University of Chester

Programme Specification
Practical Theology: Ministry Development BTh (Hons) (Level 6 only)
2017 - 2018

Bachelor of Theology (Level 6 only)

Practical Theology: Ministry Development

Practical Theology: Ministry Development (Diocese of Chester)

University of Chester

The Diocese of Chester

Places of employment; Foxhill Conference centre and Church House Daresbury.

 

Undergraduate Modular Programme

Part-time

Classroom / Laboratory, Work-Based inc.(practice / placement)

3 years

3 Years

Annual - September

V610

Yes

17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Arts and Humanities Theology & Religious Studies

Theology and Religious Studies Benchmark 2014

Theology and Religious Studies

Tuesday 12th January 2016

The aim is to offer a level 6 programme in contextual and practical theology in a part-time mode to new ministers, which:

  1. provides a progression route (typically building on a FdA) for two cohorts: Initial Ministerial Education, phase 2; and Readers
  2. develops skills in a number of complementary methods of study, such as: philosophical, historical, systematic, dogmatic, phenomenological, linguistic, hermeneutical, empirical, speculative, and social scientific. 
  3. develops transferable skills such as communication; formulating and evaluating a coherent argument, the appropriate use of data and evidence, the awareness of the implications of divergent views; the exercise of personal responsibility and decision-making; resolving problems and making decisions in contexts involving some complexity. 
  4. further develops a pattern of personal and professional development in Christian studies and ministries. 
  5. qualifies students for admission to a postgraduate programmes in practical and applied theology.

Level 6: detailed knowledge and critical understanding of the subject, with reference to advanced scholarship and with an appreciation of uncertainty and ambiguity (all modules).

The knowledge will include:

  • understanding a range of data and data gathering necessary for qualitative research (particularly TH6120, TH6112, TH6117)
  • reading, analysis and interpretation of texts, authoritative for the practising community (particularly TH6114, TH6115)
  • major theories, movements and thinkers (all modules)
  • critical studies applied to the study of practices (TH6120, TH6117, TH6119, TH6112, TH6118)
  • application of themes from theology, religious studies and others to broader social and disciplinary contexts (TH6112, TH6118)

Level 6: apply a number of complementary methods of study, such as philosophical, historical, systematic, dogmatic, phenomenological, linguistic, hermeneutical, empirical, speculative, and social scientific to review, consolidate and extend their knowledge and understanding (all modules)

These skills will include:

  • ability to apply these methods to review, consolidate and extend their knowledge and understanding and inform their practice (all modules but particularly TH6120, TH6119, TH6118, TH6115, TH6117) 
  • ability to understand how people have thought and acted in contexts other than the student's own (TH6120, TH6114)
  • capacity to give a clear and accurate account of a subject, marshal arguments in a clear way, and engage in debate and dialogue with respect for differing viewpoints (TH6112, TH6114, TH6115, TH6117)
  • ability to synthesise a range of views or information, developing critical analysis and questioning using theory (all modules)

Skills will include:

  • ability to develop projects and assignments which sustain and evaluate an argument, largely through independent enquiry and which draw on a range of scholarly resources which include research articles and primary sources (particularly TH6114, TH6115, TH6117)
  • competence to resolve problems and make decisions in contexts involving some complexity (particularly TH6120, TH611)
  • ability to work with others in their ministerial contexts to identify and develop research projects in a lifelong learning culture (all modules)

Skills will include:

  • presentation of material in a clearly written, coherently expressed manner, with a reasonable range of vocabulary and adequate style, with competence in spelling, punctuation and syntax (all modules)
  • application of number in some forms of research methodology and social scientific analysis (particularly TH6120)
  • use of information technology and computer skills to capture data and support research (all modules)

The programme offers students the opportunity to engage in the graduate level study of applied, contextual and practical theology.  The core disciplines are those associated with Christian ministerial practice: Christian Theology, Biblical Studies, and Practical Theology and Ministry.  

The core disciplines can be included/demonstrated in a number of ways and studies, research and assignments are negotiated and agreed so that each student fulfils the programme learning outcomes through studies appropriate to their needs and interests. The programme offers two pathways: one for Lay Ministers (typically licensed Readers in the Diocese of Chester) and the other for recently ordained ministers in Phase 2 of IME (Initial Ministerial Education). Each pathway comprises 4 x 20 credit modules and a 40-credit dissertation module. These modules combine both theological reading related to practice, and analysis and research arising from practice and experience in order to develop critical and theological reflexive skills with a view to improving practice.

Pathway for Lay Ministers (these are listed in the sequence in which they will typically be studied):

  • TH6120 Ministry Audit; Mission and Evangelism in Context or TH6112 Reflection on Ministerial Practice I
  • TH6119 Preaching in a Pastoral Context
  • TH6118 How Adults Learn: spiritually and theologically
  • TH6114 Theological Reading and Ministry I
  • TH6117 Dissertation in Practical Theology

Pathway for Ordained Ministers (listed in the sequence in which they will typically be studied):

  • TH6120 Ministry Audit; Mission and Evangelism in Context
  • TH6114 Theological Reading and Ministry I
  • TH6112 Reflections on Ministerial Practice I
  • TH6115 Theological Reading and Ministry II
  • TH6117 Dissertation in Practical Theology

Modules listed are as optional in 24b only because some of the modules are studied in one of the pathways rather than the other. All the modules listed are compulsory for the respective pathways except for the choice offered to those on the Lay Ministers pathway between TH6120 and TH6112.

