Plans have been in the pipeline for a short while and we have now been given the green light, in principle, to become a Union School of Theology learning hub. This means from September 2018 – barring any major hiccups – we will be able to offer the Graduate Diploma in Theology (GDip) in Oldham as a learning hub based at Oldham Bethel Church.
The GDip is a 2-year part-time course that allows study to be undertaken alongside your work or current service in a sending church. Rather than being ‘sent away’ to theological college, the GDip allows for a flexible learning experience. Churches in accessible nearby areas will be able to send students onto the programme without losing key workers for the time it takes for them to train. Alternatively, students may elect to come to Oldham and work with with Bethel Church in an apprenticeship role for the duration of the course. Given the one-day per week required at the learning hub, the GDip offers real flexibility to students and their sending churches. You may choose to partner with Bethel Church in the sending of workers whom we will return to you trained theologically on the GDip along with in-context urban mission training. Alternatively, you may simply wish to keep your key workers as a church within the vicinity and utilise the theological training on offer whilst retaining key workers for your church.
It is our hope that the learning community in Oldham will serve churches in Greater Manchester, South Lancashire as well as West and South Yorkshire by providing a central location between existing Union hubs. We also hope that individuals considering theological training for ministry might do so in partnership with Oldham Bethel Church and serve with us for the duration of the 2-year course.
If you would like to register your interest in sending students onto the GDip in September, please get in touch using the contact form above. If you are interested in joining Oldham Bethel Church as an apprentice for two-years during the course, we may be able to discuss a grant towards your course fees but will need further discussion about how you intend to cover your living expenses as this will be an unremunerated role.
For more details about the Union School of Theology GDip programme, please visit the Union School of Theology website.