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St John's College, Nottingham - Discipleship, Mission and Leadership in a World of Change

Workplace Ministers Course

The Workplace Ministers course leads to a Certificate (HE) in Theology, Ministry & Mission and is a new two-year part-time course especially designed for those who are looking to work out their calling to the workplace more effectively.  It is validated by Durham University as part of the Common Awards scheme and is a level 4 Certificate (HE)which is 120 credits towards the 360 credits required for a BA (Hons) in Theology, Ministry & Mission.

We know that many potential students will have little or no theological academic background and are looking for a course that is accessible and engaging. Therefore, we structure the course as a Workplace Ministers Foundation Award in the first year. Successful completion of the Foundation Award facilitates progression to the Workplace Ministers Certificate (HE) in Theology, Ministry & Mission in the second year.  In this course, we ensure that key words and concepts are explained, and no prior theological learning is assumed.

All study material is provided online, so some IT skill is necessary. You will work with your designated personal tutor and have the opportunity to converse with other students via the internet, so it is possible to do this course anywhere in the world at a time that suits you.  It is, however, Durham University validated so there are strict timings for the submission of assessments.

On completion of the Certificate (HE) students can decide to progress to the Diploma (HE) -240 credits and eventually the BA (Hons)-360 credits. The course is ideal for those who want to begin to explore Christian theology as an academic subject applied directly to life.

St John’s College, Nottingham are working in partnership with ‘Workplace Ministers’, a division of Governance Ministries, who are able to give practical input to individuals on how to effectively fulfil their ministry in the workplace. For appropriately suitable candidates they can accredit Workplace Ministers and journey with them in the outworking of their calling. Contact Richard Fleming on to discuss becoming a Workplace Minister.

If you would like to discuss the content or suitability of this course, please email or call 0115 925 1114.

Workplace Ministers Course

For the Workplace Ministers Foundation Award you will study three modules in a year. The focus of these modules will enable you to deepen your understanding on Biblical Studies, lay the foundation for understanding the way in which you can work out your calling in the workplace through Ministry and Mission, and explore the spiritual environment in which we operate by studying Spirituality and Discipleship.

The second year, leading to the Workplace Ministers Certificate of HE in Theology, Ministry & Mission builds on your ability to critique scholarly biblical interpretation as you grapple with Christian Doctrine and apply all that you have learnt to operating in a Christian ethical way to fulfil your ministry and demonstrate pastoral care.  You will gain a fuller understanding of your own identity, your vocation and how to professionally fulfil what God has planned in advance for you to professionally do.

The assessment varies according to the module and includes assignments, creation of resources, reflections and portfolios. Your personal tutor will help you prepare for these and offer advice on how to develop your learning. Each module will be marked and contribute to the overall mark for the Workplace Ministers Certificate (HE) in Theology, Ministry & Mission.

Please contact us if you require more details about the modules or the assessment.

Module Information

The course consists of six modules, three for the Foundation Award in the first year and three for the Certificate in the second year, studied from September to June each year.


Introduction to Biblical Studies


  • To enable students to have an overview of the purpose and content of the Old and New Testament, and representative texts within them, placed within their broader contexts.
  • To enable students to become familiar with, and evaluate, the concepts, principles, methods and tools of modern scholarly biblical interpretation.
  • To enable students to consider how these texts might be engaged appropriately and faithfully in the life, mission and ministry of the church today.
  • To enable students to recognise and engage with questions and insights for faith raised by this study.



  • An initial overview of the Old and New Testaments.
  • Exploration of selected genres and/or theological themes found in the Bible through representative texts from both Old and New Testaments.
  • Study of these texts against their broader historical, literary, theological and cultural backgrounds.
  • Introduction of various tools, methods and approaches used in modern biblical scholarship to interpret these texts with evaluation of the underlying concepts and principles.
  • Exploration of what might constitute appropriate interpretations and applications of these texts in the life, mission and ministry of the contemporary church in regard to various issues.


Foundations for Ministry and Mission in Context


  • To introduce students to key terms and themes relating to Christian ministry and mission in the ecclesial tradition and vocational context for, and within which, students are being prepared.
  • To enable students to carry out basic research in profiling a community and/or congregation.
  • To enable students to reflect theologically on the relationship between their experience and practice in a particular context with the study of ministry and mission.
  • To enable students to become reflective and collaborative Christian ministers in mission.



