Pastoral training

Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received.

1 Peter 4.10

In all that we do our passion is to train people to be the best possible ministers of the Gospel that they can be. In a world where society, the Church and ministry are changing rapidly, our vision is to train ministers who can think biblically, creatively, flexibly and theologically about mission, church practice and engaging with culture.

The pastoral training on offer at Ridley is designed to give our students the framework and tools they need to be leaders in the context of today's Church. Our students leave as leaders who are able to reflect on pastoral situations, think scripturally about them, and as leaders who have been stretched in learning about others, themselves and the Lord. 

Explore the tabs below to read about some of the ways in which our students are equipped for pastoral and practical ministry in the Church.

Life and Service Module

The Lecture Hall at Ridley"Life and Service" is the core Pastoral Theology module, taken by all ordinands for two years (3 hours of teaching a week), whichever course they are following.

Life and Service has four strands which are common to both years: Worship, Mission, Preaching and Corporate Life & Leadership.

In addition to these, in the first year there is teaching on Theological Reflection, and in the second year, teaching on Anglicanism.

Parish experience

Parish Attachments

All our students who are training for ordination belong to a church or college chapel during term time, attending Sunday services and either an afternoon or evening per week. Ordinands training at Ridley for two years do one attachment of five terms. Ordinands training for three years normally complete two Parish Attachments, one of three terms and one of five terms. 

Cambridge parish churchParish Placements

Every ordinand at Ridley spends a minimum of four weeks' block placement in full-time ministry in an Anglican parish. Each student meets with a Pastoral Tutor to discuss the right sort of parish to be placed in. Some students choose to go somewhere in England selected for the particular context of the church (rural, inner city, suburban), or for the particular circumstances of an incumbent (some female ordinands for instance choose to spend a month working with a female incumbent).

Where students already have considerable experience and knowledge of parish ministry in the UK there is the opportunity to discuss the possibility of serving in an overseas parish placement.


During the two years of the Life and Service Module, our students are taught skills in sermon preparation and delivery, and preach at least once a term in their attachment churches. Students training for three years have a sermon videoed in their second year which they have the opportunity to evaluate with a tutor and a small group of fellow ordinands.

A class at Ridley

In their final year students are assigned to a Sermon Class, which comprises a small number of students and a tutor. The group attends the attachment churches of each of its members, to hear the student's sermon, and to meet with the student during the following week to discuss the sermon.


Ridley students take a range of courses designed to equip them to serve the Church in today's world.

Federation Courses

There are a number of courses taught in the Cambridge Theological Federation that students may opt for, depending on their course requirements. Most ordinands take courses in Rethinking Mission and The Gospel & Western Culture.

A lecture at Ridley

Brief Federation courses known as 'Intensives' take place each January, before ordinary lectures begin. All students take two Intensives (2.5 days each) from a range of pastoral and practical subjects including racial awareness and sexuality. 

Ridley End-of-Term Courses

Ridley regularly runs its own range of short courses for all students covering a range of key practical and pastoral themes. These two or three day courses run at the end of Michaelmas (autumn) and Lent (spring) terms, and in the Easter (summer) term for those not sitting exams.