On entering ordination or Foundation training on SWMTC students are allocated a Personal Tutor, who is appointed by the Course in consultation with the sponsoring church and the candidate.
The Personal Tutor will undertake to:
- Meet with the student at least six times each year at times mutually convenient soon after each residential event. Normally the student travels to the Tutor.
- In the second year of training to act as facilitator for the long placement. This involves an initial meeting with the student and the host minister to help agree the terms of the placement, a meeting with both at the end of the placement, and if necessary a mid-point meeting. These two or three meetings would be part of the normal six meetings in the year.
- Write a confidential report to the Principal each year, which will contribute to the End of Year Report which assesses progress in training and suitability for continuing training or ordination.
- Meet with the staff and other Personal Tutors at least once a year to reflect on the Course, its practice, and the role of Personal Tutors.
The role of the Personal Tutor is to:
- encourage the student to reflect upon personal development, growth in personal awareness, relationships with others, and spiritual life by helping to reflect on the student's learning journal and portfolio.
- explore the impact of the Course on the student's faith and understanding of the Church, vocation, and ministry.
- enable a learning process to take place as the student responds to and reflects on the experiences of training and preparation for ordained ministry.
Personal Tutors will not be responsible for setting or marking any written work, nor for the care of the student's family
This role can be more fully described in terms of support and challenge:
support: by standing at one step removed from the Course the Personal Tutor is in a position to ask questions which will help the student to reflect on and explore at greater depth the impact that training is making on every area of his or her life. It is important, therefore, that the relationship is supportive and that it is clear that the Personal Tutor is there to help rather than to be part of the evaluative and assessment side of the Course. Relationships of trust and confidence take time to build and it is important that this is done carefully at the beginning of the relationship. The Personal Tutor will use the written reflections in the learning journal to explore what has been happening in the Course, how the student has responded to the different elements of a programme, what he or she is learning as a result, where points of difficulty or pressure arise, and how any such points are being tackled or addressed. The concern throughout is to help the student to become more critically reflective upon his or her experience and to help explore the nature of his or her responses and what is being learned about strengths, gifts, graces and areas of need.
challenge: Personal Tutors are expected to ask the difficult questions in order to promote and enable a more rigorous and demanding process of exploration.
Click here for the personal tutor's report proforma.