Student handbook by vICa5Ok


									SWMTC Ordination Training (Years 1-3)



           TEL: 01392 264404 EMAIL: WEBSITE:

Version 02.07.09

T   heological education and training for ministry is
    demanding and complex. With so much that is new
and challenging, students and candidates often feel
baffled and disorientated. We hope this handbook will
help.    It contains important information about the
programmes of training offered by SWMTC, about the
principles that guide and shape what we do, about the
procedures and protocols we have in place to ensure
consistency and transparency. Not everything will be
clear at once, but read it carefully and keep it for future
reference. This document represents the core of the
Handbook and it will be supplemented, from time to
time, by further information that will be available from the
SWMTC website.

M    y colleagues and I look forward to working with you
     as you begin your training and we trust that you will
be enriched, equipped and invigorated for your ministry.

David Moss
Principal of SWMTC

A reflection on ministry

It helps, now and then, to step back and take the long view.
The Kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,
it is even beyond our vision.
We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction
of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.
Nothing we do is complete,
which is another way of saying that
the Kingdom always lies beyond us.

No statement says all that should be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith.
No confession brings perfection,
No pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No programme accomplishes the church’s mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything.

This is what we are about.
We plant the seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted,
knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces effects far beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything,
and there is a sense of liberation in realising that.
This enables us to do something,
and to do it well.
It may be incomplete,
but it is a beginning,
a step along the way,
an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter
and do the rest.

We may never see the end results,
but that is the difference between
the master builder and the worker.
We are workers, not master builders,
ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future that is not our own.

                                         Archbishop Oscar Romero


 INTRODUCTORY INFORMATION                           1.1
 PROTOCOL ON THE USE OF EMAIL                       1.7
 THE COURSE CHAPLAINCY                              1.8

     Aims and Objectives                            2.1
     The Pattern of Training                        2.2
     The Church and University                      2.2
     Regional Contexts                              2.4
     Local Contexts                                 2.4
     Individual Contexts                            2.4
     Easter School                                  2.9
     Local Tutor Groups                             2.9
     Evening Classes                                2.11
     The Personal Tutor                             2.12
     Placements                                     2.14
     The Observation Placement                      2.14
     The Long Placement                             2.14
     Additional Placements                          2.14
     Ministry in the Local Church                   2.14

 WORSHIP                                            3.1
 GROUPS AND GROUPWORK                               3.5

 REPORTING AND ASSESSMENT                           4.1
     Reporting to the Churches                      4.1
     Assessment                                     4.2

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Introductory information

The people:
You will meet a wide range of people during your training. Here are some of the people involved in the

The Principal:
The Revd David Moss
SWMTC Office, Amory Building, University of Exeter, EX4 4RJ
Tel: 01392 264403       Email:

Tutors for Initial Ministerial Education (IME1-3) programme:
The Revd Canon Dr Stephen Dawes
5 St Aubyn’s Road, TRURO, TR1 2DU
Tel: 01872 223181       Email:

The Revd Sue Sheppard
Autumn Haze, Rewe, EXETER EX5 4HA
Tel: 01392 841284      Email:

The Revd Philip Sourbut
45 Spicer Road, EXETER EX1 1TA
Tel: 01392 817296       Email:

Dr Christopher Southgate
Amory Building, University of Exeter, Exeter EX4 4RJ Tel: 01392 264194 and
Parford Cottage, Chagford, NEWTON ABBOT, TQ13 8JR
Tel: 01647 433364         Email:

Staff Tutors are employed by the Course, full or part-time, and share fully in its oversight
and teaching. Each student is assigned to a Staff Tutor who is responsible for their
oversight and will visit them every term in their own home.

Further to this each staff member carries a portfolio of responsibilities taking the lead
in organising and covering aspects of the life of the Course. These are listed below:

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Portfolios of Responsibilities held

         Leaders of the Tutor Groups        -        Stephen Dawes, Sue Sheppard,
                                                     Philip Sourbut

         Dean of Studies                    -        Christopher Southgate

         Methodist Oversight Tutor          -        Stephen Dawes

         Director of MDMI                   -        Sue Sheppard

         Director of MDMII/III              -        Stephen Dawes

         Director of MDMIV and IME4-7       -        Philip Sourbut

         Library Co-ordinator               -        David Moss

         Chaplains to the Residential
         events                             -        Jane Ollier, John Searle

         Director of Reader Training        -        James Theodosius

         Website                            -        Christopher Southgate

Associate Staff Tutors involved in IME1-3 programme:
The Revd Peter Henderson
Director of Training Southwestern Synod, The Manse, Norton Fitzwarren,
Tel: 01823 275470          Email:

The Revd Jane Ollier
The Vicarage, Bendarroch Road, West Hill, Ottery St Mary, EX11 1UW
Tel: 01404 811716        Email:

The Revd Dr John Searle
Belle Isle Lodge, Belle Isle Drive, EXETER EX2 4RH
Tel: 01392 432153             Email:

Associate Staff Tutors assist the Course by contributing to the staff team for planning
and curriculum development, and by regular or occasional teaching and presence at
Course events.

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Course Administrator:
Mrs Patricia Robottom
SWMTC Office, Amory Building, University of Exeter, EX4 4RJ
Tel: 01392 264404

Patricia is normally present in the office each working day from 9.00 to 5.00, but an
answerphone is available when she is away from her desk. She is responsible for all
administrative and financial matters as well as being PA to the Principal. The dispersed
nature of the Course means that the Administrator’s desk is a hub for information and
messages, both by telephone and email.

Course Website:
The website contains additional information for students, and other academic resources
including staff publications.

The University of Exeter
The University is a key partner in our work. The part-time programme leader in the
Department of Theology is:

The Revd David Rhymer
University of Exeter
Cornwall Campus
Tel: 01326 371895

SWMTC is governed by a Council, with representatives of the different sponsoring
churches, the Institutes of Higher Education, students and staff. The Chair of the Council

The Ven Penny Driver
Archdeacon of Exeter
Emmanuel House
Exeter EX2 9RS

Tel: 01392 425577

Each year group elects a student representative who serves on the Board of Studies,
and students, both Ordinands and Readers in Training, are also represented on the
SWMTC Council.

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Library resources
SWMTC’s library is serviced by the Administrator. You will be issued with a library card
which enables you to borrow from this library, and Bishop Phillpott’s Library in Truro.
There is a £15 fee for this membership which covers three years and widens access to
books and resources. By planning your work in advance you can order library books by
phoning or emailing the office, and these can then be brought to a residential weekend or
Tutor Group meeting. If books are needed urgently they can be posted to you, but if
postage rises to more than £10 per year we will have to charge you the excess. Books
can be returned either in person, or through your Staff Tutor. The loan period is usually
two months, but if a book is in demand you are asked to consider other users. Books
can be recalled if they have been issued for more than 4 weeks.

There are currently two theological libraries in the library group:

The Bishop Phillpotts Library, Diocesan House, Truro (c 6,000 volumes). Opening
hours: Monday to Friday, 9.00 - 5.00. Tel: 01872 262228 Librarian Sue Smith.
Email: or for urgent attention

The South West Ministry Training Course Library (c 8,000 volumes). Librarian Patricia
Robottom. Email:

Books - finding, borrowing and returning:

Each library maintains its own catalogue, which allows you to search for books and
borrow what you want. At each Tutor Group or weekend, there is a person nominated to
operate the computer catalogue on behalf of those students present. He/she will be
pleased to log the issue or return of books to you or to reserve a book which is currently
on loan.

