Undergraduate study

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Undergraduate training pathway for children, youth and sports ministry

Undergraduate students specialising in children, youth, or sports ministry, study on the Common Awards degree in 'Theology, Ministry and Mission', validated by Durham University. The modules are delivered by a mix of in-person teaching at Ridley and online teaching.

Teaching timetable

Cert HE (Step 2)Dip HE (Step 3)BA Hons (Step 4)
SepFoundations for Theology and Reflective Practice Long (TMM1211)Leadership & Theology for Ministry & Mission (TMM2211)Research Methods Dissertation/ILP (TMM3362/3341)
OctOnline teaching: Introduction to Pastoral Care (TMM1421)Christian Faith & Ethical Living (TMM2171)Further New Testament Text Study (TMM3787)
JanIntroduction to the Old Testament (TMM1021)Education for the Learning Church & Context (TMM2197/2207)Reflective Practice: Relationships & Emotional Management (TMM3711)
FebOnline teaching: Introduction to Pastoral Care (TMM1421)Christian Faith & Ethical Living (TMM2171)Further Old Testament Text Study (TMM3797)
AprilOnline teaching: Brief Introduction to Christian Doctrine & to Church History (TMM1107/1147)Bible in Context (TMM2011Methods in Modern Theology (TMM3121)
JuneIntroduction to the New Testament (TMM1011)Mission & Apologetics in Contemporary Culture (TMM2411)Reflective Practice: Ministry and Mission with Children & Families/Young People/Sports Ministry (TMM3721/3731)
Across all three termsOnline teaching: Children/Youth/Sports Ministry 1 (Foundations in Reflective Practice in Context TMM1451)Online teaching: Children/Youth/Sports Ministry 2 (Reflective Practice in Context TMM2531)Online teaching: Children/Youth/Sports Ministry 3 (Further Reflective Practice in Context TMM3491)
Teaching pattern

In person teaching at Ridley Hall is delivered in block teaching weeks. Online teaching is delivered via a mix of online activities and weekly zoom classes during term time.

The Learning Journey

The Cert HE will introduce you to biblical and theological study, including how to approach the study of teh bible, the place of theological reflection in developing competence as a minister, and key Christian doctrines such as The Holy Spirit, God the Father, Jesus, and the Church. You will also be introduced to the principles and practice of your ministry specialism - children, youth, sports ministry - and supported to think through how your developing understanding informs your placement work.

The Dip HE will support you to go deeper into the bible, and develop your thinking in key ministry areas such as mission, evangelism, discipleship, management and leadership. You will be supported by the lead tutor in your ministry specialism, to root your growing understanding in your ongoing placement work as a children, youth or sports minister.

Studying for the BA (Hons) will give you the opportunity to do a deep dive into an area of your ministry specialism - children, youth, sports ministry - that particularly appeals to you. The principal opportunity for you to focus your thinking in this way, will be through a dissertation - which also provides an opportunity to develop research skills and skills in extended writing. Your development as a children's, youth, or sports minister will be further developed through your engagement with, and application in your placement of, topics such as emotional intelligence, well-being and ethical living, that are recognised to be critical for all leaders in the church.

Module Overviews

Module overviews can be found on the Durham University Common Awards website by following the links below:

Student Support

Student Support

Students are supported throughout their time at Ridley by a number of people. The support you receive is overseen by the Principal and Ridley Hall Leadership Team.

Additional support is offered by:

  • Pastoral Tutor (pastoral and learning needs)
  • Lead tutor for each specialism (eg youth ministry)
  • Lecturers (module-specific support including assignments)
  • Chaplains (spiritual direction and worship)
  • Ministerial Practice Tutors (applying learning to ministerial practice in context)
  • Academic Team (work with the Cambridge Theological Federation to give support related to admissions, fees, visas, extensions and progression)
  • Federation Secretariat (as above, liaising with Durham University and Office for Students)
  • Supervisor in the ministerial practice agency (day-to-day oversight)
  • Mentor/pastoral support in the ministerial practice agency (personal and spiritual issues)

For more information see our Student Support page.

Meals and Accommodation

Meals and Accommodation

Students are provided with accommodation at Ridley together with a lunchtime and evening meal for the duration of the block teaching weeks.

During the longer teaching weeks in September, January, April and June, students have their own room for the duration of the week. For the two shorter teaching weeks in October and February, students have access to their room for the two evenings they are in Ridley.

Meals are provided from lunch on the day of arrival to lunch on the day of departure in all teaching weeks.

Placement Requirements

Students undertaking the Diploma in Higher Education and/or the BA (Hons) are placed within an existing ministry team for the duration of their studies. Most students are placed within a church, but some are placed in Christian charities.

The ministry placement is an essential part of a student's learning. It is here where students develop their skills in children, youth, or sports ministry, through ongoing engagement in relevant ministry practice alongside experienced colleagues. It is also here that students develop their practice wisdom through reflection on and in practice.

The College staff work closely with the church or charity that students are placed with to help ensure this is both a purposeful and positive experience for all. All students have a placement set up meeting, annual mid-year and end-of-year meetings, as well as ongoing communication throughout the year.

"The course encompasses so many aspects of life and ministry, rather than being a means of just gaining knowledge." Year 3 student
"The theological input means that I’m regularly challenged in my own faith in a way that stretches me, pushing me out of comfort zones and expanding my thinking and often opening my eyes to so much more of God." Year 3 student