Ordination Training for 2012 Onwards
The Professional Course in Theology is a longstanding programme offered to the Christian churches by TCD and to date has solely run in association with the Church of Ireland. The original programme was at Diploma level and was subsequently extended to Ordinary and Honors Degree levels. In practice the Ordinary B.Th. became the normative qualification for ordained ministry in the Church of Ireland. This proposal continues the development of the Professional Course in Theology and develops it in line with much current practice worldwide. The degree of Master in Theology continues and expands the aims of the Professional Course in Theology which equips professional ministers (lay and ordained) for their role in contemporary society by developing key competencies in the areas of mission and ministry, through appropriate engagement with theology and biblical studies. The programme combines a strong academic emphasis which focuses on the foundational sources of Christian belief, namely scripture and the theological disciplines, with a practice–based model of learning.
The course stresses the role of the minister as a reflective practitioner who can articulate Christian belief within contemporary culture and who understands the challenges and opportunities which this presents. Within this framework the practice of ministry is explored in ways which enable an effective and creative response to the world in which we live. The course is ecumenical in its scope, is adaptable to the needs of other Christian denominations and to forms of ministry other than the ordained. The present course proposal is designed to meet the ministerial training needs of the Church of Ireland, (delivered through the Church of Ireland Theological Institute) although it is already planned to extend the course to training in a number of different denomination.