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Buying Books and initial reading
Basic resources to own:
 a ‘study’ version of the Bible - the New Revised Standard Version is a strong
 a one volume reference work about the Bible - the Oxford Companion to the Bible (ed
   by B Metzger and M Coogan, OUP 1993) and the Cambridge Companion to Biblical
   Interpretation, (Barton, 1998), are good examples.
 A good one volume Bible commentary to give accurate and accessible information on
   texts and issues - the Oxford Bible Commentary, edited by J Barton and J Muddiman,
   OUP 2000, is good. The Jerome Bible commentary is older and slightly dated, but
   still good value, edited by R Brown, J Fitzmeyer, and R Murphy. From a more
   conservative and evangelical stable there is a three volume dictionary of Jesus and
   the Gospels, Paul and his letters, and the remaining NT literature, from IVP, 1993.
   Dictionaries and commentaries are increasingly available on CD ROM, for example
   the Anchor Bible Dictionary, which gives easy search and cross referencing. Beware
   the cheaper packages that contain mostly old commentaries, often from a very
   reformed, Calvinist stable.
 The key worship texts of your tradition: we assume that Anglicans will own Common
   Worship - services and prayers for the Church of England and BCP, but should also
   buy other volumes in the Common Worship library. Methodists should own the
   Methodist Worship Book. If you want easy access to these texts to produce them and
   service sheets on your computer, Visual Liturgy Live is available as a CD-ROM in
   both Anglican and Methodist versions.
Texts that contain the order and discipline of your denomination:
 For the Church of England a copy of The Canons of the Church of England (Sixth
   edition 2000 - Church House Publishing)
 For the Methodist Church a copy of The Constitutional Practice and Discipline of the
   Methodist Church (Vol 2 Revised Annually - Methodist Publishing House)
You should also consider buying a recent text about your denomination in order to
familiarise yourself with its arguments and claims.
 For the C of E we recommend: The Study of Anglicanism, edited by S Sykes, J Booty
   and J Knight; Anglicanism - a global communion edited by A Wingate, K Ward et al;
 For the Methodist Church we recommend: Methodism and the Future, edited by J
   Craske and C Marsh; the series Exploring Methodism, particularly the second in the
   series by John Munsey Turner, Modern Methodism in England.

You may want to start building good resources for preaching and lifelong engagement
with the Bible. Commentaries are a basic tool, but before spending large sums, try them
out from the library and see what mix of style and approach is most valuable. You may
look at preaching resources like the three volume Lectionary Commentary: theological
exegesis for Sunday’s texts, editor Roger Van Harn, (Eerdmans, 2001). This does not
come cheap but it is a good resource for study and preaching. Check it out from the
library to see if it suits.

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Recommended or required reading for SWMTC year 1

We require you to buy:
 David Day, A Preaching Workbook, Lynx SPCK, 1998
 Jeff Astley, Choosing Life, DLT 2000

We recommend:
 Christopher Moody, Eccentric Ministry, DLT, 1992 (unfortunately out of print but very
  useful if you find one)
 David Lyall, The Integrity of Pastoral Care, SPCK, 2001
 Paul Goodliff, Care in a Confused Climate, DLT, 1998
 Paul Ballard and John Pritchard, Practical Theology in Action, SPCK, 1996

The University will send book lists for the module(s) you are doing for evening classes.
For those beginning University level study of theology for the first time this year the
following provide a range of examples. Those marked * are very basic introductions;
those marked ** are ways of doing theology that convey something of the importance
and realism of the task; those marked *** are introductions to the kind of theology done
within the university.
 *Introduction to Biblical Studies, Moyise, Steve (London: T&T Clark, 2004)
 **The Original Story, Barton J and Bowden J, (London, SPCK, 2004)
 **The Gospels and Jesus, Stanton, Graham (Oxford: OUP, 2001)
 **An Introduction to the Study of Paul, Horrell, David (London: Continuum, 2000)
 **The Meaning of Jesus, Wright, Tom and Borg, Marcus (London: SPCK, 1999)
 ***The Historical Figure of Jesus, Sanders, E P (London: Penguin, 1993)
*Why Bible-believing Methodists shouldn’t eat Black Pudding, Dawes, Stephen at

All of these are available to borrow from the SWMTC library.
 For those who enjoy using the web you will find a huge range of resources, not all
    of them reliable!

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Protocol on the use of email within SWMTC
The Course is dependent on electronic communications for its efficiency. Email is an
effective means of dispersing information to all those associated with the Course and
is a valuable means by which matters can be discussed. This is particularly helpful
as Staff and students are spread over a wide geographical area.

The following code of good practice has been adopted by the staff of SWMTC, and
students are asked to follow the same protocols:

1.       All emails must have clear and concise heading about their subjects

2.       All emails about students must be headed, ' Strictly confidential, student note'
         or some such phrase. The name of the student should not be revealed until
         the email has been opened.

3.       Emails should normally be confined to a single student

4.       Attachments should be placed in an obvious, standard place.

5.       Where an email and/or attachment is to be forwarded, the email should clearly
         state the names of those to whom it is to be circulated.

6.       Emails and attachments should only contain such information as we would be
         prepared to show to any of the persons mentioned in the transmission.

7.       The ‘Blind copy’ function should be used when sending out group emails.

8.       The following disclaimer should be included on all emails generated by the
         Course and added to all emails to be forwarded by the Course:
         ‘The information contained in this email message is intended only for the
         named person, firm or company to whom it is addressed. Such information
         may be confidential and privileged and no mistake in transmission is intended
         to waive or compromise such privilege.

         If you have received this transmission in error, please destroy the email and
         any copies of it, and notify us immediately by telephone on 01392 264404 or
         by email at Your co-operation is appreciated.’

         For ease of use, this disclaimer should be entered in the ‘signature’ function of
         the email program.

9.       Every email and attachment must be read thoroughly to ensure that it
         conforms to the above.

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The Chaplaincy

How the chaplaincy works
The chaplains are available primarily at the residential weekends and Easter School.
The work of the chaplains is to be part of the staff, but apart from the staff in that
they take no part in marking, assessments or reporting and are not present when a
student's progress is discussed by the rest of the staff. Discussions between a
student and chaplain are not divulged to the staff at large, except with the permission
of the student. The Chaplains’ role in formation can be seen in
   Confidentiality
   Confession
   Availability
Some common issues
   Personal growth
   SWMTC community growth
   Personal and domestic crises
   Crisis of faith.

SWMTC chaplains cannot provide ongoing pastoral care for the student and his/her
family. This duty of care remains with the Home Minister in his/her role as minister
of the student’s home church.

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The Course
In the late 1970s the Dioceses of Exeter and Truro set up schemes to train people for the
then new form of non-stipendiary ministry. Gradually the two schemes merged into a
single Course known as the South West Ministry Training Course. In the early 1980s the
Methodist Church sent its first candidates to train on the Course, followed shortly after by
the United Reformed Church. Unfortunately in 2006, the URC decided to focus all its
ministerial training in its colleges and we therefore no longer have students from the URC
on the Course. Candidates from the south west of the Diocese of Bath and Wells can
elect to train on the Course. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Plymouth and the Russian
Orthodox Church have also participated in the Course.

