University of Chester

Programme Specification
Ministry CertHE
2017 - 2018

Certificate of Higher Education


Ministry (Diocese of Chester)

University of Chester

Diocese of Chester

Learning Suite at Church House, Daresbury and Foxhill Conference Centre

Undergraduate Modular Programme


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

2 years

3 Years

Annual - September



17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Arts and Humanities Theology & Religious Studies

Theology & Religious Studies

Theology & Religious Studies

Tuesday 12th January 2016

  • To develop skills and knowledge appropriate to the exercise of ministry within the Christian church
  • To develop reflective practice in ministry and application to the student's own context
  • To provide a context for developing pastoral gifts and skills
  • To resource ongoing learning and access to resources for developing personal spirituality and ministry
  • To develop key skills in collaborative working and an arena for shared support and learning
  • To stimulate reflection on one's own learning and development
  • To develop critical engagement with current issues in pastoral care
  • To develop specific knowledge and skills in Christian pastoral ministry, including listening skills, pastoral visiting, supporting the church’s occasional offices, and working with volunteers

All outcomes are at level 4.

  • To be able to demonstrate knowledge of key concepts of the disciplines of the programme and an ability to understand and evaluate them.
  • To be able to apply concepts, methodologies and insights of the core subject areas in an appropriately critical and evaluative manner.

(all modules)


All outcomes are at level 4.

Students will be able to (in all modules)

  • demonstrate the use of theological reflection and other appropriate methodologies in ways appropriate to pastoral practice
  • demonstrate the exercise of an open and questioning approach to familiar and new material
  • reflect on their own learning and pastoral practice in ways that enhance and develop that practice
  • demonstrate appropriate planning to sustain and develop their pastoral ministry
  • give an accurate account of a range of theological and pastoral understandings of baptism (TH4114), marriage (TH4115), bereavement (TH4116 or TH4121), health (TH4117 or TH4122), pastoral listening (TH4118 or TH4120), and working with volunteers (TH4119 or TH4122)


All outcomes are at level 4.

Students will be able to (in all modules)

  • apply their learning to ministerial practice
  • utilise a variety of resources and technologies to enhance both their learning and their ministerial practice
  • utilise a range of theological and pastoral understandings of baptism (TH4114), marriage (TH4115), bereavement (TH4116 or TH4121), health (TH4117 or TH4122), pastoral listening (TH4118 or TH4120), and working with volunteers (TH4119 or TH4122)


All outcomes are at level 4.

Students will be able to

  • communicate effectively both face-to-face and within a group context (all modules)
  • listen effectively (TH4118 or TH4120), give and received appropriate feedback (TH4119 or TH4122), and work effectively in a group environment (all modules)
  • use a variety of communication methodologies in written and oral exercises, in giving presentations, and in pastoral practice (all modules but particularly TH4118 or TH4120 and TH4119 or TH4122)
  • reflect critically and evaluatively on their own learning and performance (all modules)

This programme consists of six modules in total at level 4, each weighted at 10 credits: 60 credits in total.

In 2017-18 only students who began the programme in 2016 will study modules TH4116, TH4117, and TH4118. Students beginning in 2017 will study TH4120, TH4121, and TH4122 plus three additional compulsory modules. It provides the practice-based learning for those selected to be authorised church Pastoral Workers and all modules on this programme are therefore compulsory. Each module is assessed by a combination of written work and relevant skills-based exercises and dialogue assessments.

Those admitted to this programme MUST have already successfully completed the CUC Ministry (the modules numbered TH4111, TH4112, and TH4113) and will therefore already have gained 60 credits at Level 4.

These two programmes of study combined provide a route to the 120 credits needed for a Certificate of Higher Education.

This award may be linked to further routes appropriate to ministerial training and development.


Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
TH4114 4 Baptism Matters PW L4 10 Comp
TH4115 4 Marriage Matters PW L4 10 Comp
TH4116 4 Ministry & Bereavement PW L4 10 Comp
TH4117 4 Ministry, Sickness & Pastoral Visiting PW L4 10 Comp
TH4118 4 Listening as Ministry PW L4 10 Comp
TH4119 4 Ministry, Volunteers and Teams PW L4 10 Comp
TH4120 4 Presence; listening to God, listening to others 10 Comp
TH4121 4 Endings; pastoral care in bereavement 10 Comp
TH4122 4 Toolkit; developing skills in pastoral care 10 Comp

60 level 4 credits gained via the CCC Ministry (TH4111, TH4112, TH4113) combined with the 60 credits awarded through the six ten credit modules of this programme (TH4114, TH4115, TH4116 or TH4121, TH4117 or TH4122, TH4118 or TH4120, TH4119) lead to a Certificate of Higher Education.


Successful completion of the CUC Ministry. Active engagement in Christian Ministry (for example, those training to be licensed Pastoral Workers in the Diocese of Chester).

Individual modules may be accessed on an open access basis, with no formal entry requirements.

