External Courses

The theological training colleges in Scotland offer courses that can be accessed by ordained and lay Christians alike. Different colleges provide different emphases or modes of delivery, some of which are at ‘entry’ level whilst others at Masters’ level.  Here is some of what is available.

The Scottish Episcopal Institute not only trains those for the recognised ministries in the SEC but also offers Masters’ degrees in conjunction with Durham University.  Through a rolling programme of modular training, MAs are available in:

  • Theology, Mission and Ministry
  • Contemporary Christian Leadership
  • Worship and Liturgical Studies

The University of Edinburgh’s School of Divinity offers various Short Courses for Church People. Courses that are currently advertised are:

The New Testament in its World: an entry-level course on the historical study of the New Testament. This blended-learning course begins 28th September 2023, with application deadline being 15th September.

Navigating the Church’s Mission: this 4-session online course is in response to the Church of Scotland’s Presbytery Mission Planning process, led by a Church of Scotland minister, but with ecumenical insight and input. It is aimed as those in leadership discernment and shaping missional church. It begins on 24th October, with application deadline 10th October.

An Introduction to Pioneer Ministry and Church Planting: for lay or ordained Christians who are involved in, or interested in starting, a ‘fresh expression’ of church. It will take a practical, reflective, and peer-supportive approach to learning. Specific dates are tbc, beginning in January 2024.

Trinity College is the Church of Scotland college at the University of Glasgow, offering short courses, webinars and resources to the wider church. Short courses in autumn 2023, with an application deadline of Friday 8th September, are:

  • Listening in Mission: this online course is geared towards those who lead Christian communities/churches and runs from 28th September until 23rd November on Thursday evenings.
  • Creative Writing as Spiritual Reflection: this online course is open to anyone and runs from 9th October until 4th December on Monday evenings.
  • Designing and Leading Christian Worship: this online course is directed at those beginning in worship-leadership or wanting to refresh their skills. It runs from 2nd October-27th November on Monday evenings.
  • Contemporary Visual Art and Christian Worship: this online course is open to anyone and runs from 5th October until 30th November on Thursday evenings.
  • Preaching in Church Contexts: this practical and reflective course is geared towards those who are new to preaching or who want to reflect on their practice. It is taught online and runs from 20th September until 29th November on Wednesdays 4-6pm.

The University of St Andrews offers PGDip or MLitt in Bible and the Contemporary World, part-time and online. The next cohorts begin in August 2023 and January 2024.

The Scottish Baptist College offer most of their BD courses as individual module study online, and from autumn 2023 will include youth and community work. Depending on the level of the module, these could be studied by anyone: interested lay person or ordained person seeking further skills.

Online training courses can be accessed from anywhere in the world. Some key UK providers of online training are listed below: see their websites for further details.

Sarum College is based in Salisbury’s Cathedral Close and offers a wide range of theological training courses, from one-off evenings to post graduate degrees, several of which are available online.

Cliff College provides theological education and training with a particular focus on mission and evangelism. A number of their short courses are available online.

CPAS is an Anglican evangelical mission agency, which supports local congregations to be agents of change, mission and evangelism in their local context. They offer a whole range of courses and resources for leaders and lay-people alike.