To take account of this widening partnership, and the growing numbers of those involved
in the Course, in 1995 SWMTC was re-constituted as an ecumenical training scheme,
governed by representatives of all the sponsoring churches. It is authorised by them to
prepare women and men for ordained ministries - stipendiary, itinerant and non-

Aims and objectives
Our primary aim:

SWMTC aims to form women and men for an ever-deepening participation in the
mission of the triune God in the world and prepare them to:
 lead Christian communities in their discernment of that mission;
 strengthen those communities through the leading and enabling of worship which is
   both reverent and creative;
 empower those communities through the care and encouragement of individuals and
   through teaching from the resources of Scriptures, tradition, reason and experience,
   and through discerning and enabling the ministries of others;
 provide an example of lives characterised by prayer, service and self-awareness after
   the example of Christ.

In addition, SWMTC aims to foster theological exploration throughout the region it
serves, through teaching, research, and community-based initiatives

Common objectives that underline each programme, that follow from our primary
aims. We seek to:

   engender in ministerial students a personal maturity which faces its own capacity for
    self-deception, which seeks to grow through a discipline of life, which seeks a
    deepening relationship with God and with people both within and outside the Church,
    a relationship marked by a capacity to receive as well as to give, which is not
    threatened by the gifts of others, and which therefore enables the new minister to
    begin to lead and to pray after the example of Christ.
   develop and deepen in ministerial students interpretative qualities and skills that they
    require if they are to discern faithfully and confess truly the activity of God: a clarity
    and creativity of mind which sees connections between the Christian story and the

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      world, and between the tradition and the possibilities of the future - combined with a
      commitment to teaching the faith, and continuing learning over a lifetime.
     develop in ministerial students a confidence with the practical skills of ministry which
      enables the newly accredited or ordained ministers increasingly to embody their faith
      and belief in consistent ways, to begin at once to work flexibly and to empower others
      to embrace the possibilities of collaborative working and service.
     engender in all students, including those studying on the non-ministerial programme
      who may have no commitment to faith or church, a passion for study and enquiry into
      the world, and into the ways in which the Christian tradition has interpreted that world
      in the light of its confession of the triune God.
     promote theological exploration at all levels - from collaborative research of
      international standard with the Department of Theology, University of Exeter, to the
      fostering of learning in local communities

These are ambitious aims and objectives. In order to help us realise them, the training
programme is designed to be rich and varied, drawing on the resources of the region and
making best use of different contexts for learning.

The pattern of training
Both the Church of England and the Methodist Church normally specify that part-time
ordination training is for three years.

    Methodist         First Year         Second Year        Third Year         Probationer
    students          initial training   initial training   initial training   studies
    Anglican          First Year         Second Year        Third Year         Post Ordination
    candidates        initial training   initial training   initial training   training

Both sponsoring churches make special arrangements with candidates who already
have degrees in theology, which may involve post-graduate study, and/or a shorter
period of training. The Church of England allows a shorter period of training for older
candidates at the Bishop’s discretion.

The Church and the University
The primary purpose and goal of training is preparation for ministry. The primary
validation body is, therefore, the Church. The programme of training is scrutinised by the
Churches every five years and validation is given for this period. The Churches monitor
the effectiveness of the programme through a Moderator who reports annually, and an
inspection process which reports at the end of the five year period.

We are committed to working in close partnership with institutions of Higher Education.
This is because theology, if it claims to be a ‘public truth’ cannot be the exclusive
business of the Church. Theology has a proper place in Higher Education and its claims
to truth have to be debated and tested in that arena. Institutes of Higher Education also
provide a validation framework in which training for ministry can be recognised and
valued by leading to an award of a Degree or Diploma. Our primary partnership is with

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the University of Exeter and the Department of Theology. The programme offered by
SWMTC is part of the University’s provision, and is designed so that successful
completion of ordination training carries a minimum award of a Diploma in Theology. .

In order to understand how the current partnership works it is necessary to understand
the terms used by the University:

Module                A specific unit of study, normally of a term or semester duration, which
                      carries a specific credit and level rating.
Credit                Each module successfully completed carries a specified number of credits
                      (often referred to as transferable credits or CATS). The number of credits
                      depends on the length of the module and the amount of assessment.
                      Modules will typically carry 15, 20 or 30 credits.
Level                 Modules are taught at different levels. Level 1 or Certificate level is
                      equivalent to the first year of undergraduate study. Level 1 work typically
                      looks for introductory material which focuses on describing and evaluating
                      this material accurately. 120 credits are needed at Level 1 to gain the
                      award of a Certificate. Level 2, or Diploma level, builds on this by looking
                      at material in greater depth, and requiring higher level skills of analysis and
                      reflection. 240 credits at Levels 1-2, with not less than 90 credits at Level
                      2, are needed to gain the award of a Diploma. Level 3 work builds still
                      further on this, requiring skills of critical reflection and integration of
                      learning. 360 credits at levels 1-3, with not less than 90 credits at each of
                      Levels 2 and 3, are needed to gain the award of a Degree. Although this
                      looks as though all you need do is accumulate credits at the right level, the
                      University lays down rules about the balance of subjects that are needed
                      for a particular award. For example, to gain the BTh (Min) you must have
                      a specified minimum number of credits at Levels 2 and 3 in biblical and
                      theological disciplines.
Semesters             The academic year is divided into two semesters of study, each of 12
                      weeks. Semester 1 is normally from October to the following February;
                      Semester 2 is normally from February - May.
Pathway               Pathways help map out the choice of modules, their level and the number
                      of credits.
Awards                Given the right number of credits, at the appropriate levels, and with the
                      prescribed range of disciplines, an award of Certificate, Diploma or Degree
                      can be made.

If this all sounds complicated there is good advice on hand to guide you through the
system. Our Dean of Studies will map out a pathway for your study, depending on your
prior learning and intended ministry, ensuring that this meets the requirements of your
sponsoring Church. Working closely with the theology coordinator in the University we
will be able to ensure that you can make well-informed choices about particular awards.

For those with prior theological qualifications at Diploma or Degree level the resources of
the University of Exeter allow for a range of post-graduate programmes. MA
programmes are available in Exeter, and further details can be obtained from the Dean
of Studies. Permission is usually needed from your sponsoring church to follow these
programmes of study.

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Note: from September 2010 the part-time evening class provision will be managed
by SWMTC, not the University of Exeter. Those entering the Course and studying
with the University in 2009-10 will be full students of the University for that year only
with access to library facilities, but from 2010-11 onwards they will be candidates for
a validated award only. However, a very good provision of library books relevant to
ministerial training is available to you through SWMTC’s own library, located in the
Amory Building of the University of Exeter.

The Course makes use of a number of different contexts for training, using them for
different purposes while maximising the use of resources in the region. Some events are
regional - that is where students and candidates gather together for common learning
and shared concerns. These regional events are often residential because of the large
distances involved. Some events are local, normally those that happen in the evening,
where different opportunities for learning can draw on specific local resources. Some
events are individually structured, and can be tailored for particular circumstances and

Regional contexts
Each year there are five residential weekends (from Friday evening to Sunday lunch) at a
venue in Plymouth, two Saturday schools and a seven-day period of residence in the
Easter school holidays, beginning on Easter Sunday evening. These residential events
are undertaken only by SWMTC members, so they focus on the understanding, skills
and formation that those training for public ministry specifically need. The first year
group, normally around 15 people, follows its own programme; the second and third year
groups work together.

