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Discipleship & Ministry

Diploma Level

REL 401 Beginning the New Testament

This unit provides an introduction to the study of the New Testament and explores issues raised by scholarly study of New Testament texts. It examines the Gospels and Pauline Epistles from a variety of critical perspectives. It investigates the theology of the New Testament including: the person and work of Christ, Kingdom and eschatology, the Holy Spirit, and the nature of the church in the New Testament. It examines how the New Testament can be used as a resource for exploring issues facing Christians today and promotes critical reflection on the use of the New Testament as a spiritual resource for Christian life and witness today.

REL 402 Encountering God’s World

  This unit investigates Christian understandings of God’s relation to creation, examining ways in which creation and re-creation are expressed in biblical texts and the wider Christian tradition. It explores the role of humanity in God’s creation and examines ways in which this is modelled in the scriptures and has been variously understood in church tradition. It examines environmental issues which face the world today and considers the implications of these for Christian life and witness.

REL 403 Call and Vocation

This unit examines vocation as an aspect of Christian theology, from biblical, historical, doctrinal and personal perspectives. It investigates the ways in which vocation is understood and expressed within the biblical tradition. It examines ways in which mainstream Christian churches have expressed discipleship and ministry in the past and explores how vocation to both Christian discipleship and to ministry in the church can be expressed today. The unit enables students to explore their own faith stories and the faith story of their local church, examines the spiritual journey that underpins concepts of vocation, and helps students to reflect critically on their own sense of calling.

REL 404 Beginning the Old Testament

This module provides an introduction to the study of the Old Testament: its literature, theology and history, and explores issues raised by scholarly study of Old Testament texts. It utilizes a critical examination of the Old Testament writings to investigate a number of theological themes within the Old Testament including: creation, journey, land, election and promise. It examines how the Old Testament can be used as a resource for exploring issues facing Christians today and promotes critical reflection on the use of the Old Testament as a spiritual resource for the student’s Christian life and witness.

REL 405 Mission and Service

 This unit investigates ways in which Christian mission is understood today. It examines how God’s mission is revealed in the Old Testament, examines the contexts from which the ministry of the early church developed, investigates how Paul developed the church’s mission to the gentiles and examines ways in which the mission of the church is expressed through the Gospel narratives. It examines the values and practices that might underpin the church’s mission today and promotes critical reflection on ways in which God’s mission, and the mission of the church, might impact on the student’s Christian life and witness.

REL 406 The Church and Other Faiths

This unit explores ways in which Christianity can relate to other world faiths. It investigates truth claims for Judaism within the Old Testament that are both inclusive and exclusive and investigates truth claims made for Christ within the New Testament that are both inclusive and exclusive. It investigates how Christianity can constructively engage with other world faiths and explores how Christian mission can be understood and practiced in relation to these faiths. It further examines the role that faith communities might play in twenty-first century Britain and explores ways in which collaboration may be appropriate and possible in an increasingly secular society. This unit will help students to reflect critically on their own faith and beliefs and on the ways in which they understand God’s mission.

REL 407 Doing Theology

This unit provides students with a general introduction to theological study. It investigates ways in which theological study has been modelled in the past and investigates the issues facing theology at the present time. It examines various methods of theological reflection and explores ways in which the sacred texts, doctrines and liturgical traditions of the church can interact with the student’s faith story and life experience and be interpreted and used to support Christian discipleship and ministerial practice.

REL 408 Communicating the Bible

This unit investigates the different ways in which the Bible is communicated within the life of the church. It includes the communication of the Bible through preaching, music, art, and meditation, and hermeneutics. It explores how the Bible is used in the life of the church, and how communicating the Bible is relevant for personal discipleship, for ministry, and for mission. The unit looks to different contexts of communication, including school assemblies, services commemorating special events, and the use of radio and television. The implications of communicating the Bible for the student’s Christian life and witness are also considered.

REL 409 Specialist Ministry

This unit investigates the theology and practice that underpins specialist lay ministry (e.g. Lay Pastor, Local Evangelist, Youth or Children’s Worker) in the church and enables students to reflect on their developing practice. It examines the theology that underpins specialist lay ministry in the church, ways in which theoretical perspectives from sociology and psychology may affect the practice of specialist lay ministry, the role of the specialist lay minister in the local church, and how specialist lay ministry may be most effectively practiced.

REL 410 Children’s Ministry

This unit draws on the six core skills identified by The Consultative Group on Ministry among Children as essential for effective ministry among children in the twenty-first century. These six core skills concern: child development, including emotional, intellectual, social, moral and spiritual development leadership skills, including personal development and reflective practice; program planning, including reflection on how learning styles in childhood differ, and are influenced by society and culture; children and community, including exploring how styles of ministry relate to context; pastoral awareness, including issues of child protection and good practice; and spirituality and the Bible, including awareness of the different styles of prayer that can be used among children.

