. There is also a formational programme delivered over the course of their years of study.

We work with each student to create the right programme for their individual needs and, wherever possible, to enable them to relate to an ecumenical peer group.

Initial Ministerial Training

Church-related community work

This is normally a four-year programme. For the first two years this requires attendance at extended weekends (Friday-Sunday or Saturday-Monday) and additional full-days. For years three and four, students will usually attend college for two days a week alongside candidates for ministry of word and sacraments.

The CRCW-ministry programme leads to a BA as well as a qualification in community work recognised by the English Standards Board. Our programme has recently been revalidated by the Board and affirmed as ‘creative, and a benchmark for other institutions’. Alternatively, students can complete the diploma and community work qualification and then undertake an MA.

Alongside academic work, candidates have two two-year supervised community placements in their local areas.

Continuing ministerial education

Many of our MA courses are taken by serving ministers (both of word and sacraments and in CRCW ministry), enabling them to develop their particular skills and interests in ministry. Some take the full MA programme, others take stand-alone courses in areas of particular interest to them without working for a qualification.

There are modules available for those involved in chaplaincy work, supervision and consultancy, mission and evangelism, inter-faith work, worship and spirituality and many others. Staff of Northern College are also involved from time to time on EM2 weekends, and some of these take place at Luther King Centre.

Some ministers undertake research degrees in areas of their own particular interest and expertise. There is also a Guided Reading Programme available to support study through study weeks or sabbaticals.

Members of Northern College staff often contribute to ministerial summer schools, study days and retreats.

Courses for lay people

Staff at Northern College work with Synod Training Officers, Mission Enablers and others to help develop and deliver training in worship and preaching, funerals, weddings, pastoral care, interfaith issues, and community development work. They are regularly involved in working with lay preachers and worship leaders – offering both an annual conference at Luther King Centre and within individual Synods. We also work closely with the Stepwise team.
For more information about these courses…view more

Visit Luther King Centre for for more information about courses open to everyone and a full programme of study days, retreat days and lectures.