Ridley Lay Ministry

Ridley Lay Ministry: What's Your Calling?

Building on 20 years of providing degree level training for youth workers and children & family workers under the auspices of CYM, Ridley started offering a new degree course for youth, children and family ministers as Ridley Lay Ministry (RLM) from 2015. We are pleased that this offer has now been expanded to include training for lay pioneers and those interested in training within pastoral contexts such as chaplaincy.


What degree do you offer?

We offer the BA honours degree in Theology, Ministry and Mission validated by Durham University.  The degree is part of the Common Awards suite of degrees developed by the Church of England and partner churches.

studentWho is the degree for?

The degree is particularly relevant for youth ministers, children and family ministers, (lay) pioneers, and those working in a pastoral capacity, both within and beyond the church.

Do I have to be an Anglican?

No, we are an ecumenical course and have students from a range of denominational backgrounds including Anglican, Methodist, Pentecostal, Free Church and Baptist.

How does the degree work?

The degree combines three equally important aspects of learning, providing you with a unique and deeply transformative learning experience.  These three areas are:

  1. Study: in-depth, biblical and theological study is combined with the study of relevant practice disciplines such as pastoral care, education/discipleship, mission/evangelism, management, and leadership.
  2. Placement: a substantial placement for the duration of your training, where you can apply your learning as part of an existing ministry team.
  3. Reflection: a safe transformative space, facilitated by highly experienced practitioners, where you can learn alongside peers and struggle with the realities of applying your learning into practice


For further information on our pedagogy do ask us for a free copy of the Grove booklet on PC3 training.  The booklet can also be purchased direct from Amazon.

What will the degree give me?

Where do I study?

We have two teaching centres:

We offer the full suite of degrees at Ridley Hall, and the first year of the degree - Cert HE - at our London Teaching Centre.  

Students can undertake the Cert HE at our London Centre and be equipped for ministry, or go on to complete the BA (Hons) by studying at Ridley Hall for a further two years full-time.

What modules do I study?

Please see the most recent module choices (pdf).

How often will I be in college?

The teaching pattern is dependant on where you study.

Further details about the learning experience at both Ridley Hall and our London Teaching Centre can be found by following the relevant link in the Lay Ministry Training menu.  Alternatively, why not contact us direct or come to one of our open days to find out more?

Who will I be taught by?

Your modules will be taught by Ridley Hall tutors who are specialists in their field. Ministerial reflective practice groups are facilitated by highly experinced Christian educators. Talks are provided by highly experinced practitioners currently engaged in ministry, and coaching for third year students is provided by a highly experinced Christian coach. View staff profiles

What qualifications do I need to apply?

Candidates should normally hold at least one A Level (Grade E or above) or equivalent, for entry onto the Cert HE.  Successful completion of the Cert HE allows you to progress onto the BA(hons).  

Students with three A level's (Grade E or above) can apply directly for entry onto the BA (Hons).

If you are 21 years or over we will take into account your skills, experience and interests, whether you have formal qualifications or not.

If you are do not have the necessary qualifications why not consider undertaking our level 3 access course? See the tab below to find out more.

If you are unsure please do contact the Director of Studies (Robin Barden) on rb499@cam.ac.uk


Do I need a placement?

Yes, all students have a placement for the duration of their studies. You should expect to spend an average of 16 hours a week in your placement when not in college, engaged in work relevant to your ministerial specialism as part of an existing ministerial team.

Do I find my own placement?

We will support you to find a suitable placement. Many students apply with a placement already in mind but some don’t. The placement can be a church, para-church, or other faith context. Students typically stay in the same placement for the duration of their studies but it is possible to have a different placement each year.

We would encourage you to explore our partner agencies that have extensive experience of supporting students on the degree. All offer specific practice support and some offer considerable financial support.  Further details can be found by following the relevant link in the Lay Ministry Training menu.

What do others say?

Graduates of the course regularly reflect on their studies as a key transformative time within their life, faith and ministry.  Graduates have commented on:

Please follow the ‘stories’ link in the Lay Ministry Training menu to read more about specific student experiences.

I'm interested - What next?


To apply, download and return an application form (Word doc) to layministry@ridleyhall.ac.uk. There is no requirement to apply through UCAS.

Open Days

To attend one of our open days email us on layministry@ridley.cam.ac.uk or call us on 01223 746583.

Contact Us

To find out more email or phone us on layministry@ridley.cam.ac.uk or 01223 746583, we would be happy to hear from you.

Or continue browsing!

More information:

Browse the tabs below and follow the links in the menu for more information.

Degree Course

Degree Course Information

All our degree courses are delivered through The Cambridge Theological Federation.

Find detailed information about taster modules here

All students studying for children, youth, pioneer and pastoral ministry are based within The Department for Lay Ministry at Ridley Hall (RLM).  

As part of the Lay Ministry Department at Ridley Hall (RLM) you will be provided with academic and pastoral support from departmental staff as well as specialist tutors and lecturers from the field. The Director of Studies for Lay Ministry, Robin Barden, oversees your studies.  You can find more information about the academic and support staff here.

Access Course

Access Course Information

Students can also choose to enrol on our level 3 introductory course in mission and ministry.  

The level 3 course can act as a stand-alone introduction to ministry and mission or as access onto further study with The Cambridge Theological Federation for those without the necessary entry qualifications.  

The level 3 course is delivered over six Saturdays in the year and costs £1,100.

If you wish to use the course to provide access into further study within the Cambridge Theological Federation then you will need to complete two assignments, one each in Jan and June. Please contact layministry@ridley.cam.ac.uk or call us on 01223 746583 to find out more.



We endeavour to keep costs as low as possible. The 18/19 course fee for students applying from within the UK is £6,075.

Full details of costs can be found on the Cambridge Theological Federation website.

Students studying at Ridley Hall are entitled to a student loan subject to the criteria set out by Student Finance.

The course is open to international students (non EU - please check latest guidelines) who are advised to apply early in order to organise their Tier 4 visa and associated costs for which they are responsible.

All students are placed with a church or other agency who pay a placement fee of £1,500 a year to cover formational and associated costs.



Practice experience

You will be placed with a church or other ‘ministerial practice agency’ for the duration of your studies.


Ministerial specialism:

I’m regularly challenged in my own faith in a way that stretches me, pushing me out of comfort zones, expanding my thinking and opening my eyes to so much more of God.                             
Year 2 student

The whole learning process integrates your developing theological understanding, faith, self-understanding and practice experience to bring about transformative learning.  It is this transformative learning that becomes the bedrock for sustainable and purposeful life-long ministry in the your chosen ministerial specialism.

The most common specialisms are: children & family ministry, youth ministry, lay pioneer, pastoral ministry.  You are also able to specialise in other areas or combine one or more of these.

At the end of your studies Ridley Hall will be present you with a certificate detailing your practice experience and confirming your ministerial specialism