  • Students enrolled on this module will be engaged in a sustained placement or place of work which, together with prior experience, forms the substrate for reflection on the following areas of study:
  • Biblical and theological foundations for the church’s participation in the mission of God.
  • The nature of ministry, mission and vocation and their relation to ecclesiology.
  • Biblical and theological foundations for collaborative ministry and leadership.
  • The skills for analysing a community / congregation.
  • Theological reflection methodologies for reflective practice.
  • Students are likely to focus on these subjects in relation to their own denomination and ecclesial tradition.


Spirituality and Discipleship


  • To enable students to explore and experience different approaches to the Christian life of discipleship and prayer, their scriptural sources and historical and ecclesial contexts, including relevant approaches to these issues from the human sciences.
  • To enable students to use this knowledge and understanding to reflect upon personal life of prayer through self-awareness, practical activities and disciplines.
  • To encourage students to become attentive listeners of the world, of others, of oneself and of God.



  • Survey of practices of private and corporate prayer in relation to their historical, ecclesial and contemporary contexts, with reference to specific examples or figures.
  • Scriptural sources for models of Christian prayer, covering themes of praise, intercession and lament.
  • Doctrinal aspects of prayer and spirituality, such as the Trinitarian character of Christian prayer and role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer and of the church.
  • Practical work in the development of self-understanding and spiritual discernment and practice, through, for example, the formation or development of a ‘rule of life’, the keeping of a prayer diary, and the writing of a reflection on these areas.




Introduction to Christian Doctrine – subject to approval by Durham University


  • To give students an overview of the main areas of Christian doctrine and their interrelationships.
  • To foster in students a critical awareness of methods and sources for the study of theology.
  • To excite in students a passion for the exploration of doctrine and equip them for further study at level 5.
  • To encourage students to begin to integrate critical thinking about doctrine into their own spiritual formation and ministerial development.



  • Key areas of Christian doctrine including, but not limited to, doctrine of God, creation, Trinity, Christology, soteriology, and pneumatology.
  • The sources and methods of Christian theology.
  • Contemporary issues and problems in Christian thought about doctrine.
  • Some limited primary texts by major theologians.
  • Some other forms of theological discourse, such as art, hymnody etc.


Pastoral Care, Ethics and Ministry - subject to approval by Durham University


  • To introduce students to the major issues relating to both pastoral care and ethics and their importance within their vocation / ministry.
  • To give students a theological understanding in both areas and to consider views and approaches on some specific issues and where these two disciplines connect.
  • To encourage students to grow in self-awareness and honesty about their own views and experiences.
  • To encourage students to learn good practice and skills in approaches to pastoral care and ethical issues. 



  • An introduction to definitions and issues in pastoral care and in ethics.
  • An introduction to theories of human development and identity.
  • A theological, moral and scriptural understanding of pastoral care within Christian communities.
  • An introduction to methods and approaches in Christian ethics and moral reasoning.
  • Key skills in pastoral care in specific areas, such as relationships or bereavement.
  • Skills for identifying and evaluating questions and challenges in specific areas of ethics such as poverty, sexuality or financial ethics.
  • Theological reflection on students’ own views and experiences.


Human Identity, Theology, Vocation and Professional Practice - subject to approval by Durham University


  • The aim of this module is to help students orientate themselves theologically, socially and personally, to the context of their professional / vocational calling and practice. The module aims:
  • To equip students to reflect theologically and professionally on personal identity and vocation and, where appropriate, to learn about and begin to exercise, sustainable and sustaining Christian spiritual habits within the students’ vocational / professional contexts.
  • To build a theologically informed understanding of human personhood and its development through the stages of life, enabling students to appreciate what constitutes ‘good enough’ psychological, social and moral development through life stages.



The emphasis of this module is likely to vary depending on the professional / vocational trajectory of the students. Areas that are likely to explored may include:

  • Theology of personhood through an introduction to theological anthropology and scriptural understandings of human identity and its application and development through life stages.
  • Exploration of the relationships between personhood and different Christian spiritual traditions and their application for ecclesial practices and discipleship.
  • Human psychological, social, spiritual and faith development theories.
  • An exploration of the notions of individual and corporate vocation in Scripture and Christian experience and the application of these understandings to the students’ own histories and vocations.
  • An opportunity to develop knowledge of some key skills for, relating to pastoral encounters and interventions in specific contexts.
  • An overview of habits that nourish personal spirituality with an opportunity to practice and develop these in the context of the student’s own vocation.


The modules will be studied as distance learning, with material provided online along with the support of a personal tutor.

