The Chad Foundations programme runs over one academic year and is designed to give you the opportunity to explore what it means to be called to serve God and others, through recognised ministries in the local church. You will learn more about the foundations of the Christian faith and discover more deeply what it means to be a follower of Christ, Monday to Sunday, wherever you find yourself, as well as exploring your own gifts and where and how God might be calling you to serve.
Each one of us brings different gifts, skills and passions which can be used in the mission and ministry of God’s church. Those involved in recognised lay ministry are leaders and enablers in their local church communities, who have identified God’s grace and call on their lives, and whose gifts have been affirmed by their local church.
For those exploring a call to Reader ministry, discernment takes place throughout the year. Those who go forward for Reader ministry will continue with two years of study through the Queen’s Foundation in Birmingham and will be licensed as Readers at the end of their first year; the second year will be post-licensing continual ministerial development.
Chad Foundations is a hybrid programme, delivered in modules, through a mix of teaching and learning styles. It consists of:
- Six in person Study Days (Saturdays) within the diocese and at our partner theological education provider, The Queen’s Foundation.
- Monthly seminars delivered via Zoom
- Self study, videos, academic reading and participation in discussion forums on our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) Moodle
- Building a portfolio of assignments and reflections
- The support of a Personal Tutor and Group Facilitator
Tutors are a mix of both lay and ordained people, Ministers from across the Diocese and academic staff from the Queen’s Foundation.
Modules cover the following areas of study:
- Christian Discipleship
- Pastoral and Practical Care
- Mission and Evangelism
- Foundations of Christian Faith
- Worship in the Church of England
- Biblical Studies
- Theological Reflection
- Preparing for Public Ministry
- Leadership Skills
- Exploring Vocation
Chad Foundations does not lead to a formal qualification although students may go on to further theological education Chad Foundations is designed to inspire and encourage learners to understand more about how God may be calling them to serve in their church communities and the world. It offers first steps in equipping them for service and mission.
The programme aims to be flexible, accessible and inclusive for those who have busy lives.
Costs and requirements
Each Foundations applicant needs the written support of their local PCC and Incumbent (or Church Wardens and Rural Dean if in vacancy). The Chad Foundations Programme currently costs £100, which is paid by the local church as a sign of their commitment to the person they are putting forward.
This fee covers all aspects of the course including refreshments, but not travelling costs. If this cost is prohibitive, please raise it on the application form. (There will be additional costs in the subsequent years for those who progress to Reader training.)
All participants will need access to a computer and Wi-Fi, and have basic IT skills (i.e. word processing, emailing and accessing web material). If this is not the case, we will be delighted to offer some practical support to get you to the right level of necessary skills.
Please note the Bishop’s upper age limit for Reader licensing is 70. Participants of all ages are welcome, but if you are considering Reader ministry you should aim to begin training by 67.
The first stage is to fill in an application form, which needs references of support from your PCC and Incumbent. This is an online application form available here. NB: The closing date for applications is 30th June 2023.
Applications for 2023 have now closed. We are taking enquiries for 2024 and recommend registering for January Pathways in the mean time.
Helen Scheven will be able to advise you with any queries about the application process, please contact her here.
You’ll then meet with the Lay Ministerial Learning and Development Officer, Clare Whitney, to discuss the next steps and what’s expected.