Foundations for Ministry (testimony) 2013

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undefinedHere a man tells how ‘Foundations' inspired him to train for ordained ministry. ANDREW KNIGHT – now an ordinand at St John's College, Nottingham – describes what he got out of the course in 2011-12. Details of enrolment for in the course in 2013 are given at the end of his story.

“Whilst working as a commercial manager in a scientific research company I was feeling increasingly called by God to explore moving careers to some form of full-time Christian ministry? With much prayer and encouragement from Christian friends and colleagues I plucked up the courage to approach our Diocesan Director of Ordinands who first introduced me to the Foundations for Ministry course.

Initially, the course was a means by which to further explore vocation and discern God’s calling on my life, and to do so alongside others with whom I could share experiences, encouragement, prayer and fellowship.

I was inspired by the diverse range of backgrounds, life experiences, spiritual journeys, gifts and churchmanship of my fellow course members, all drawn together with a common desire to serve the Lord more fully in our particular ministries. Throughout the course it was a joy to discover how God inspired and enabled each one of us, to either develop and grow existing ministries or embark on a whole new direction. The course leaders were amazingly supportive and sensitive throughout the whole process. The course was also richly blessed with expert and inspiring input from the tutors, all three of our bishops, various guest facilitators and leaders of pioneering fresh expression churches.

With the helpful teaching, exercises and reflections, throughout the course my discernment of vocation crystallised and was finally confirmed as I successfully came through a Bishop’s Advisory Panel. Hence as I began to look towards further training in the coming years the Foundations course was hugely valuable as it built upon my understanding of the theology of the Kingdom of God, mission and evangelism, practical ministry in a post-modern society and the rich history and eccentricities of the Anglican Church. The course also helped my existing lay teaching and preaching ministries within my parish church, broadened my reading and access to resources, developed the practice of theological reflection and grew my daily prayer life.

Before the course commenced I had no formal theological education and wondered if this may be a stumbling block? However, I found the written work engaging, stimulating and challenging allowing exploration of the taught material in a depth and direction relevant to me, whilst being eminently achievable under the expert guidance and support of the course leaders. It certainly gave me the confidence and practical study skills to go on to further theological education.

So here I am now at St John’s College Nottingham, in full-time training for ordained ministry, and feeling that the course was indeed aptly named as a Foundation for Ministry – the stone upon which I am now building in my education, training and practical ministry.

I would hugely recommend the course to anyone wishing to enrich and broaden their own ministry and to explore where God may be leading them in new directions.”

- People go on the Foundations course to support many different kinds of Christian ministry – not just ordained ministry. It has been used for: serving God at a place of work, in the family, in the community; roles within the church (children’s work, youth work, music ministry, churchwardens, PCC members, pastoral work, administrative work and more); licensed lay ministry (Readers, Pastoral Workers, Parish Nurse, Church Army and more).

The deadline for applying for the course is the deadline for applications is 31 July. More information – Foundations and scroll to the bottom.