What is the Local Ministry Pathway [LMP]?

The Diocese of Oxford Local Ministry Pathway (or Programme) is our diocesan ministerial training course. It is a nationally-validated, part-time and context-based programme designed specifically to prepare ordinands and lay ministers for ministry and leadership in a range of parish and other settings. We have been training candidates for ordained ministry for more than 25 years; and, as one of four centres in the region that form the South Central Theological Education Institute (SCTEI), we work closely with neighbouring dioceses to ensure the quality, breadth and contemporary relevance of ministerial training.

If I join Oxford LMP, what will my ordination training look like?

There are three main threads to ordination training with Oxford LMP:

  1.  You will gain experience and grow in ministry in your ‘home’ parish or benefice, intentionally relating this to what you learn through core modules and formational training. (At the same time, we hope the parish itself will also continue to develop its mission and ministry and to reflect on this).
  2. You will attend regular ‘evening’ courses delivered through a hybrid pattern of in-person study days, structured online learning materials and midweek tutorial groups. These courses also form part of the core training for licensed lay ministers and are open to other interested learners – with free places on offer for people from your parish who may accompany you. This provides for a rich learning environment. For standard three-year programmes you would attend one ten-week course each term. Further details of the standard programme and ongoing schedule of courses will be found here.
  3. Finally, you will engage in a further ordinand-specific programme of study and formation which occurs over the course of three residential weekends and six (Saturday) study days each year. There is also an annual residential Silent Retreat weekend.

In common with most ordination training in the Church of England, the standard programme lasts three years. This would normally also result in the award of a Common Awards Diploma in Higher Education (DipHE), validated by Durham University. However, if you already have significant ministerial experience or prior training, bespoke learning plans can be arranged in consultation with your DDO and the National Ministry Team.

Further details in this brief introduction to Training as an Ordinand with Oxford LMP.

What next?

To arrange an exploratory conversation, or book to visit for a study day, simply contact phil.cooke@oxford.anglican.org.

For more general information about selection for ordination training, please see vocations.

The diocese has recently carried out a research project investigating the way that lay and ordained ministers are equipped to enable everyday faith in others. Read the full report here.

Having served for more than ten years as a licensed lay minister in congregational leadership, I found the LMP helped me significantly broaden and deepen my theological understanding, while maintaining a practical focus that complemented my context-based practice. The tutors pastored the ordinand community with wisdom and sensitivity as we travelled together through the challenges of the journey.”