Being an effective minister requires both knowledge and practical experience. Thus training for LLM ministry is conducted via a Portfolio approach, which is much more practical than the ‘essay-based’ training you may have been expecting. The Gifts and Competencies required for training have been carefully selected and are reviewed regularly to fit the needs of LLM ministry.

Each ‘Gift and Competency’ lists the knowledge and skills, which you are required to show that you have in order to be licensed. Each Gift and Competency will act as a benchmark to see where you are, and a target for you to aim at. You will be helped by a mentor (provided by the diocese) to work with this. Your Portfolio is the evidence that you collect together in order to show that you have the required knowledge and skills. The evidence will include theoretical work, perhaps gained from a course, and examples of ministry with reflections on practical work in the parish. Your incumbent is a key person in the parish who oversees your practical work, and gives you feedback on your development (occasionally the incumbent may delegate some of this role to another appropriate person e.g. an experienced LLM or a retired priest).

A completed portfolio is then assessed by your mentor and moderated by the diocese. You will be given information about the deadlines for moderation of portfolios and for the assessment before licensing.

Dates of deadline for submissions and moderation meetings

26th February 2010 (for diocesan moderation on 22nd March)

21st May 2010 (for diocesan moderation on 17th June)

Oxford Brookes exam committee will take place:

Late January 2010 (work for this must have been submitted by the November 2009 deadline)

Mid-July 2010 (work for this must be submitted by the May 2010 deadline above)

You may find that you already have evidence for some parts of a Gift and Competency and thus have already started the process of your development. If you think you have completed a more substantial amount that covers most of the competency, then you may be able to apply for Accreditation of Prior Learning, APL (see below).

How to make an Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) claim.

Most Gifts and Competencies may be completed at different levels. The level required for LLM training is level 1 HE. You have to complete a set of specified competencies. These can build up to a Cert HE in Ministry awarded by Oxford Brookes University, and could contribute to a Foundation Degree in your CME, for which the Cert HE is half of the required work. The following chart shows you the competencies you must do for your LLM training, and relates them to the credits in the Ministry award.

Required Gifts and Competencies for LLMs


1A Living the Christian Life – The Inward Journey


3A Living the Christian Life – Discovering God’s Call
E Theological Reflection


Study Skills Profile
1F Exercising Pastoral Care


1H Planning and Leading Worship


2H Planning and Leading Worship – Preaching
I Developing knowledge of the story of the church


4J Developing and Applying Knowledge of the Bible


K Interpreting Christian Doctrine


N Engaging in Mission and Evangelism


1P Ministry in the Church – Being a Licensed Lay Minister


Gifts and Competencies for LLM training

You should be able to complete this in 3 years and get a Cert HE in Ministry. You must complete your LLM training in five years.

For 2H the competency says ‘3 or more’ sermons. For LLM training you must do 5 as preaching is a central part of LLM ministry. You could put sermons into 4J and 1P as an example of your ministry.

Once you have been selected as an LLM candidates the cost of your training is covered by the Diocese for Rolling Programme courses.

The Rolling Programme

The Diocese provides a programme of teaching to assist in the gaining of the required knowledge and skills. This ‘rolling programme’ covers all the compulsory competencies in a three-year cycle. Learners on the rolling programme are not just LLMs but also OLMs, those training for authorized ministries and any other interested learners. This has been developed to help you gain the knowledge and skills you need. It does not provide the practical experience need to complete a competency, as this will be found in your parish. It is up to you to choose which courses you go on.

While these courses are not compulsory (you may gain your learning elsewhere), they will give you the theoretical knowledge and skills base you need for completion of your training. You will be sent regularly the leaflet, which will tell you about the courses for the next few months. You will need to book in for them yourself. You, and up to 4 supporting learners, are paid for centrally.

At present these course are delivered in three centres:

Tuesday North Bucks (mostly Winslow)

Wednesday Oxford (mostly Diocesan Church House)

Thursday Berkshire (mostly Reading or Bracknell)

It is possible to put on courses in other areas provided that there is suitable accommodation and a viable learning group.

The rolling programme runs at two levels. You need to plan carefully which courses you are doing when to make sure you don’t get clashes. You should not go on a level 2 course until you have completed level 1, or at least done most of it. Here is a chart that sets out the rolling programme for the next few years:













2H & G





A & 1H



3H & 4H


2H & G








2H & 3H

2F/6H & 4F




1H & 2H






3F/4H & 10H


K will be taught at level 2 and you might like to consider doing it at that level, but you are only required to complete this at level 1 and will be guided into how to do that on the course. You will see other courses at level 2 advertised, as on the chart above. You may do these as you wish. They could help you towards a Foundation Degree in Ministry.

Other courses



Learning to learn and to think theologically16 teaching hours

This course is run regularly and can be found in the brochure. It is important to do this at the beginning of your training. It may, for you, replace one of the courses for a term and is mostly taught on Monday evenings. It includes some basic study skills.

Bibliography Study Skills

There are also some other courses taught on Saturdays, evenings or weekends, from time to time:

Saturday2HPreaching5 teaching hours
1HPlanning and Leading All Age Worship5 teaching hours
1PBeing an LLM5 teaching hours
2MBias and discrimination5 teaching hours

You need to plan which courses you intend to go on to order your training. This you can discuss with your mentor. All of the above courses can be found on the leaflets.

