Explore non-residential (dispersed) learning

Through dispersed learning, you can live a distance from Trinity and still benefit from studying with us.

Programmes of study

Our dispersed learners can complete the Diploma in Theology, Ministry and Mission in two years or the Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Theology, Ministry and Mission in three years, both accredited by Durham University.

Dispersed learning students attend college for six block weeks during the academic year. These include a welcome week with some teaching in September and four other teaching block weeks. The sixth block week in May is a retreat/formation week. Block weeks commence at lunchtime on Monday and end at lunchtime on Friday to give time for travel from a distance and to keep Sundays free for your context commitments. During block weeks, we make time for reflection and build community within our dispersed learning cohorts. [Learn more about our library and learning and disability support >]

Build community within your cohort

Between block weeks, students log into a weekly virtual tutor group and seminar, using our ‘Lifesize’ video conferencing facility, offering additional support for learning in context and formation. Students who are more local may choose to attend these sessions in person. Our dispersed learners benefit as well from access to a Trinity tutor dedicated to the oversight and development of dispersed learning at Trinity.

Integration between context and college

Close integration between your context and the college is a priority, building on Trinity’s expertise in contextual training. We regularly visit our dispersed learners in context and closely liaise with context supervisors. The college offers support and training for the supervisors who facilitate your engagement in context, and supervisors are aware of your academic modules and assignments in order to help you integrate theory and practice in supervision sessions. Such integration will also be a strong theme of the seminars at college, as our tutors ensure that you relate your studies to your ministry.

Are you a pioneer?

Find out more about our pioneer cohort, which includes both our gathered (residential) and dispersed (non-residential) learners.

For further information about dispersed learning, contact Rev Sue Gent at sue.gent@trinitycollegebristol.ac.uk, 0117 968 0244, or with questions regarding admissions contact admissions@trinitycollegebristol.ac.uk, 0117 968 0254.

Shape of the week

The balance of context engagement and study is designed to facilitate a high quality rigorous academic programme integrated with contextual engagement. This is organised as

  • Two-and-a-half days in personal study a week, plus half a day spent in seminars and with your pastoral group, accessed either in college or virtually.
  • Two days plus Sundays in context inclusive of supervision time with your church supervisor. Clear expectations are given to supervisors in relation to your engagement in context.
  • You have one day a week for rest from the programme.

Community placement

All Trinity ordinands choose a 20- to 30- hour community placement to complete in their first year (in addition to a church placement that lasts for the duration of their programme).

Community placements help diversify your experiences of mission and ministry, while also helping you engage with people who are different from yourself, think theologically about what ministry looks like in a ‘secular’ context, and think about what role the church might play in partnership with other organisations. Community placements can be completed in a wide variety of contexts, whether in your local area or beyond. As part of this experience, you will engage in theological reflection on pastoral issues that might arise during the placement.

Financial support

You can read more about our fees here. The Church of England offers funding for all its full-time ordinands through the provision of a series of grants for your tuition fees and living costs. The exact amounts will vary from person to person, depending on your financial situation and family responsibilities.

If you have further questions, just get in touch with our admissions team and they’ll be happy to talk with you about the financial implications of your training.

Apply now >

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