Meet Tom: A church planter on our dispersed learning programme


Last December, Tom Morgan moved to Swindon to help plant a church. After finding out that he had been approved to pursue ordination through the Church of England, Tom says, ‘I was looking for somewhere to train where I could be fully involved in my context but still have some of the benefits of residential training.’

Tom joined Trinity College Bristol’s first dispersed learning (DL) cohort to complete the Diploma in Theology, Ministry, and Mission. These full-time non-residential students engage in ministry in a local context close to home and combine this training with six block weeks of study at college spread throughout the year. In their cohorts, they attend weekly virtual tutor groups for additional formation time and support for their time in context.

‘The DL community is very strong,’ Tom explains. ‘We meet weekly virtually from around the country, we’re informally in contact constantly through What’sApp, I’m in a virtual prayer triplet with two other guys, and when we’re at college the processing time we have together in the evenings is invaluable. We’re all fairly missional in our different contexts. I’m enjoying learning from other people who are different from me, who are plugged into different contexts.’

Tom has also appreciated joining the residential community in worship and meals while at college for block weeks.

‘Another big benefit is that training through Trinity allows us to be in church every Sunday. Consistency is really important in the first year and a half of a church plant,’ he says.

To find out more about dispersed learning at Trinity, contact our admissions office: or 0117 968 0254.

Latest blog posts

Sept 2020 COVID-19 update

3 September 2020 This week we officially reopen our buildings to staff and tutors, and look forward to welcoming our new students for a modified Welcome Week from 12 September. We want to uphold the quality of the formation and education we provide, while operating within the parameters of what is safe and healthy, with […]

New book from Trinity alumnus on the Church of England and racism

An Anglican priest based in Manchester, Revd A.D.A. France-Williams is the author of Ghost Ship: Institutional Racism and the Church of England, which is available beginning today from SCM Press. Below he shares some thoughts about an ambiguity that exists in the country and the church for its black and minority ethnic members. So there […]

Giving a night a week to learn more about God

Having tried my hardest to give up RE GCSE at school I never would have predicted I’d end up studying theology, ministry and mission at university level, but God had other plans.

Telling the stories of God’s faithfulness

Our family would not be at Trinity College Bristol today, where Justin has been teaching Christian doctrine for eight years and I’ve helped with the college’s communications work for five, apart from the faithfulness of God. As I’ve watched the world shift under all our feet, it helps me to remember that. In Joshua 4, […]