Coronavirus - Frequently-asked Questions (updated 29th April)
The answer to your question may be here. If not, email firstname.lastname@example.org. We may not however be able to provide an immediate answer over the Easter period.
What is happening with submission dates for Worship: Leading & Preaching during the Coronavirus epidemic?
Because WLP is based mainly online, we have been able to keep the dates for upload of portfolios and moderation the same as normal. The aim is to cause least disruption to those who are trying to fit study into their busy lives and to meet demanding targets in completion of the course. However, the only fixed points are the final dates for upload of portfolios - 31st March and 30th September. These only affect the moderation of portfolios and release of results. You should continue to work on your portfolio and seek feedback from your tutor at any time.
How can Explore sessions happen during “lock-down”?
Whilst meeting face-to-face is ideal, there are many other ways to continue meeting together as tutor groups. Online meeting apps such as Zoom or MS Teams allow online “meetings” to be set up relatively easily if each participant has a computer, tablet or smartphone. Many people are discovering that this technology is much easier than they thought. Useful advice is to:
1. Have one person who sets up and “hosts” the meeting – this needn’t be the Tutor.
2. Have a practice session so you can all get familiar with how it works and find a comfortable place at home to take part.
3. Keep sessions short and concise – long video-conference sessions are very tiring.
4. Be flexible with times. Many of us have very different schedules now from our normal ones, with child-care and other responsibilities. Don’t assume that standard “Methodist” meeting times are best!
With no public worship happening, how can I meet the requirements for Portfolio Folder 2?
With no public worship taking place, we need to adapt. Some preachers are able to produce their services as online resources (either to be streamed from YouTube or interactively, using Zoom or similar). If you are able to do this, it is fine to use these in your portfolio, and to collect feedback from people you know who have engaged with the online worship. If this is not appropriate for your congregation, perhaps you could provide and send out your service on paper or as a downloadable file for people to use in their own homes, and gather some feedback for your reflections?Either way, a chat with your minister or superintendent might help – they might appreciate your willingness to contribute in this way. It would provide a great learning experience and your tutor should be happy with this approach.
For Folder 3, is it OK to do a reflection on online worship?
Many churches are using technology to provide an opportunity for worship online, sometimes as a "live" experience using Zoom or equivalent, sometimes as a video available to watch on Facebook or YouTube. There are all sorts of other possibilities too. Any of these is a perfectly valid opportunity to reflect as a Folder 3 item. However, at least one of the items in Folder 3 should be of a service in a real physical place. Hopefully, the current lockdown will come to an end in time for you to reflect on such a service before you need to complete your portfolio.
I’ve prepared an item for Portfolio Folder 4, but can’t use it because of lock-down, what should I do?
We are trying to encourage people to use their imagination in how we respond in this challenging times. The worship of the people of God goes on, and as preachers of the Word, we must learn new ways of communicating the gospel of Christ.
Consider how you might use the material you prepare. Could you make a short video to share on YouTube or Facebook? Could you contribute your item for your church or circuit magazine or website? Perhaps it lends itself to hosting a short online meeting to share some thoughts and ideas? Or an online “coffee morning” where you can share some conversation around the topic, each with your own favourite brew? Or an online prayer gathering – the possibilities are endless, think creatively and share your ideas with your tutor.
We have recently switched on three new or improved features for users of the Worship: Leading & Preaching course and other users of the Methodist elearning platform:
The search tool, introduced last summer with the revamped course website, has been enhanced. It is now possible to search for key words throughout the Worship: Leading & Preaching course, except for the Module Reader. To use the WLP Search tool, click on the “Open Search” link on the right hand side of the screen on either the WLP homepage, or within any module. On the subsequent page, enter your search term in the filter bar and click ’apply’.
The page will then display every place in the course where this word or combination of words occur. Clicking on the title of an item will take you directly to the relevant page in the course, whilst the ‘breadcrumb’ trail displayed at the bottom of each item enables you to see the context of the item, and allows you to navigate to the module or module-section if you would prefer.
This new area includes additional material to that in the core WLP course. This is not required reading, but is useful for continuing development, either as private study or as the CLPD item in a Local Preachers’ Meeting. Some of this material was previously included in the “Extend” parts of modules. This material is available to all enrolled students on the e-learning platform and to anyone browsing the site as a ‘guest’ (i.e. logging in using “guestaccess”).
To access this area, either click on the large button labelled ‘Further Study’ on the site homepage, or choose the item ‘Further Study’ from the site navigation menu, under ‘More’.
From the ‘Further Study’ homepage, you can either browse this resource library or use the search facility to look through the whole collection using a keyword. Feel free to browse this library of material. It will be added to and extended over time to provide a study resource for the whole church.
The Hub is a digital resource library for theology linked to the “Common Awards” programme for theological education which is used for pre-ordination training. It contains a wealth of material curated by the Church of England, and intended mainly for undergraduate students. It is available to all enrolled users of elearning courses, such as WLP and Pioneer Pathway, but not (for copyright reasons) to guests.
It is accessible by navigating through the links providing in the ‘Further Study’ area. Once you have navigated across, you will find that only the “Hub Plus” material is accessible for your use, but there is a fascinating, and growing collection of high-quality academic resources for those interested in developing their theological knowledge and understanding. As with the “Further Study” material, it is both be searchable and browsable. Further guidance is available from the Hub homepage.
This new version of the course website (Moodle) was introduced in July 2019. This section explains the major changes from the previous version of the website.
The five headline changes were:
- New page design with graphics and colour, optimised for most device types.
- Easier navigation around the site – it's harder to get lost!
- Book-marking within Worship and Prepare parts.
