1. Candidates will usually be training for either 2 years (gaining a Diploma in Theology, Mission and Ministry) or 3 years (gaining a BA in Theology, Mission and Ministry) (through Durham University), or Theology Graduates will undertake a 2-year MA in Christian Leadership offered by SMC (through Middlesex University) or the 2-year MA in Theology, Mission and Ministry (through Durham University). Candidates join part-time SMC ordinands for residential weekends and weeks; weekly teaching is based at SMC, London (St Jude’s Church, 24 Collingham Road SW5 0LX); SMC, North West (Liverpool Cathedral); SMC, South West (St Matthias Church, Plymouth); or SMC, East Midlands (Trinity Church, Nottingham). In 2020, the MA programmes will not be available in Plymouth and only 2-year MA in Theology, Mission and Ministry (through Durham University) will be available in Nottingham, though this will be reviewed in future years. It is assumed that candidates will give half their time (at least two days and usually either 2.5 or 3 days a week) to their Primary Church Placement, and the other half of their time each week to academic study. Candidates are therefore involved in full-time non-residential training, with half of their training engaged in practical ministry and the other half in the classroom.
2. It is important to ensure that the Primary Church Placement is aware of the time constraints and expectations for the ordinand and in full agreement with the proposed terms and conditions of the role. It is recommended that a careful projection is made well in advance of the training and ministry arrangements. This will take the form of a Working Agreement between Supervisor, ordinand and SMC, but can sometimes also be a signed agreement between the diocese (represented by the DDO), the local context (usually represented by the Incumbent), SMC and the ordinand. This should encompass time to be spent working for the Primary Church Placement, time spent studying, and time off, together with a detailed projection of relevant financial arrangements.
3. (i) All tuition costs and the costs of residential teaching weekends and weeks will be met by the block grant funding which comes from the Ministry Division Central Fund for Ministerial Training to the ordinand’s diocese and is then paid to SMC.
(ii) Ordinands will normally be eligible to receive a Personal and Book Allowance (usually just over £1K pa) which will come from the ordinand’s diocese (from the block grant funding), though this will be calculated according to the ordinand’s level of personal savings.
(iii) Travel expenses for weekly travel to SMC and for travel to residential teaching weeks and weekends will be met by the diocese (from the block grant funding) up to agreed set maximums (mileage or public transport).
(iv) Ordinands will receive maintenance funding paid by the diocese, calculated on the same basis as that of ordinands in residential training and on an income expenditure basis with set national limits.
(v) As part of that expenditure calculation full-time context-based ordinands are eligible for accommodation allowances, up to a national maximum. For example, for SMC London, £8,180 for a single ordinand and £18,260 for married ordinands (allowances will take into account both interest and capital repayment on mortgages, where appropriate). Accommodation allowances for SMC North West, SMC South West and SMC East Midlands are £6,750 for single ordinands and £10,900 for married ordinands.
4. (i) The calculation of diocesan grants will continue to be made by the diocese according to Ministry Division guidelines. In these cases, there will be consultation with the Primary Church Placement as well as the Ordinand. The diocese will continue to be responsible for covering the difference between expenditure (according to the guidelines) and income from all sources. In the case of single ordinands, the guideline figures given for lone parents should be used, which are based, as with the figures for married ordinands, upon annual expenditure outside of the residential college context.
(ii) Diocesan grants paid within the guidelines under this system will be subject to pooling. In the case of single candidates’ grants over the normal limit for pooling, follow approval by the Ministry Division Finance Panel.
5. Churches who have a full-time context-based ordinand may choose (or in some cases be asked by the diocese or SMC) to offer a contribution in recognition of the ministry the ordinand is undertaking in their Primary Church Placement. This would usually be paid to the diocese as the diocese will be covering the full maintenance costs for the ordinand arising from the usual income-expenditure calculation. In some cases, for example where housing costs are significant, and perhaps above the national limits for single or married ordinands, and/or the level of spousal income means the ordinand is not eligible for diocesan maintenance support, a suitable level of financial support from the placement context may be agreed in discussion with SMC and the diocese. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us if you have queries in this regard or to discuss individual circumstances.