Local contexts
During term time there are evening classes in local centres - Truro, Plymouth, and Exeter
- 22 sessions each year. The modules taught in these sessions provide you with
theological understanding and knowledge in biblical theology and doctrinal studies.

In addition there are nine monthly meetings of an SWMTC local Tutor Group, where
there is the opportunity to learn and share in a smaller group drawn from different year
groups, but reasonably close to where you live.

Your Staff Tutor will organise with you a programme of placements and ministry in the
local church, tailored to suit your needs and recognising your previous experience.

Individual contexts
You will also be given a Personal Tutor who works with you on an individual basis to help
you explore the impact of training. We also expect you to have a spiritual director or soul
friend. Your Staff Tutor will visit you in your home to help support you through the

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In each year of the Course training takes place in several different settings, involving
different groups of people. This makes the programme rich and varied; it also makes it
complex and demanding.

 Regional Contexts             Local Contexts                    Individual Contexts
 Residential Easter School     Local Tutor  Evening classes      Ministry experience
 weekends (one week)           Group (nine (normally twenty      in placements and
 (five each                    each year)   two each year)       the local church
 year) and

The overall flow of the programme through three years, for a student entering in 2009-10
on a three-year programme, is as follows:

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                       Weekly classes                Residential weekends                         Long Residence            Local Tutor          Other activities
                      22 evenings each              Six weekends each year                      Seven days each year        Groups meeting
                            year                                                                                            monthly

                                         Ministry Development Module I                         A linked programme           Exploring ethics     Each year:
Year 1            Certificate in         A programme designed to explore the context,          with     the   residential
2009-10           Theology               shape, dynamics of the local church, to learn         weekends,        exploring                        Six meetings per
                                         from an observation placement, to deepen              ministry and the Church                           year with a
                                         pastoral skills of listening, to gain or deepen       in different contexts                             personal tutor for
                                         skills in leading worship and preaching. To                                                             reflection on the
                                         reflect on these experiences and learning with                                                          journal and
                                         a personal tutor.                                                                                       Portfolio;

                  Certificate in         Ministry Development Module IIS
Year 2                                   A programme designed to explore a range of            Death, Dying and
                  Theology                                                                                                  Exploring
2010-11                                  ministerial, sacramental and pastoral issues,         Bereavement                  spirituality
                                         to gain awareness in groups , to deepen skills                                                          Termly meetings
                                         in pastoral practice, to develop skills in                                                              with a Staff Tutor
                                         communication within the church. To learn                                                               for feedback,
                                         from a substantial placement. To reflect on                                                             exploration of
                                         these experiences and learning with a                                                                   placements,
                                         personal tutor                                                                                          module choices,
                                                                                                                                                 and pastoral
                  Level 2 evening        Ministry Development Module IIIM
Year 3            class modules in                                                                                          Arts and       the
                                         A programme designed to explore a range of                                         imagination
2011-12           Old Testament,                                                               Practical Theology
                                         issues in mission and service, to develop skills
                  systematic             in group work, and leading meetings, to
                  theology and           explore issues in child and adult pedagogy, to
                  ecotheology            develop communication skills outside the
                                         church. To reflect on these experiences and
                                         learning with a personal tutor.

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The following sections explore each of these contexts in turn.

At the heart of the Course are three Ministry Development Modules, which form the
content of the residential weekends. Together with the three Easter Schools, they provide
the opportunity for intensive engagement with the skills needed for ministry and sustained
reflection on our personal, ministerial and theological development.

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            Residential weekends                                  Easter School
           Six weekends each year                               One week each year

Academic Year 2009/2010                                 A linked programme with the
                                                        residential weekends, exploring
Ministry Development Module I                           ministry and the Church in different
                                                        contexts, including chaplaincies and
A programme designed to lay foundations                 other sector ministries.
for reflective practitioners.
- exploring the context, shape, dynamics of
the local church, including learning from an
observation placement;
- deepening pastoral skills of listening;
- gaining or deepening skills in leading
- gaining or deepening skills in preaching.

Academic Year 2009/2010

Ministry Development Module M at Level
                                                       On pastoral theology and ministerial
                                                       practice. An exploration of the types of
                                                       encounter ministers face, and of the
A programme designed to explore the
                                                       quality of care they need to develop for
Church and Mission to the world.
                                                       others and for themselves.
- engaging with issues in mission and
evangelism - including learning from a long
- developing skills in group work, and
leading meetings,
- developing skills in communication skills
outside the church.

Academic Year 2010/2011

Ministry Development Module S at Level 2/3             On bereavement, death and dying. An
                                                       exploration of the personal, social,
A programme designed to explore the                    theological, pastoral, liturgical, and
church’s life and order                                psychological aspects of death. A
                                                       exploration of the practices, beliefs,
- engaging with the church and ministry                understandings, hopes and fears around
from birth to death                                    death and dying.
- gaining awareness in groups;
- developing skills in preaching.

Each Module focuses on different dimensions of Ministry Development. The first
module, MDM I, is taken by the first year group only, as is its related Easter School. For
the remainder of the course the year groups then combine for their residential sessions
with most of the teaching shared together. However, some strands of the module are
always provided at a particular stage of the training: for example the long placement is
designed to take place in the second year.

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Easter Schools
In the first year the Easter School is a linked programme which continues the exploration
of ministry in different contexts, drawing on the resources available in Exeter. The
remaining two Easter Schools are offered on an alternating programme, and involve a
week of residence allowing us to develop an intensive engagement with either Pastoral
Theology or with Death, Dying and Bereavement.

Local Tutor Groups
These gather members of SWMTC across the year groups. There are normally three
Tutor Groups meeting across the region, depending on where students live. Each local
group meets once a month, nine times in the year. The local group is facilitated by a
Staff Tutor.

 To provide support and learning with other SWMTC members, especially by
   exploring with this mixed year group issues raised in other learning contexts.
 To pursue a study of a set theme each year.
 To plan and review worship at residential events in order to experience and
   reflect on collaborative ministry.

 to provide an environment in which trust and respect can develop so that
   personal and course issues can be shared, addressed and integration of
   learning explored;
 to develop and deepen skills of planning and leading worship in collaboration;
 to deepen understanding and ministerial practice in ethical enquiry, spirituality,
   and arts and the imagination.
 to develop and deepen awareness of working in groups.

Each meeting lasts for two hours, with at least 1 hour committed to the programme
of study. Other time is set aside for planning and reviewing worship, for the raising
of particular concerns or issues, and for praying together. The programme of study
for each year is as follows:

Christian Ethics in Theory and Practice

Christian ethics is notoriously difficult to teach and learn. Books on ethical theory make
ethics abstract and highly technical; equally, general discussion can often become little
more than a pooling of prejudices! We will be exploring Christian ethics, building on the
introduction given in the first year programme and engaging in depth with particular
contemporary dilemmas. Material from this programme will be incorporated in your
learning journal.

