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

MA in Theology and Ministry

Why do further study now?

There has never been a better or a more urgent time for rigorous and faithful theological thinking to undergird Christian mission and ministry. Cranmer Hall’s postgraduate programmes, validated by Durham University, are ideally suited to enable you to study and reflect at the interface of theology and practice.

Our exciting suite of modules are led by scholars working in a range of different fields and offer wide scope for anyone wishing to think further, deeper, and better about being and doing church now.

Our modules are available in person, on site in our state-of-the-art teaching spaces in the World Heritage Site, and they are available online, for students who wish to study from a distance across the UK and internationally.

There are many reasons why people choose to undertake further study in theology after an undergraduate-level qualification. For some, this study forms part of their training for a ministry role, whether lay or ordained, in a wide variety of denominations and parachurch organizations. For others, it is an entry route to research, whether via a PhD or our own professional doctoral programme, the Doctor of Theology and Ministry, offered in collaboration with Durham University’s Department of Theology and Religion.

Many find that part-time study is an excellent way to pursue professional or ministerial development, and they are often supported by their employer in this. Some do it simply because they love studying theology! The diversity of backgrounds and trajectories within our student cohort is part of its great strength. And we find that all of our students, in one way or another, are motivated not only by a desire for learning or training, but above all by their passion for the God they study – in himself, in his church, in his world.

Cranmer Hall is a theological education institute committed to forming Christlike missional leaders, and to connecting theology, church, and world. Cranmer’s academic programmes are directly validated by Durham University and our students form part of the vibrant wider University community. We work closely alongside Durham’s outstanding Department of Theology & Religion and our students study their modules and vice versa.

We are committed to academic excellence and research-led teaching, and we are passionate about serving the church regionally, nationally, and globally. The primary way we do this is through training, teaching, building up, and sending out our students.


At the core of our MA lies the desire to integrate theology and ministry in a way that enriches both. This integration is the hallmark of all of our modules, and is exemplified in our programme’s core module, Theological and Practical Reflection upon Mission & Ministry. Here students explore Practical Theology, an approach to theology that seeks to take practice and experience seriously, both as a context for the development of new insight and faithful response in light of Scripture and tradition, and as a source of new questions to bring to Scripture and tradition. This approach engages the whole range of theological sub-disciplines and can sometimes also be interdisciplinary in its engagement of social scientific or other academic disciplines. Above all, it reflects a desire to live faithfully in the light of rigorous and prayerful thinking.


There are three components within the MA in Theology and Ministry:

Core module: Theological and Practical Reflection upon Mission & Ministry 30 credits
Three elective modules 30 credits x 3
A 15,000 word dissertation 60 credits
Total 180 credits


It is also possible to gain a Postgraduate Certificate in Theology and Ministry by completing two taught modules (60 credits), or a Postgraduate Diploma in Theology and Ministry by completing the core module and three other taught modules (120 credits).

The MA can be taken full-time in one year, or part-time over two or three years. It can be studied residentially or via distance learning, attending block teaching in Durham and accessing term-time teaching online. The Postgraduate Certificate and Diploma can also be taken full-time in one year or part-time over two years. The distribution of work would normally be as follows.


  Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
One Year FT Core Module

Three Electives


180 credits

Two Year PT


Core Module

Two Electives

90 credits

One Elective


90 credits

Three Year PT Core Module

One Elective

60 credits

Two Electives

60 credits


60 credits



Elective modules currently available can be viewed here. Modules are delivered in a number of ways: 1) fully online using a combination of pre-recorded input and live seminars; 2) in two residential blocks of two and a half days each, Monday – Wednesday morning or Wednesday afternoon – Friday; 3) in blended mode, typically involving one block and one term of seminars (which can be accessed online or in Durham). In 2021 – 2022, Cranmer is committed to enabling online access for all MA modules. We work with students to establish a pathway that works for them.


Please note that we reserve the right not to run a module in any given year if a minimum threshold of student numbers is not met.

Rosie Illingworth “I am studying the MA part-time over two years alongside training for ordination in the Church of England. The MA has enabled me to continue exploring my particular academic interests through the dissertation, supported by a combination of modules that are focused on ministry from the Cranmer tutors, alongside more theoretical modules from the Durham University theology department. It’s this combination that attracted me to the course, and I have found that it is equipping me for my future ministry. The diversity of voices on the course among students and staff has been refreshing and stretching, and I have been encouraged to think deeply and creatively about my work. I highly recommend it!”

– Rosie Illingworth

All of our modules are available to study as standalone modules, and some modules are particularly popular as standalone courses. To check which modules are running and to request a single module application form, please contact us at cranmer.admissions@durham.ac.uk

Modules can be taken on an audit basis, where you engage in all pre-reading and teaching but do not complete any assignments, or on a credit basis, where you also take the assignments and gain credit. If you take a module for credit you can carry any credits achieved into a postgraduate programme, within five years.

If you are unsure about jumping straight into a full MA, is also possible to apply for the Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma. You can exit with that qualification, or decide to transfer to the next level of study – and you don’t need to rush that decision!

Our fees are available for the current year on request.

We are keen that cost should not be a barrier to study, however, and we therefore offer a range of generous bursaries: for Durham alumni, for those in ministry, and for international students with financial need. Full details and a bursary application form are available from the admissions secretary (enquiries@cranmerhall.com). We would also encourage you to contact your relevant student finance agency as loans are available for Master’s-level study.

For the MA, the normal entrance requirement is either a BA in Theology or Religious Studies or a related subject, classed at 2:1 or above (GPA 3.3 or above), or a BA in another discipline with experience of Theology or Religious Studies to at least HE Certificate level (with a mark of 60 or above). All candidates also need recent or current experience of the practice of Christian ministry.

If you don’t meet the above requirements but do have relevant experience, training, or unaccredited study, we’d still love to hear from you as it may be possible to admit you to the Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma. Please contact us to discuss, as we apply for University approval on a case-by-case basis. Students who successfully complete the Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma can request to transfer to the MA.

We welcome international candidates. Do note that candidates from certain countries must satisfy Durham University’s English language requirements, and may require an entry visa.

The deadline for all programme applications and bursary applications is 31 July. Applications to join standalone modules can be received up to four weeks before the module begins.


Special Educational Needs (SENDA)

St John’s College fully supports the University’s policies on Equality and Diversity. If you have special needs or learning differences that you wish to disclose they will be handled in confidence, and our aim is to provide the support you need to pursue successfully the courses we offer and reach your full potential. In relevant cases we liaise closely with Disability Services in order to ensure our courses are accessible to all, including developing and circulating requests for reasonable adjustment. We encourage those with specific needs to discuss support when applying or at least before beginning the programme.

Welfare & Student Support

All MA students are assigned an academic advisor. This person offers support throughout the year, in particular (for part-time students) through a summer check in to review progress. All students are also welcome to join in the worship and social life and social and welfare provision within Cranmer Hall and St John’s College.

Additional further study!

If you already have a Master’s-level qualification in theology, or if you are already thinking about options beyond an MA, consider our professional doctoral programme, the Doctor of Theology and Ministry. This is jointly delivered by Cranmer Hall in direct collaboration with Durham University’s Department of Theology and Religion. It offers an opportunity to do doctoral-level research culminating in a 70,000-word thesis, with taught foundations and strong peer and staff support through two annual week-long residentials. MA students are welcome to join part of either of these residentials as a preview of the DThM programme.

We’d love to hear from you! For an application pack, including application form and bursary application form, details of current timetable, fees, and bursaries – or for any other queries, please contact us at cranmer.admissions@durham.ac.uk.