Congregation based students combine their ministerial formation with the exercise of a pastoral office in a Baptist church, to which the ‘minister-in-training’ is called and welcomed. This placement lasts three or four years, and runs alongside an academic qualification in Theology, Ministry and Mission. The minister-in-training comes into College either Tuesday/Wednesday or Wednesday/Thursday each week, depending on what modules they are taking. The placement church normally provides a half standard stipend, accommodation, six weeks annual leave and the usual ministerial expenses. However while this is the normal provision for churches and ministers-in-training travelling this route, we understand that some local churches can’t meet all the criteria. We encourage all churches, whether they are able to afford this or not, and who sense that God is prompting them to explore whether having a minister-in-training is right for them, to talk to us.
Congregation based learning provides students with exciting opportunities to integrate learning in the classroom with practice in their context. It allows students to get hands-on experience in ministry from the word go, with the support of an external adviser and college tutor.
“My three years at Bristol have been filled with joy, despair, encouragement and challenge. I’ve been broken and lovingly put back together. But above all I’ve had a calling tested and affirmed – and the tools to give me every chance of staying faithful to the God who called me.”
David Ford, newly accredited minister, Bethesda Baptist Church, Trowbridge