Foundation Award

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Foundation Award

The Foundation Award stands alone as a foundational qualification in ministry and mission, validated by Durham University. Access onto the Foundation Award does not require previous academic study.

For those looking to specialise in children, youth or sports ministry, the Foundation Award also acts as an access route onto further study with Ridley.

How will I study?

Study online

Students can undertake the Foundation Award online.

Our online delivery utilises a flipped classroom, student centred approach:

  • Students complete set-tasks, accessible online, prior to attending a fortnightly zoom classroom.
  • Students meet in a zoom classroom, online, every fortnight, on Monday evenings during term time, between 6pm and 7.45pm.
  • The module assessments are due at the end of each term

There is also an option to undertake the foundation award at Ridley, in person. We will be able to advise you further on application.

    What modules will I study?

    What modules will I study?

    The Foundation Award consists of 60 credits at level 4. Students typically undertake 20 credits a term and complete the Award in one year.

    The standard module choice is:

    1. Introduction to New Testament (20 credits)
    2. Introduction to Old Testament (20 credits)
    3. Brief introduction to Christian Doctrine (10 credits)
    4. Brief introduction to Church History (10 credits)

    Other modules are offered and we will be able to advise you further on application. I.e. Introduction to Pastoral Care

    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.

    What students say about studying online

    "It's the best move you can make to strengthen your faith and become closer to God."

    "I feel more confident talking about my faith, I have become more involved in church leadership and planning, I have such a desire to learn more, realising that the more I know, the less I know and the more I want to know."

    "A highlight for me has been learning from the lecturers and the team spirit amongst other learners. What an incredibly supportive and inclusive learning environment to be a part of."

    "Looking at self in reflective practice has been challenging, but so worth the growth I have seen already. Discussing doctrine and defending and explaining my beliefs has been challenging but made me more confident."

    "I had to think about what I believe and why, and particularly where things came from."

    "The Ridley tutors are so supportive, helpful, and friendly you are made to feel very welcomed and appreciated."

    "It's challenged my faith beliefs in a good way and has made me look more deeply at what the bible is telling me."

    "Every Christian should do this course as part of their journey with God."

    "Be challenged to become a life long learner, growing in faith both personally and practically in an incredibly supportive environment, where you are not a number you are person with so much to give and so much to gain."

    "Great topics and really easy to fit around other commitments, e.g. church, work and family."