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To train as a pioneer or evangelist

 
The shape of mission is changing. A large proportion of today’s generation has at best only a sketchy understanding of the story of Jesus. And many communities find that an established congregation meeting in a church building on Sundays no longer strikes a chord. You may be among the increasing numbers who feel called to a missional ministry which falls outside traditional understandings of what a church minister does. If you wish to grow in your evangelistic skills or want to establish a pioneering project, the colleges offer a variety of ways to equip you.
 
Accredited pioneer or evangelist ministers 

Pioneers and evangelists can of course also be accredited ministers. As for anyone hoping to train for accredited ministry, you will have to gain the commendation of your church and association before you begin your time at college. Beyond this step, you will find that four of our colleges offer versions of their ministerial formation programmes tailored towards pioneering. The core elements of your theological learning and ministerial formation will be the same as for any minister-in-training. But academic options, reflection groups and an appropriate placement will enable you to focus especially on how to share and act out the gospel in society. These courses are often delivered in partnership with a pioneer organisation.

Regent’s Park College work with CMS Pioneer Mission Leadership Training, also based in Oxford. CMS provides the academic element that leads to either a diploma or degree in theology, ministry and mission. Alongside this, you will join the ministerial formation programme at Regent’s and spend time in a pioneering placement.

At Northern Baptist College, you can join the other ministers-in-training for their theological study and formation programme, whilst your study will be tailored to reflect on pioneer mission. You will also have a pioneer placement. Alternatively, you can attend the Light College who specialise in training evangelists and pioneers. You will study for a foundation degree or full BA using a mixture of online learning and residentials in Birmingham. Alongside this, you will take part in Northern Baptist College’s ministerial formation including their Baptist Leadership Programme that is mostly taught over a number of weekends in Leeds. Again, you will also have a pioneer placement.

Bristol Baptist College offer a mission-based track to their ministerial formation programme that will help you focus on creative mission and church planting. They work with their local regional association and with Urban Expression to place and support you in a mission team in an urban area of Bristol. This training is bi-vocational, so you will also be working two days a week in another job alongside your mission placement and college programme.

Spurgeon’s College are launching a new pioneer ministerial formation track in 2020. It is hoped this will be available at both their south London campus and their Midlands Hub. Please look out for more information on their website.
 
Pioneer training for all
If you are looking for training in pioneering but are not seeking accreditation as a Baptist minister, you can join the Crucible programme run by Urban Expression. They offer six modules that explore the place of Christianity and church in contemporary society, and how the gospel can be modelled and shared in marginal communities. Each module is taught over two Saturdays on a rolling programme. You can access Crucible in London, Southampton, Exeter and Manchester. You will be supported in finding a suitable pioneering placement. These six modules can be combined with a selection of the Baptist Training Partnership modules. (Please see local church leadership for more details.) Completion of the six Crucible modules together with five BTP modules and a placement can lead to becoming a BUGB nationally recognised pioneer. If you wish to pursue this recognition, you should speak to your regional minister and make it clear to both Crucible and the college when you begin training with them.
 
Photo: Toa Heftiba On Unsplash
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