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Unlike some of the other work done in local Tutor Groups, this year’s programme on
Spirituality is not simply about learning information, handling concepts, or presenting
arguments, let alone acquiring skills in the technical sense, but about the central matter
of developing our personal relationship with God, and how we communicate our
struggles to make sense of that with others. It is concerned with the heart in pilgrimage
in every dimension of our lives. We are each of us differently created, the journeys we
have made are distinct, our experiences of life and of the Spirit are diverse. Yet as
Christians we are united in the single desire to be formed after the likeness of Christ,
although we are often all too aware of what a long way we have to go before that desire
may begin to be realised. But as Christian ministers, or those who are candidates for
ordination, we also know that we are, or will be one day, not infrequently expected to
offer some support and even guidance to others looking for spiritual help and
companionship. The Tutor Group programme will therefore offer a way of looking at, and
working with, some of the major areas of interest: such as Bible-reading, prayer, worship,
confession, self-denial, hospitality; with the aim of both sharing experience, and opening
up new perspectives to work at individually and corporately. You will use your learning
journal for on-going reflection on this course in relation to personal growth and other

Arts and the Imagination
A course of group discussions of works of art and contemporary culture

This course is designed to promote the integration of theological learning and ministerial
formation through informal discussion of topics that relate to faith and to contemporary
issues - these topics to arise out of group reflection on a particular book, film, image, or
piece of music. The Tutor Group will therefore stimulate the candidates’ imagination
through engagement with art, and to build their confidence in using art in preaching,
liturgy and discussion. The tutor and group, having consulted with continuing students
during the previous year, will nominate a selection of books, films and works of music
and visual art, each of which is a) readily available in some appropriate form, b)
sufficiently accessible to promote general discussion, and c) likely to generate significant
discussion of theological, social or spiritual issues.

Illustrative selection:
 novels - The Bridge of San Luis Rey (T Wilder), chapters from The Handmaid’s Tale
    (M Atwood), or Thinks (D Lodge)
 sequences of poems - The Song of Songs, ‘Sonnets of Desolation’ (GM Hopkins),
    Mass for Hard Times (RS Thomas)
 films - ‘American Beauty’, ‘Dogville’, ‘Crash’, ‘Atonement’, play ‘Bed among the Lentils’
    (A Bennett)
 visual images - items from the catalogue to the exhibition ‘Seeing Salvation’
 music - ‘Song to Athene’ (Tavener) and ‘Goodbye England’s Rose (Taupin/John).
The reading/study itself will be the assignment between meetings, though candidates
will be encouraged to read a text such as Richard Harries’ Art and the Beauty of God
as an introduction to the subject.

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Evening classes
These are offered in two teaching centres in the region - Truro and Exeter. (The
Certificate course is also available on-line.) In each year of SWMTC you will normally be
attending an evening class once a week for 22 weeks of the year. The evening classes
focus on the engagement with scripture and the Christian tradition, and are open to any
interested student. You will therefore be studying the Bible and theology with those of
explicit faith and those who have no declared commitments; with those who are actively
involved in the church and those who are not; with those who are formally training for
some form of ministry and those whose desire is simply to understand more deeply. We
encourage you to make the most of this diverse group, to allow your thinking and ideas
to be tested by others, to engage in debate with those who do not share your
presuppositions or conclusions. You will meet a wide range of tutors and lecturers,
including SWMTC staff, all appointed because of their specialist knowledge and teaching
ability. In some modules you will be doing assessed work that is identical to those who
are studying for other reasons; in other modules you may be following a unique SWMTC
assessment programme.

Evening classes begin work at the introductory Level 1, with a programme common to
the three teaching centres. This programme is taught over two years and can gain a
maximum of 120 credits in order to lead to a Certificate in Theology. During one year of
study (2009-10) the focus is on the Bible; in the other year the focus is on Christian
Doctrine and Practice. Each year the programme is divided into two semesters.

The Introduction to the Bible will run in 2009-2010 and The Shape of Christian Doctrine
in 2010-2011.

Once the programme has been completed, Level 2 and Level 3 evening class modules
will be offered in Exeter and Truro.

At Level 2 and 3 modules are taught over a semester - an 11 week period. In 2009-10
the modules are offered at 30 credits and 15 credits. Two 15 credit modules are usually
taken by SWMTC members in each year. For those who are able to make a greater
time commitment, it is possible to take modules at 30 credits, but the assessment
package is higher.

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The Personal Tutor
On entering training on SWMTC you will have a Personal Tutor, who is appointed by the
Course in consultation with the sponsoring church and the student.
The Personal Tutor will undertake to:

   Meet with you at least six times each year at times mutually convenient soon after
    each residential event. Normally you should travel to the Tutor.
   In the second year of training (or first year of pre-ordination training for Methodist
    candidates) to act as facilitator for the long placement. This involves an initial meeting
    with you and the host minister to help agree the terms of the placement, a meeting
    with you both at the end of the placement, and if necessary a mid-point meeting.
    These two or three meetings would be part of the normal six meetings in the year.
   Write a confidential report to the Principal each year, which will contribute to the End
    of Year Report which assesses your progress in training and suitability for continuing
    training or ordination.
   Meet with the staff and other Personal Tutors at least once a year to reflect on the
    Course, its practice, and the role of Personal Tutors.

The role of the Personal Tutor is to:
 encourage you to reflect upon your personal development, growth in personal
   awareness, relationships with others, and spiritual life by helping you reflect on your
   learning journal and Portfolio.
 explore the impact of the Course on the your faith and understanding of the Church,
   vocation, and ministry.
 enable a learning process to take place as you respond to and reflect on the
   experiences of training and preparation for ordained ministry.
 Personal Tutors will not be responsible for setting or marking any written work, nor for
   the care of your family.

This role can be more fully described in terms of support and challenge:
 support: by standing at one step removed from the Course the Personal Tutor is in a
   position to ask questions which will help you to reflect on and explore at greater depth
   the impact that training is making on every area of your life. It is important, therefore,
   that the relationship is supportive and that it is clear that the Personal Tutor is there to
   help you rather than to be part of the evaluative and assessment side of the Course.
   Relationships of trust and confidence take time to build and it is important that this is
   done carefully at the beginning of the relationship. The Personal Tutor will use the
   written reflections in the learning journal to explore what has been happening in the
   Course, how you have responded to the different elements of a programme, what you
   are learning as a result, where points of difficulty or pressure arise, and how any such
   points are being tackled or addressed. The concern throughout is to help you to
   become more critically reflective upon your experience and to help you explore the
   nature of your responses and what you are learning about your strengths, gifts,
   graces and areas of need.
 challenge: Personal Tutors are expected to ask the difficult questions in order to
   promote and enable a more rigorous and demanding process of exploration.
   confidentiality: it is to be expected that in the course of a good relationship with a
   Personal Tutor difficult issues will be explored and addressed. This inevitably raises
   important questions about the boundaries of this relationship and what, if anything,
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    might be communicated to the core staff. Three points might be helpful. First, the
    report that is written by the Personal Tutor is confidential to the core staff and will be
    seen by nobody else. The Personal Tutor’s observations will help to contribute to the
    end of year report and to assist the core staff in testing out their observations and
    perceptions, but it will not be quoted directly and forms only one part of the evidence
    that goes to make up the end of year report. Personal Tutors will discuss with you the
    material of this report and the issues that are being raised with the core staff.
    However the actual report is not required to be shown to you. Second, the report
    should not focus on the content of what has been discussed in the tutorials but on the
    way in which you are dealing with those issues, learning and developing. It is
    important to respect the personal and privileged nature of the material that is being
    discussed while still being able to report on the way that these issues are being
    addressed. Third, if it becomes clear to the Personal Tutor that issues that have been
    raised in confidence are of wider significance the Personal Tutor should make every
    effort to help you to deal with the matter appropriately. As a matter of last resort it the
    Personal Tutor may have to decide that such matters cannot remain confidential.

