MA Christian Ministry

Enrich your ministry practice

Enrich your ministry practice

3 years part-time
Bishop Otter Campus
  • Enhance and enrich your ministry and practice
  • Develop your theological knowledge and expertise
  • Gain new insights for your ministerial practice
  • Reflect creatively on practical issues and questions.
Inside of a church


Develop the skills to enhance your work and ministry

Build on your expertise and knowledge to allow you to be better equipped to meet the challenges of twenty-first century Christian ministry.

Our MA in Christian Ministry has been specifically developed to meet the needs of Christian ministers, predominantly those working in local churches, as you focus on the practical and local impact of theological ideas and themes.

You will be taught through your attendance at three-day schools in August, January and May, which are followed by a series of assessment tasks.

The MA is studied part-time by following a two-year taught module programme followed by a one-year dissertation module.

The Course

Examine the theological ideas that have informed contemporary society

Designed to meet the needs of Christian ministers mainly working in local churches, this course is suitable for clergy and accredited lay ministers offering an exciting and diverse range of modules to help you explore and develop your ministerial practice.

At the beginning of the course you will be introduced to the key ideas which underpin practical and public theology, which provide a strong foundation for your independent research that will form the basis of your final dissertation.

This list is indicative and subject to change.

Christian Ethics in Contemporary Society

The aim of the module is to analyse the ways in which Christian ethical perspectives can contribute to the formation of contemporary social, economic and political communities.
You will explore critically the most important features of contemporary Christian ethics and evaluate these in light of broader ethical debates and discussions.
You will also consider the contemporary context by exploring classic Enlightenment ethical perspectives and then the postmodern critique of these ideas.

Christian Leadership

This module allows you to critically engage with the notion of leadership in a Christian context and to evaluate its compatibility with Scripture and Christian tradition.
You will consider both ordained and lay leadership, examining how it can best reflect Christ the servant-leader — prophet priest and king.

Christian Spirituality

This module introduces you to key concepts in Christian spirituality and allows you to reflect theologically on the relationship between spirituality, theology and other appropriate disciplines, e.g. insights from education and psychology.
You will draw on a range of sources from the Christian spiritual tradition that continues to provide insights for the contemporary world.


The dissertation represents the culmination of the whole programme and the final stage in assessment. You will undertake a critical enquiry into a particular area of theological interest or professional practice, utilising analytical and methodological skills acquired during the course. the precise nature of this will depend upon the area of interest covered, with some topics calling for skills in the synthesis of material as well as analysis.

Practical Theology Project

This module allows you to reflect theologically on your local context.
You will critically examine different approaches to theological reflection with a focus on their practical deployment within the local context.
The module then explores the ways in which social scientific evidence can be gathered and analysed to inform analysis of your own local context

Public and Practical Theology

This module equips you to engage and reflect theologically on social, political and pastoral issues and questions which arise locally, nationally and globally.
You will critically examine public and practical theological methodologies and perspectives utilised by British and international theologians.
You will explore the strengths and weaknesses of different methodologies primarily by employing them to analyse and reflect on specific issues and questions which emerge from your context.

The Bible and Public Theology

This module examines the role of the Bible in the public sphere.
You will critically engage with the major issues related to the Bible and public theology, from sexuality, morality and anti-Semitism to religious rights, democracy and blasphemy.
By the end of the module, you will have the ability to critically evaluate the role of the Bible in the public sphere and to respond to the uses and abuses of the biblical in relation to the political.

Teaching and Assessment

Feel the support of internationally-recognised research staff

Allocated teaching days

Teaching is delivered in three school blocks a year; each of which lasts for three days.

You may either visit the University of Chichester on a daily basis or, if you live further away, we can help you find suitable accommodation if required.

You will learn by attending our allocated academic days; our three-days schooling programmes. We offer extensive support, especially for those returning to study after a long period, meaning you will the confidence in your academic skills to fully explore your ideas.

Academic year 2022/23

  • Tuesday 23 August – Thursday 25 August 2022
  • Tuesday 3 January – Thursday 5 January 2023
  • Tuesday 9 May – Thursday 11 May 2023

Dissertation Day: Friday 26 August 2022, 10:30am – 3:30pm (for any students completing their second year in this academic year)

Stand alone modules

Some modules can be studied alone, whereby you can study one module and accumulate the credits but are not registered for the full degree.

For more details on our MA Christian Ministry modules, please contact Professor Graeme Smith (

Support for the module ‘Christian Leadership’ is available from the diocese of Chichester. Please contact Rev’d Dr Earl Collins ( or Canon Rebecca Swyer (


Assessment is through a variety of academic and practical tasks, ranging from essays to book reviews, short articles, case studies and practical projects. The assessments are relevant to your local ministerial context.


Discover facilities and research centres that support your learning


Catholic Bible School
"The MA course is a great way to improve your practice as a Christian Minister. I have found the focused 3-day teaching blocks useful, interesting and enjoyable and incredibly practical for my diary. There is freedom within the curriculum to be able to relate most of the teaching and assignments directly to my practice as a lay minister.”

Course Costs

Course fees 2023/24

UK fee
£714 per 20 credit module
Students study 3 x 20 credit modules a year.
Church Authority recommendation fee
£535.50 per 20 credit module

For further details about fees, please see our Tuition Fee page.

For further details about international scholarships, please see our Scholarships page.

University of Chichester alumni who have completed a full undergraduate degree at the University will receive a 15% discount on their postgraduate fees.

Student loans

You can access support as a University of Chichester applicant from the Student Finance Office ( including how to apply for a loan and what funding models are available.

Entry Requirements

If you wish to apply for a place on our MA Christian Ministry course, please contact Professor Graeme Smith – 

Normally you will be required to:

  • Have experience working in a ministerial or theological context
  • Have a university theological qualification or a good honours degree in a humanities subject together with experience in a church context
  • Attend an interview
  • Submit your application online through the university web site
  • If English is not your first language then English language proficiency required is IELTS 6.5 overall with no element lower than 5.5 (or equivalent qualification)

For those applying from the Diocese of Chichester a fee arrangement is in place which allows students to study with support from the diocese.

For more information please contact either:

For those applying from the Diocese of Portsmouth support may be available.

The Rev’d Dr Anthony Rusttell –

For further details about fees, please see our Tuition Fee page.

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