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What is Catalyst?

Catalyst is a training course that has been developed as part of the national Church of England's 30K Project: To develop and support 30,000 new leaders of mission with children and young people (CYP).

Catalyst has been designed to support dioceses from across the UK in their work to:

  1. Equip and inspire new and existing children and youth minsters - both volunteers and paid workers.
  2. Facilitate entry into a vocational pathway for Children and Youth minsters in the church of England.
  3. Improve access into vocational training courses for all who God calls.

Who is the course for?

The course will benefit those who are new to children and youth ministry by providing a solid foundation on which they can build. We expect the majority of people in this group to be volunteers, but it may also include some 'early career' paid workers. The course will also benefit those who have been around a little longer, to renew, refresh and revitalise their existing knowledge and experience. We expect that this group may be made up of a more even split between volunteers and paid workers. For some it will also provide a pathway into further training. We expect that those in this latter group will either already be in, or will be discerning whether to take up, paid positions within the church.

The training:

  • Is fully-funded by the national church.
  • Is an 8 month mixed mode training programme in children and youth ministry.
  • Is based on a flipped classroom, student centred approach to learning.
  • Is delivered via a bespoke online learning platform, local facilitated learning communities, and a three day conference.

Participant (student) commitment:

  • Participants undertake guided learning tasks that are hosted on an online learning platform, in their own time.
  • Participants build on these tasks in 5, monthly, facilitated, local (Diocesan), learning communities.
  • Participants attend a regional induction day.
  • Participants attend a three-day conference in Cambridge where there is further learning input.
  • Participants present their learning to their learning community.
  • Participants who wish to apply for 20 credits at level 4 (provides entry onto degree level programmes for those who wish to progress onto further study), send a video of their presentation to Ridley Hall along with a 1,000 word rationale for the presentation or, they have the option to present at Ridley.
  • Participants attend a graduation day in Cambridge.
  • A suggested timetable can be downloaded here.

Participants (students) get:

  • A grounding in good-practice working with children and young people.
  • A grounding in working in and with the church.
  • An introduction to the principles and values of children and youth ministry.
  • An introduction to theological study.
  • An introduction to theological reflection.
  • To be further supported by their Diocese.
  • To be part of a national project.
  • Support to obtain 20 credits at level 4 for those who have chosen this option.
  • A mapping document can be downloaded here.

Dioceses will:

  • Identify a cohort of children and/or youth volunteers/workers within the diocese.
  • Provide a facilitator to facilitate a learning community for participants from their diocese (meet monthly for the duration of the course).

Ridley Hall will:

  • Provide a comprehensive curriculum to inspire and develop theologically rooted, integrated, safe and purposeful practice.
  • Support dioceses in their communication with potential participants.
  • Provide a bespoke online learning platform.
  • Support student's engagement with the learning platform.
  • Provide training, support and materials for facilitators (online and in person).
  • Deliver an induction day for students (In Birmingham and Cambridge)
  • Deliver a three-day conference for students (Cambridge)
  • Deliver a graduation day for students (Cambridge)
  • Provide the opportunity for students work to be assessed within Common Awards (20 credits at level 4)

Visit the Catalyst website for more information, including how to make contact

The 30K Project: To develop and support 30,000 new leaders of mission with children and young people (CYP). 
This nationally funded project, chaired by the Bishop of Leicester, aims to bring about change to raise up 30,000 new children and youth leaders by 2030. The Project Board are prioritising three workstreams: Firstly, the recruitment and formation of 3000 employed workers, secondly to develop and enhance support for existing workers and thirdly to develop pathways that support the discernment, recruitment and formation of 27,000 new volunteers. Two pilots are now underway as part of the workstream to recruit 3000 employed workers. They have been designed to test new approaches to accredited training in children and youth ministry. The pilot at the Church Mission Society began in September 2023 whilst the pilot at Ridley Hall will commence in January 2023.