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Training Courses for Lay People

At Northern College we believe in offering lifelong learning to all the people of God. There are those who join us for our Annual Conference, the Assembly Accredited Lay Preachers Course, to obtain a Northern College Certificate or to further their spiritual and theological understanding out of personal interest. Some come to us because they would like to do a BA or MA at the Luther King Centre. From September 2023 we hope to offer a Certificate in Church Related Community Development, with an exciting mix of learning and practice. We offer a range of different learning opportunities offered in-person and online.

We are also committed to working with others and welcome representatives from URC Synods, Training and Development Officers, Mission Enablers and those from other denominations and institutions to approach us to enquire if we can provide bespoke training for your context.

More information on courses for lay people

Training for Ministerial Development

At Northern College we are aware that ministerial development does not stop when you are commissioned or ordained. We offer support to CRCWs and Ministers of Word and Sacraments in the URC and other denominations who want to continue their ministerial development. This could take the form of our Guided Reading Programme to help support you when you are taking a study week, sabbatical, or retreat. We also welcome those in the URC to attend the URC Research Network.

Many serving ministers and CRCWs contact us to explore further study to enable them to develop their particular skills and interests in ministry. It is possible to undertake a MA, PgDip and PgCert at the Luther King Centre. The Chaplaincy Studies programme is of particular interest for some. It is also possible to audit a module, which means you do not take it for credit. There are many interesting modules to choose from at the Luther King Centre.

Training for Ministry of Word & Sacraments

Northern College was originally founded to provide ministerial training and formation, and we feel this is still at the heart of what we offer. We are proud of the ministerial training we provide for the URC, and other denominations. Our ministerial training programme is constantly developing and draws off contextual approaches to theological study, contemporary approaches to ministerial formation, and the experience students bring.

If you join us as candidates for full-time ministry you will normally study with us for four years, and graduate with a BA or MA in contextual theology. We try our best to tailor the ministerial training programme to your needs, but generally you would come to college for two days each week, with occasional courses taught in blocks. When at college you will experience a mix of academic classes, worship, ministerial formation, tutor groups, shared meals and time to relax with other students. The rest of your week will include placement activities, study and time for personal and spiritual development.

If you are a candidate for part-time ministry, you will normally take modules on the BA programme and graduate with a Higher Education Diploma. You would attend classes online over six weekends per year, although are some block taught courses. The formation programme is residential and involves coming to the Luther King Centre three weekends per year.

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.

Training for Church-Related Community Work

Northern College is the home of Church-Related Community Work training in the URC. We have worked hard to develop an exciting programme that prepares students to enable churches to work within their local communities in meaningful way. The CRCW-ministry programme leads to an academic qualification in contextual theology, as well as full recognition of community development practice from The Endorsement and Quality Standards Board for Community Development Learning (ESB). Our programme has recently been revalidated by the English Standards Board and affirmed as ‘creative, and a benchmark for other institutions’.

If you come to Northern College as a CRCW student, you will normally study for four years, and graduate with a BA in contextual theology, although it can be possible for some students to do an MA. We will always seek to consider your needs when you come to train. However, the normal pattern of training involves, in the first two years, academic teaching over extended weekends (Friday-Sunday or Saturday-Monday) and some additional full-days. In years three and four, you would come to the Luther King Centre for two days a week alongside candidates for a mix of academic classes, worship, ministerial formation time, tutor groups, shared meals and time to relax with other students. Alongside your academic work, you would have two two-year supervised community placements in an appropriate placement.