REL 411 Children, Churches, and Christian Learning

This unit draws on the key themes identified by Francis and Astley in their analysis of children, churches and Christian learning. These themes involve three clusters. The first cluster concerns the theological theme of Christian initiation, including baptism, confirmation and admission to communion. The second cluster concerns the pedagogical theme of Christian nurture, including faith development, moral development and spiritual development. The third cluster concerns the research themes of religious development, understanding religious and spiritual experience, religious thinking, religious attitudes and prayer. These three broad clusters of theme provide the context within which the Churches’ ministry among children is situated.

 

REL 412 Introduction the Church and the Kingdom

This unit investigates the teachings of Jesus about the Kingdom of God in the New Testament and explores the nature of ethical thinking in a post-modern context. It introduces students to the pastoral cycle and uses it to investigate ways in which Kingdom ethical imperatives can inform the life of the individual and the work of the local church community.

REL 424 An Introduction to Anglican Worship

This unit introduces students to the theological and biblical framework that informs Anglican worship. This involves the examination of the biblical foundations of Christian worship and the way in which worship developed in the early centuries of the Christian era. The unit also investigates ways in which worship developed within the Anglican tradition, examining the 1662 Prayer Book and the ways in which liturgy has developed in their own part of the Anglican Church. Students are required to examine the principles that inform the structure of worship and explore ways in which the physical, social and spiritual contexts affect its practice. They are required to reflect on their personal experience of being a member of a worshipping community and/or a worship leader.

REL 425 Locally Designed Module

This module allows opportunity for the coordinator and students to develop a module that focused on an issue of local importance to their education and training for ministry.

 

Associate Level

REL 502 God as Trinity

 This unit examines ways in which the Christian scriptures and creedal statements reveal the nature and purposes of God. It examines key statements about the nature of God in the Old Testament and examines the ways in which understandings of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are presented in both narrative and creedal forms in the Gospels and the Epistles. It further examines the formal creedal statements agreed at Nicaea and Chalcedon and explore how understandings about the nature and purposes of God are encountered today in worship, prayer and hymnody. This unit will help students to reflect critically on their own understanding of the nature and purposes of God as Trinity.

REL 503 Pastoral Practice

This unit explores the Church’s pastoral practice. It examines the theological and scriptural basis of pastoral practice and explores the various biblical models that inform it. It utilizes social science perspectives to explore the human condition and engages with personality and lifespan issues. This unit further engages with the student’s practical experience of pastoral care and the broader experience of the Christian Church in order to promote the development of appropriate aims and objectives in pastoral practice and support critical reflection on practical personal experience.

REL 504 Exploring Paul

This unit critically examines the text of one of Paul’s epistles. It investigates the structure, context and intention of the letter, examines the contexts in which the text was created, explores the story that the texts tell, investigates how Paul’s history and his understanding of his mission contributes to the letter’s thinking and examines the theology that Paul constructs in response to the events in the recipient church. It further examines the issues that surround the interpretation of the letter and explores how its theology can challenge the Church’s understanding of its life and mission today. It will enable students to reflect critically on Paul’s Letter as a resource for their Christian life and witness today.

REL 505 Worship

This unit examines the practice of Christian worship within a theological and biblical framework. This involves the examination of the biblical foundations of Christian worship and the ways in which worship developed in the early centuries of the Christian era. The unit also investigates ways in which worship developed within Western Christianity in broadly different theological traditions and ways in which it is practiced today. Students are required to examine the principles that inform the structure of worship and explore ways in which the physical, social and spiritual contexts affect its practice. They are required to reflect critically on their personal experience of being a member of a worshipping community and/or a worship leader.

REL 506 Christian Ethics

This unit investigates the biblical and theological foundations of Christian ethics and examines the ethical imperatives associated with ‘the Kingdom of God’. It examines the nature of ethical thinking in post-modern society. It explores the church as an ethical community and examines how a distinctively Christian ethical perspective can be developed in a number of areas (e.g. economics, justice, work and money, sexuality, medical ethics, warfare and environmental issues. This unit will help students to reflect critically on their own understanding of the nature and practice of Christian ethics and the way that that impacts on their practice of discipleship and ministry.

REL 507 Spirituality and Prayer

This unit examines ways in which prayer is understood and practiced in the scriptures and explores elements of the Western spiritual tradition over two millennia including the contribution made by monastic orders and mendicant friars. The unit also examines those expressions of prayer and spirituality that inform the life and worship of the church today. It explores ways in which prayer and spirituality relate to personality and cultural context and encourages students to reflect critically on ways in which their own spirituality and life of prayer impact on their Christian discipleship.

REL 508 The Church and the Churches

This unit explores the different Christian denominations in western society in the twenty-first century. It investigates the theological, doctrinal and historical differences resulting from the British Reformation. It reflects on the sociological issues (e.g. Industrial Revolution) in the eighteenth century and the development of differing denominations. The unit also examines the place of the ecumenical movement in the life of the church and in the local community. The unit encourages students to reflect critically on their personal experience of different Christian traditions within their local area.

