What does the Refreshment Programme offer?

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What does Ridley offer?

A setting for renewal

Visitors on the Refreshment programme are welcome to share as fully as they wish in the life of the college, including its social life and its daily worship.

A sabbatical, career break or retreat at Ridley also affords an opportunity for you to stand back, and reflect with others on your own work or ministry and personal discipleship, so that you can return to your daily life with a new and stronger sense of vocation.

"Having the opportunity to engage in worship, prayer, and dialogue with those studying for ordained ministry enabled me to seek a profound renewal within my own vocation."
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Community worship in the Chapel

A setting for refreshment

A ten-minute walk from the college takes you into the country, and ten minutes in the other direction takes you to the heart of medieval Cambridge with its historic colleges, including King's College with its magnificent chapel.

Sports facilities, concerts, book shops, museums and restaurants are available in abundance. Read our page for students on Living in Cambridge for more information. Our accommodation is comfortable and internet is available in every guest room. The standard package includes weekday meals, and our kitchen staff are used to catering for those with special dietary needs.

I felt my time at Ridley was useful because it allowed me plenty of time for quiet reflection, long walks, and use of the library for writing.
Dr Timothy Gombis, New Testament Professor, Michigan, USA

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Student group sitting on the lawn

A setting for study

You may have a particular project to finish that would benefit from a supportive environment that will provide you with the time and concentration that it is difficult to find at home. Or perhaps you would like to do some in-depth study of the Christian faith in a context that allows you to read and study and discuss its significance for your life and calling.

“To eat, to chat, to worship, to pray, to play together, students and tutors, is for me an appropriate way to explore and to deepen theological learning – exemplary for other countries.”
Beat Hoffmann, Minister, Switzerland

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Choose a heading below for information on study resources and opportunities that will be available to you during your stay.

Library facilities

Library facilities

The library facilities of Ridley itself are available to Refreshment programme guests 24 hours a day.

We can also arrange for you to have access to ten more libraries within the Cambridge Theological Federation, all within walking distance of Ridley, and each with its particular areas of focus or special collections.

An application can also be made for you to have access to the world-renowned resources of Tyndale House and Cambridge's University Library.

Visit our Library facilities pages to find out more.

"I felt the whole experience was restorative for me, mainly in allowing me to get away and write and reflect."
Dr Timothy Gombis, Professor, USA

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Resident expertise

Resident expertise

“I appreciated the great mentorship and support I received once I started writing. It was very helpful getting feedback and I was encouraged to persevere with my writing goals.” Roberta Brown, Nurse
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Ridley Hall's faculty team have particular fields of expertise on which we invite you to draw:

The Revd Dr Philip Jenson, who co-ordinates the Refreshment Programme, will be able to advise on what academic guidance is available for your particular study goals, and will put you in touch with the appropriate member of our tutorial staff team.

Lectures and course auditing

Courses in Ridley and the Federation

It is possible to audit modules in the Common Awards Programme at a small additional cost (see Fees). These modules cover a wide range of topics at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Courses in the University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge sponsors a number of public lectures which you are welcome to attend. We can also arrange for you to attend the fortnightly senior academic seminars that take place in the Divinity Faculty (three minutes' walk away) during term time. These cover various subject areas (e.g. Old Testament, New Testament, Christian Theology, History of Christianity). In addition, from time to time there are prestigious lecture series by outstanding scholars.

Student reading in the library

Personalising your retreat

The Revd Dr Philip Jenson will act as your Director of Studies, helping you to arrange your timetable and find the help you need to benefit most from your time at Ridley.