St Mellitus College, founded in 2007, offers on-the-job experience as well as theology.
The numbers attending church on Sundays may be falling, but an innovative new college to train Anglican clergy has already attracted 500 students, making it the newest and one of the largest in the country.St Mellitus College, which started in 2007, opened the doors of a new building in November. It is the first training college for clergy to focus especially on leadership, and to combine theology with on-the-job experience in churches, youth centres, homeless shelters and Christian work in the inner cities.
“It’s the same pattern as business schools or the way doctors are trained now,” says Graham Tomlin, the college dean. “Previously those training for the ministry went to a full-time residential college. Now they can spend time in parishes as lay workers while coming here part of the week and on several residential periods a year. Or they continue in their jobs as doctors or bus drivers while training part-time for the ministry.”
As a result, St Mellitus, a joint project by the dioceses of London and Chelmsford, has seen a surge of applications from the start, with 110 full-time ordinands and around 400 lay students. A survey showed that three quarters of the ordinands would not have considered going into the church, or would have done so much later, had this work/study pattern not been available.
Read it all (subscription required).