The Dioceses of Lichfield and Worcester are in partnership with the Queen’s Foundation for the provision of their Reader training. Readers (also called Licensed Lay Ministers) are selected according to diocesan procedures and interested enquirers should refer to the relevant diocesan website for further information:
The Reader programme is designed to meet the learning outcomes established by the Church of England. It deepens students’ engagement with the Christian tradition through study of the Bible and Christian theology; it prepares students to exercise a public ministry which includes preaching, leading worship and providing theologically informed lay leadership in the Church’s mission; it integrates classroom based learning with practice in the local church as well as giving opportunity to engage more widely with mission and ministry through a placement.
The programme is taught part-time over two years and consists of modules delivered in two different modes:
- Some are taught in evening classes. For Lichfield Readers these are held at a venue in the Diocese and are complemented by some online learning. Worcester Readers learn at the Edgbaston campus of Queen’s, alongside Anglican ordinands and independent students. These classes take place on a Tuesday evening and are preceded by worship and a meal.
- Some modules that are key to preparation for the distinctive ministry of a Reader are taught over residential weekends. Readers normally have three residential weekends a year. These weekends are only for Readers; for Lichfield Readers they are held at Shallowford House or on the Queen’s campus in Edgbaston. For Worcester Readers they take place at Holland House.
Learning is assessed by a wide range of methods, but there are no written examinations. Readers are supported in their learning and formation by their respective Director of Training, by Queen’s tutors who teach many of the evening classes, by a personal tutor, and by their parish supervisor. All Readers also have full access to the library at Queen’s to support their learning. Those learning in the Diocese of Lichfield have access to further library resources there.
The academic programme is overseen by the Queen’s Academic Management Group, but more general oversight of the programme is exercised by a Reader Advisory Group. This group is responsible for ensuring that annual reports are prepared and agreed in order to inform the Bishop of a candidate’s progress and their continued suitability for the ministry to which they have been called.
Once selected, a Reader will be enrolled on a programme of study and formation under the academic oversight of the Queen’s Foundation. This is normally a Certificate of Higher Education in Theology, Ministry and Mission (120 credits) within the Common Awards programmes validated by Durham University. Any variations or exceptions will be determined by the relevant Director of Reader training in liaison with the Queen’s Foundation.
This illustrative pathway combines the expectations of the Academic programme with requirements of the Church of England for those training for Reader ministry. Please note that programmes can differ from year to year, and some modifications are some times possible in relation to individual programmes.
Illustrative Pathway - Readers
Year 1 of 2 60 credits
Introduction to the Bible 20 credits
Introduction to Christian Worship 10 credits
Foundations for Reflective Practice in Context (Long) 20 credits
Introduction to Preaching * 10 credits
Year 2 of 2 60 credits
Brief Introduction to Christian Doctrine 10 credits
Brief Introduction to Church History 10 credits
Introduction to Christian Ethics 10 credits
Using the Bible Today 20 credits
Integrative Learning for Collaborative Practice* 10 credits
* Taught over three residential weekends
The Queen’s Foundation has a Validation Contract with Durham University for the validation of approved Common Awards academic programmes and pathways at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. In addition, Queen’s offers postgraduate awards validated by Newman University and a doctoral programme in partnership with VU University, Amsterdam.