The Centre’s Story

The Centre for Ministry Studies was established in January 2014 under the leadership of Professor John Swinton. It is co-ordinated by Rev Dr Ken Jeffrey, a highly experienced minister and academic. The Centre emerged from a collaboration between the University of Aberdeen, Christ’s College and the Church of Scotland. It is, however, completely and intentionally interdenominational and seeks to work closely with churches and organisations from all traditions with the shared purpose of facilitating ministry education, research and training across a wide range of contexts for lay and ordained people.

We understand ministry in its broadest sense to include all the works that all of God’s people are called to do. Also, ministry today takes place in a complex social and cultural context that requires churches to equip people with the skills that are appropriate and relevant for the twenty first century and to inspire them with confidence.

Therefore, the Centre aims to serve individuals and communities by providing programmes of education and training that will support people in their ministry wherever they are. Our goal is to make ministry education and training as widely accessible as possible.

For example, our Doctorate in Practical Theology is specifically designed for people working full time. So, if you are a minister, a social worker, a nurse, an accountant or whatever your vocation calling is, this programme allows you to study at the level of PhD whilst continuing to work in your specific ministry context. Indeed that context can be the context for your study!

Our accessible education is achieved via a variety of flexible academic programmes combined with day and weekend conferences, guided reading courses, summer schools, retreats as well as an extensive online directory of courses. We offer flexible opportunities for people to study and be trained at unaccredited, Certificate, Diploma, Masters and Doctoral level on either a part time or a full time basis.

We have developed a varied syllabus which includes studies in parish ministry, chaplaincy, mission, fresh expressions of church, pastoral care, community building, preaching, theology, worship, spiritual formation, leadership and peacemaking, to name but a few.