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Placements are a crucial part of the training, allowing you to gain skills in observation,
analysis, practice and reflection. Placements help you by allowing you to step out of
familiar roles and settings to experience the Church and ministry in different ways.

The Observation Placement
In SWMTC Year 1 there is a brief observation placement which is arranged in a church
of a very different tradition or context to that with which you are familiar. The placement
is chosen by your Staff Tutor in consultation with you, and is timed to take place in the
second term, between weekends four and five in the programme. You are guided to
observe this unfamiliar context, to apply ideas and skills that have been explored in the
residential programme, and to compare how ministry and leadership is practised in
relation to your home church. The duration of the placement will be 20 hours, including
two Sundays and a midweek meeting.

The Long Placement
In SWMTC Year 2 a long placement is arranged in a church of your own denomination.
This placement requires 60 hours contact time and is designed to enable you to practise
a range of ministerial skills in an unfamiliar context, with an experience host minister to
assist you. This includes leading of worship and preaching, leading groups, and
reflecting on the ministry exercised in this setting. Full briefing details of this and all other
assignments will be given at appropriate points in the Course programme.

Additional Placements
For some in their final year of training a specialist placement in a hospital or other
suitable context may be arranged as an additional module.

Ministry in the local church
The local church occupies a vital place during training. First, it is a place of support,
encouragement, pastoral support and prayer. We encourage you to find ways to share
with the congregation what you are doing and how training works. Your Staff Tutor will
explore with you and your local minister how you may need to re-allocate time and
priorities to take account of the new demands on you. Second, in the first year we will be
helping you to reflect on the setting, life, mission and ministry of your local church in new
ways, developing new tools to understand it more deeply. We hope you will find ways of
sharing this new understanding with your local church so that they can also learn from
the process. Third, the local church is a place to develop key skills in leading worship
and preaching. Your Staff Tutor will discuss with you and your minister appropriate
expectations for how often you should be involved in significant ways in these roles, for
this will depend considerably on experience and personal circumstance. In general, we
suggest that a commitment once a month is reasonable. On two occasions each year
your leading of worship or preaching will be formally reviewed, with feedback being given
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from members of your congregation, and where possible your minister. On one occasion
each year this will focus on your preaching; on one occasion it will focus on your leading
of worship. We recommend that the first of these occasions take place in the second
term of the first year, but for those who are wholly new to preaching or leading worship
this may be delayed until the third term. You will find the relevant forms we ask you to
use in this process on the SWMTC website. These should be included in your Portfolio
as part of the evidence of your learning and development. In each year of training you
will write a formal reflection on these experiences and what you are learning as a result.

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Worship is vital to the life of SWMTC. In our corporate worship we focus our attention on
the God whom we are learning to love and serve: through it we offer our lives to God and
search for God's living word to us: in it we express and find our identity as SWMTC, a
particular community of the people of God. Worship is also one of the areas in the
Course in which your faith, gifts and skills will be both appreciated and developed.

Through worship we respond in faith, penitence, praise and love to the God who has
called us to be his children by adoption and grace. Through worship we listen to his
living word, and offer him our life and work. Through worship we express and find our
identity as the pilgrim people of God, of which SWMTC represents a significant part of all
our journeys as we meet together in study, fellowship and in the breaking of bread.
Through worship we are opened to the guidance and enabling power of the Holy Spirit.
Worship also gives us the opportunity of realising and developing particular gifts and
skills which we have been given.

In worship on SWMTC you will have room to experiment with both formal and informal
liturgy. You will have opportunities to grow in understanding and appreciation of ways of
worshipping with which you are not, perhaps, familiar, including ones of your own
denomination which you might not yet have encountered. It is hoped that you will find
yourself excited and interested by the gifts others bring to worship, and that you will find
yourself discovering gifts you never thought you had. It is expected that you will also find
yourself growing in sensitivity to what helps and hinders other members of the Course in
their worship. It is our desire to develop skills of collaboration, therefore worship is
planned in a group, and responsibility for the leading of worship on a weekend is shared
with this group.

Our corporate worship, therefore, seeks to meet four different but related aims:
1. To aid in forming those exploring or preparing for public ministry in the liturgies and
    traditions of their sponsoring church.
2. To provide a secure context in which worship may be planned and lead
    collaboratively, using both formal liturgies and innovative forms, and to reflect on this
3. To express the identity, concerns and aspirations of this particular Christian
4. To foster a pattern of prayer and worship that will enrich the corporate life of the

During a residential weekend there are six occasions when we gather to worship
together. These are:
 Friday evening as the closing activity of the day;
 Saturday morning before breakfast;
 Saturday afternoon before the evening meal;
 Saturday evening as the closing activity of the day;
 Sunday morning before breakfast - a period of guided corporate silence;
 Sunday morning before departure - a service of Holy Communion

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Staff members are responsible for Sunday worship.                   Students/candidates are
responsible for planning and leading worship on Friday and Saturday. This responsibility
will be allocated to members of a Tutor Group. There will be opportunity in the Tutor
Group to talk together before the weekend in order to clarify tasks and issues. The Staff
Tutor will help facilitate this discussion. There will also be time given in the Tutor Group
to review the worship after the weekend, a process which the Staff Tutor again will
facilitate. The following guidelines are not a substitute for the planning that will take place
in the Tutor Group and elsewhere, but a starting point for this process.

Planning needs to take account of the following:
 The balance of the four aims of course worship outlined above. At least one act of
   worship should aim to meet point 1 above, enabling you to gain experience and
   develop good practice in planning and leading acts of worship that are faithful to the
   traditions of your sponsoring church. The worship on Saturday morning is well suited
   to this more formal content. The remaining two acts of worship should seek to meet
   the other aims stated above, enjoying the freedom available in this context for
   experimentation, creativity, and the desire to express this particular worshipping
   community’s aspirations and concerns. Saturday afternoon is a particularly good time
   for innovation and creativity.
 The diverse membership of this community. Respecting the different denominations,
   theological convictions and experiences of worship represented here. This does not
   mean that worship has to be bland or descend to the lowest common denominator,
   but it should be sensitive to these differences. The group leading worship will
   normally contain members of different denominations and traditions, enabling you
   more easily to be attentive to the issues that arise.
 The length of the different acts of worship and their place in the day. The late evening
   acts of worship on Friday and Saturday occur at the end of demanding days and
   should be short and simple. We suggest 15 minutes. The other two acts of worship
   on Saturday must not exceed 25 minutes in order to fit in the timetable.
 Different year groups will always be present, so worship that is too closely linked to
   the concerns of one group will have little connection with another.
 Resources - music, musicians, words, symbols, books, PowerPoint etc - will need to
   be arranged and provided, either by the SWMTC office or the group.
 The constraints of time mean that a sermon is not appropriate in these acts of
   worship. However, you may wish to consider developing skills in “thought for the day”
   short addresses of no more than a couple of minutes or in using other ways of
   reflecting on the scripture readings.
 On one occasion each year for each Tutor Group, the group will be invited to plan its
   four services as an integrated whole around a common theme. Staff Tutors will
   provide further guidance.

