Equipped to Minister Course

Equipped to Minister is an established, popular and highly valued course at Spurgeon’s College. It was launched in 2003 with the aim of providing high quality training for those serving in the local church. In the 15 years the course has been in existence over 680 people have attended modules from the course and the course grows in popularity each year. Although the course initially was aimed at churches from the Baptist denomination we now have people from many different church streams attending the course to enable them to develop their ministry in the local church or to grow in their personal discipleship.

What is Equipped to Minister?

Equipped to Minister is a training course for members of local churches which aims to equip them to preach, to pastor and to serve in local churches. The course follows a curriculum agreed by all Baptist Colleges in the UK and the Baptist Union. It is therefore acceptable to the Baptist Union, when accompanied by satisfactory Association ministerial recognition outcomes, as a pathway of training for those seeking Union recognition as preachers or lay pastors.

The course takes place at both Spurgeon’s College, London and Histon Baptist Church nr. Cambridge on selected Saturdays.

The course works on the following basis:

  • There are twelve modules, eight of which are required by the BU for preachers and twelve for lay pastors. (See below for further details.)
  • Each module contains twelve hours of contact time divided between two Saturdays (9.00am to 4.00pm) in consecutive months.
  • Each module also requires two assignments for assessment purposes if you wish to receive the Certificate of Achievement for each successfully completed module. These assignments vary in kind from module to module and are normally 1500 words in length
  • Participants not seeking the Certificate of Achievement need not submit the assignments and opt to just attend the lectures.
  • After satisfactory completion of eight modules and assignments, candidates are awarded a Certificate of Achievement which is an internally validated Spurgeon’s award.
  • The course is flexible. Participants can choose to attend individual modules, the modules they are interested in or the whole course. Students book in for a module at a time and therefore can take a break from the course if necessary and return later to attend the modules they have yet to complete.
  • The course operates as a rolling programme and so can be joined at the beginning of each full module.
  • Credit can be given for previous studies where these are documented.
  • No previous qualifications are required. Modules are pitched at ‘Access level’ or A’ Level standard and as such provide a good foundation for those wishing to continue into further study.

Who is this course for?

Equipped to Minister is an ideal starting point for those who wish to deepen their understanding of the Bible, theology, mission, ministry and personal spiritual development, even if they are returning to study after a long break. Many participants find the course a significant step towards developing their service God in their churches. They also find their own personal discipleship is deepened through attending the course lectures. Equipped to Minister has attracted local preachers, Bible study group leaders, lay church leaders, youth workers, pastoral carers and people from a variety of different ministries in the church.

What will I study?

The course is made up of twelve modules:

Module 1: Reading and Using the Bible Part 1 (OT)

Understanding the story of the Bible and engaging thoughtfully with it, including with selected texts

Module 2: Exploring Christian Belief Part 1

The framework of Christian faith and belief and its relevance in the contemporary world.

Module 3: Leading Worship

A holistic approach to worship. The development of specific skills, including insights into music and all-age worship. The module includes a practical assignment in worship leading.

Module 4: Reading and Using the Bible Part 2 (NT)

Deepening our understanding the Bible story and engaging thoughtfully with it, including further selected texts.

Module 5: Evangelism and Mission

Congregational, friendship, servant and relational evangelism in contemporary society.

Module 6: Preaching

Different preaching skills and the theology behind them. The module includes a practical preaching assignment.

Module 7: Spirituality

Exploring what is meant by spirituality with a look at selected texts from the spiritual traditions. Growing as a Christian believer.

Module 8: Exploring Christian Belief Part 2

A further exploration of core Christian doctrines and their implications for Christian living.

Module 9: Pastoral Care

The context of pastoral care today. Developing self-awareness and basic counselling skills. A look at particular pastoral issues.

Module 10: Baptist History and Principles

An exploration of where Baptists came from, of the Baptist way of being the church and of contemporary issues such as baptism, membership and the place of children.

Module 11: Church Management and Leadership

Leadership and management in the church. The conduct of church meetings, funerals, weddings. Conflict skills and resolution.

Module 12: History of Christianity: The Story of God’s People

This independent study module is made up of guided reading and assessed through three extended essays.

How much does Equipped to Minister cost?

Each module of Equipped to Minister costs £92 and you book in and pay for each module as it comes around.

Additionally, you may purchase a year of reading (not borrowing) access to the College’s library in London for £45.

Course participants are encouraged to approach their local churches and their Baptist Associations for financial assistance.

What are the module dates for the course?

For more information on the course including the dates when the individual modules are running at Spurgeon’s College, London or Histon Baptist Church nr. Cambridge please click here to view the ETM course brochure, which contains a full list of course dates.

How can I apply for the course?

To apply to join the Equipped to Minister course please use this online application form: Apply Now


For general questions about the course please email: admissions@spurgeons.ac.uk

For questions about the EtM course Baptist Union recognition as a lay pastor or lay preacher then please email the Course Director: etm@spurgeons.ac.uk