Bristol Baptist College’s Diploma programme give students the opportunity to:

  • develop and demonstrate an understanding and critical appreciation of the Bible and Christian tradition.
  • integrate knowledge and understanding of the Christian tradition with the development of professional and vocational skills.
  • develop and demonstrate the ability to evaluate arguments and points of view – including those not held by the student – fairly, sensitively and with intellectual rigour.
  • develop the discipline and skills to pursue in-depth study of more specialised areas of the subject.

This course will be of interest to those preparing for various forms of Christian ministry, and to anyone wishing to deepen their discipleship and understanding of theology within a Christian context. It is taught in partnership with Trinity College, Bristol and students study alongside those training for ministry in the Church of England.

There is a specialist pathway through the Diploma for those interested in Baptist accredited ministry. This includes a number of required modules but also gives the opportunity for options. Other students can make their own choice of modules from across the subject areas of the awards.

The programme includes the opportunity to gain credit for work and reflection carried out in a placement church or context. For those on a ministerial pathway this is a required element of the programme.

Some teaching at Certificate (Level 4) and Diploma (Level 5) is currently available in the evenings as well as during the day. Most teaching takes place on Tuesdays, but some pathways require attendance on other days.

Level 4 (year 1  for full-time students) lays down a strong foundation of knowledge and skills in such areas as the Bible, Christian doctrine, practical theology and reflective practice.

Level 5 (year 2 for full-time students) builds on the previous level, with opportunities for close study of Biblical texts or periods of Christian history, engagement with missional thinking or developing competence in pastoral care and leading worship.

To be awarded the qualification 240 credits are required. These may be taken over 2 years full-time or 3-6 years part-time. You must take at least 40 credits per year. The programme is made up of modules which are worth 10 or 20 credits. Each credit taken equates to a total study time of 10 hours. Total study time includes scheduled lectures, classes, or seminars and independent study including pre-reading for classes and writing assignments. Your overall grade for this course are based on the marks obtained for the final 120 credits of the programme.

What will I study?

Having covered a wide range of topics at Certificate level to give them a firm foundation in theological study, Diploma students progress to Level 5, where they deepen their knowledge and understanding in of Bible, Christian Tradition and Ministry and Mission.

Topics covered include:

Biblical Interpretation
Old and New Testament Texts
Christian Doctrine, History or Ethics
Students can choose other modules depending on their pathway or interest:
Developing Preaching
Worship Principles and Practice
New Testament Greek
Biblical Hebrew
Christian Faith and the Environment
Management and Theology
Urban Ministry and Mission
Rural Ministry and Mission
Baptist History and Principles
Mission and Apologetics in Contemporary Culture
Theology, Context and Diversity in Children and Youth Ministry
Pastoral Care

All Diploma students take at least one of the following:

Placement in a church, community or mission context
Integrated Learning week – Peacemaking

A copy of the regulations for the programme is available at this link.