This programme relates to the Subject Benchmark statement for Theology and Religious Studies as revised October 2014. As, however, the programme is at level 4 and offers only 60 credits (to be added to the 60 credits obtained via the award CUC Ministry for the complete award of the Certificate of HE) the programme cannot meet all the aspects of the wide-ranging benchmark statement. It does nevertheless match many of the benchmark's aspirations, for example:

‘Subject knowledge and skills’ (3.1): including (in all modules) for example -

  • the history and present character of Christianity
  • reading, analysis and interpretation of texts, sacred or significant to practising communities.; and hermeneutical questions concerning their meaning and application for the appropriate community of believers in the present
  • engagement with some of the major religious thinkers through their extant work or subsequent influence.
  • 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, and their art forms (and particularly in TH4115)
  • ethics: the values and problems for living as an adherent of the religion are engaged with (and particularly in TH4114, TH4115, TH4116 and TH4121)

‘Qualities of mind’ (3.2): including (in all modules) for example -

  • ability to understand how people have thought and acted - and continue to think and act - in contexts other than the student's own; how beliefs, doctrines, traditions and practices have developed within particular social and cultural contexts; and how religious traditions have changed over time and continue to evolve in the contemporary world (and particularly in TH4114, TH4115, TH4116 and TH4121)
  • Sensitivity to the problems of religious experience, and to the issues of conflicting interpretations of language and symbols, texts and traditions
  • capacity to bring a degree of self-reflectiveness to the study of the subject
  • basic critical and analytical skills: recognition that statements should be tested, that evidence and arguments are subject to assessment, and that the interpreter's role demands critical evaluation
  • ability to employ a variety of methods of study in analysing material, to think independently, identify tasks, set goals and solve problems
  • 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

‘Generic skills’ (3.4): including (in all modules) for example -

  • independence of mind and initiative
  • capacity for reflexive learning, understanding how they learn
  • ability to attend to others and have respect for others' views (and particularly in TH4117, TH4118, TH4120 and TH4122)
  • ability to gather, evaluate and synthesise different types of information
  • analytical ability and the capacity to formulate questions and solve problems
  • technological and media literacy, including the generation of documents and other resources, electronic communication and interaction in various forms and accessing information from a variety of sources
  • teamwork skills (and particularly in TH4119 and TH4122)

The main teaching is a balance of tutor-led input and facilitated group discussion and exercises. A range of learning
and teaching methods are used: lectures, workshops, group-work activities, individual and group-centred projects,
tutor guided private study; group theological reflection.

These activities are supported by directed independent study that feeds into group discussion in the main sessions.
Key methodologies are experiential learning and a method of doing theology that begins with experience. By developing skills in basic theological reflection, students will be able to begin to evaluate experience and learn from it - a key skill for effective ministry. Students' learning is further supported by the provision of a book box including resources pertaining to the programme that are available at the site of teaching. Students also receive an opportunity to be inducted into using the university's internal electronic resources provided via Portal, Moodle and e-books.

As with all collaborative partnerships in TRS, tutors on the programme engage in an annual review with the link tutor and participate in peer observations of teaching as a part of their personal professional development.

The assessment strategy draws on validated practice in written assessments, oral assessment and presentations, and work-based learning. A Programme pack delivered in print to each student (and is accessible on Moodle) gives details of assessment and reassessment methods and of assessment criteria.

Knowledge and understanding and cognitive skills are assessed through written work, portfolio-based reflection and through dialogue assessments. All assessments include elements of critical reflection and application. Key skills are assessed through, e.g. portfolios, discussions and structured interviews on assessed exercises. Professional skills are assessed through, e.g., portfolios, skills based assessments in pastoral ministry, theological reflection.

This programme provides the completing two-years of practice-focussed training required by the Diocese of Chester for those selected for authorized ministry as Pastoral Workers. Combined with the CCC Ministry it forms the three-years of training required for such an authorised ministry. It may be used as a basis for further training for other authorised ministries (for example, Licensed Reader, Ordained person, Youth Worker or Evangelist). Successful students will be able to:

  • evaluate the appropriateness of different approaches to solving problems related to Christian ministries;
  • communicate the results of their study/work accurately and reliably with structured and coherent arguments;
  • undertake further training and develop new skills of ministry within a structured and managed environment;

and will have qualities and transferable skills necessary for ministry requiring the exercise of some personal responsibility and collaborative working.


Modules in the programme offer opportunities for addressing questions of gender, sexuality, race and religious identity.
Pastoral and ministerial modules and projects address issues of age and disability.
Although directed particularly towards practice-focussed learning for a specific Christian ministry, modules are open to individual learners of whatever background for whom the content is attractive or useful. The programme is open to people from all Christian denominations and explicitly addresses a variety of Christian traditions and viewpoints.
It makes particular space for valuing the worship and spiritual needs of Christians participating in the

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.

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