Ordination Training

Academic pathways

Wycliffe Hall offers a broad range of pathways to students who are training for ordination in the Church of England, from introductory certificates to doctorates. Most of our students train full-time on a “residential” basis (even if they live outside of the campus itself), but we do accept students on full-time context-based or part-time pathways; these students tend to follow bespoke programmes, and so we’d love to speak to you at an early stage if this is something you are considering.

Our “standard” pathway for ordinands is on our BTh suite of courses, either the two-year Diploma in Theological Studies or the three-year Bachelor of Theology. These programmes integrate robust academic study, including attendance at University of Oxford lectures, with ministerial and formational training, asking the question “why does this matter for our ministry?”. Teaching consists mostly of lectures and seminars, with some small group teaching. Assessment is mostly by coursework submitted throughout the year, with languages being the only papers assessed by a timed exam.

Alternatively, some students who haven’t previously studied theology, and who will train for three years, study for the BA in Theology and Religion. The first two years of this programme focus on academic subjects, with the third year focussing on ministerial and formational training. Teaching on the BA is done via tutorials and University lectures, with students writing a weekly essay to be discussed with their tutor and a fellow student; the course therefore best suits those with previous experience of university study, especially in the Humanities, and is good training for those considering a calling to be theological educators themselves. Assessment for the BA is mostly via timed exams at the end of the first two years’ study. Teaching for ministerial and formational elements is led by Wycliffe tutors, with external specialists invited in where appropriate.

We also have a range of graduate programmes available for those who have previously studied theology, and we can also put together bespoke non-accredited pathways for those with very significant previous study. Please do get in touch with us as soon as possible if you are considering this; University of Oxford graduate application deadlines are in early January.


Ministerial and formational training

At Wycliffe we believe we offer the best possible practical preparation for ordained ministry and leadership in the local church, forming ordinands within a supportive, worshipping, residential community whilst also ensuring that they are equipped to minister in an increasingly secular and multifaith country. Our staff have many years of parish experience and are passionate about it, believing that good leadership releases the ministry of the local church.  We are keen to invest in future leaders and allow God to do deeper work in you through spiritual and ministerial formation.

We recognise that students do not arrive at theological college with lives like a blank sheet of paper, on which spiritual formation is then written. All of us are being shaped all the time and many students at Wycliffe will have been on the Christian road for some time; indeed, many will have been doing ministry for some time! The task while at college is to give this shaping special attention through all that we do and are. Whether in the lecture hall, in private prayer, having a cup of coffee with a friend, or sharing the Gospel in the street: everything contributes to helping us grow in faith and holiness. Spiritual formation is above all a communal process. We do not become more like Jesus all on our own. It is as we learn and grow together that spiritual formation takes place in a biblically grounded fashion and so we seek to keep this goal in mind in every part of the life of the Hall.

Practical placements are one of the most formative aspects of theological education. Through observation, participation and theological reflection, a good placement experience will integrate learning at many different levels. Wycliffe is superbly placed in the heart of Oxford to be able to offer a great range of placements that will stretch and expand students’ experience of Church, mission and culture. We have strong links with both rural parishes and city centre churches, with the full spectrum of Anglican traditions, and also with chaplaincies in schools, colleges, hospitals, and prisons, plus work-based placements and missional organisations. Students undertake weekly placements during term-time, missions in a variety of contexts and a long summer placement during their time at college.

You can see some of our students talking about their experience of training at Wycliffe in the videos below: