Ministerial Students arrive at Bristol Baptist College from all sorts of backgrounds, and with a great variety of experiences, gifts and aspirations. We could not write the script that draws each year group together and are constantly amazed by God’s calling and creativity in the lives of such varied men and women. What unites us is our commitment to following Jesus Christ in the power of the Spirit wherever he calls us to be and whatever he calls us to do. And all this in order that God may be glorified, his love and grace known, and the kingdom grown. That’s our shared passion. For some that will mean church planting, for others pioneer ministry, for others pastoral and teaching ministry in an established church, for others youth and children’s ministry and the list continues to grow.

At Bristol Baptist College our key ministry is to help you to discover yours. So along with the academic programme which will stretch your thinking and reflecting, we offer a Ministerial Formation Programme which deals particularly with character and the practice of ministry, and that springs from a biblical conviction that God is more concerned with who we are rather than what we do. Of course, what we do springs from who we are! So the Ministerial Formation Programme is shaped to enable you to deepen your relationship with God, learn more about yourself and discern what God’s purposes are for you in the world – along with giving you some tools and skills to help you in all of that. Whoever you are and whatever ministry you are called to, we stand by the long-held conviction of the College that we are about forming competent, passionate,  Spirit-filled and evangelical ministers of the Gospel.

In all the pathways offered by the College, students are encouraged and enabled to integrate theoretical learning with pastoral practice, drawing on the different disciplines which make up the study of theology and relating these to experience gained from the contexts in which they work and live. Ministerial students may choose from the college-based course, congregation-based learning, Children, Youth & Family Ministry, and pioneer context-based training. We also offer our Ministerial Formation course at our Exeter Hub based at the SWBA offices.

All of these can be accompanied by the BA degree or Diploma, or by Postgraduate courses up to PhD level. All courses are University-accredited, and taught in partnership with Trinity College, Bristol. Students who already have a degree in theology may follow a bespoke internal award of the College designed to ‘fill in the gaps’ of previous study and prepare them for ministry.

At Bristol Baptist College ministerial students are formed spiritually, intellectually and practically for a lifetime of ministry; not because they have learned in College all there is to know, but because they have been given the right foundations, have been taught to reflect theologically on any situation that may present itself, and are equipped to be lifelong learners.

If you feel called to ministry within the Baptist church specifically, then you may also like to read the Baptist Union’s Introduction to Baptist Ministry document.