How to Apply

Applications for entry to this course are accepted at any time, but we enrol new students in the Autumn of each year. Previous necessary qualifications include 1 A Level or the equivalent or suitable life experience. After your application has been accepted you will be allocated a tutor who will guide you through your studies. Also, you will have access to our online Moodle site with study material, forums, feedback forms and details about the assessment for each module. Simply complete the application form and arrange for two references, then return everything by email to

As part of the application process overseas students will need to supply evidence that any previous overseas study / education is comparable to UK qualifications.  This can be done through NARIC

NARIC can also provide evidence of English Language Assessment which is a Durham University requirement for anyone whose first language is not English. Requirements for undergraduate and postgraduate programmes

The deadline for applications is 31st August to start in September.  Please contact if you are applying after this date.

Fees 2019/20 – Workplace Ministers Certificate (HE) in Theology, Ministry & Mission

We keep our fees competitive because we want many to access all our courses. In 2019/20 the annual fee for the Workplace Ministers Certificate is £1860, therefore less than £4,000 for the two-year course. This covers your distance tutor, any online forums, online materials and the university validation.

We offer a 5% discount to all those who apply and pay the annual fee by 31st August. This reduces the annual fee from £1860 to £1767.

For those on a tighter budget we offer payment by instalments. Each of the two years you will pay £620 by 31st August, £620 by 31st December and £620 by 31st March. (There may be a small inflationary increase for the second year).

Unfortunately, we are not able to offer a refund if you leave the course during the year. However, it is possible in special circumstances to take a break from your studies, subject to a deferral fee of £80, and return to the course in the following year.

To pay for the Workplace Ministers Certificate of HE in Theology, Ministry & Mission please visit our online shop.

FAQs Workplace Ministers

What is a Workplace Minister?

The best way to describe a Workplace Minister is to say that they are people who feel called by God to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness in the workplace.  In the same way that a Pulpit Minister, in the local church, is called to demonstrate God’s love, to lead people to a relationship with God and help them to grow in God to fulfil their vision and purpose, a Workplace Minister has the same responsibility in the workplace as they fulfil the workplace role that God has prepared them for.

Who would benefit from studying for the Workplace Ministers Certificate (HE) in Theology, Ministry & Mission?

Any Christian who feels called by God to work in the workplace and desires to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness in that workplace.  So, where ever God has called you to work with Him, in hospitals, businesses, areas of commerce, law enforcement, offices of trade, local and central government, science and technology, education, manufacturing, retail elements, in fact all elements of a functioning city, this course is for you. 

What benefit will I gain from studying for the Workplace Ministers Certificate (HE) in Theology, Ministry & Mission?

More than 90% of all Christians know that their purpose and their vision from God lies outside the pulpit of the local church. Unfortunately, few know how to release that vision and walk in it successfully.  We do at St John’s College, through this course, will help you to hear from God, understand your calling and start to live in the miraculous power of God in your workplace.

I don’t have ‘A’ Levels, are there other things that can be taken into consideration?

This question is not an easy one to answer.  An ‘A’ Level is level 3 on the ‘Qualifications and Credit Framework’ so there are other qualifications such as NVQ Level 3 or BTEC Ordinary National Diploma (OND) that are equivalent level qualifications.  Also, learning through life experience can also be taken into account, so if you are unsure, complete an application form and we will let you know what you need to do in order to study for the Workplace Ministers Certificate (HE) in Theology, Ministry & Mission.

For foreign students NARIC can help with assessing if overseas qualifications that are held

are equivalent to UK ‘A’ Levels and the relevant website link is: 


Are there any Scholarships or Bursaries available?

Sorry, not at the moment.

Am I able to get student finance for this course?

Unfortunately, we are not currently in a position to enable students to receive student loans although we would love to hear from you if this stops you from applying to follow this course.

Is this course only available as distance learning?

If there were enough people willing to travel to taught lessons then this is entirely possible to arrange, however, it would incur additional cost.  Therefore, if you are interested in taught lessons please let us know and we will see if we can arrange it for specific modules.

Do I have to do the full 2 years?

The Workplace Ministers course has been designed as a two-year higher education certificate course to meet the academic requirements for ordination as a Workplace Minister by Governance Ministries (  However, it has been designed as a 6-module course with each module counting as 20 credits towards a diploma or degree, so it is possible to stop if circumstances change or take a break, for an administration charge.  It should be noted that progression to the second year is only possible upon successful completion of the first year.

Do I have to do this course as a validated course by Durham University?

It is possible for you to complete the course unvalidated by Durham University.  In this case you would not gain any credits towards a Diploma or Degree, but you would receive a certificate from St John’s College, Nottingham.

What do I need to do if I would like to know more about the Workplace Ministers course?

There is a dedicated e-mail that you can send to with your questions, or if you would prefer a discussion you can ring 0115 925 1114 and ask for Revd Dr John Tomlinson, Director of Studies, who will be very happy to assist you.