The Pastors' Training Course, PTC, is a three year course of on-the-job theological training designed to provide further theological education for those who have completed the Cornhill Training Course. Thus it is a normal requirement that students will:
- be working in a supervised training role in a church or other Christian ministry where they have regular teaching responsibilities
- have completed the Cornhill Training Course in Glasgow, Belfast or London.
We do have occasional students who have not fulfilled these requirements and have suitable other training, experience or work situations but the course is designed to build on the foundation of the Cornhill Course and is aimed towards training those who will be significantly involved in church leadership. We are always very happy to discuss the course further with anyone who is interested, but we usually recommend that if a student only has limited time the Cornhill Course is a better investment of time if a choice has to be made between Cornhill and pTC.
PTC students are expected to have a day a week available for study during university terms. We alternate home study days and classroom days, so we usually have about 15 classroom days each academic year and a similar number of home study days. The classroom days are used mainly to process information that has been accessed during home study. We try not to overload students with home study but to select material that will provide the most helpful introduction to important fields of knowledge.
In addition, each term we have a residential week (Monday lunch - Friday lunch), usually in October-November, January or March, and mid June. The residential weeks are not tightly tied to the regular programme in terms of content. We try to get the best speakers we can to come and teach in their area of expertise.
Course Content and Distinctives
We have a three year, rolling modular programme. Students join at the start of the academic year and, following a brief introductory course, join in with the rest of the class at whatever part of the cycle we happen to be in. Because our class size is small new students do not usually have difficulty getting up to speed.
We do not aim to cover everything that would be covered in a three year theology degree as there is insufficient time for this. Instead we aim to provide a learning environment in which stretching theology and practical ministry are brought very close together, and in which students are introduced to, and equipped for, a pattern of on-the-job learning and mutual encouragement which they will continue all the way through their ministries.
Certain key distinctives are worth emphasising:
"Flipping the classroom". Rather than using precious classroom time for transfer of information between teacher and student, most of our classroom time is spent consolidating and processing information that students have interacted with during their home study. This combination, data transfer at home coupled with processing in class, has proved very productive in terms of students being able to think through the theological and ministry implications of things they have been learning.
A strong ministry emphasis. All those teaching in class have long experience in Christian ministry. We usually have at least two experienced gospel workers in class at any one time. This, and the fact that students are learning while doing ministry, means that the classroom and the church are never disconnected.
Character development. We aim not only to stretch students theologically but also to help them focus on matters to do with relational competence and character development, Because these things are hard to measure they are often neglected in theological training. However they are of paramount importance in ministry and so we spend a good deal of classroom time dealing with the personal and relational implications of the truths we are studying.
A three way partnership. We try to encourage as close a relationship as possible between the course, the student, and the church/ministry the student is working in. The ministry is the main testing ground of a student's gifts and aptitude for ministry and promoting a real three way partnership helps both to focus learning goals for students and to identify issues of personality or godliness which may be hindrances to further ministry.
The course fees for 2016-2017 are £850 per term.
If you are interested in applying for the Pastors' Training Course them please contact us.
You can download an application form here.