South west ministry training course
Ministry Training

NEWS - We are delighted that Belinda Speed-Andrews has joined us as our new Training coordinator and administrator.

NEWS - Our Foundations in Christian Ministry Course is open for applications for September 2018. See poster here or more information here. Feb ‘18

NEWS - On Saturday 24th February, our Dr Dr Cherryl Hunt will be one of the speakers at the event "Science, Exploring God's Creation". All welcome. See here for details.

NEWS - It is with much regret that we announce that the Revd Dr David Nixon has resigned his post as Dean of Studies with effect from the end of February to become Team Rector of St Thomas, Exeter (subject to the completion of statutory formalities). David has played a key role in SWMTC since joining us in 2013 especially in the management of the transition to validation by the University of Durham and as a highly valued staff tutor. We hope that the ordinands will be able to say farewell to David at our March weekend and that, because he will minister nearby, we will continue to be able draw on his expertise. We wish him every blessing as he takes up this new challenge. Jan ’18.

NEWS - We congratulate our curates who are our first clergy to have graduated with BAs under Common Awards. They travelled to Durham to attend a graduation ceremony. Picture here. Jan ‘18

NEWS - Trustee Opportunity - The South West Ministry Training Course (SWMTC) prepares men and women for Christian mission and ministry in Devon and Cornwall. It is entering an exciting period of renewal and seeks new members of the Board to guide, support and advise its staff team. We are particularly looking to appoint trustees with expertise in the areas of personnel, finance, ministerial formation and adult education. If this could be you, please contact The Rt Revd Dr Chris Goldsmith, Bishop of St Germans and Chairman of the SWMTC Board ( for an exploratory conversation. Dec 17.

NEWS - On Sunday morning, Radio 4’s Sunday programme featured our former Principal Chris Southgate with two former Ordinands, now curates, talking about a project to help clergy to support communities suffering from traumatic events. - Dec 17

NEWS - We are delighted to announce that the 2018 SWMTC Course Lecture will be given by the Revd Dr Harriet Harris MBE, Chaplain at the University of Edinburgh. Harriet is well-known in the region from her former role in the Theology Dept at the University of Exeter, as well as her distinguished theological writings. She will be speaking on chaplaincy. The Course lecture will be on Saturday 6th January at 11:30am to 1pm at the lecture theatre at Marjon. All Ordinands, Readers in training, FiCM, curates, home ministers, journal tutors and personal tutors are invited - Nov ‘17.

NEWS - The Trustees are pleased to announce the appointment of Canon Dr Jonathan Rowe (Director of Ministry for the Diocese of Truro) and Revd. Prebendary Philip Sourbut (Director of Mission and Ministry for the Diocese of Exeter) as joint Principals of the Course.
Jonathan has long and wide experience of theological education both in the UK and in Spain. He has particular expertise in the Old Testament and Christian Mission. Philip has long experience in Parish Ministry and a particular interest in Preaching. As former staff tutors, both are committed to the success of the Course and to greater integration between its work and the mission and ministry of the two dioceses. Oct 17.

NEWS - We congratulate our students who were ordained as deacons on Sunday 10th September at Exeter cathedral: Judith Blowey, Darryl Cree, Andy Farmer, Simon Hitchcock, Marc Kerslake, Joe Lannon, Belinda Speed-Andrews and Fiona Wimsett. Our thoughts and prayers are with them as they serve in their parishes. Sept 17.

NEWS - After 17 years of dedicated and distinguished service, Professor Christopher Southgate has stepped down from his post as Principal of SWMTC. Chris will pursue a wide range of other opportunities, including research and writing. Chris has made an enormous contribution to theological education in the South West and to SWMTC in particular and will be much missed. An opportunity to say farewell and thank him for his service will be organised in due course. Sept 17

NEWS - We are looking forward to welcoming new and continuing students to our first residential of the new academic year on 1-3rd September. This will be a joint weekend including Ordinands, Readers and Foundations in Christian Ministry students.

NEWS - We are pleased to announce that from 17th July we shall be moving our office and library over the river Exe to Riverside Christian Centre. We look forward to continuing to provide quality theological education from our new base.

NEWS - Lucy Larkin, our Truro staff tutor, represented SWMTC at a recent vocations day in Truro cathedral, see picture. Many thanks to Lucy and the students who aided her and Richard for the photo. July ’17.

NEWS - We are pleased to announce that our updated integrated library catalogue is now up and running. You can find the link here . Please check at home and return any of our library books that you may have lurking around. May 2017.

NEWS - It gives us great pleasure to announce our programme of theological study for 2017-18, details of which are on the attached leaflet or here. As before, these may be taken simply for fun and interest or work can be completed towards qualifications with Durham University.

