“The course is wonderful for the friendly, respectful, and non-judgemental care that students and teachers give each other. It’s hard work, but the most exciting and wonderful thing that’s ever happened to me!”
“For me the course was a milestone in a long journey of vocation. My first suspicion that I was called to ordained ministry was at the age of 15, so here I am at 33 in my first year of training and the selection process seems a long time ago. I am married, with a young daughter. My wife is a full-time student and I work as a Charge Nurse in Intensive Care. Settling into the course over these last few months has been a time of great transition. My family have had to get used to me being away for residential weekends, not to mention the evenings I spend in the spare room studying. I have had to change focus in my life, get used to the language of theological study and at least ask the right questions?
”So why non-residential training? It is certainly no easy option, but it has some great advantages. The course community is broad and allows me to explore my own faith and church tradition openly, affirmed in a supportive environment. I am enabled to reflect theologically on issues I encounter in my daily life as a nurse, a father and a husband. I also have to balance time for study, prayer, family, relaxation and work. This is going to be one of the most vital skills I can learn for full time ministry in the future. I thank God continually for the pilgrimage I am on, and as I climb the steep and twisting path I look forward with eagerness to the view around the next corner.”
”Bizarrely all sorts of people join the course! Some after incredibly long journeys, others after a very short period of discussion with their church hierarchy. All of us come with a certain fear will the others be holier than me? Will the others know more about theology than me? Will they all come from nice organised lives, where things don't seem to go wrong, everything gets done, including the reading, and they even manage to throw select little dinner parties in their spare time? Will other people have lots of qualifications, know how to write essays and not worry about academic work? If those are some of your worries, then worry no longer. People who do YMC are all quite normal and have a variety of skills which they are willing to share.
”I worried, as a Methodist, that I might feel on my own amongst a majority of Anglicans. But I should not have worried! All of us were exploring a sense of call, and the Course helps you to do that, through taught modules and through conversations with tutors and other students. It is good to learn that others have the same sense of shock and astonishment at being on an ordination course. We share a journey and the course community encourages you to share difficulties as well as joys. Perhaps the one thing that all course students share, aside from a vocation to serve God in ordained ministry, is a strong sense of humour, which helps you to cope with the academic work, the pressures of home life and all the other little joys which go to make up the life of a course student.”