- Easier and more efficient printing.
- Course contents unchanged, but reorganised into more logical blocks for learning.
Details of the changes are available here:
WLP 2.0 Update for Users - a quick introduction to the main changes for users
WLP 2.0 Release Note - more technical details about what has changed
WLP 2.0 Prepare Mapping - information on how the Prepare material has been regrouped
Questions people are asking:
How does the print function work? Go into the Introduction page of any module-section. Scroll down to the bottom, and you will find "Print Options". Click on this, and you will be able to print any of the parts of the section, i.e. Worship, Prepare, Explore, Apply & Reflect. You can still print material using your browser (e.g. Google Chrome) print function, but the results will depend on how your browser is set up.
Where has Extend gone? The Extend material was intended for further study. Some it is now available in the "Further Study" section of the WLP website (see above), and more resources will be added in due course.
Where can I find guidance on my Portfolio items? The Guide to Portfolios is the primary source for information about portfolios. The Cover Sheets also contain useful pointers on assessment criteria. The Course Handbook has now gone as it no longer reflected the course as it now is.
What is Worship: Leading & Preaching?
Worship: Leading & Preaching is the authorised training course for Worship Leaders and Local Preachers in the Methodist Church. It is designed to equip us for mission and ministry in a changing world, and to embrace new ways of being a church, new technologies and innovative ways of learning.
We aim to enable people from all backgrounds to develop the understanding and the skills they need to lead worship and speak of God in ways that are relevant and appropriate. Our calling as worship leaders and local preachers is to proclaim the love of God in Christ Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit.
The following useful Guides can be downloaded as PDF files:
- Guide to Learning - explains the principles behind the course and how it fits into the training pathways for worship leaders and local preachers.
- Guide to Portfolios - describes what a portfolio is, how to build one, and how it is assessed. Essential reading for all, especially for those just starting the course.
- Guide for Tutors and Mentors - describes what these roles involve for the W:LP course. A useful read for students too!
- Additional Needs Guide - information on what facilities the course offers for those with additional needs, and where to go for help and advice.
Enrolment for students, tutors and mentors
Students, mentors and tutors of local preachers and worship leaders in training need to be formally enrolled on the Worship: Leading and Preaching course. The enrolment process starts by the Local Preachers' Secretary completing a Local Preacher Return Form. More details, including the form itself, are available on the LP Secretaries' page here. Local Preachers should be enrolled on the course as soon as they receive their Note to Preach from their Local Preachers' Meeting.
When the Return Form is received by the Local Preachers' office, we will complete the enrolment, update our records of students, tutors and mentors, and send a welcome email to those newly enrolled. The email will contain a request to change your password within a specified time.
Enrolment as a student, tutor or mentor entitles you to access not only the core course material on the W:LP website, but also the "Module Reader" which comprises a library of useful reading resources. These are all under copyright control, for which we pay an annual licence fee per enrolled user - hence the need to keep a full record of current users.
Access for all...
We encourage anyone to make use of the online course materials, which contain a wealth of great resources and ideas for LP Meetings, Bible studies, class meetings and small groups. To see the course materials, go to https://elearning.methodist.org.uk/.
Then log in with the username and password both set to guestaccess.
How does Worship: Leading & Preaching work?
W:LP is based on blended learning, uses a wide variety of media and is designed to be flexible for people to use in whatever the circumstances of their busy lives. The course can be delivered in many ways, and circuits and districts are encouraged to find appropriate ways to support their students through their learning. The Learning Network in each region is also available to provide support and advice.
Three principles underpin the course:
- Student-centred - the student is responsible for their own learning (accompanied by their tutor) and for engaging with the course in ways that are most appropriate to their context.
- Reflective practice - the course aims to develop in the student the habits of theological reflection which will serve them throughout their ministry. The aim is not to teach (and examine) a fixed body of knowledge.
- Portfolio assessed - students compile a portfolio to demonstrate their progress in learning. This is locally assessed by their tutor. There is no "marking" of assignments, and no grades are issued. The student progresses when all assessment criteria are agreed to have been met.
A PowerPoint presentation which describes the structure of the new course can be found here. Note that in some details, this presentation may be slightly out-of-date. An audio version with commentary by broadcaster Revd Roger Hutchings can be found here. Commentary starts as you advance each slide.
Follow this link to view a video of the Worship: Leading & Preaching introduction (Windows Media Player required).
The Worship: Leading & Preaching website is built on a "Virtual Learning Environment" (VLE) called Moodle, which is the de facto standard across thousands of educational institutions. Our Moodle is hosted by the University of London Computing Centre.
Using Moodle can be confusing at first, but there are two useful introductory videos to guide you through. They are available here.
For those who prefer a written guide, download the Moodle User Guide.
Other useful documents
Training Process for Local Preachers - This comprehensive table describing the complete training process for Local Preachers was updated in January 2019.
Appointment and Training of a Worship Leader - This document shows the processes and steps from someone offering themselves to be a worship leader to becoming fully commissioned.
Circuit Interviews for Persons on Trial - A newly revised version of this familiar document updated to account for changes due to Worship: Leading & Preaching as well as adding some Appreciative Enquiry techniques. The original guidance that relates closely with Faith & Worship can be found here:
Accredited Prior Experience and Learning (APEL)
Exemptions to certain parts of the Worship: Leading & Preaching course may be granted in exceptional circumstances for to students who have relevant prior experience or learning.
Advice and guidance on process and conditions for APEL can be downloaded here.
The APEL application form can be downloaded here.
If you have any questions regarding access to the course, enrolment or any other issue relating to training, please email email@example.com
If you have a question, it may be worth checking our list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) here.