A vibrant and diverse evangelical Christian community.

‘And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight’  Philippians 1:19

Cranmer Hall, St John’s College,

3 South Bailey, Durham DH1 3RJ

Certificate in Children’s Ministry or Youth Ministry

Certificate in Theology, Ministry and Mission with a focus on Children’s Ministry or Youth Ministry

From September 2024 Cranmer Hall will be offering a new pathway through the Certificate in Theology, Ministry and Mission with a focus on children’s and youth ministry. Our vision for this pathway is training students to enable children and young people to grow in their faith and develop their discipleship.

In this certificate, students will be given the opportunity to deepen their theological understanding and develop their practical skills. The range of modules will not only help students to grow in their own faith and discipleship, but also help them to play a key part in enabling our local churches to grow younger and more diverse. Alongside a solid grounding in theological study, one third of the certificate will be directly exploring ministry with children and young people.

The Certificate is validated by Durham University through Common Awards. All of our modules aim to enable students to connect their learning to their own contexts, so that knowledge is harnessed and becomes fuel for faithful, committed and fruitful service in churches and communities.


Who is the Certificate for?

Anyone who would like to:

  • deepen their understanding of the Christian faith
  • learn more about children’s ministry & youth ministry
  • be equipped for mission and ministry, especially with children and teenagers
  • grow in their discipleship and life of prayer
  • be part of a diverse and encouraging learning community

Applicants might already be part of ministry in this area in their churches or might simply be wanting to deepen their theological understanding in this area as a way of discerning God’s call on their lives.


How would I train?

The Certificate is studied for part-time over two years. You would take the following modules spread across the two years:

Introduction to Growing Faith in Children and Young People

Values, Policy and Practice in Children and Family Work / Youth Work

Introduction to Theology and Human Development in Childhood and Adolescence

Mission and Evangelism                                                        

Introduction to the Bible

Introduction to Christian Doctrine and History

Introduction to Aspects of Pastoral Care

Introducing Theological Reflection

You will study with a range of expert theologians and experienced practitioners, drawing on our pioneering research in this area, including as a recognised Growing Faith Learning Hub. We have been commended for our ‘interactive teaching style’ (Periodic External Review, 2024), and you will learn much from other students as well as module leaders.

These modules are taught on site in Cranmer Hall, St John’s College, in the heart of Durham’s World Heritage Site – just along the Bailey from Durham Cathedral.


Teaching and learning

Teaching is delivered across two terms, running between October and March each year. Typically, you would be attending about three classes a week, taught on a Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday. Sessions are 1hr 45 minutes, and there are eight teaching weeks in each term. Personal reading, preparation, and reflection accompanies these sessions. Some of the modules run just for one term (10 credits), and others for two terms (20 credits).

These modules are assessed in a variety of ways, including placement reports, reflective journals, and short essays. You would have lots of support in preparing for these assessments and access to Durham’s leading collection of theological resources (in our libraries and online).


Community, discipleship, and support

Outside of these core academic components, you would be part of a Discipleship Group which would meet twice a term with a dedicated tutor. This is a space for prayer, for the deepening of fellowship, and where you can join the dots between your studies and your contexts.

Students on this course would also be part of the wider Cranmer Hall community, and you would be welcome to join in with any of the rhythm of prayer and worship we have here.

Our hope is that everyone is able to engage fully with teaching and learning, and we offer particular support for students with Specific Learning Differences, neurodivergences, or disabilities. You will have access to a range of support from Durham University and Cranmer Hall, including help and advice about applying for Disabled Student Allowance (DSA) or other appropriate funding, specialist study skills support, and reasonable adjustments for teaching and assessments. You can also speak to Cranmer’s SEND Tutor at any time, to discuss how your particular circumstances impact the ways in which you navigate your learning and ministry.


Additional opportunities

During the third term, once your modules have finished, you would have the opportunity to opt in to some additional formational teaching, in areas such as Conflict Transformation, Race and Culture, or Disability Awareness. Throughout the year we also run conferences and training on Church Planting through our Centre for Church Planting Theology and Research, and you would be very welcome to take part in these events as well.


Going further

After completing the Certificate, you would have the option to continue your studies and progress to the Diploma. As part of the Diploma, you would be able to build on your knowledge and practice in the area of children’s ministry and/or youth ministry, taking modules such as our pioneering Diploma level ‘Growing Faith’ module. You will also be able to continue to deepen your theological study with modules in subjects such as:

  • Preaching
  • Spirituality & Discipleship
  • Christian Ethics
  • Leadership & Theology for Mission and Ministry
  • Old Testament Studies
  • New Testament Studies
  • Topics in Christian Doctrine
  • Sacramental Theology


After the Diploma, you would have the choice to take your studies even further and complete the BA. You could even write a dissertation in an area of children’s or youth ministry that interests you!

How much does it cost?

Taken on a part-time basis over two years, the certificate costs £4625 per year. This includes all of the teaching and training, the Discipleship Group and staff support, and Durham University IT/library access.

You can apply for a Relay Bursary at Cranmer Hall, and if you are from the Diocese of Durham there may be a separate grant to help with your training. To receive the Relay Bursary application form, please email our admissions secretary, Gail Bentham, at cranmer.admissions@durham.ac.uk


How do I apply?

Please email Gail at cranmer.admissions@durham.ac.uk and she will send you the application form. You can also get in touch to arrange an informal conversation with Revd Sarah Strand at sarah.e.strand@durham.ac.uk, to explore this training opportunity further.

Once you’ve applied, you will be invited to come and have a look around Cranmer Hall and meet some of our students. You will have a conversation with Revd Sarah Strand who is overseeing this training, and with another member of staff. They will talk with you about studying here and how we can best support you, and you’ll be able to ask any questions you may have.

We look forward to hearing from you!