Foundations for Ministry


Foundations for Ministry is a course of learning for anyone who wants to become better equipped to serve God in the world and the church. People join FfM to learn more about a variety of ways to serve God, including:

  • Where they are at work, in the family, in the community.
  • Roles within the church (children’s work, youth work, music ministry, churchwardens, PCC members; pastoral work, outreach, administrative work and more).
  • Ordained ministry.
  • Licensed lay ministry (Pastoral Workers, Readers, Parish Nurses, Church Army Evangelists and more). 

Foundations for Ministry Leaflet: Download here

What will you learn?

The course is split into two blocks of learning, which follow the themes of the Diocesan Vision, “Together in Christ, Sharing Hope”.

The first block explores what it means to be “Together in Christ”, and covers topics such as what it means to be the church, growing in discipleship and vocation, and working together.

The second block focuses on “Sharing Hope”, exploring topics such as sustaining ourselves in ministry, mission and church growth, and different ways of being church.

Participants explore the following areas:

  • God’s kingdom and what it means to be the church;

  • How we apply our faith to the difficult issues we face in daily life and in the church;

  • What ministry is and how we can find and develop our own ministry;

  • What are our own gifts and skills and how we can use them with others;

  • How the Bible, prayer and working with others can support our ministry; 

  • What vocation is and ways of finding your own;

  • Ways of working together that can enrich the ministry of the whole church;

  • Everyday faith and the consequences of discipleship in the whole of life;

  • How small groups can help the church grow;

  • The challenge of mission and how we can share our faith as churches and as individuals.

What is involved?

The course consists of two blocks of sessions, each of 10 weeks. Participants can do one or both of these blocks. There is also a Saturday induction day and two Saturday  ministry days.

The evening sessions are usually split into two parts:

  1. Worship and a presentation on the topic of the evening.
  2. Small group time, involving conversation, reflection, practical exercises, personal sharing and prayer. 

Come prepared to be involved! One of the gifts of FfM is the opportunity to share together, and have fun. The small group work is the place where people make some firm friends and learn more about themselves and each other in a supportive and prayerful environment. FfM is a great opportunity to meet with a diverse group of people, and to learn from and encourage each other. 

There is also the option of around an hour of ‘linkwork’ between sessions. You don’t have to do this but you will get more out of the group discussions if you do.

What other work is there?

Many participants complete FfM simply by being part of the group, sharing and learning together with others from the presentations and the group work. However, there is also an option to do some assessed work to help deepen and develop your learning on the course.

What does the (optional) assessed work involve?

There is a choice of assignments, including reflections on what you are learning on the course, group-based exercises, parish-based projects and more. There are a total of three to four pieces of written work to complete the assessed course. We offer study skills help for people who haven’t done this sort of thing before, or haven’t done it in a long while.  Resources to help you are available at the sessions and online.

What do I get at the end of it?

Everybody who does the course gets a certificate of completion. 

The optional assessed work is validated by the University of Chester.  On successful completion of the course you will be awarded the Church Universities’ Certificate in Ministry - a nationally recognised award - which allows you to take those credits on into further study. 

Course venues, times and cost

If take-up is high enough, the course will run across the following days and venues:

  • Monday evenings 7.30pm to 9.30pm: St Thomas & All Saints Church, Ellesmere Port CH65 6UW 
  • Tuesday evenings 7.30pm to 9.30pm: Alphabet House, Liverpool Road West, Church Lawton ST7 3DZ
  • Wednesday evenings 7.30pm to 9.30pm: Stalybridge St Paul, Huddersfield Road, Stalybridge SK15 2PT

FfM costs £60 per 10 week block, totalling £120 for the course. If participants with to do the validated assessments, there is an extra cost of £100. These costs are usually paid by the parish.

If your parish wants to send someone on this course but the parish is struggling financially, there may be funds available to help. To investigate this and see if you meet the right conditions, the priest-in-charge or incumbent of the parish should email the Ministry Team at Church House.

How to apply

Application forms can be obtained from the Ministry Team at Church House. These need to be returned by 6 September. 

Discuss the application with your incumbent, then contact the team:

The deadline for applications is 6 September, although all places may be filled well before then. We will always consider applications received after the deadline.  If you are accepted by your parish and the Diocese to train as a Pastoral Worker or Reader, you will definitely be given a place on the course as it forms the first year of your training. Do note however, these ministries have a selection process in place. 

Page last updated: Friday 31st May 2024 8:01 AM
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