Lancashire & Cumbria Theological Partnership

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Post-Ordination Training (IME Phase 2)

Please note that, from September 2016, the LCTP will be known as Cumbria Christian Learning.


Foundations for Lifelong Learning for Ministers in Training

Since 2008, LCTP has administered a validated training programme for Assistant Curates in Carlisle and Blackburn dioceses. This is designed to deliver mandatory post-ordination training (IME Phase 2) for Anglican curates. The course is funded by the dioceses, and participation is expected of all curates, although workload will vary depending on your pattern of ministry (full-time, part-time, stipendiary or NSM/SSM).

The aim of the programme is twofold: first, to deliver curates successfully to end of curacy assessment (ECA), which is now required in order to successfully complete training; second, to instil the discipline and habit of on-going theological reflection upon ministerial practice and experience, which is the foundation of continued lifelong learning.


The Programme

Students can pursue the course at Level 6 (third year undergraduate) or Level 7 (Masters/Postgraduate), and either as a top-up (e.g.: foundation degree/diploma to BA Hons) or as a stand-alone award. The number of modules required will depend on the level of award being pursued, as well as the number of hours available for ministry during the curacy.

The Course consists of six modules, taught two per year for three years on a semester basis, with a dissertation in the fourth year for those pursuing the MA programme. The six modules are linked directly to the structure of the Church of England’s national learning outcomes for ordained ministerial training:

  • Mission, Evangelism and Ministry
  • Vocation and Ministry
  • Ministry and the Institution
  • Spirituality and Ministry
  • Personality, Character, and Relationships in Ministry
  • Leadership, Collaboration and Relationships in Ministry
  • Dissertation (in the fourth year, for those pursuing the MA)

The six modules are taught on a 5-module rotation, with new students beginning with LCTP 6112 Ministry, Mission and Evangelism as their first module.

Each module begins with a weekend residential and in Carlisle diocese includes two day schools, which offer scope for input relevant to the module topic. The heart of the course, however, is in the use of Action-Reflection groups. All students are placed into groups of 5 to 7 curates, led by a facilitator who is an experienced ordained minister. For each module, each student in turn brings a case study to the group based upon their experience in ministry, and the group reflects upon this theologically using a shared model based upon the Pastoral Cycle. The student then uses this discussion as the basis for further reflection and study, which is written up into an assessed 4,500-word portfolio.

The structure of IME Phase 2 is intended to be as integrated into the curacy experience as possible. Curates reflect on their own issues, drawn by them from their parishes and ministerial contexts. The results of their reflection feed back into their ministerial practice, as well as providing evidence both for the validated course and their end of curacy assessment. Feedback from those who have been through the programme indicates that the action-reflection process is a powerful tool, and the groups are much valued for this, and for the supportive relationships they foster at a formative stage of ministry.


Resources and Other Help

For each module there is a booklet that sets out the content, provides some resources and explains the work that students are required to do and how the module is assessed. There is also an online Blackboard site which provides additional resources: this may include essays, magazine articles, recordings of sermons, Bible studies etc. Other resources, including access to the University’s extensive online journals collection, are available online through Blackboard.


Time Commitment

Learning takes time. Studying is hard work. Our programme follows national guidance in expecting that 15% of ministry time be devoted to it. This equates to a day a week for a full-time curate working six days a week, and is the same as their annual leave entitlement. Part-time curates would allocate time on a pro rata basis.



The exit award follows on from study undertaken in IME Phase 1, and depends upon how many modules are taken, and at which level:

  • Three modules: Graduate/Postgraduate Certificate
  • Six modules: Graduate/Postgraduate Diploma, or top-up from Foundation Degree/Diploma to BA Hons
  • Six modules plus dissertation: MA in Theology and Ministry


Want to Know More?

If you would like any further information, please contact Roger Latham (Acting Principal and IME Phase 2 Officer for Carlisle Diocese) on 01539 738480 or