The answer to this will depend on a variety of different factors. The majority of those on the course are part–time, simply because it enables them to support themselves through the work they do for the rest of the week.
For a number of people, however, taking one year out from their normal activity (a number of people have taken career breaks to do the course), will make more sense. If you are unsure about which option is best for you, it might be good to meet with the course director to talk about this.
Students need to find their own funding for the course. In the past, a few churches have supported Cornhill students in various ways .eg. course fees, travelling expenses, or accommodation.
Such opportunities are limited, although we would love to see them grow, as churches benefit of the course and encourage people to do it. For those who want to do the course part–time and work in a church for the rest of the time, there are some situations which we are made aware of from time to time, but if you are interested in exploring this route, it is best to apply as early as possible.
Students have all sorts of different church placements. Some students remain actively involved in their home congregation. For various reasons, others prefer to experience a different ministry context and we may be able to help with the process of placing them with a congregation.
There are a few books which we recommend that people read before coming on the course, but these are simply recommendations. We have a small library of the essential books, which is adequate for any preparation you have to do. Many people use their time at Cornhill to start to build up their own library, but there is no obligation to buy your own books.
It helps if people have taught the Bible in some context before coming on the course, but this does not have to be in large scale settings.
Many of those who do the course, have simply taught the Bible in small groups, often to children or teenagers.
For those who are part–time, there is a gradual progression in the length of talk expected. We start with five minutes, working up to ten minute talks by the end of the first year, before then preparing twenty minute talks in the second year.
Some go on to further training leading towards ordained ministry, but many do not. A number of people in recent years have gone on to work with a mission agency, either at home or overseas, while others are now engaged in full–time church work, although not as a minister. Several have gone back to their former jobs, but better equipped for service in the local church.