South west ministry training course
Ministry Training

Students who have been selected for ministry training normally complete a three year programme with SWMTC. The programme is undertaken locally part-time.
The area covered by the Course is the whole of the South West Peninsula and, although the Course is based in Exeter, classes and tutor groups meet in various parts of the region. Every effort is made to keep to a minimum the amount of travelling required.

Training includes completion of a programme of theological study at evening classes, held in Exeter and Truro (also Plymouth at Level 4). As with all our credit-bearing programmes, this is validated by Durham University.

The local church occupies a vital place during training. It is a place of encouragement, pastoral support and prayer. We encourage students to find ways to share with the congregation what they are doing and how training works. We explore with them and their local minister how they may need to re-allocate time and priorities to take account of the demands on them during training.

The SWMTC Library, a dedicated theological library of around 9,000 books, is located with our offices at Riverside, Exeter. Readers in training in the Diocese of Exeter, Ordinands and non-ministerial students registered for credit on SWMTC evening class modules are members of the library as part of their fees. The Library is in a partnership with Bishop Philpotts Library in Truro, and a joint catalogue is published on-line and regularly updated.

Teaching Venues
Riverside also serves as teaching space for evening classes - it can accommodate classes of up to 40. The Truro evening classes meet at the Old Cathedral School. We stay at the Future Inn in Plymouth for weekend residentials, using teaching and chapel space at the University of St Mark and St John (Marjon), Plymouth, where we also eat together. We use Godolphin School in Salisbury for Easter School. Easter School teaching, worship and hospitality are all on the school's campus.

SWMTC offers a module in reflective practice for ministry for the first year after initial ministerial training. This module is standard provision for new curates in the Diocese of Exeter, and is also available to our other Dioceses and to Methodist probationers.

Virtual Learning
A further resource for teaching and learning is our virtual learning environment, Moodle. This contains the SWMTC Student Handbook, with regulations governing study for credit, general advice to students, and module-specific material including descriptors, module documents, handouts, PowerPoints, and reading material (in accordance with the rules of copyright). The evening classes at the Exeter centre are recorded and the audio recording is posted on Moodle within a few days, for the use of distance learning students and those who missed the relevant class.

For Ordination candidates who are sponsored by a Diocesan bishop, all fees are paid by Ministry Division of the Archbishops’ Council for the whole of pre-ordination training. Ordination candidates are paid a book grant and travel expenses by Ministry Division.

For the Foundations in Christian Ministry year, Exeter diocese meets the cost of fees, although students are still responsible for the costs of their own travel and books.

For Readers in Training with Exeter Diocese, all tuition fees and library membership are paid by the Diocese for 2 years of evening class study and 2 years of weekends/formational training, in addition to the Foundations in Christian Ministry year.

For Curates, Exeter Diocese will also fund the fees for the reflective module taken by curates and attendance at IME Phase 2 events, but not the library subscription.

The student is responsible for payment of fees for all other modules, although he or she may be able to negotiate support from the diocese.

Open Days
Open Days for ordinands are held on an annual basis. They give an opportunity for prospective students to see the Course at work and to chat to existing students and staff.

I could not have contemplated training in a college because of my family and work circumstances at the time so training on a regional course was ideal for me.

I am able to train, work, see my family and keep in touch with my home church all at the same time which means that I can keep a sense of reality while I am training.

One of the great advantages of SWMTC over college courses is the variety of churchmanship and styles which we are exposed to - we work with and learn from each other and I believe leave the course with a rounded and wide formation for ministry. The balance between practical and theoretical learning is just about right and the benefits of training with Methodist Ordinands are great.

I feel I have made many friends over the three years and the staff have been supportive and challenging at the same time.
SWMTC is a real family community which its students value for the rest of their ministry.
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