Diocese of Carlisle

    New discipleship course encourages lay ministry

    Latest News
    6 July 2022

    A new course is set to help encourage people explore what lay ministry they may be being called to across Cumbria.

    The Discipleship Project is an ecumenical course and will begin in September, with six core sessions to be run over a year from the Diocese of Carlisle’s Church House offices in Penrith and other supplementary modules to be run across the county.

    It aims to support those people who want to explore what ministry they may be being called to, in or outside of a church context.

    The Rev Nicky Smith, Director of Ministry Development for the Diocese of Carlisle and who has developed the course, explained: “What we’re offering is something that’s really exciting; it’s the chance for churches, parishes and mission communities to draw alongside the course to help people explore their calling.

    “This is about blessing those people who take part in the course so that, in turn, they can then bless the churches and communities they serve in new ways.”

    The course sits within the county’s ecumenical God for All vision and strategy which has four main themes: Follow Daily, Speak Boldly, Care Deeply and Tread Gently.

    As part of the vision, 35 mission communities have been created across the county which are groupings of mutually supportive and mission-minded churches as together Christians look to grow God’s Kingdom in Cumbria.

    Participants will be encouraged to gain confidence in their personal ministry giftings, grow as disciples, explore new ways of being church and open up new ministry possibilities.

    Nicky added: “The course has been very much developed around the sense of vocation, regardless of what context people may find themselves in. Perhaps you work full-time or part-time, perhaps you are retired or supporting your young family. This course offers something for everyone.

    “It will be an opportunity for people to journey together and consider missional coaching: how you are mentored and how can you mentor others. We’ll consider how we can all live out our faith in an increasingly secular world, looking at how do pray and read the Bible in community. The premise of the course is that we’re all called to be disciples of Jesus and this will look different for everyone. I’m excited that this will open up new forms of ministry and witness.”

    As well as the core module - which costs £15 per person plus ticket fee – those who sign up will also have opportunity to sign up for optional modules including theology, chaplaincy, mental health first aid and pioneer ministry. Again, these modules will cost from £15 plus ticket fee.

    The course is not certificated but the hope is that those who complete the modules may then consider exploring ordination, Reader ministry (lay people, called by God, trained and licensed by the Church to preach, teach, lead worship and assist in pastoral, evangelistic and liturgical work) or new models of ministry.

    The Discipleship Project will also see the creation of a network of mentors within local church settings who will offer support to those people who sign up.

    “We have intentionally developed this course in such a way that anyone can be actively involved in developing God’s church,” Nicky added.

    “As Christians we are learning and growing all the time. That’s very much the ethos of the course and our prayer is that as many people as possible feel called to explore this further.”

    For more information and to book on to the course visit: https://godforall.org.uk/the-discipleship-project/


    For further information please contact Dave Roberts, Head of Communications, on 07469 153658 or at communications@carlislediocese.org.uk.