A healthy development in church life in Scotland has been a move away from a fixation with academic qualifications underwritten by secular bodies, as well as a realisation that the best training for service and ministry is one that combines the classroom experience with a hands-on, closely mentored, exposure to ministry.
We have been seeking to provide that since we started and are now taking that up a gear with the introduction in the autumn of our Advanced Ministry Apprenticeship Programme. We are running this in collaboration with Dr Adrian Holdsworth who put the course together and has successfully run it elsewhere.
Adrian says, “The Programme is a 9 month vocational training programme conducted in diverse settings under the leadership of EBC and external mentors. The Programme exists to transition students from the full-time college environment to full-time Christian ministry while transforming them in five key areas of personal development – knowing the Scriptures, Self, People, God and Ministry Skills.
“Students’ academic and ministry activities will be assessed in the field by the mentor, and by College staff. The essential characteristics of character, calling and competence will be the three main areas under review.
“At the core of the Ministry Apprenticeship Programme are mentored placements, tailor-made to fit the gifting and calling of the student, where they will observe, participate and receive assessment in the everyday work of an evangelist, cross-cultural worker, or pastor, for example.
“Running alongside the placement ministry will be a number of assignments set by college staff. The focus will be on preparation for full-time sustainable ministry, with emphases on knowing God, the Scriptures, one’s self, people and ministry methods. These assignments will be set up and reviewed during periods of study at the College.”
The Advanced Ministry Apprenticeship Programme is primarily designed as a third year option for our Diploma students but we are aware there may well be others, already in some form of ministry, or perhaps sensing a lack in the training they have already received, who would benefit from this course and we would welcome enquiries from them as well.
We also hope, through the Advanced Ministry Apprenticeship Programme to be able to partner with and support local churches who are not in a position to maintain a full-time worker or trainee, and this programme may be a way to enhance their ministry and outreach as they provide a training opportunity for a student.