Ministry Division, 'Confidence' in training and formation at Ridley
In March a review team appointed by the Ministry Division of the Church of England conducted Ridley's six-yearly Periodic External Review (PER). The review combined ministerial and academic quality assurance.
The criteria were organised into six headings and aimed for a clear focus on student outcomes. The review involved two visits by the review team, whose task was to assess Ridley's fitness for purpose in training for nationally recognised authorised ministries.
The team also aimed to engage with our culture and practice of self-evaluation, to commend examples of good practice and to make recommendations for areas of improvement.
There are three possible overall outcomes for the review. Ridley achieved the strongest of these; 'Confidence'. This is a wonderful encouragement for staff and students at the College.
The report identifies a number of key strengths, including,
- The clarity of our formational aims and the way these are owned within the community and shared with wider stakeholders.
- Ridley Lay Ministry for our innovative sharing of resources with ordination training and cross fertilization of ideas, learning and experiences between the streams and student cohorts.
- The Ridley Hall community as a safe space for learners to explore and grow in faith and where they can learn to disagree well. Ridley's hospitality to diverse traditions.
- Ridley's good and stretching programme of placements and attachments, well supported by local partnerships.
- The strong missional focus in our teaching and through the Emmaus programme.
- The breadth of experience of prayer, worship and theology afforded by membership of the Cambridge Theological Federation.
- Ridley's highly collaborative leadership, the engagement of its trustees and the leadership of the Principal.
- Good reporting procedures on students' formation and open communication with dioceses.
The Principal of Ridley Hall, Michael Volland, said, 'We give glory to God for such a positive report, which is the result of a great deal of prayer and much hard work by staff and students here at Ridley. I trust that those who work and study at the College, along with our alumni, partners, supporters and friends will be encouraged by all that they read. Please pray for us as we continue to pursue our vision of becoming a beacon of Christian learning and formation.'
Ridley's Chair of Trustees, Mark Spelman said, 'The Ministry Division PER report is a vote of confidence in Ridley Hall's ability to prepare church leaders for the complex challenges of the 21st century. Michael Volland and the staff team have an exciting and relevant vision for ministry and we are delighted that the review recognises the quality of the teaching, and the sense of community that is at the centre of the Ridley Hall experience.'
You can download and read the full text of report here: Ridley Hall Periodic External Review (pdf)