Exe Valley Mission Community


Foundations in Christian Ministry

Are you wishing to develop your gifts for ministry in the local Church - Wanting to deepen your discipleship - Hoping to discern your Christian vocation?

The FiCM - What is it?

1-year part-time course - Teaching on the Bible, Spirituality, Theology and Pastoral Care - 7 Saturday study days

Sept 2019 - June 2020 - Applications by Easter 2019 preferred

Course Description:

The aims of the Foundations in Christian Ministry course are:

  • to deepen your Christian discipleship
  • to explore and help form your gifts for ministry
  • to help you discern God’s call for the next step in your ministry
  • and to provide you with a foundation for further training in lay ministry

The course’s objectives - by the end of the course you will:

  • have been introduced to the major elements of Biblical studies and Christian doctrine (at a level just short of the first stage of a degree)
  • have encountered a range of forms of prayer and expressions of Christian spirituality
  • understand the main principles of pastoral care
  • be equipped with skills to aid your involvement in God’s ministry and mission
  • have developed basic skills of personal journaling and reflection
  • have explored your vocation, with guidance, and talked with a range of others

The course consists of:

Study days

  • These are the core of the course.
  • They run from 10am to 4.30pm.
  • Each involves a mix of informal lectures and group discussions, on the Bible, Theology, Spirituality and Pastoral Care, set within a context of worship, with time to socialise.
  • Provisional dates are: Sep 7th, Oct 26th, Nov 30th, Jan 11th, Mar 7th, May 9th, and Jun 6th. The venues are to be confirmed.
  • The Study Days are alongside the Readers in Training, and sometimes with ordinands training with SWMTC. Worship is jointly with these groups, as are some break-times.
  • Detailed timetables are provided.

Tutor groups

  • At each Study Day you spend a short time in small tutor groups. This gives an opportunity to reflect on your experiences on the course with others, and on vocational exploration.
  • The tutors are the course teaching staff.

A learning community

  • The course group is a ‘learning community’ of people journeying and growing together.
  • You make a commitment to pray for others on the course.  


  • You will be encouraged to keep a personal journal of what you have learned and experienced through the course, and your reflections on this.
  • This will be your own private record. However, you may wish to use this as a basis for reflections in your tutor group or with your local support person (see below).

Local discussion groups and written exercises

  • In the Autumn and Spring terms you are encouraged to take part in a small discussion group in your local parishes. In the Autumn term you would be a participating member of the group, and in the Lent term leading the group. These groups may use a particular course (e.g. Pilgrim, Alpha), be a Bible study group, or explore a locally chosen topic, with typically half-a-dozen sessions each term.
  • You are encouraged to do a number of short written exercises through the year. These include writing an article for your parish magazine or website, and a book review.
  • The courses and written exercises aim to help you link the course with your local context and develop your ministry skills.
  • Guidance will be provided, but you will need to make the local arrangements.

Local support

You are encouraged to discuss your experiences on the course at frequent intervals with either your incumbent or another experienced person in ministry in your parish.

  • This will help your incumbent (or other) to support your learning, and to understand how best to encourage the growth of your local ministry as a result.
  • You are also encouraged to keep your congregation(s) informed of what you doing, so that they too can feel involved and support you on the course.


  • Suggested reading will be provided for the different subject areas of the course.
  • Doing further reading will help deepen your learning beyond that covered on the Study Days. It is up to you how much you do.
  • You will need to purchase your own books, and you may wish to approach your PCC for financial support. Some books are available in the SWMTC Library in Exeter.

Teaching staff

The teaching team currently comprises - Penny Doe  Rev Chris Martin  Rev Sue Blade  Laura Ford  Rev Paul Seaton-Burn Other contributors include the Vocations Development Officer, Hannah Alderson. The course is overseen by the SWMTC Director of Lay Training, Rev David Carrington.
More information…

Revd David Carrington, Director of Lay Training, SWMTC davecarrington@swmtc.org.uk 

Tel: 01404 850905 or search our website: www.exeter.anglican.org

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