Considering theological study?
What is an ‘independent’ student at Trinity?
Our independent students are those Trinity students not currently training for ordination in the Church of England, but seeking theological education for a wide variety of reasons and vocational goals. [Why study theology if you aren’t becoming a vicar?]
Craft your own programme
Unlike our ordinands, as an independent student, you have the freedom to select many of your own modules, crafting a programme of study that fits your needs and interests. Our theology programmes include the Certificate, Diploma, Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Graduate Diploma, Postgraduate Diploma, Master of Arts, Master of Theology, and Doctor of Philosophy. Our MA students have only one compulsory module (Research and Reflection: Resources and Methods) and our undergraduate students are able to select the modules they’d like to complete within required subject areas. Our programmes are accredited by the Universities of Durham and Aberdeen. To find out more, click on an option below. You can learn more about our library and learning and disability support here.
To schedule a visit or ask questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here to find out more about our fees and funding. Below you can find more information about modes of study.
Whether you’re engaging with higher education for the first time or returning to it after many years, it can be a challenge to get into (or back into) the patterns and habits of study.
We’ve tried to provide the basic practical information you’ll need to help you get your head around what’s involved in studying with us, but if there’s anything else you want to know just get in touch.
Whether you’re training for ordination or delving into theology for another purpose, the community in which you immerse yourself for this period of study will impact how you learn and grow.
It’s the place where key support networks form, patterns of prayer and worship are established, new theological and spiritual realisations occur, and a stronger sense of where God is calling you emerges. So take your time over this decision, get advice from people who know you well and pray carefully through all your options.
- Click here to apply.
- If you are a prospective research student, please use the application form for research students.
- If you are an ordinand who wishes to pursue a research programme, please fill in both forms and submit your research application by either 1 Oct or 15 January to allow your application to be reviewed in time by the Church of England’s Research Degree Panel. All paperwork related to your research application should be sent to email@example.com.
- On completion of the form we can be in touch about booking an interview, so we can talk with you about your spiritual journey, your education and work experiences, and your sense of God’s calling–helping both you and us discern if Trinity is the place God wants you to be.
- If you are a prospective ordinand or independent student with questions, call 0117 968 0254 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you are a prospective research student with questions, call 0117 968 0268 or email email@example.com.
Live like the kingdom is near…
In an age when Christianity is seen as irrelevant or even destructive, how can we lead communities of faith that will live out the good news of Jesus Christ?
At Trinity we’ve found Matthew 6:33 helpful in answering that, as it urges us to ‘seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness’. Through the Beatitudes in Matthew 5, we know that kingdom life involves humility, dependence on God’s comfort, gentleness, hunger for the right ways of God, mercy towards others, purity in deeds and motives, a passion for peace, and a willingness to face opposition, even persecution, for his sake. We want those kingdom values to permeate every area of our lives — how we live and work, how we relate to God and to those around us, and how we lead God’s people in being a light to the world.
At Trinity, we believe that God has given us the task of shaping leaders who live these kingdom characteristics in community for a missional church. So that’s what you’ll be signing up for if you join us: becoming rooted in a diverse, lively, messy family of people striving to become Christ-like leaders, encouraging one another to pursue God and his kingdom so that more people can know the joy of relationship with him.
Explore postgraduate research
Pioneers at Trinity
Are you an Ordained Pioneer Minister (OPM) or looking to train as a pioneer?
Become a stronger bridge for those outside the church, whilst building bridges of support with fellow pioneers in the Trinity community.
1. We recognise the unique needs of pioneers. As you’ll often be working outside normal support systems and structures, it is critical that you are well prepared.
- We offer a strong foundation of Bible and theology on which to build your current and future projects.
- You have the option to train within our gathered learning community (train within an intentional community whilst living in the Bristol area or on-site if you are a single or commuter student) or through our non-residential dispersed learning (DL) track (come into college for six block weeks a year while remaining in your current context).
- Connect regularly with fellow pioneers through gatherings led by Trinity staff with experiences of Fresh Expressions and church planting, with external experts, and with our pioneer associate team member—sharing experiences and wisdom while also receiving external input focused on aspects of entrepreneurial and pioneering approaches to mission ministry. Our pioneer meeting times will take place during DL block weeks so that all of our pioneer students can participate. Beginning in 2020, our Tutor in Missiology, who is responsible for pioneer development at Trinity, is joined by an Associate Pioneer Missioner and by a new student leader who will serve as Pioneer Student Rep.
2. Pioneer modules within the undergraduate programme include:
- Mission Entrepreneurship: Principles—encourages you to relate social entrepreneurship to mission and introduces you to the principles, history, and practice of entrepreneurship through its study in the social sector.
- Elements of Ministry and Mission in Context—introduces you to key terms and themes relating to Christian ministry and mission in the church tradition / vocational context for and within which you are being prepared.
- ILCP B for Creative Communication—encourages you to integrate your current learning with your preferred style of communication.
- Mission and Apologetics in Contemporary Culture—enables you to analyse cultures and subcultures, to think missionally about the relationship between the gospel and contemporary Western cultures. Equips you with the apologetic skills needed to engage with people in contemporary cultures and enables you to develop appropriate strategies for missionary engagement with contemporary cultures.
- You will also be offered assessment options within some of your classes with a pioneering focus.
3. Modules within the MA course include:
- Reflective Practice: Mission and Evangelism—supports students in their ministerial development by engaging with the forms of theological reflection that underpin reflective practice in a ministerial / professional / vocational context.
- A dissertation module (either undergraduate or postgraduate) which could be focused around a theological exploration of particular aspects of pioneer ministry.
4. For your context experience, we can help place you in a pioneer context.
5. Are you an ordinand who will likely serve in pioneering contexts without an official ‘pioneer’ designation?
If this is you, you can still join our pioneering cohort for the teaching and learning sessions.
For more information about training as a pioneer at Trinity College Bristol, call or email our admissions office: firstname.lastname@example.org or 0117 968 0254. Read more about some of our recent pioneers here.