New students at CMS Pioneer Mission Leadership Training had a rare face-to-socially-distanced-face meeting this week as a new academic year kicked off.
The teaching team were delighted to welcome new students who were able to come to Oxford for an induction day before their training begins online.
This year’s cohort includes record numbers of MA students and people training for ordained pioneer ministry alongside undergraduate students and more people enrolling in doctoral studies in partnership with the University of Roehampton.
Dr Cathy Ross, leader of the pioneer training at Oxford, said: “There was real excitement at induction this year – heightened by our awareness of how great it is to be together face to face. The students really appreciated the time together and using the Pioneer Spectrum in the car park was a brilliant way to hear one another’s stories and contexts. We are really looking forward to the year ahead.”
Jonny Baker, director of mission education at Church Mission Society, said that while most teaching will still be online for a while, it was brilliant to be able to meet physically too.
“CMS House in Oxford is, like everywhere, Covid-secure with social distancing and sanitiser on every corner but it didn’t stop there being a buzz about the adventure ahead,” he said.
The fact there were students at all felt remarkable, thinking back to the events of the past few months.
“When lockdown first happened I wondered what on earth that would mean and whether we would have students given the uncertainties. But we find ourselves in the joyful position of another record intake in Oxford with the most ever MA students we have ever had (22) and the most ordinands. It’s exciting too to have another intake on the doctoral programme with Roehampton.”
This week there are also pioneer training hubs starting with new groups of students in Bath and Wells diocese, the Northern Centre in Cumbria, and London diocese.