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

Free Church Track

Forming Missional Leaders in the North East, for the North East.

Cranmer Hall is delighted to offer this initiative specifically designed to serve the Free Church constituency here in the North East of England.

Our aim is to offer the highest quality of training – biblical, theological, practical, and missional – to raise up leaders who will engage (that is, re-engage!) the North East with the Gospel.

Students may participate in this new initiative at a range of academic levels. Depending on prior education and experience, it is possible to enter the track in pursuit of the full range of academic routes available at Durham University through Cranmer Hall: Certificate, Diploma, Bachelors, Masters, or Doctor of Theology and Ministry.

We use this term to express our commitment to training leaders who will lead churches and ministries in the North East that will embrace the challenge of proclaiming and enacting the Gospel in post-Christendom communities. Pioneering, entrepreneurship, and tested spiritual maturity are required for the task before us.

At the heart of this track is a fortnightly seminar designed to promote networking, fellowship, spiritual formation, and theological training related to leadership issues in the North East.

We will host local and international ministry leaders as guest “lecturers,” take a few “field trips” for on-site visits, consider models from the business sector, and actively discuss theological and biblical ideas about power, authority, mission, and ministry.

Its purpose is:

  • To enable students to apply a range of practical and theological disciplines to inform leadership in the church and workplace.
  • To introduce students to diverse missional, pastoral, and entrepreneurial strategies for engaging communities in the North East.
  • To equip students with practical leadership skills in fostering healthy group dynamics, casting vision, managing transitions, and addressing conflict.
  • To develop leadership character through spiritual disciplines.
  • To cultivate awareness of Northern cultures and deepen an understanding of the missiological challenges and opportunities of ministry and mission in the North East.

Through the FCT, students from evangelical traditions outside the Church of England join in the robust theological, biblical, and ministerial training available to the student community at Cranmer Hall. While studying the Bible, church history, and topics such as theological reflection and missional ecclesiology, the FCT offers specialized focus on missional leadership training.

The Free Church Missional Leadership Track affirms the Evangelical Alliance’s “Basis of Faith and Evangelical Relationships Commitment“.

The Baptist Ordination Pathway and the Free Church Track

“NBC @ Cranmer Hall” is a partnership between Northern Baptist College (NBC), Cranmer Hall, and the Northern Baptist Association (NBA) for the accreditation of Baptist Ministers and other leaders in the North East.

Cranmer Hall provides theological education at various levels to meet the academic requirements for national accreditation in the Baptist Union of Great Britain.

NBC provides additional Baptist formation including tutorials with Roy Searle (NBC Hub Tutor at Cranmer Hall), block teaching in the Baptist Leadership Programme, and participation in a formational community of Baptist leaders across the whole of the North of England.

The NBA provides support through the application process, help to set up appropriate church and missional placements, and additional networking for Baptists training for leadership in the North East.

Financial Aid Options

There are two funding opportunities for Free Church Track (FCT) students (whether full-time or part-time): 1) loans from Student Finance and/or 2) Bursaries.

There are two Bursaries: 1) Loans from Student Finance and/or  2) Bursaries.

Both new applicants and returning students must apply each year if they wish to be considered for the Bursaries.

Process and Deadlines

The priority deadline for new applicants is 30 June, which includes the admissions application, the financial aid application, and the church sponsorship form. For returning students the annual financial aid application is due 14 July.

Cranmer Bursaries

  • Students may apply for the Cranmer Bursary each year of their study.
  • These bursaries are means-tested according to a set standard of criteria determined by Annual Household Income.
  • Students who are eligible to apply to Student Finance are not eligible to apply for Cranmer Bursaries.

We not want financial hardship to be a block to people training for ministry in the north-east. Other means-tested avenues of support are available beyond Cranmer Bursaries on a case-by-case basis, and we would encourage you to discuss your needs at interview.


After the financial aid applications are received an appointed Board will meet to allocate funds according to the criteria listed above. Students will be notified whether their applications have been successful by mid-August. The Finance Office at St Johns College will be notified by the Board of any bursaries awarded and these will be set against the gross fees charged. The net fees after deduction of bursaries will be due for payment under the normal terms.


Our tuition fees are set by Durham University. See here for details of undergraduate fees and finance.

The living-in costs for Cranmer Hall undergraduates are the same as that for St John’s College. All our lets include term-time catering. Please see here for information on college accommodation costs. Charges are billed termly and payment is within two weeks of the start of each term (four weeks in the first term).

Details of funding and scholarships available through St John’s College can be found here.

For those in some form of Christian ministry, a Cranmer Bursary towards the cost of fees may also be available. Details available on request at the point of enquiry or application.


Details of tuition fees for the MA in Theology & Ministry and MA in Digital Theology are available on request from enquiries@cranmerhall.com.

For the Doctor of Theology & Ministry, current tuition fees are available on request from theo.pgadmissions@durham.ac.uk.

Details of funding and scholarships available through St John’s College can be found here. New postgraduate students’ attention is particularly drawn to the St John’s Postgraduate Scholarship.

For those in some form of Christian ministry, a Cranmer Bursary towards the cost of fees may also be available. Details available on request at the point of enquiry or application.

Cranmer Hall seeks to enable all our students to engage with their learning here to their fullest potential. In particular, we endeavour to assist students with specific learning differences or disabilities to receive the support they require. For us, this is not simply a matter of compliance with the Equality Act (2010), but is part of our understanding of following Christ. Jesus said that he came so that we might have life in all its fulness, and we desire to see that fulfilled also in our academic life. If you have questions, please contact us at cranmer.admissions@durham.ac.uk. See also Durham University’s Disability Support https://www.dur.ac.uk/disability.support/


To apply please contact cranmer.admissions@durham.ac.uk


Direct any enquiries to Jamie Daniels, Leadership Training and Access Officer.