As with any ministry role, learning and development is crucial. Learning never ends in ministry. We are always deepening our knowledge, understanding and practice as we reflect on, learn from and review our ministry. The learning and development for Local Lay-Pastors reflects this and whilst there is an initial learning period leading to accreditation, the framework for the office demands ongoing learning and development beyond this.

It is also recognised that those entering into a new lay role often already have prior experience and learning, so the pathway has some flexibility and is designed to build on previous learning through a framework of reflection.

The competencies reflect this flexibility providing different stages in development (early, core, further). Circuits also have the flexibility to decide what level of competency is needed at the start of the role using the early competencies as a development framework at the beginning of a Local Lay-Pastor taking up the role.

The learning and development for a Local Lay-Pastor is built upon working towards meeting all of the early and core competencies in the LLP Competencies Grid.  This includes assessment through regular line-management meetings and assessment meetings at particular points in the journey.

The majority of learning, reflection and assessment is accessed by completing the six core Local Lay-Pastor modules at Cliff College. The modules have been designed to meet the majority of the Local Lay-Pastor competencies. The LLP Competencies (Assessment) Grid shows how the modules meet the competencies.

Local Lay-Pastors are required to complete six modules at Cliff College from the Foundations for Mission and Ministry programme. The modules are:

  • Integrating Theology and Practice
  • Pastoral Practice
  • Ministry in the Methodist Tradition
  • Christian Spirituality
  • Christian Theology in Outline
  • Growing in Leadership

The modules can be completed entirely online or hybrid with a seminar day on site. The modules lead to undergraduate credits from The University of Manchester. Please apply directly with Cliff College. The modules are offered one per term and so the order of the modules will be based on the time the Local Lay-Pastor begins training. A Local Lay-Pastor can commence training at the start of any term throughout the year.

For those in a Local Lay-Pastor role the modules are subsidised and so the modules at Cliff College are at a reduced cost to Circuits: £200 per module instead of the usual £360. This includes an overnight stay for one module each year, which will provide extra networking for Local Lay-Pastors.

Circuits need to recognise the importance of learning and development by providing appropriate time and finance for learning and study. When calculating hours that a Local Lay-Pastor will work time for study and learning should be included, as well as budgeting for costs of study, including additional resources and travel costs.