Explore part-time training
Our part-time training gives you the ability to prepare for leadership in the Church of England alongside other work and ministry commitments.
The programme is flexible, so you can work full- or part-time while you study. Students are able to complete diploma-level training through a combination of evening, weekend, and daytime classes.
Part-time students are also invited to participate in the larger Trinity community, which includes support and encouragement for spouses and families, and opportunities to eat, socialise, and worship together. You’ll get to know people training for Ordained Local Ministry in the Bristol Diocese, as well as independent students working towards qualifications in Theology, Ministry and Mission.
Want to learn more about flexible ordination training at Trinity? Contact our admissions team or call 0117 968 0254.
Shape of the week
We’re aware that the nature of most people’s work and family lives makes it difficult to study during the daytime, so the main teaching sessions for our part-time programmes happen on Tuesday evenings.
However, if your other commitments are more flexible and you’re available during the day time then you’re more than welcome to take modules scheduled into our full-time programme on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.
You’ll also be expected to take part in five study weekends, a seven-day summer school and a five-day Integrated Learning Week, as well as having the opportunity to do a practical placement in a nearby parish that’s different to your regular church context.
Those training for ordination with us on a part-time basis work towards a Diploma in Theology, Ministry and Mission, which takes three years to complete.
The course is accredited by Durham University and to be able to get on to the programme you’ll need to have at least two A levels or the equivalent.
The Diploma is assessed at Levels 4 and 5, and you’re required to take enough modules to add up to 240 credits. Take a look at our sample module list for an idea of the topics with which you may engage.
Year-round contextual engagement
You may already be working for a church and want to stay, or you might be keen to look for a new church to form the context for this time of training. We will work with you to make sure that you have a supportive environment and good supervision from an experienced church leader, and you will meet with him or her (as well as with your Trinity pastoral group tutor) for regular mentoring.
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. In addition to serving under a mentoring vicar, you will usually serve in your placement church alongside fellow Trinity students, enhancing the ways in which you can learn together.
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 – your placement church is the environment in which you’ll have the opportunity to put into practice what you’re learning in the classroom.
Short church placement
At some point in your second year of training you’ll have the opportunity to work alongside a church leadership team full-time for four weeks.
Whether it’s leading Sunday services or conducting pastoral visits, or helping with church meetings and running children’s holiday clubs, you’ll be immersed in the day-to-day running of the 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 standard Church of England funding for ordinand tuition fees is available for you in the same way as for full-time students, although it’s expected that your living costs will be covered personally.
However, you can also get a small allowance from central church funds for books and travel expenses.
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.
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