The degree is designed to give students who are in formation for ordained ministry in the Church the basic theological skills for pastoral ministry in parishes and other settings.
- The degree is taught in formation days on Saturdays (roughly every three weeks) at St John’s Seminary, Wonersh (near Guildford)
- Part-time over two years including 11 formation days and two residential weekends each year
- After completing the Foundation degree students normally enroll for their third year of formation on the MA in Theology degree
Why study Pastoral Ministry?
The Pastoral Ministry FdA is a partnership programme with the Permanent Diaconate Formation Programme for the dioceses of Southwark, Westminster, Cardiff, Arundel and Brighton, Brentwood, East Anglia, Northampton and Plymouth, and the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.
Why St Mary's?
Students on the Foundation degree in Pastoral Ministry are studying for this as a major part of their formation as permanent deacons in the Roman Catholic Church. Since 2009 St Mary’s has been linked to the Diaconate Formation programme for nine dioceses in England and Wales (Southwark, Westminster, Cardiff, Arundel and Brighton, Brentwood, East Anglia, Northampton, Plymouth and Portsmouth), which currently numbers around 45 students.
The Diaconate Formation programme is administered by diocesan directors appointed by the bishops and by a Dean of Studies. Most of the teaching takes place in monthly formation days at St John’s Seminary, Wonersh (near Guildford) together with sessions that the students have with local mentors, blended online learning and residential weekends. The programme is the largest diaconate training course in the British Isles and one of the largest clerical formation communities.
The overall academic programme is three and a half years long. Students study for the Foundation degree in their first two years; from the academic year 2010-2011 those in the third year of formation who have gained this Foundation degree will be studying for level 3 modules from St Mary’s honours degree in Theology and Religious Studies and will be able to use these to progress to a BA Theology.
Those who feel called to the permanent diaconate in the Roman Catholic Church should contact their local parish priest.
Fr Ashley Beck
Dean of Studies, PDFP, Senior Lecturer at St Mary’s