The Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology, based in Cambridge, runs national programme, the Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies, across the Diocese of East Anglia. Now it has responded to feedback from teachers about improving the ways in which the course resources are offered – reducing travel time, finding ways to fit training in with the rhythm of the teaching term and better linking the ideas of faith to the work we do in classrooms.
The Institute has re-designed the programme to include 50% live study through live online discussion throughout the Diocese. Teachers can now log on in their schools or at home, and hear and participate in conversations about good practice and the way theology can shape it.
Tutors on the modules have been chosen because they have some pastoral element to their own work as chaplains, university outreach officers, or working on formation through scripture and art as a subject of research in its own right.
Dr Amy Daughton, Director of Studies said; “We are really excited about the new ways of training. It’s better suited for the needs of teachers who are under such pressure. Plus it’s always such a diverse and lively group that it challenges our tutors to respond to the insights of those practising in schools and parishes. We have to learn too and that’s enriching for everyone. Pope Francis always tells us not to be stagnant!”
And students have backed the new format. John D’Mello, a previous CCRS student, said: “The modules were diverse ranging from biblical study to concrete applications in education and catechesis.
“I wanted something that would give me a wider perspective of my own faith, giving me insight into the purpose and mission of Catholic Education. So I began the programme and did not regret a minute of it… Post-course I now have a better understanding of the Church, its mission and how my role plays a small part in this much bigger picture.”
One of the aspects the course has kept is the opportunity to make connections between people. Another previous student, Rachel Rose, sees this as especially important: “The group grew to be a community of learning based around faith which proved both supportive and motivating as we studied together. I formed some close friendships along the way.”
The next cycle of the CCRS will begin in January 2019, though students can join on any module. To find out more, and apply for the course, look on http://www.margaretbeaufort.cam.ac.uk/ccrs/ or email Amy, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictured above are students at the Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology.