Working in partnership with St Padarn's Theological institute in Cardiff, St Catherine's, Gorseinon will soon be the venue of a new Theology for Life course.
What is Theology for Life?
Theology for Life is a course done by ordinary people, in the midst of ordinary, busy lives. It’s a course done to deepen your thinking, and to help you think about God’s place in your life. If you want something that challenges how you think about God, the Bible, and your day-today life, especially in discussion with others, then this is for you.
Theology for Life is offered by the St Padarn’s Institute. It can be a two-year, four-year, or six-year course, depending on what you are looking for. By doing Theology for Life, you have the chance to earn a certificate, a diploma, or even a degree if you’d like.
For more information, visit the St Padarn's Institute website here.
Who's it for?
Theology for Life is open to all. It offers anyone who wishes the chance to study for a recognised University qualification, or perhaps to attend groups without doing any University-assessed work. You won’t need any qualifications to enrol on the course, and there is no age limit. It is for everyone.
You may want to take part in Theology for Life as a student registered with the University. If so, a degree of commitment and dedication from each group member is required to benefit from taking part. This will mean a weekly commitment to preparing for each session. You will need basic IT skills, such as being able to use websites, to use email, and to type.
the nuts and bolts
Each year runs from September to June, and is made of up three terms. Roughly speaking, these terms run from September to December; from January to April; and from April to June.
Each term, all Theology for Life participants come together for an introductory half day Saturday seminar which will look at the subject of the term’s study. After this, participants will meet in a small group at St Catherine's Gorseinon with a facilitator for 8 sessions. These are resourced by a textbook, reading and other resources provided via a website, and a handbook containing everything needed for the group sessions. In the middle of each term, another half Saturday seminar looks at practical aspects of the topic and the connection between it and church and daily life and gives help with assignments. For students registered with the University, there are 2 or 3 short written reflections each term.
If you register as a student on the course, two years would result in a Certificate in Theology and Discipleship from Trinity St David’s University. A further two years results in a Diploma. It is possible to continue to full degree level if desired.
[You can join at Diploma level if you already have a Certificate or Degree level if you already hold a Diploma in Theology]
academic study? that sounds hard!
While academic study does not appeal to everyone, we’ve found that participants gain and grow through the hard work that they put in, and benefit from the structure of studying in this way. Many students may not have done any formal education for up to 50 years before they start the course, but help, training, and support are given to enable everyone to take part and build their skills and confidence.
Even though it is a University-accredited course, Theology for Life is designed to be relevant to the life and faith of church members and is not ‘ivory tower’ theology with no connection to the real world. It is not interested in splitting hairs. Instead, it is intended to stimulate, challenge and ask questions. It does not enforce a particular churchmanship and theological opinion.
It is possible for students to take part and attend group sessions without becoming students at the University. However, because it is difficult to change to become a student once the course is already underway, but easy to start as a student and then move to being unassessed later, we would recommend that most participants try the course first as a student, and see how they feel. This route is compulsory for ministry candidates and strongly advised for anyone who thinks they may explore a licensed ministry as the course progresses.
Participants who register as a student become Trinity St David’s University students, but all interaction with that University happens locally – so there is no need to travel great lengths.
The introductory sessions for Theology for Life are taking place at St Catherine's Gorseinon on Monday 16, 23 & 30 July. For more information, contact Adrian Morgan or Helen Rees (St Padarn's Tutor, Diocese of Swansea & Brecon) on (01792) 472760 or via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.