Sabbaticals at Ridley

All Christian ministry, lay and ordained, offers great opportunities and is often deeply rewarding. But it also makes great demands and the pressures can be considerable. A sabbatical at Ridley Hall provides you with time to lay down your responsibilities for a while and enjoy the 'space' of a relaxed setting.

Chapel clock

For your needs

We aim to help you devise a program to suit your particular needs. You may be keen to pursue your own study project without any tuition; you may want to receive some guidance and tutorial help from a member of staff; you may wish to attend some courses and spend the rest of the time on your own. 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.

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.  Sabbatical guest Beat Hoffmann, Reformed Church Minister in Switzerland

For study

Our sabbatical scheme provides you with time to read and write, to catch up with advances in different areas of academic and pastoral theology and explore new fields. You will have full access to the resources of Ridley Hall and there may be those with similar interests whom you could contact in the Cambridge Theological Federation or the University Faculty of Divinity. For more details of resources available see the tabs below.

For reflection

The sabbatical scheme also affords an opportunity for you to stand back, and reflect with others on your own ministry and personal discipleship, so that you can return to your work with a new and stronger sense of vocation.

I was so glad I made the decision to take a Sabbatical at Ridley Hall. It was very much part of my spiritual journey.  Roberta Brown, Lay sabbatical guest

Arranging your sabbatical

Although sabbaticals are usually arranged well in advance, you are welcome to enquire whether there is a room available even at very short notice. Click the tabs below to find out more about spending sabbatical time at Ridley. To explore the possibilities further, contact Philip Jenson or the Sabbaticals Administrator Helena Keeble-Wright, or submit our sabbatical enquiry form.


Sabbatical visitors are welcome to share as fully as they wish in the life of the college, including its social life and its daily worship. 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. 

Punting on the River Cam

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, internet is available in every guest room, and our food is among the best. Our kitchen staff are used to catering for those with special dietary needs.


Library facilities

Ridley libraryThe library facilities of Ridley itself are available to sabbatical guests, and access can also be arranged to the world-renowned resources of Tyndale House and Cambridge's University Library, as well as the University's Faculty of Divinity library, and the libraries belonging to the institutions of the Cambridge Theological Federation.

All eight libraries associated with the Cambridge-based institutions of the Federation are within walking distance of Ridley, and each has its particular areas of focus or special collections. Visit our Library facilities page to find out more.

Resident expertise

Ridley Hall's faculty team have particular fields of expertise on which we invite you to draw:

New Testament studies Revd Dr Michael B. Thompson
Old Testament studies Revd Dr Philip Jenson
Doctrine Revd Dr Rob McDonald
Prayer and spirituality Revd Dr Catherine Wright
Faith and work Revd Dr Richard Higginson
Mission in the West; Gospel & Culture
Revd Dr Paul Weston
Refreshing mission, renewing the Church Revd Dr Michael Volland


Ridley lectureThe 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). From time to time there are prestigious series of lectures by outstanding scholars.



Cambridge has more than double the national average Christian commitment, and an unusually large number and diversity of churches in and around the city. There is a wide diversity of places of Anglican worship within walking distance of Ridley, including King's College Chapel, where choral services are held daily in term-time.

Public transport

London to Cambridge trainThe rail service between London and Cambridge is excellent, and you can be in the centre of London within 50 minutes of leaving Cambridge, with trains scheduled until late. The rail and bus service to the London airports is also excellent, and there are buses which go regularly to Oxford and other destinations of interest. Read our Getting here page for more information. Our page for students on local transport is also helpful.

Medical care

Should you need medical care while here there is a doctors' surgery right next door to the college and the local hospital is a world class teaching facility. If you are travelling from overseas, health insurance must, however, be arranged before you arrive, as there is a cost involved.


The standard price (see below) includes:

Reduced rates can be negotiated for those who do not require accommodation. Personal guests can usually be accommodated at an extra charge, subject to the availability of rooms.

A firm booking can only be confirmed after the College has received a reference from someone who is prepared to support your application.

Note: There is a non-returnable deposit of 10% of the total due for all bookings six months before the beginning of the Sabbatical. The balance is required one month before. After the sabbatical has commenced, we are not able to refund any part of the fee paid.

2017-18 Fees

For 2017-18 the sabbatical rates are:

NB En-suite rooms are in limited supply.

Non-EU visiting sabbatical visitors may need to pay £100 for the administration required to issue an Immigration Compliance Letter (required by the UK Government). However, this is not necessary if the sabbatical is for a briefer break for refreshment rather than a more extended program of study. For those wishing to use other libraries of the Cambridge Theological Federation (CTF) and borrow books, there is a CTF membership fee of £60. This also allows visitors to audit modules in the Common Awards program (in 2016-17 this was £40 per module). We also have one sabbatical room available for married couples, for a 50% additional charge.

Note: There is a non-returnable deposit of 10% of the total due for all bookings six months before the beginning of the Sabbatical, with the balance required one month before (or when the booking is made if at shorter notice).


I was looking to discover more about fresh expressions of church and explore questions about the church in a changing world. The staff members of the institute from the University of Greifswald, Germany, recommended that I go to the UK for the second part of my Sabbatical. I found a link to Ridley Hall in Cambridge about pioneer ministry and context-based learning and I applied.

Arriving at Ridley, I was impressed to see the way of life and faith in community. 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.

Four sabbatical guests, Summer Term, 2017, Beat Hoffmann (Swiss reformed minister), Tom and Kim Sawyer (visiting academic from the US), David Chadwick (Church of England minister)

I had the opportunity to visit different fresh expressions of churches in and around Cambridge, to follow courses about pioneering and evangelism and to speak to different staff members about different biblical topics. The stay at Ridley was encouraging for my ministry and the spiritual life with chapel services and fellowship groups helped to deepen my faith. I went home having discovered a new chapter in my life.

Beat Hoffmann, Reformed Church Minister in Switzerland
Easter Term, 2017

I was so glad I made the decision to take a Sabbatical at Ridley Hall. It was very much part of my spiritual journey. Time at Ridley gave me the chance to put off the distractions of this life and concentrate on my relationship with my creator.

Spiritually I believe I grew in Christ and also gained a new perspective on the wider Christian community. I enjoyed the spiritual dimension of Ridley with prayer, devotions and chapel services. Highlights for me would have to be the prayer weekend, and the Communion services every Thursday night, which were very inspiring with their diversity and amazing worship.

I also gained an appreciation of the Anglican tradition and the diversity of worship in the Anglican church. 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.

Everyone was so welcoming and I felt very much part of the Ridley family. It was great getting to know the ordinands and their families, as well as the teaching staff. I was inspired by the different Ordinands and their desires to serve God and the Anglican church.

Roberta Brown, Lay sabbatical guest
Lent Term, 2017


After the sabbatical has commenced, we are not able to refund any part of the fee paid.