It goes without saying that any worship offered should give of our best and be prepared
with great care. We would encourage you to bring to the Course and to others in training
the gifts and riches of your particular tradition in order that others may learn from it. It is
an opportunity to explore, experience and learn about the riches, both old and new, of
our varied traditions and we hope you will draw widely on the resources that are available
in hymnody, music, poetry, art, drama etc. We have the following books available:
 Hymn/song books: Rejoice and Sing, Hymns and Psalms, Mission Praise (combined
    volume), Sunday Psalms - musical settings for the Revised Common Lectionary.

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   Service books: Common Worship - services and prayers for the Church of England,
    Celebrating Common Prayer; the Book of Common Prayer, the Methodist Worship

Denominational requirements:
 For Anglicans Common Worship - services and prayers for the Church of England,
   and the Book of Common Prayer.
 For Methodist candidates the requirement is more flexible, but the absence of
   authorised forms of service does not mean the absence of those forms.
 Methodists can use The Methodist Worship Book and draw on other established
   traditions of corporate devotions (such as can be found in the outline for Morning and
   Evening prayer in the Methodist Prayer Handbook).
 Other resources, from Iona or the Church of Scotland Book of Common Order, are

If producing your own orders, please observe copyright. We are members of the
Christian Copyright Licensing group, which allows you to reproduce words and music for
songs covered under their licence citing “All songs covered by Christian Copyright
Licensing (Europe) Ltd have been reproduced under CCL no 264577”. Please check
with the office that the songs are covered, or else you must gain separate permission.

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Preaching and Communicating the Gospel
This 3 year programme, embedded in the three Ministry Development Modules, taught
on Sunday mornings, provides the skills and practices necessary to enable all ministers
to preach and communicate with conviction and with the competencies of reflective

In Ministry Development Module I, Sunday morning sessions will be devoted to gaining
or developing skills in preaching. We recognise that some come with considerable
experience as preachers, others with very little. Therefore the aim of these sessions is:
 to enable preachers older and newer to preach as ministers with conviction and with
   the competencies of reflective practitioners.

In Ministry Development Module M we explore other contexts and forms of
communicating the gospel. The aims of these sessions are:

   To explore forms of communication in the context of schools and adult learning;
   To integrate within the student’s learning and practice the theology, Biblical studies
    and other material covered in the midweek courses with the issues and ideas of the
    weekend programmes.

In Ministry Development Module S Sunday mornings continues to be devoted to
practising preaching skills, especially in such special contexts as at baptisms and
weddings. The aims of these sessions are:
 To explore Lectionary readings and the sermon possibilities they offer,
 To consider practical questions about preaching in such special contexts as at
   baptisms and weddings,
 To integrate within the student’s learning and liturgical practice the theology, Biblical
   studies and other material covered in the midweek courses with the issues and ideas
   of the weekend programmes
 To enable reflection on sermons preached on placements and feedback received

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Groups and groupwork
Genuine meeting between persons is intrinsic to the work of God in creation and
redemption - through each other, in the Spirit, we grow and experience healing. With
each other, we build fellowship in Christ and come to a common mind in him. From each
other, we receive Christ’s (sometimes uncomfortable) ministry of love. Human groups
have strong dynamics which tap into our deepest past experiences - it can be difficult to
be oneself, to say what one means and to hear others speaking as themselves.
Christian gatherings are at one and the same time a manifestation of the body of Christ,
and human beings stuck with one another, with our hopes and histories and frustrations
and yearnings.

An appreciation of the complexities of the working of groups is thus important at the level
of the individual. Our understanding of ourselves is always partial, and there are facets
of ourselves about which we can only learn through others. And only to the extent of
being present to others as genuinely as possible (compatible with personal security) can
the minister ‘bear reality’ and go any significant way towards incarnating the presence
and concerns of God.

But the understanding of groups is also important at the level of the group, the fellowship
in Christ. There are strong indications in the New Testament that the charisms of
ministry are held corporately within the ecclesia (e.g. Rom. 12.4-8, 1. Cor. 12.4-30,
Eph. 4.1-7). So the ordained minister is not to be seen as the omnicompetent leader,
who merely leads groups efficiently to accomplish tasks, but as the self-aware discerner
and enabler of gifts in order so that groups can both function as a whole, and experience
the creativity and joy of life in the Spirit.

However, the Church’s use of groups and meetings tends all too often to be
characterised by poor cultures of communication, uncreative uses of power (both by
ministers and laity), and low levels of openness and mutual accountability. PCCs and
Church Council meetings are often dreaded rather than anticipated!

Healthy relating in groups is thus an essential element in Christian formation, and also a
key element in ministerial practice - the more so in these days of collaborative ministry. It
needs to pervade the organisation, so the core staff are committed to establishing this
within their own working practice, to valuing to the full the student presence and student
contribution in shared meetings, and to encouraging healthy relating within the informal
flow of meeting that pervades the residential programme

Beyond that, the Course sets aside specific time for examining these issues as part of
our shared formation in Christ, and to enable students to be aware of good practice in
working with groups. That means encouraging students to move beyond unhealthy
cultures of dependence, and enabling them to recognise such factors as projection. It
means also examining processes, and recognising that the process of working together
may be as or more important than any task the group has set itself.

This reflection on group-work needs to stem from carefully structured experiences, and
the self-awareness gained through such experiences. In this type of learning listening to
oneself and one’s reactions sometimes precedes the acquisition of theory.

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In Ministry Development Module 1 the foundations for this are laid by a series of sessions
that provide practice in basic skills of listening and responding.

In Ministry Development Module II we build on this through an alternating programme of
experiential group exercises with some theoretical input and task-focused group
exercises that build skills for ministry. The aims of this second year programme are:

   To offer students basic frameworks for understanding groups and interpersonal
   To offer students the experience of participating in, and reflecting upon, a group which
    has a task but not a pre-determined process.

By the end of the programme students should have:

   been exposed to the dynamics of working in group situations
   learnt about a variety of perspectives for reflecting upon the conscious and
    unconscious processes that influence and determine group working
   learnt about a variety of skills for effective and task-orientated group working.

In Ministry Development Module III we continue to build on these experiences by
exploring effective work with groups. In this we aim:

   To help students to understand the functioning of groups with which they will
    necessarily be involved in their ministry, and how that functioning might be enhanced.

By the end of the six sessions students should be able to analyse, and be able to make
an assessment of:

   conditions that help or hinder the quality of communication in a group
   whether the group functions effectively in carrying out its task/fulfilling its aim
   what allows or hinders the involvement of its members

Students will consider a) the ways in which its being a Christian group (if it is) makes a
difference to a group’s character, b) what roles and strategies they might adopt, as the
minister with responsibility for that task or congregation, to seek to enhance the group’s
life, and c) how they might promote understanding of the importance of good process
and communication among the laity.

