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Congregational Institute for Practical Theology

The Congregational Institute for Practical Theology is a key part of the Congregational Federation. We deliver a series of local and national courses from local church to ministerial training and beyond.

Practical Theology is there in our title because all our study and reflection is about living out our faith in action and in community with others. We don’t separate engagement with the Bible, study of theology and learning from the insights, mistakes and challenges of church history and mission from the realities of Christian life today. Our actions and our relationships speak about God as loudly as our words, and our courses hold this all closely together in study, worship, action and life.

Our courses are designed to flow into one another; all our modules are designed to bring a whole range of knowledge and skills together. This means, for example, that you will be drawing on what you do in the biblical modules when you come to do all your other modules. At the same time you will be bringing into your study of the Bible the insights that you gain from doing other modules of the course.

More than that, the course is integrated in the sense that your studies will be related to your own faith and to all you do in your own church. That’s what makes it a course in practical theology.

This integrated course is designed to welcome and support people at every stage of life and faith, from those who wish to deepen their understanding and effectiveness as Christians, open to serving God in enhanced ways, to those have a more definite sense of call from God, and who want to train to serve in one of the seven accredited ministries in the Congregational Federation.

The courses combine face-to-face teaching with electronic and distance learning. In this way they are designed to be studied by people who have other commitments, such as work, family life and existing ministry. You may begin at the first level, and work right through over a number of years, or join and leave the course at various stages, depending on how far you want your studies to go, and any existing qualifications that you may have.

The integrated course consists of the GIFT programme (level 3), which is run in local churches, and the Foundation Degree in Practical Theology (Levels 4 and 5) is run nationally and validated by York St John University, this means that you gain university qualification.