REL 509 Reflective Ministerial Practice

This unit engages the student in extended reflection on ministerial practice based on areas of experience appropriate to the student’s ministry in order to facilitate appropriate change. It engages the student in an exploration of the process of reflection, facilitating and enhancing reflective ability through the use of ‘thick’ or ‘rich’ description, framing, storying, exemplars, metaphors; theory building and analysis; and working with a group of ‘critical friends’. The unit encourages students to develop as reflective practitioners and to provide a critically-aware account of that approach to ministry.

REL 510 Jonah, a Prophet for Today

This unit critically examines the text of Jonah and investigate its context, purpose and key themes. It explores the Book of Jonah as story and investigates characters, plot and setting. It investigates the theology of the Book of Jonah from both Jewish and Christian perspectives and examines how the narrative of Jonah may contribute to our understanding of the person and work of Jesus. It explores the ways in which Jonah can contribute to the students’ understanding of Christian discipleship and ministry today.

REL 511 Exploring the Gospels

This unit critically examines the text of the chosen Gospel and investigate its context, purpose and key themes. It explores the chosen Gospel as story and investigates characters, plot and setting. It examines the chosen Gospel’s narrative Christology’ and explores how this may contribute to our understanding of the person and work of Jesus. It investigates the theology of the chosen Gospel and explores the Evangelist’s understanding of Christian discipleship and of the new community of Jesus. It will enable students to critically reflect on the chosen Gospel as a resource for Christian life and witness today. 

REL 515 Locally Designed Module

This module allows opportunity for the coordinator and students to develop a module that focused on an issue of local importance to their education and training for ministry.

 

Degree Level

REL 601 Church and Society

This unit explores the nature of ‘postmodern’ British society and examines ways in which the church can embody and reveal the Gospel in British society. It also explores modern British society using insights from sociology, psychology and theology. The concept of ‘culture’ is explored and ways in which the culture of local churches differs from the culture of the communities in which they are set. Students are encouraged to reflect critically on the place of the local church in their community.

REL 602 Ministry and the Church

This unit makes connections between pastoral theology and ministry and: biblical studies; doctrine and church history; theology of ministry; spirituality; ethics; the practice of liturgy; apologetics; and education. It reflects on work undertaken in the local church and reflects on ministerial and formational issues with the local ordained supervisor, spiritual adviser, mentor etc. It encourages students to engage in theological reflection utilizing various of media, including a reflective journal.

REL 603 Practical Theology for Today

The unit investigates the different understandings of practical theology, its meaning and development. In particular it looks at practical theology and ministry and introduces the student to the various ways people have interpreted practical theology with a particular emphasis on empirical theology. The module looks critically at different aspects of practical theology and its relevance for student’s pastoral ministry and the church today.

REL 604 Preaching the Lectionary Gospel

This unit involves: a critical study of selected Lectionary Gospels for the year – their background, literary strategies, context, relationship to other Old Testament and New Testament texts, history of interpretation; a process of exegesis – consideration of how the insights of the Gospel may be related to the present context and to other texts; homiletics – examination of sermon construction and the development of different communicational strategies for a variety of contexts; and critical reflection – on both the student’s ministry of preaching and on issues of biblical interpretation.

REL 605 The Bible Today

This module looks critically at the development of modern hermeneutics. It looks in particular at the contributions of sociological and psychological theory in shaping hermeneutical perspectives, including the place of feminist theology, liberation theology, narrative criticism, reader-response criticism and the SIFT approach. The impact of criticisms on the modern understanding of the Bible, and the implications of critical and hermeneutical questions for the place of the Bible as Christian scriptures are be investigated. The module looks at different aspects of the Bible and their relevance to the student’s pastoral ministry.

REL 606 Understanding the Church

This unit explores the Ecumenical movement past and present. It looks in particular at the beginnings of the modern ecumenical movement through the Edinburgh Conference of 1910. It reflects on the theological rational for ecumenism and the vision of the modern ecumenists. It investigates current concerns of the ecumenical movement national and internationally through the different instruments. These may include at the international level the World Council of Churches, at the European level the Conference of European Churches, and at the local level the Churches Together in Britain and Ireland. Students are encouraged to consider implications of the differences between churches for their own Christian pilgrimage.

REL 607 Worship through the Christian Year

This unit involves: a critical study of different approaches to the Christian liturgical calendar, their history and theology; consideration of socio-cultural factors which impinge on Christian liturgy; analysis of current practice(s) of celebrating the Christian Year, focusing on overall shape, seasons and festivals, and particular rites; the development of principles for reviewing and developing the celebration of the Christian Year in the student’s own church(es); and critical reflection on the ministry of enabling worship, including the student’s own practice.

REL 620 Dissertation

This module consists of researching and writing a dissertation project in the field of theology or discipleship and ministry. The subject of the dissertation will be confirmed in consultation with a supervising tutor and supported by an examination of quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. Typical areas of study might be: research into the theology and practice of ministry (either qualitative or quantitative); a doctrinal study; a study of contemporary ethics; a biblical study; an historical study; a pastoral study; a liturgical study.