St John’s in 2016-17
St John’s has long been committed to training a wide diversity of God’s people for a broad range of Christian ministries. This commitment is deepening and developing:
- Our Midlands Institute for Children, Youth and Mission is the largest CYM centre in England, and we’re blessed that ittrains around 40 students at any one time for work with young people, communities, children, families, schools and chaplaincies.
- We’re thankful that right now 350 Christian disciples in the UK and across the world are being enriched in their understanding of the faith through our Distance Learning courses.
- We rejoice that independent students from a wide variety of church traditions can benefit from studying contextual ministry at St John’s, and alongside youth ministry students, can apply for student loans to do so.
- In the coming academic year (2016-17) all of these programmes will continue, and we welcome applications to them.
- We also look forward to continuing the training of the immensely gifted Anglican ordinands who are part of our current St John’s community.
- We’re delighted that, in its recent review of the College, the national Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for Higher Education once again awarded St John’s the highest possible rating on its scale of assessment – a standard rarely achieved in the theological college sector.
In autumn 2014 we announced that over a period of years we’d be transitioning from traditional residential training of ordinands to a new model of context-based and part-time formation for ordained ministry in the Church of England. We said that this would reflect major changes in theological education envisaged by the Church of England’s Resourcing Ministerial Education (RME) process. A year later we confirmed that our new framework would be identified by a new name: St John’s School of Mission. We also confirmed that the transition would be facilitated by a major seven-figure recapitalization project focused on redevelopment of our campus, modernisation of our main Academic Block, sale of certain properties no longer needed in the new model, and building of new houses on the open space at the southern end of our site.
We’re very pleased to say that a full planning application has now been submitted for this redevelopment, and we welcome your prayers for its approval.
As we’ve implemented these plans, we’ve worked closely with regional and national partners to ensure that our new programmes meet the changing demands of mission and ministry today. This will mean enhancing St John’s ministry as a centre of excellence for discipleship formation, lay training and continuing ministerial development; serving current and emerging Resource Churches across the Midlands; expanding our superb web-based Timeline programme in the UK and internationally, and hosting more public meetings and events. In the case of our new pathways for Anglican ordination, we set recruitment targets for these which it became clear couldn’t be met for 2016-17, so we’ve decided to take more time to develop and promote them in order to secure a strong first cohort on what we are confident will be a fresh and imaginative framework for contextual and part-time ordination training in the East Midlands and beyond. This further work will also enable us to align the launch of these new ordination pathways with the roll-out of the new RME funding system from September 2017. We will issue updates on this and other aspects of our transition through the coming year. In the meantime, we remain focused on providing all of our existing and incoming students with the excellent standard of teaching, learning and formation recognised by the QAA.