The Lancashire & Cumbria Theological Partnership (LCTP) exists primarily to prepare men and women for all categories of ordained ministry within the Church of England, either stipendiary (SM) or non-stipendiary (NSM). It also provides training for Methodist students training for the ministry and has offered training for people from the Baptist, Salvation Army and URC traditions prior to being ordained.
As well as ordinands, the LCTP also provides training for trainee Readers in the Dioceses of Blackburn and Carlisle. And it offers theological education for independent students regardless of their denominational allegiance.
The LCTP offers the following awards, validated through the University of Cumbria:
- University Certificate
- Foundation Degree (with an exit point at CertHE)
- BA (Hons) in Practical Theology
- MA in Practical Theology (with exit points at PgD and PgC)
The LCTP is a non-residential course. This means that the Training Partnership has no buildings, even though it does have an office at Carlisle. For residential weekends it uses Rydal Hall, which is set in the heart of the Lake District, adjacent to where William Wordsworth lived at one time and wrote some of his most famous poetry. Day Schools are normally held in one of the University of Cumbria’s campuses, usually Lancaster.
The LCTP began life as the Carlisle Diocesan Training Institute in 1978 when the late Arthur Attwell was asked to pilot a scheme of non-residential training for ordination for people who lived in the Diocese of Carlisle. Non-residential training was already in operation in the Church of England, but it remained a very difficult option for people living in the Diocese of Carlisle for geographical reasons, the nearest course being based in Manchester.
Within ten years, the course was beginning to attract small numbers of people to train from the surrounding areas of the northern parts of the Diocese of Blackburn and from the western extremity of the Diocese of Bradford. In 1996 this was formally recognised when the Institute was renamed the Carlisle & Blackburn Diocesan Training Institute (CBDTI).
In September 2007 the CBDTI changed its name to Lancashire & Cumbria Theological Partnership in response to the Hind Report and the setting up of Regional Training Partnerships. At the same time, the LCTP also formalised a good working relationship established over many years with St Martin’s College (now the University of Cumbria) and became partners with the University. The LCTP is now a company limited by guarantee, with charitable status and is co-owned by the Churches and the University of Cumbria.