Explore full-time residential training
Our residential ordination training holistically integrates contextual training opportunities into its academic programmes. You will learn through reflection, study, practice, and participation in a community of passionate disciples of Jesus Christ.
As an ordinand at Trinity, you will:
- Commit to a local parish in which you, as part of a small group of Trinity students, will help lead and serve the congregation, alongside an experienced vicar.
- Participate in lectures and seminars as well as smaller pastoral groups with tutors who will challenge you to understand the Bible with greater depth, and to apply that knowledge to minister effectively in the local church.
- Grow, laugh, pray, discuss, eat, and worship immersed in a learning community of passionate fellow disciples of Jesus Christ.
- Find that your spouse, your family, is embraced into a community with strong support systems, including Connect for student spouses and Muddy Boots Day Nursery.
- Take the time to reflect on the Bible, on theology, on how to minister in the local church during this set-aside period at Trinity, in advance of the stress and requirements of full-time ministry.
The depth of theological engagement that residential training offers will stand you in good stead as you face hard questions from the world – and from the church – and seek to point people always in the direction of Jesus.
We are here to help you as you work through this process of discerning the next steps to which God might be calling you – just email our admissions team or call +44 (0) 117 968 0254.
Shape of the week
On Sundays, our full-time students and their families worship at the local church in which they’ll be building relationships, connecting with a mentoring vicar, and gaining new ministry experiences. Monday is a study day, usually free from formal college commitments so that students can have the time to read, write, and reflect on what they’re learning. Our main lecture days are Tuesdays, with additional classes on Thursdays and Fridays, dependant on the student’s study programme and particular module choices. Our School of Leadership meets on Thursday afternoons, as do the postgraduate research seminars. Wednesdays are safeguarded for personal spiritual development, with particular time given over to small group worship and support as well as personal contemplation and prayer.
There are many different ways of engaging with the academic side of ordination training depending on your previous education and experience.
To get your thinking started try answering the questions below and seeing where they point you, then you can always contact our admissions team or come along to an Open Day to talk in more detail about which option is right for you.
Year-round contextual training
When you join the Trinity community, we will work with you to discern what experiences you need to gain to help you prepare well for the type of ministry to which God is calling you.
Based on our conversations with you, we will place you in a context church for the duration of your training. There you will serve alongside others from your pastoral group at Trinity—enhancing the ways in which you can learn together and support one another—and receive supervision and mentoring from an experienced church leader.
Your church placement is important not just for the hands-on leadership experience it gives you, but because it forms the context for your assessed learning. You can use your placement experience very intentionally in order to gain particular experiences you’ve not yet had in ministry; you can also gain the experience of serving in a church environment different from the type of church from which you’ve come. You choose your church context in conversation with Trinity tutors to determine what will best fit you, given your past experiences and your future calling.
We partner with a wide range of local churches to give you the best possible chance of exploring the type of ministry setting God may be calling you into, whether in villages, deprived neighbourhoods, suburban areas, or in the city centre. (Take a look at our partner churches.)
Your practical experiences of ministry will inform your academic assignments for classes on topics such as leadership, worship, mission and pastoral theology, and vice versa – it’s all part of the holistic nature of your training.
Summer church placement
At the end of your first year of training (and second year if you’re training for three years) you’ll have the opportunity to work alongside a church leadership team full-time for four weeks.
Whether it’s leading Sunday services, conducting pastoral visits, helping with PCC meetings or running children’s holiday clubs, you’ll be immersed in the day-to-day running of a church.
To make sure you’re experiencing a breadth of ministry contexts and opportunities, we aim to place you in a different church than the one you’re a part of regularly. It’s usually somewhere local, although it doesn’t have to be, and you may be there with another Trinity student or you may be on your own.
Either way, we hope this will be a good chance for you to be challenged and grown through a new and possibly very different experience of church life, ministry and leadership.
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.
Through Trinity College Bristol’s new dispersed learning track, ordinands have the option to train at Trinity without moving home. 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. Trinity’s dispersed learners […]
Last summer three Trinity students engaged in learning experiences that broadened their understanding of the global church, and what it can mean to be a Christian and to be a vicar. Ordinand Rebecca Heath-Taylor completed a placement in Harare, Zimbabwe with a charity called Cross-Over. Cross-Over aims to meet the educational needs of poor communities […]
This year, in allotting students’ jobs within the college community, the Student Exec has for the first time given three students the role of serving in a ‘Green Team’. This group will be working with college kitchen and properties staff to consider how the Trinity community can take practical steps to become more sustainable […]
[This post was originally a testimony shared last week by current Trinity student Amy White in chapel with our community of residential students.] There are many testimonies that I could share about God’s faithfulness in my life over the years, but today I want to share with you about how he has been working in […]