i think most of you who follow the blog know i lead pioneer training for the church mission society. i absolutely love what i do. we interview one of our students each month to see what they are up to and post it on the pioneer blog. this month is jane gray who is in the first year but it reminded how much people who relate to the idea of being pioneers in the church flourish and love training with us. i often forget how refreshing it is for people who see different possibilities to be in an environment where they feel at home and we effectively say to them that we love what they are about. jane says
I feel absolutely that at last, I am with people who know what I am talking about. It’s like arriving in safe harbour after toiling in stormy seas for so long. I also feel completely out of my depth at times (in a good way!) – everything I thought I knew I now know that I didn’t, every thought I had has been taken, shaken and given back revitalised. It’s a scary place to be, and yet absolutely faith affirming. It’s without doubt the best decision I ever took, I love it and feel totally confident that I am where God wants me to be.
we are in year seven of what we are doing and now offer lots of modules that anyone can simply buy into and piece together how they like. and for those wanting to do something formal we also have a certificate, diploma and MA programmes accredited with durham university. we also train pioneers who are getting ordained in the church of england - in fact we are able to train anyone who has been selected for ordination in the church of england but are really best for those with a strong mission focus. it never stays still so this year we are adding in the option of a degree. and we have partnered with streetspace network (fyt) and oxford cym to develop a pioneer youth ministry certificate and a pioneer childrens and family worker certificate. and back in september we helped launch st cedds in chelmsford as the first pioneer hub elsewhere which is currently piloting an unaccredited course we have developed - so it's exciting!
so far we have grown every year by a little bit which has been encouraging. this year the MA in particular has grown. and we are trying to respond to the interest in missional entrepreneurship by working out how to grow that as a new thing in its own right - i'll say more about that another time but we have a week in april with spaces on it still.
anyway all that to say that if you are interested in mission and pioneering (it's a complicated word that the church chose to describe people starting new things outside of the usual church stuff so don't be put off if you don't like the word or are unsure what it means) and want to connect with others and do some learning in the area of mission, theology, pioneering, and changing the world then come and see us and talk about it.
we have an open day coming up on tues march 14 but if you can't make that get in touch and visit any tuesday which is our teaching day in oxford. we starting to line up students for next september...
this video was our attempt to describe it as succinctly as we could and still makes good sense i think...