From September we’ll be launching a BA programme so that CMS pioneer students can work towards a degree, in addition to a certificate, diploma and MA. This means we will be adding in some new and interesting modules. One of these is on chaplaincy and we’ve already had lots of interest from people who will be doing this as a standalone course.
The three-day module kicks off on Monday 24 September. It will be taught by Andrea Campanale who was a member of the chaplaincy team at both the YMCA London South West, and Kingston University. Four years ago she secured funding from the Diocese of Southwark’s mission fund to set up a town centre chaplaincy service with her missional community, Sacred Space Kingston. When Andrea was a student with CMS Pioneer Mission Leadership Training, she did her placement visiting a number of different chaplaincy contexts around the UK.
The module will cover the history of chaplaincy and the theology of chaplaincy, as well as chaplaincy as mission and pioneering. Each afternoon a number of practitioners have been invited to share their understanding and experience of chaplaincy from a variety of different sectors. These include in prisons and the armed forces, health and education chaplaincy and then finally workplace and town centre chaplains.
Andrea says of this initiative, “I’m really excited to be teaching about chaplaincy. Chaplaincy gives us a fantastic opportunity to build relationships with people in the wider community who wouldn’t necessarily have any contact with the church. It also enables us to build up others in the body of Christ to have more impact in places where they might already have some valuable life experience and influence.”
If you are still to be convinced of the importance of this area of ministry, this quote from Miranda Threlfall-Holmes and Mark Newitt really nails it: “Chaplains may be marginal to the churches, but they are often in places where the 90 per cent of the UK population who do not regularly attend church will be found. In marketing terms, chaplains and chaplaincies are like gold dust. Like an advertising slot in the middle of a world cup final, they give the Church an opportunity to engage with the unchurched or dechurched majority whom it would otherwise find it hard to reach.”
If you are interested in learning more about this growing area of pioneer ministry, it’s not too late to sign up and do please let anyone else know who you think might appreciate studying chaplaincy as part of the pioneer programme at CMS.