Diocesan Course Directory 2019

Diocesan Course Directory for 2021 January-June  Gives the opportunities for training, formation and retreat which the diocesan team offers - some open for everyone and others more specifically for PCC officers like treasurers and church wardens, licensed ministers, those working with youth and children and clergy. 

Short Courses

Ethlyn Roy-Johnson, Formation and Ministry Team, Diocesan Office, St Nicholas Church, Boley Hill, Rochester ME1 1SL

Diocesan short courses provide a way to develop discipleship through intentional learning which draws on theory and practice (praxis) applied in a local context. Some courses are a route to exercising a specific local ministry as part of a church ministry team.

Short courses are founded on the following principles:

  • Discipleship is a corporate formation. The biblical model of discipleship demonstrates all Christians grow through the support and encouragement of other Christians.
  • Discipleship happens through a balance of teaching and experience which coalesce to influence lifestyle choices and transformation.
  • Discipleship is for the building up of the kingdom of God. Jesus called and calls people to be disciples, to follow his example, which means to be a missional, sent body.

The aim of any short course is to enable Christians together to deepen their understanding and experience (praxis) of Christian faith in order that they are better equipped to live out that faith in their varied contexts: to be disciples growing in confidence and reliance on God.

Purpose statement:.

Short courses address the following purposes all of which nurture growth in discipleship:

  • Deepen the praxis of faith through biblical knowledge and creedal belief
  • Challenge the praxis of faith through contemporary thinking and experience
  • Apply the praxis of faith through mission and ministry
  • Sustain the praxis of faith through prayer and theological reflection

Section 1: Courses purchased
by Parishes / Deaneries and run in house
£15 per course

The following courses can be purchased from the Diocese and then run by the Parish/ Deanery themselves in their own location:

(fee of £15 per course paid to the Diocese by the Parish or Deanery for the materials - they can then be reused and we send any update; there are resources that may be photocopied – leader’s and participants handouts, PowerPoint programmes and evaluation forms. Certificates will be issued following completion of the course and any written work required)

Caring Concerns (new version available from September 2019)

Duration: 2 Saturdays or 5 evenings
Aim: Basic information about Christian pastoral care

What does the course cover?

Caring Concerns is an introductory course which covers areas of pastoral ministry:

  • Who we are in Christ
  • Listening skills
  • Skills in spiritual care with different age groups
  • Coping with stress
  • Introduction to loss and bereavement
  • Boundaries and confidentiality
  • Setting up a pastoral care team

Hearing God’s Word

Duration: 2 Saturdays or 6 evenings   
Aim: Teaching on Interpreting and applying the Bible

What does the course cover?

Hearing God’s Word is an introductory course covering areas of:

  • The God who loves to speak;
  • Interpreting and understanding God’s Word;
  • Ask, ‘Why?’;
  • How the New Testament came to us;
  • Truly hearing God’s Word

Follow-on Course: Speaking God’s Word

(must first have completed Hearing God’s Word)
Duration: 3 Saturdays or 6 evenings
Aim: Introduction to preaching and teaching

What does the course cover?

  • Why do we speak and How do we know what to say?
  • Home Groups
  • Preparing to speak.
  • Speaking when children are present.
  • Sharing of pre-prepared outlines of sermon/talk/Bible-Study in small groups with plenary discussion
  • Workshops (designed according to the needs of the course participants)

People who have completed both Hearing God’s Word and Speaking God’s Word and the assessment in Speaking God’s Word may be given permission from the Bishop James to give talks on an occasional basis within their own parish context under the oversight of their incumbent or priest-in-charge.  Those wishing to gain this ‘permission’ must attend all sessions of both courses and satisfactorily complete the assessment which involves:

  • Preparing an outline of a talk/Bible Study and sharing it in small groups (during course)
  • Preparing and delivering a talk in their own parish with incumbent’s written and verbal feedback and their own written reflection on the process (after course) and presenting the talk, feedback and reflection to the tutors / Diocesan representative.

NEW! Caring for Creation course. Information is below:

Duration: 8 sessions
Aim: To help people think about caring for Creation from a biblical perspective which lead to practical responses.

What does the course cover?

This short course runs over eight sessions, six study sessions and two sessions of Nature Lectio Davina. There is no prescribed timescale so you could do it over eight weeks or eight months, whatever suits your group best. The idea is not to rush, but to give time following each session for people to implement new ideas so they become habits of creation care.

The course content includes bible study, discussion points and practical activities. It can be run for the whole church or across a deanery/group of churches.

It is possible for people to receive a certificate having completed the sessions and adopted a new habit of creation care. This habit may be individual or something the group/church or deanery decide to adopt.

Section 2: Courses run centrally
by “Diocesan” Tutors
Cost £15 per course

The following courses are delivered by those with appropriate experience and run in various locations around the Diocese - the Diocese arranges the venues and leaders and invites participants to come along.  Local assistance with refreshments / logistics/ pastoral support is requested where needed.


Introduction to Healing and Wholeness

Duration: 2 Saturdays
Aim: To equip and nurture individuals in the gifts of the healing ministry.

By the end of the course participants will have had the opportunity to develop their skills of listening and reflecting, explored the concept of wholeness, gained experience in prayer ministry, reflected on healing in the bible and have discerned whether this ministry is for them at this time.   Needs incumbent approval.

A minimum number of 10 attendees are required for this course to take place.  Participants must be able to attend on both days.  Cost for the two days is £30.

To book contact Ethlyn Roy-Johnson (01634 560000) or email:

Follow on day courses:

(after completing Introduction to Healing and Wholeness)

  • Dying and Bereavement 
  • Addictions and Mental Health
  • Inner Healing 
  • Developing a Healing Ministry Team
  • Forgiveness and Reconciliation 

Section 3: Other Diocesan short courses

Spirituality, Quiet Days and Retreats

The Spirituality Network in Rochester Diocese provides shorter courses in spirituality (e.g. The Prayer Pack - 5 sessions chosen from 10), quiet days, retreats and spiritual accompaniment. 

 If you are interested have a look at blog or join the network mailing list.  For more info contact: Rev Susanne Carlsson by phone 07795 167603 or by email

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