Certificate in Higher Education

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Certificate in Higher Education (level 4)

Ridley Hall offers the opportunity for theological and ministerial study at Level 4 to volunteers and others within the church who are interested in deepening their theological understanding and gaining a framework for ongoing discipleship – both of themselves and others.

The opportunity to engage in ministerial education at this level provides access to in-depth theological study for those not currently in full-time church positions. Typical students may be engaged in full-time employment, managing a home, volunteering or in a part-time or apprenticeship role within the church. Irrespective of your situation, the Cert HE provides a framework for you to apply your studies into your specific context.

Teaching is delivered by theological educators, highly experienced practitioners and guest lecturers drawn from the full range of Ridley Hall’s tutor team, and tutors from across the Cambridge Theological Federation.

Support is provided by Ridley’s academic team, specialist and subject tutors, and the Cambridge Theological Federation administrative staff team.

Teaching takes place at either our Cambridge centre or Online.

What is the qualification?

What is the qualification?

Study leads to a Certificate in Higher Education and can be taken full-time over one year, or part-time over two or three years. The Cert HE stands alone as a high-quality foundational qualification in ministry and mission for all. For those looking to specialise and move into full-time ministry, it can also be utilised as an access course onto the BA in Theology, Ministry and Mission.

When and where will you study?

When and where will you study?

Students can undertake the Cert HE at either Online or at our Cambridge Centre.

The teaching Online is delivered via a flipped classroom approach.

Students meet in a zoom classroom, online, 18:00 to 19:45, Monday evenings, during term time (see Term Dates). Students prepare for meeting together, by completing set-tasks, accessible online, in the week before meeting, at times they choose, to fit around their other commitments.

The teaching at our Cambridge centre is delivered in two ways:

  1. Through intensive teaching weeks delivered in September, October, January, February, April and June (see Term Dates);
  2. Through term-time delivery, requiring weekly attendance for one or two days per term.

For further details, see our information on studying at Ridley Online or Ridley Hall in Cambridge.

What will you study?

What will you study?

The standard module choice is as follows:

  1. Foundation in Theology and Reflective Practice (20 credits)
  2. Introduction to New Testament (20 credits)
  3. Introduction to Old Testament (20 credits)
  4. Introduction to Church History and Doctrine (20 credits)
  5. Introduction to Pastoral Care (20 credits)
  6. Independent learning project in a subject of your choice (20 credits)

Note: Students have the option of swapping the independent learning project with a 20 credit module in Children's and Youth Ministry.

Module outlines

Module outlines

TMM1011: Introduction to the New Testament
This module will offer students an initial overview of the New Testament, of the various genres of literature that are found in it and of the major theological themes its writings raise. It will present the contexts and concerns out of which the New Testament books emerged, set them within their broader historical, religious and cultural backgrounds, and examine the ways that the ancient authors expressed both particular pastoral concerns and more general theological convictions. Further, the module will explore some of the ways in which the New Testament has been handled and used in various eras and contexts, and will allow careful consideration of what might constitute appropriate interpretation and use of these books in today’s church and world. Students will be encouraged to read the whole New Testament in the course of their work on the module.

TMM1021: Introduction to the Old Testament
This module provides an initial overview of the Old Testament. The teaching is oriented around some of the key genres, since understanding the kinds of literature in the Old Testament provides important guidance about how to interpret texts appropriately in their historical, literary, and cultural context. Some of the tools, methods and approaches used in modern biblical scholarship are also introduced, paying attention to their limitations as well as their strengths. Particular attention is paid to the tension between historical-critical and literary approaches to the text.

In addition, students will be given an overview of the developing plot of the Old Testament as it traces the journey of the people of God through the Pentateuch, the historical books, the prophets, and on towards the New Testament. Guidance is given about how to acknowledge the contingent and temporary character of much of the Old Testament, while affirming how it remains a vital theological and historical foundation for later Christian life and thought.

