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The Local Ministry and Discipleship Programme (LMDP)

The LMDP trains candidates for LLM (Reader) Ministry and Ordained Local Ministry through a three year part-time course and as part of the South Central Regional Training Partnership. Learning happens during three 11-12 week terms which currently take place on a Monday evening in central Guildford. There are also two residential weekends and three study days; in addition Ordinands have a four day Summer or Easter School. This is vocational training and includes both academic work and a formation for ministry process.

Candidates must be sponsored by their parishes and recommended for training by a Readers' Board Selection Panel for LLMs, or a Bishops' Advisory Panel for OLMs. Students who successfully complete the three year training will be awarded a Foundation Degree in Ministry Studies for a three year course, or Certificate in Ministry Studies for a two year course (in the circumstances of a candidate having prior theological training). These awards are currently accredited by Oxford Brookes University, and assessment of work is by portfolio, but the University of Durham will validate ministerial training from September 2014. Students can continue to complete a BA (Hons) in Ministry Studies over the course of a further two years.

Modules studied cover such things as Introduction to the Bible, Introduction to the Christian Tradition, Christian Ministry Today, Developing Knowledge and Skills for Ministry, Growing in Faith and Prayer, the New Testament, Mission in Contemporary Society, the Old Testament, Theological Reflection, Growing in Knowledge of Christian Doctrine, Engaging in Christian Ethics, Liturgical Ministry in the Church, Parish Placement, Christian Education.

Each OLM student also works with a Local Training Group of up to eight members from the parish. This group meets regularly to work with the Ordinand to support the Ordinand and prepare the parish for their ministry. The purpose is to develop both the Ordinand and the local church in ways of understanding, growing, demonstrating and living out shared ministry. This is done by encouraging shared ministry in the Ordinand's parish; seeking to develop its mission and ministry, and fostering the parish's understanding of Ordained Local Ministry. During training, there is a Year Tutor for each year group and teaching is delivered by specialist tutors for each aspect of the course. The costs of training on the Local Ministry Programme are borne by the parish, the diocese and the Church of England.

LMP also welcomes Pastoral Assistants who choose to have their work accredited, independent learners, enquirers and those in authorised ministry who wish to articulate their existing qualifications to a higher qualification. It is also developing its provision for Lay Discipleship Courses.