You not need to complete a portfolio on 2M but must go on the course during your training. You will be informed separately about this course.

The other key part of your training is the annual LLM conference, normally in September. You must come to this each year as a part of your training. The conference in 2010 will run from 17th – 19th September.

Also if at all possible you should attend the LLM day Forum in the Spring. You will be informed about these via the LLM mailings.

Optional learning opportunities

There are some optional learning opportunities available with OLM candidates for those in training only. You will be sent separate information about this. There may be limited places and you will have to pay for it yourselves or find funding from your parish.

Retreat24 hours
Study weekendResidential at Ripon College Cuddesdon

LLM training: a basic worked example brings this all together in a chart.

With you mentor, you will need to plan your learning, identify library resources near you, and complete your competencies.

Building your own theological library


Assignments are provided for the rolling programme courses. These are designed to be helpful for you to complete the competency. The course and the assignments will however not cover everything, as some of the competency will be practical work to do in the parish.

Assignments are normally about 1500 words long, and should include a bibliography. If you are unsure about writing assignments you will be assisted in this onLearning to learn and to think theologically. Assignments should be completed in the month after the course.

Volume of work in a portfolio

Portfolios for 15 credits are expected to contain the following:

  1. Cover sheet
  2. Gift and Competency copied from handbook with cross-referencing to your evidence.
  3. Introduction, a reflection on your learning in doing this competency (400 words).
  4. Marked assignment(s) – e.g. 2 of 1500 words.
  5. Other supporting evidence of your learning e.g. sermons, parish policy documents, services, feedback. You need to explain how these evidenceyour learning if it is not obvious, for example if you were part of a group that planned a service.
  6. A conclusion identifying points of learning with pointers to personal development (400 words)
  7. An annotated bibliography – 600 words.

Referencing should be done according to the Harvard System (see below). You may email assignments to a tutor. If you post them, then include a stamped addressed envelope. If you hear nothing after a month, contact the tutor again. Sometimes they get lost in transit. Make sure therefore you keep a copy of your work. If there are any problems with getting things marked, contact the Director of LLM Training.

If a course is 5 weeks long, you will be able to have assessed one major assignment of 1500 words. If a course is 10 weeks, you will be able to have assessed 2 assignments of 1500 words. There will be suggested assignments on the course, but you are free to negotiate alternatives to suite you portfolio requirements. The pass mark is 40%. This next link connects you to the marking criteria for assignments. For a 10-week course you should complete one assignment before the course finishes. This link connects you to a page with further suggestions on volume of work.

Portfolios and Referencing

Each competency needs to have an annotated bibliography using the Harvard system.

Overview of citing the information sources used in your work (Oxford Brookes University)

Specific examples of referencing using the Harvard system

Distance learning

Circumstances may require you to do some distance learning. This is perfectly valid way to gain learning for your training, and distance-learning courses are run by various institutions. The learning from these can be used either for evidencing your competencies or for exemptions. You will have to discuss this with the Director of LLM Training. There may be financial implications for you in undertaking distance learning.

Other courses

There are a variety of courses put on by local training bodies both in and outside the diocese. Some of the rolling programme courses may be put on by other bodies e.g. a local church or the Milton Keynes Christian Training Programme. We wish to have a flexible approach and encourage you to find your learning in ways which suit you. You will need to work out the level of the course and tailor your evidence to fit the competency requirements.


You may apply for Accreditation of Prior Learning as a part of your training. You do this by contacting the Director of LLM Training.


You can get a book grant from SPCK. You should apply for this yourself (contact SPCK via their website or the bookshop at Winchester). The manager comes to the LLM conference regularly.

There are a number of theological libraries around the diocese. You may need to negotiate access. There are libraries in Oxford, Cuddesdon, Milton Keynes, Newbury, and Binfield. Your own clergy, and ministry team, may have a number of relevant books. You need to think about ways to get hold of books.


You should be able to complete your training within 3 years. To do this you will need to put in your diary time for study, not just courses but time to read, write, reflect on practical work, and collate your portfolio. This will need to be about 10-15 hours a week. You should aim to complete 15 credits per term. You are advised to plan to put some work in for each moderation.

Cert HE Ministry

There is no difference in quality between diocesan moderation and the Cert HE at Oxford Brookes. We therefore recommend that you apply to get the Cert HE and consider the Foundation Degree for your CME. Registering you for Portfolio is not the same a registration with Oxford Brookes. When you register with Brookes you will have access to their library, training, sports facilities, and the student IT offers. You must complete your Cert HE in 3 years. To register send the application form to the Director of LLM Training at Diocesan Church House. This link takes you to an application form.

Oversight of your training

You will have seen the Diocesan Adviser for Licensed Lay Ministry in your selection. The Director of LLM Training for the Diocese runs the training.

Oversight of training


‘Great is the company of preachers!’- Great is the company of Licensed Lay Ministers! You are training for a nationally recognized ministry in the church. Pray and trust in the Lord to guide. Think about starting a development group, people who can support you in your training, pray with you, provide you with feedback when needed, and come with you to some of the courses. This could be a really important learning group for you in your training. Most of all have fun while you train and see the Lord at work.