TMM1107: Brief Introduction to Christian Doctrine
This module builds foundations for ongoing doctrinal study by giving an overview of some key areas of Christian doctrine. The module explores the sources and methods for theological discourse. It addresses the way Christians developed doctrines such as the Trinity, salvation, the Holy Spirit, and the Church. It involves some engagement with primary texts by major theologians. It is hoped that by exploring the voices which have gone before, students can both make sense of the framework in which belief is set but in which they can also find their own voices.

TMM1147: Brief Introduction to Church History
This module builds foundations for ongoing study in Christian History. The module will explore the grounds for a specifically Christian history from the emergence of ‘people called Christians’, to a persecuted sect, to an official religion within the Empire. Students will be familiarized with the practices, methods and modes of Christian history through the examination of the specified historical period. The major characters of the early church will be identified and explored. How Christian teaching came to be agreed will be discussed as will the emergence of monasticism as an alternative Christian lifestyle. It is hoped that by exploring the voices which have gone before, students can both make sense of the framework in which belief is set but in which they can also find their own voices.

MM1211: Foundations for Theology and Reflective Practice
The module provides students with an introduction to ongoing ministerial training and study. The module acts as a gateway into professional ministerial practice rooted in comprehensive theological study, practice wisdom and a deepening faith. In this module students will be introduced to theological reflective practice as the method of ongoing ministerial development. Theological reflective practice combines in-depth theological study with considered analysis of self and context. The module will provide students with an introduction to these three key components of ongoing ministerial development alongside study support to provide a bridge into degree level study.

TMM1291: Independent Learning Project
This module is designed to enable participants to engage in independent learning related to a chosen subject area in the context of discipleship, mission and ministry. In consultation and negotiation with the tutor, participants will identify a topic, issue, or ministerial area relevant to the study of the theory and practice of ministry and in which there is academic expertise in the Cambridge Theological Federation. An independent learning project will be developed which may include both library and practical research. The area chosen may enhance and integrate study from the taught module programme providing the independent study is clearly distinguished from the content of such taught modules.

TMM1421: Introduction to Pastoral Care
This module will offer students introductory material exploring some of the major themes and issues relating to pastoral care in congregational contexts. The place of pastoral care in the life and worship of Christian communities will be examined and assessed. Students will be encouraged to begin to develop the skills and dispositions required to offer sustained and appropriate pastoral care in ways that do justice to context and to their own roles and experience. These explorations will pay attention to scriptural models and a range of Christian traditions. They will also be informed by relevant material drawn from the social sciences and psychology where these offer insights into human development and life processes both for individuals and for groups. The module will offer students opportunities to practice and enhance skills that are essential within the pastoral ministries of the Church. This will include careful attention when listening, and an appreciation of the significance of loss and grief as a worked example of pastoral care. It will also enable students to begin to engage with best practice in safeguarding, child protection and the protection of vulnerable adults. As an introductory course this module will, inevitably, connect with some material in more superficial ways than at depth. It will provide starting points for further study, engagement and formation with a few key issues and direct students toward a range of resources with which to continue to grow into the ministries of pastoral care.

TMM1491: Basic Playwork Skills in Children’s Work Practice
This module will offer students knowledge of good practice in developing purposeful relationships with children and families. Theories around relationships, communication and listening skills with children will be explored. It will cover the principles and practice of play, with attention to creating play spaces and designing play processes. This module will provide content about learning processes and methods. The module will provide opportunities for the students to learn about leadership, team theory, self-management and administration skills. There will be opportunities for the student to engage in theological reflection on practice and experience they have gained through this module.

TMM1501: Basic Youth Work Skills and Practice
This module will offer students knowledge of good practice in developing purposeful relationships in youth work. Theories around relationship, communication and listening skills will be explored. The module will provide the opportunity for skills development in delivering informal, semi-formal and formal education. Learning styles, processes and methods of education will be included. The module will provide opportunities for the students to learn about leadership, team theory, self-management and administration skills. There will be opportunities for the student to engage in theological reflection on practice and experience gained through this module.

Further information

To talk to us before you apply, please do not hesitate to contact us, indicating whether you are interested in studying through Ridley Online or in Cambridge.