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
TH6112 6 Reflections on Ministerial Practice I 20 Optional
TH6114 6 Theological Reading and Ministry I 20 Comp
TH6115 6 Theological Reading and Ministry II 20 Optional
TH6117 6 Dissertation in Practical Theology 40 Comp
TH6118 6 How Adults Learn: spiritually and theologically 20 Optional
TH6119 6 Preaching in a Pastoral Context 20 Optional
TH6120 6 Ministry Audit; Mission and Evangelism in Context 20 Comp

Bachelor of Theology (120 credits at level 6, plus 240 credits at Levels 4 and 5 from previous study)

The programme is open to licensed ministers in the Diocese of Chester. Applications are made to the Programme Leader who will arrange interviews. Successful applicants will normally have gained an FdA, or Dip.HE, or the equivalent certificated study, in Theology and Ministry, which provides the 240 credits APCL.

The Programme relates to the Subject Benchmark statement for Theology and Religious Studies, October 2014.

Both pathways match aspects of the Benchmark's description of 'Subject knowledge and skills' (3:1) including:

  • a broadly based core using data, setting the data in a theoretical framework to understand and structure the data into a coherent whole
  • reading, analysis and interpretation of texts, including texts that have been sacred to the Christian community and other faith communities
  • engagement with some of the major religious thinkers through their extant work or subsequent influence
  • the application of a variety of critical methods of study, often adapted from those of other subjects in the humanities and social sciences, to the study of texts, practices, religious communities as social and cultural entities, or their diverse material culture and art forms
  • the history of the particular subjects covered by the programme, including the major theories, movements and thinkers.

Both pathways match aspects of the Benchmark's description of 'Quality of Mind' (3:2) including:

  • The ability to understand how people have thought and acted - and continue to think and act - in contexts other than the student's own,
  • the ability to read and use texts both critically and empathetically, while addressing such questions as genre, content, context, perspective, purpose, original and potential meaning,
  • the appreciation of the complexity of different world views, mentalities, social behaviours and aesthetic responses, and of the ways they have been shaped by beliefs and values, and conversely how beliefs, world views, sacred texts and art forms have been shaped by society and politics,
  • capacity to bring a degree of self-reflectiveness to the study of the subject,
  • appreciation of the interconnectedness of and internal tensions within a system of beliefs and practices,
  • the ability to employ a variety of methods of study in analysing material, to think independently, identify tasks, set goals and solve problems,
  • the capacity to give a clear and accurate account of a subject, marshal arguments in a mature way and engage in debate and dialogue with respect for the opposite case or different viewpoint.

Both pathways match aspects of the Benchmark's description of 'generic skills' (3:4) including:

  • self discipline and self direction,
  • independence of mind and initiative,
  • capacity for reflexive learning, understanding how they learn,
  • commitment to lifelong learning,
  • capacity to modify, suspend or otherwise change position when warranted,
  • analytical ability and the capacity to formulate questions and solve problems,
  • writing skills, including clarity of expression, citation of relevant evidence and authorities and accurate referencing,
  • awareness of the importance of contemporary media as both a resource for study and a medium for theological and religious discourse.

At level 6, students develop a greater responsibility for their own learning, both independent and collaborative. There is encouragement to articulate personal engagement and response in the context of respect for views of others; and with appreciation of complexity, ambiguity and uncertainty.

The student learning experience is supported by class-delivered, tutorial-based and fieldwork activities. A range of learning and teaching methods are used: seminars, workshops, group-work activities, individual and group-centred projects, presentations, tutorials, fieldwork/visits to religious communities, and tutor-guided private study. 

Typically holistic assessment by 4,000 word assignment or equivalent project for the 20-credit modules.

A supervised dissertation of 8,000 words for the 40-credit dissertation module.

Types of assessment reflect the content and skills of the modules: for example situational analysis, exegetical and hermeneutical analysis, socio-cultural awareness, fieldwork mapping project, journalling.  Where new forms of assessment are introduced at level 6,  formative exercises are used.

There are no examinations.

Students on these programmes are usually engaged in ministerial practice; the study equips them and the awards signal professional ministerial achievement.

The programme also offers access to postgraduate programmes in theology and ministry.

Modules in the programme offer opportunities for addressing questions of gender, sexuality, race and religious identity. Pastoral and ministerial modules and projects may address issues of age and disabilities. 

The TRS department actively and successfully addresses  the University priorities regarding admissions, widening access and participation, equal opportunities and AP(E)L; and it offers individual academic support to all its students.

The programme is delivered as part of the Continuing Ministerial Development (Initial Ministerial Education) schedule of the Diocese of Chester.

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