The South West Ministry Training Course is an ecumenical training organisation, whose courses lead to a Durham University award.
Our aim is to participate in the mission of God by providing the Church in the South West of England with high-quality theological education, formation and research. SWMTC is for those seeking to explore, or deepen their experience of, the Christian faith, along with those preparing for, or already undertaking a public representative ministry in the Church.
The Course provides a way for students in Devon and Cornwall to train part-time so that they can continue working and being part of their local church. Students receive an accredited high quality theological education without having to attend a residential college elsewhere.
Our programmes were independently reviewed by Revd Dr Helen Burn, Ministry-Division-appointed Quality Advisor to the Course in January 2016. Her report spoke of:
“…a highly qualified and committed staff team, a wide network of associate staff and tutors with whom relationships have been built up over many years and who constitute a dynamic group of reflective practitioners…..
Students spoke consistently highly of the quality of the teaching of the staff team, value greatly the mutual support and learning they experience, feel that the course is a stimulating and hospitable place for a wide range of spiritual traditions, and value being able to travel with those of very different views. In all sessions there was evidence of sustained engagement by all students with excellent teaching which combined theological challenge with awareness of ministerial context.
Staff members represent a diversity of traditions and areas of academic expertise, and have built an extended team of chaplains and associates who contributed to the weekend by their active presence. All are 'hefted', rooted in the local, as well as being resourced by wider national connections, and this adds credibility to their teaching.
There is no comparable body with the reach, depth and capacity to help deliver theological education and lay training across the south west.”
The three years I spent training with SWMTC were among the most happy, fulfilled and challenging years of my life. The course, through its balance of prayer, theological reflection, academic study and ministerial development, sends students out ready to begin many and varied ministries. At the heart of the course is a profound sense of relationship and community, a place where deep and lasting friendships are made. The experience of training for ministry in the midst of a busy family and working life was overwhelmingly positive I would not wish to have trained in any other way. It has helped me to see God at work in the world, to learn how to be busy and to be still, to be honest about my strengths and weaknesses and to know the joy of working collaboratively to serve God and those around us.
My experience of formation with SWMTC, firmly rooted in my home church, in work, in family, and in study has been incredibly positive. Each has informed the other, readying me and equipping me for 21st century ministry."
I would like to emphasise how much I have enjoyed my training with SWMTC, I found it somewhere that everyone could find a place in and could start their own personal journey of faith development. Both the teaching staff and the student cohorts provided wonderful companionship, help and encouragement which supplied the ideal environment for individual students to grow and develop. These seem to me to be rapidly changing times for the Priesthood as well as Readers and of course congregations. In this climate, the sound training provided by SWMTC enables Readers to recognise these changes and to look forward to the development of their ministries in a really positive way. The flexibility allowed in the course assignments and placements was a really valuable aspect of the course and enabled us as individuals to step outside the box of our comfort zones and to truly feel the current of alternative approaches to worship. This I found a key aspect of my own development. So thank you and the team for all your work, as you probably guessed, I shall continue to take every opportunity to continue "training" and to support the continuing good work of the SWMTC wherever I can.
Click here to hear a student’s view on SWMTC’s teaching.