Certificate in Mission and Ministry (Third Age)

This course is for those working with, or wanting to develop a ministry among, older people. It covers: the issues of retirement, ageing and dementia, and the theological and biblical principles related to these; the nature of spirituality and faith in older people; and relevant and effective approaches to mission. It also includes management of self, team and leadership skills.

Course Details

Study skills* (10 credits)

This unit provides students with the necessary tools for studying effectively at HE Levels 4-6.

Leadership, team and self* (10 credits)

This unit introduces students to leadership and team building skills and the ability to manage one-self professionally.

Applied practice* (20 credits)

This unit offers students the opportunity to focus on mission and ministry practice through observation, reflection and action in their own and another context. Students will be taught reflective skills and encouraged to use them in starting to analyse their own practice, and that of others in order to better understand why what works well, works well, and how to improve what doesn’t.

Spirituality and faith* (20 credits)

This unit introduces key theories relating to spirituality and faith development.

Issues facing older people (20 credits)

This unit explores the place of older people in society, focusing on key life issues faced by older people in 21st-century Britain.

Introduction to practical theology and older people (20 credits)

This unit introduces students to some of the key doctrines and theological frameworks of the Christian faith. It will enable students to start to critique and evaluate these doctrines and relate them to the context and cultures of older people, and their mission and ministry practice with them.

Introduction to mission to and with older people (20 credits)

This unit introduces students to biblical, historical and contemporary concepts of mission, and relates it to their practice amongst older people.

Introduction to Old Testament (10 credits)

This unit seeks to introduce students to the literature, history, and messages of the Old Testament. In doing so we will consider the theological messages contained within the Old Testament and their significance to the people of ancient Israel as well as the contemporary church.

Introduction to New Testament (10 credits)

This unit will introduce students to the content of the New Testament and provide an understanding of how that content originated. It will also facilitate the study of the New Testament by equipping students with an understanding of key scholarly debates and methods.

Introduction to Theology (20 credits)

This unit provides a systematic account of major Christian doctrines with a particular emphasis on their relevance to the contemporary world and specific mission and ministry contexts.

Introduction to Bible and Mission (20 credits)

This unit introduces students to biblical, historical and contemporary concepts of mission, with particular emphasis on biblical perspectives. It gives students an opportunity to explore how the Bible has been used in mission in historical and contemporary contexts, and how it can be used in their own missional activities.

*These are core units which run every year.

You need 120 credits to complete the level. If you are part-time, you will need to attend one teaching week a semester over two years. If you are full-time, you will need to attend five teaching weeks over the course of one year.

What do people say?

“I have started to think much more about what it is that I’m trying to achieve and how I can maintain a difference from other service providers working in the third age reflecting and supporting the fact that I work for a faith based organisation.”

“Increased my understanding of faith development, and highlighted the challenge faced by the church, in regards to the spiritual development among an ever-changing faith foundation of older people.”

Employment opportunities

Students completing this course could be employed by churches in a voluntary or paid capacity to work as part of their mission and ministry team. Students’ natural affinity with older people and creative communication methods will have been enhanced with Biblical and theological understanding, and this will give them the confidence to lead sessions as part of the church’s worship and teaching, or in conjunction with agencies that work with older people.

Students can also use this course as a foundation for employment with and further training from care providers and agencies that work with older people.

Cliff College is a registered charity: No. 529386

Call: +44 (0) 1246 584200


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Calver, Hope Valley,
Sheffield, S32 3XG

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