Equipped to Minister Course

Equipped to Minister is a training course for members of local churches which aims to equip them to preach, to pastor and to serve in local churches. The course follows a curriculum agreed by all Baptist Colleges in the UK and the Baptist Union. It is therefore acceptable to the Union, when accompanied by satisfactory Association ministerial recognition outcomes, as a pathway of training for those seeking Union recognition as preachers or lay pastors.

Equipped to Minister is offered primarily to the churches of the Eastern Baptist Association, the London Baptist Association and the South East Baptist Association but welcomes participants from other locations and denominations. It takes place at Spurgeon's College on selected Saturdays. Tutors are staff or associate staff of the College.

Equipped to Minister began in 2003 and has proved to be a very popular and highly valued training programme. It works on the following basis:

  • There are twelve modules, eight of which are required by the BU for preachers and twelve for lay pastors. (See below for further details.)
  • Each module contains twelve hours of contact time divided between two Saturdays (9.00am to 4.00pm) in consecutive months (bring your own lunch - the Charles Haddon Cafe will be open for drinks and snacks).
  • Each module also requires two assignments for assessment purposes. These vary in kind from module to module. Participants not seeking the Certificate of Achievement need not submit these but they are required for the qualification itself.
  • After satisfactory completion of eight modules and assignments, candidates are awarded a Certificate of Achievement which is an internally validated Spurgeon’s award.
  • Participants can choose to attend individual modules or to build up the 'credits' required for the Certificate.
  • The course operates as a rolling programme and so can be joined at the beginning of each full module.
  • Credit can be given for previous studies where these are documented or can be carried forward into other Baptist Union training initiatives.
  • Participants may be seeking accreditation as preachers or lay pastors, may be training for other forms of service or may be intending simply to further their own education.
  • No previous qualifications are required.

Equipped to Minister aims to offer high quality training and preparation to those serving within the local church. It is managed by a course committee of the College's Academic Board which is empowered by the Union to commend participants for accreditation on the basis of work completed. The Course Committee may also recognise portfolios of training and studies previously accomplished.

Modules are pitched at 'Access level' and as such provide a good foundation for those wishing to continue into further study.

To apply to join the Equipped to Minister course please use this online application form: Apply Now

Each module of Equipped to Minister costs £92. Course participants are encouraged to approach their local churches and their Associations for financial assistance.

Course outline

The Equipped to Minister course consists of 12 modules as follows:

Module 1. Reading and Using the Bible Part 1 (OT)

Understanding the story of the Bible and engaging thoughtfully with it, including with selected texts

Module 7. Spirituality

Exploring what is meant by spirituality with a look at selected texts from the spiritual traditions. Growing as a Christian believer.

Module 2. Exploring Christian Belief Part 1

The framework of Christian faith and belief and its relevance in the contemporary world.

Module 8. Exploring Christian Belief Part 2

A further exploration of core Christian doctrines and their implications for Christian living.

Module 3. Leading Worship

A holistic approach to worship. The development of specific skills, including insights into music and all-age worship. The module includes a practical assignment in worship leading.

Module 9.    Pastoral Care

The context of pastoral care today. Developing self-awareness and basic counselling skills. A look at particular pastoral issues.

Module 4. Reading and Using the Bible Part 2 (NT)

Deepening our understanding the Bible story and engaging thoughtfully with it, including further selected texts.

Module 10. Baptist History and Principles An exploration of where Baptists came from, of the Baptist way of being the church and of contemporary issues such as baptism, membership and the place of children.

Module 5. Evangelism and Mission

Congregational, friendship, servant and relational evangelism in contemporary society.

Module 11.    Church Management and Leadership

Leadership and management in the church. The conduct of church meetings, funerals, weddings. Conflict skills and resolution.

Module 6. Preaching

Different preaching skills and the theology behind them. The module includes a practical preaching assignment.

Module 12.    History of Christianity: The Story of God’s People

This independent study module is assessed through three extended essays.

From September 2018, Equipped to Minister will be taking place at two different venues. There will be two classes taking place at Spurgeon's College and one taking place at Histon Baptist Church, in Cambridge. When you join the course you may indicate your chosen venue and will then be allocated to join either 'track A' or 'track B' depending on which track has free space.

Baptist Union National Accreditation Requirements

Both lay preachers and lay pastors seeking Baptist Union recognition need to complete a set of core modules supplemented by a selection that includes at least one module from each of the three categories shown below. Lay preachers must complete a total of eight modules and lay pastors a total of twelve modules.

Please click here to view the ETM course brochure, which contains a full list of course dates.

Know where you want to go? Use these quick links below to get you there.

Undergraduate Postgraduate Research Mission & Ministry Online Learning Counselling