In 2014, Durham University linked with the Archbishops’ Council to provide a suite of higher education awards for ordinands, lay ministry students and others studying in colleges, courses and dioceses in England. The suite of awards is known as the Common Awards.
More than 1,000 students in the Church of England, Baptist, Methodist and United Reformed churches are studying for the Durham University awards. As a member of the Cambridge Theological Federation, a large number of students at Ridley Hall are among those studying on Common Awards programmes.
Under the arrangement with Durham, theological colleges and courses continue to be responsible for the learning and teaching of students and their preparation for ministry. On successful completion of their studies, students receive a Durham University degree or diploma. In some cases, students continue to study towards a higher award in their first years of ministry after ordination or licensing.
Durham University is an excellent partner for theological colleges who are seeking to prepare people for church leadership.
Durham University’s Department for Theology and Religion was listed as the UK’s number one department of Theology or Religious Studies in the 2013 Times Good University Guide.
In the UK’s 2014 Research Assessment Exercise it was rated as the top department in the field. Ridley’s Principal, the Revd Dr Michael Volland, undertook his doctoral studies at Durham, alongside teaching and training ordinands.