One of the teaching methods used will be the ‘sculpt’, in which a student places the
members of the year into configurations that represent the functioning of particular
groups with which they are involved. These groups may typically include:

   The year group itself (members to take up their own positions, and reflect on the way
    the group has altered during its life)
   A constitutionally-designated meeting such as the church council or PCC
   A sub-committee with a particular task
   A ministerial staff meeting
   A family

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Sculpting is a very powerful tool for eliciting the feelings associated with particular
roles in groups, and also for exploring the impact of change on a group. Role-play
may also be used to illustrate classic situations of conflict in church life.

There will be an opportunity for group-work associated with the ending of the Course,
including the chance for members to speak of each other’s gifts and how they see each
others’ contributions to the ministry of the Church.

The group will be facilitated by a mixture of core staff and outside conductors who will
maintain confidentiality within the group setting. Our aim is to provide a boundaried
environment within which students are able to explore their own vulnerability. For this
reason, what is disclosed in the group will not be reported on in students’ reports.
However, reports may make mention of the extent to which the student has engaged
with the process of the group.

The learning journal should show evidence of participation in the learning process of
the group. Guidance will be given by the Course Staff about how confidentiality is to
be maintained in the learning journal.

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P A G E   4 .   1

Reporting to the Churches
We are accountable to the sponsoring churches to report on your progress during
training, and we take very seriously this responsibility. The different churches provide
guidelines and rules for reporting, but the principles underlying them are shared. They
 reports are part of the process of discernment, helping you to reflect on your calling,
    gifts and needs, and helping the church to discern how your ministry should be
 reports need to be honest and robust, being prepared where necessary to challenge
    and confront, as well as encourage and support.
 reports must be open and transparent. Where there is disagreement you can append
    your own comments to any report.
 reports must fairly and consistently apply the agreed criteria in the programme of
    education and training.
 reports must bring together a range of perspectives on an individual, not only to
    ensure breadth, but also to ensure that no individual judgement or perception
 reports to the sponsoring churches are written by the Principal in collaboration with
    Staff Tutors, and in the light of reports of the personal tutor and placement ministers.
    Other evidence is also available, including module assessments and the candidate’s

At the end of each year the core staff write a report on each student, which is agreed
by consensus, and signed by the Principal. The report is then sent to the student,
who will discuss it with her/his Staff Tutor, and then sign it to say that it has been
seen and discussed. The student may ask for the correction of any factual detail
which (s)he believes to be wrong, and may add a paragraph of comment if (s)he
believes that an aspect of her/his development has not been correctly assessed.

A report on reporting commissioned by the Church of England and published in 2002
emphasised the need for training institutions to provide honest and clear reports. We
take pains to try and do so, acknowledging at the same time that we can never know all
there is to know about an individual’s growth and journey with God. The guidance also
makes clear that the Course may have cause to comment on a student’s health, or other
family or personal circumstances, and that such comment is an appropriate part of the
assessment of candidates for public ministry.

A copy of the report on reporting will be furnished to any student on request. The above
comments do not prevent the student from taking up reporting issues with their
sponsoring denomination. Anglican ordinands always have access to their DDO;
Methodist candidates have the right to contact, and appear before, the Methodist
Oversight Committee.

End-of-year reports are composed under the following headings:

          Personality, character and relationships

          Faith, vocation and spirituality

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P A G E   4 .   2

          Quality of mind and theological learning

          Ministry within the Church of England, mission and evangelism, leadership and

          Further training needs (for the next phase of development, IME 4-7 or CME as

Please also note that your Personal Tutor will write a short informal report, seen by the
core staff only and destroyed after use. We ask your Personal Tutor to share with you
the substance of the report, but he/she is not under an obligation to show you the report

SWMTC Year 1

The reports will be finalised and discussed with you by July 31.

For Methodist students, the end-of-year report goes to the Oversight Committee, and
from there to the Connexional Team (Discipleship and Ministry) in London.

For Anglicans, the body of the first-year report is shared between the Course and student
alone, unless special reasons dictate otherwise. There may be a particular issue which
leads to all or part of the report being forwarded to the Bishop and DDO. If so, this is
clearly signalled to and discussed with the student.

SWMTC Years 2 and 3

The end-of-year reports, once discussed and signed, are forwarded to the relevant
bodies in the sponsoring churches.

Year 2 reports will be finalised in May, and discussed with you in June.

Year 3 reports will be finalised in May, and discussed with you in late May.

If you have any questions or anxieties about this process please do not hesitate to be in

Assessment takes many forms and feeds into the reporting process. The assessment of
personal development, spiritual and ministerial formation, and in particular assessment of
the integration that is taking place, is conducted primarily in relation to the Ministry
Development Module through a portfolio of learning. This has three main elements.

A learning journal. The learning journal is designed to enable reflection on the different
kinds of learning and to contribute to developing a habit of reflective practice. The journal
helps to engender learning about yourself, your personal maturity and growth through a
discipline of life, which seeks a deepening relationship with God and with people both
within and outside the Church marked by a capacity to receive as well as to give, which
is not threatened by the gifts of others, and which therefore enables you as a new
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P A G E   4 .   3

minister to begin to lead and to pray after the example of Christ. The termly meeting with
your Staff Tutor provides an opportunity for feedback on your experience of and progress
through the Course, for your achievements to be recognised, advice to be given and
concerns shared. This will centre on the material in the Learning Journal but may also
touch upon all aspects of the Course.

Second, included in the Portfolio are reports on placements, specific assignments and
their reports. Assessment of these contributes toward the assessment of your growth in
confidence with the practical skills of ministry which enables you increasingly to embody
your faith and belief in consistent ways, to begin at once to work flexibly and to empower
others to embrace the possibilities of collaborative working and service.

Third, included in the Portfolio are reports on the experience of leading of worship and
preaching, together with the feedback on these events. This assessment contributes
toward the assessment of how you are growing in practical and ministerial qualities and
skills, including how in this context you discern and communicate the activity of God; how
you make connections between Christian story and world, and between the tradition and
the possibilities of the future.

Assessment of intellectual development, theological understanding and learning takes
place primarily in relation to the modules taught in evening classes, which address key
areas of the theological curriculum. Assessment in these modules primarily uses written
work to test knowledge, understanding, power of description, analysis and the
development of reasoned argument. Essays are commonly used, but depending on the
discipline a range of other methods is also employed: for example exegesis, seminar
presentation, survey work, practical assignments. These assessments contribute to the
assessment of your interpretive skills that you require if you are to discern faithfully and
confess truly the activity of God: a clarity and creativity of mind which sees connections
between Christian story and world, and between the tradition and the possibilities of the
future, combined with a commitment to teaching the faith, and continuing learning over a

In order to make assessment transparent and fair, detailed criteria are included in our
submission for church validation of our programme. They are available on request from
the Dean of Studies.
In our commitment to mutuality, to the importance of receiving as well as giving, learning
as well as teaching, assessment applies to all involved in the Course. Staff are
appraised and you will be involved in this process each year. Individual modules, their
content and process, are subject to regular review, feedback and assessment. The
Course as a whole is inspected every five years by the Churches, and is subject to
annual moderation and external examination. While these procedures are often time-
consuming, and sometimes onerous, they are essential not only for the confidence of the
churches, but also to embody our commitment to life-long learning and reflective


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