Future of Ministry Training in the Church in Wales
– a statement from the Bench of Bishops
The Bench of Bishops has endorsed a way forward for ministry training in the Church in Wales which will see the creation of a new Training Institute, presenting a dynamic and exciting way forward for the Church to meet the challenge of Ministry Areas whilst allowing a coherent and flexible approach.
At its meeting in June the Bench reviewed thoroughly responses to the report of the Ministry Training Review Group, which had been received by the Bishops in March and had since been the subject of a broad consultation across the Church in Wales and with our partner institutions. In particular, the Bench considered a detailed response prepared jointly by staff of St Michael’s College, Cardiff, and the St Seiriol’s Centre, Bangor. This proposal, entitled A Vision for Wales, advocated the creation of a new Training Institute to lead all ministry training in the Church in Wales, including education for discipleship and training for ordained ministries, both residential and non-residential.
The new body would develop new learning pathways as well as draw on existing training resources, including St Michael’s College, Cardiff, and the St Seiriol’s Centre, Bangor, to enable a suite of training resources and learning environments to be provided. This proposal has been accepted by the Bench, and the Bishops will now work with staff to develop the model further. The Institute will have a base at the St Michael’s College site and it is intended that formational centres will also be established in other parts of Wales. Non-residential training will continue to be delivered locally. An important aspect of the development work will be the exploration of accreditation and validation options for the new training courses, in particular with current partner universities.
It is intended that the new arrangements will be in place by 2016/17. Until then, training will continue to be provided at St Michael’s College and by the St Seiriol’s Centre. Students enrolled in these centres will transfer to the new institution once it is established.
The Bishops would like to thank all those who contributed to the Ministry Training Review and subsequent consultation. In particular they are grateful to the authors of the original report, in which the key principles of the proposal now agreed were first established. The Bench would also like to express its appreciation to the staff of St Michael’s College and St Seiriol’s Centre for the positive and collaborative way in which they have responded to the Review, and for their patience and forbearance during this process.