Starting your training for Licensed Ministry
Starting to train for ministry
Congratulations! We are looking forward to working with you on your journey towards ordained or licensed ministry. We call ministry training ‘formation’. This is because we believe that during this period the most important thing is that you grow even more into the person God is calling you to be. It’s not just about learning facts or skills but growing into maturity in Christ. If being a minister is about helping others to do this (see Ephesians 4: 11-13), then formation for ministry is about helping us model this in ourselves.
Training is normally for two or three years, full or part time. Part time candidates are based at home and do a placement and their theological learning locally. Full time candidates come to St Padarn’s Cardiff for 48 hours, Wednesday – Friday for 30 weeks of the year and do a 2 day placement either in the Cardiff area or in their home area, which can be anywhere in Wales. All candidates do a common pattern of residentials where we learn about the theology and practice of ministry together. The dates are available well in advance and you will find them here. Attending all the training is vital so please put the dates in your diary now.
We also believe that the best training is ‘integrated’. What we mean by this is that all our learning whether it is academic theology, ministerial skills or spiritual and emotional growth, all feed into and inform each other. This is why everyone who trains for ministry with us does every part of the training, even if you are highly experienced in any one area. We always want to build on what you already know and help you move on to the next stage. There is always more we can learn – formation for ministry is lifelong.
The four building Blocks of training are:
Theology and Practice of Ministry taught through Residentials
You will attend 4 residentials a year, held in locations all over Wales – a week long summer school (usually the third week in August) and three weekends. We look at a different bishops’ priority for ministry at each residential and meet in different year groups looking at the theology and practice of preaching and worship leading, work with all ages, pastoral care, pioneering and growing new Christian communities. Every year at the summer school we either look at Spirituality and prayer or Leading your Church into Growth or Leadership on a rolling programme.
Learning about God is an important aspect of formation and everyone who trains with us follows some kind of theology course. Most candidates for ministry study on our BTh (degree) programme which is validated by the University of Wales Trinity St David, and specifically designed with the needs of discipleship and ministry in mind.
If you already have a degree in theology you will be able to do a postgraduate course – normally our Masters course which is validated by Durham university. If you already have a Masters in theology you will normally do some kind of research degree. We encourage you to fulfil your potential in terms of theological qualifications – the Church in Wales needs theological educators for the future.
Please contact us as soon as possible if you need to discuss your theological learning.
You will also belong to a cell where you will meet with other candidates, led by an experienced guide, to reflect on your formation. It is an important space to hold all aspects of training together, to share issues, gain advice and insight, and learn further skills in listening to and supporting others. Working well in groups is an important skill in ministry and as well as gaining support you will learn important skills in listening.
You will become part of a ministry team in your placement, gain practical experience and be supported by an experienced minister. We have a dedicated tutor who arranges and supports placements. Full time candidates do a 2 day placement each week, and part time candidates do at least 4 hours each week.
Full time programme
Normally if you are training for full time ministry you will train on the full time programme. Currently this is 30 weeks a year 48 hours in St Padarn’s Cardiff where you will do some of the ‘building blocks’ e.g. formational cell, theological learning as well as Welsh (if you don’t already speak Welsh), worship (all worship is planned and evaluated in groups) and a programme of workshops and learning from experienced practitioners. Every term we have a special prayer event and a guest speaker. In the past speakers have included Rowan Williams, Malcolm Guite and Joanna Collicutt. The normal week in those weeks are:
|Placement or Study Day
|Placement or study day, depending on what you have done on Monday
|St Padarn's Cardiff
You can view an example of a weekly timetable for 48 hours here.
Do I have to pay for this course?
No. The Church in Wales also provides grants for people training for ministry. For part time candidates this is currently £435 per year and expenses are provided for travel. For full time candidates see the answer below
I would like to train full time for ministry but worry that I won’t be able to afford it.
See the question above. There is no charge, and grants are available, for full time candidates, to cover basic living costs. This grant is calculated individually dependent on housing, household income and other living costs. Once St Padarn’s receives a candidate’s sponsor form from their sending Diocese the information is passed on to the Church in Wales Finance department. They will send out more information about grant entitlements and forms to be completed in order to apply for grants. You can view information regarding Training Support Grants here:
If you are starting full-time training from 2021 onwards then use this grant calculator to get estimation of what you might get in grants.
Grant Calculator for 2024-2025 in process of being updated
*New candidates who already live in clergy housing should contact Siân Trotman, Learner Services Manager to discuss your situation.*
As each person’s circumstances is different, please contact Siân Trotman , our Learner Services Manager who handles grants, and she will be very happy to help.