NEWS - The Principal has launched his new project ‘How can congregations be helped in times of tragedy?’ Details can be found at

NEWS - Christopher Southgate will be launching his new poetry book ‘Rain falling by the River; new and selected poems of the spirit’ (Canterbury Press) with Richard Skinner on Thursday May 11th at 7pm St Stephens church, Exeter High Street. All welcome, admission free.

NEWS - From March 3-5 our first year ordinands were on our first urban-intensive, in Bristol. We thank those who provided hospitality at Trinity College, also Fr Charles Sutton at All Saints, Clifton, Mohammed Nassir at the Qu'ranic Academy, the Revd Liz Perry and her colleagues at St Agnes Church in St Paul's, and Pastor Steve and his team at the Elim Pentecostal Church E5. At every place we were received with great kindness and offered depth of insight, conveyed with honesty and kindness, and lots of new things to learn. A real encouragement for which we are most grateful.

NEWS - We welcome as new Trustees the Bishops of Truro, Exeter and Plymouth, and look forward to profiting from their wisdom and expertise. March 17.

NEWS - David Nixon, Dean of Studies, has just finished attending (and helping to organise) a conference in Exeter, with representatives of the Diocese of Bayeux-Lisieux in Normandy, with whom the Diocese of Exeter is twinned. The subject of the ‘Colloque’ was the engagement of the Church with the contemporary world, and speakers including Mgr Jean-Claude Boulanger (Bishop of Bayeux-Lisieux) spoke on subjects ranging from secularisation to relationships with other faiths, especially Islam. For more details, see . Feb 2017.

NEWS - Our Principal, Christopher Southgate, will be taking part in a discussion, chaired by our academic administrator, Cherryl Hunt, on 30th March at Exeter cathedral. Details of this and other science and faith events on Thursdays in Lent can be found on

NEWS - We congratulate Stewart Phillips on obtaining a BA degree in Theology, Ministry and Mission. He is the first of our independent student to achieve a degree award validated by Durham University and this represents 6 years’ hard work.

NEWS - Publication news: David Nixon, Dean of Studies, has written an article for Practical Theology based on the small seedcorn grant from Durham, and in partnership with Susannah Cornwall in Exeter University Theology Department. The title of the article is "Mind the Gap? Perceptions and Realities of Sexualities Education for Ordinands". Please contact David for a pre-print version if you are not a subscriber and would like to read this.

NEWS - We are delighted to announce that the Revd David Carrington is joining us as Director of Lay Education from January 2017. Dave brings important experience from a range of parishes in Devon and also from his background as a senior trainer at the Met Office. He will continue with his part-time parochial post in north Devon.

NEWS - We congratulate Dr Cherryl Hunt on completing her PhD in theology. See picture below right from her graduation in December.

NEWS - In October our intrepid Principal abseiled down Chagford church tower to help raise money for a local youth facilities. See picture to right.

NEWS - It is with much regret that we announce that the Revd Dr Tim Gibson has resigned his post as our Director of Lay Education with effect from mid-January. Among the many gifts that Tim has brought, has been his involvement with the wider world of business and journalism, and these other elements of his portfolio will now claim a greater proportion of his time. Tim has been a vigorous, creative and enthusiastic colleague at SWMTC as well as a fine theologian and gifted teacher. We wish him hugely well with the next stage of his journey, and send him, Sarah and Monty all our prayers and good wishes.

NEWS - We congratulate warmly all those who were deaconed at Exeter Cathedral on Sunday 11th September including our students: Bev Cree, Jane Hayes, Penny Lawson, Cathy Scoffield and Sue Tucker. Our prayers are with them and also with those being priested.

NEWS - We were delighted to welcome 28 new students to our lay vocation course, Foundations in Christian Ministry, and we look forward to accompanying them on their journey in the coming year.

NEWS - On 26th June David Nixon celebrated his silver jubilee of ordination and ministry with a Eucharist at St James church Exeter, attended by family, friends and colleagues.

NEWS - Our programmes have recently been independently reviewed by Revd Dr Helen Burn, Ministry-Division-appointed Quality Advisor to the Course for the diocesan bishops. Her report was very favourable and referred to: “…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….”

She said that “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”.

NEWS - It is important to ring the office (01392 272544) before visiting the SWMTC library to check that you can get access. The SWMTC library is usually accessible during office hours or from 6pm on evenings when there is an evening class, but not always

SWMTC: Contact: Administrator Belinda Speed-Andrews on 01392 272544
South West Ministry Training Course is a company limited by guarantee. Company number 3070559. Charity number 1056606