The number of students signing up for the new Pioneer Mission Leadership Training course delivered by the Church Mission Society has exceeded all expectations. Having set a target of recruiting 12 students for the forthcoming academic year, 20 will start the course this autumn.
The course director, Jonny Baker, said of this unprecedented take up of the new training programme, “It is very exciting to have so many wanting to explore what it means to be pioneers taught and equipped by CMS. We have over 200 years of experience of cross-cultural mission and can pass on all that we have learnt to a new generation of individuals passionate about sharing their faith in creative and relevant ways whether in this country or overseas.”
The course has been structured around a foundation degree in ministry accredited by Oxford Brookes University but has been uniquely tailored to provide a missional focus to the content of a conventional theological training programme. It is very flexible due to its modular structure and is designed to work alongside and enhance the pioneering practice most of the students are already engaged in.
Students from the pilot year are now part of a team providing a chaplaincy service to a brand new College of Further Education in West Bromwich with capacity for 10,000 young people, talking to men in their 20s and 30s about what a fresh expression of church might look like for them when they leave a prison near Rugby, volunteering on a large, poorly served housing estate near Iffley in Oxfordshire and entering into dialogue with spiritual seekers at new age fairs and mind, body and spirit festivals.
One student, Andrea Campanale, said of her experience of the course so far, “Learning from experienced practitioners has given me greater confidence to try new things knowing I have considered the cultural context and allowed biblical principles to inform my activity. It has also provided me with a supportive community of like-minded Christians with whom I can share my struggles and successes.”
If you would like to find out more, visit the website http://pioneer.cms-uk.org and to support those who are redefining what it means to share the gospel and plant churches, why not consider becoming a friend to the Pioneer course.
For further information contact
Jonny Baker, course director
Jeremy Woodham, CMS communications
NOTE TO EDITORS
CMS is a community of over 2,500 members committed to evangelistic mission, working to see our world transformed by the love of Jesus. Members commit to seven promises as they aspire to a whole lifestyle shaped by God’s mission. CMS supports people in mission making disciples, resourcing leaders and transforming communities in over 35 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America. It was founded in 1799.