Christian Doctrine – an introductory survey of the major doctrines of the Christian faith.
Practical ministry focus e.g. biblical counselling, youth ministry, evangelism.
In depth study of particular Bible books e.g. Genesis, Psalms, Malachi, 1 Peter and
Gobbet groups in which students give short presentations on selected passages of Scripture, outlining their primary purpose in their context.
In depth study of particular Bible books e.g. Exodus, 1 & 2 Chronicles , and
Practical ministry focus e.g. the role of the pastor teacher, women’s ministry or urban ministry.
Principles of Exposition – how to preach and teach different biblical genres e.g. Old Testament prophecy, the gospels, or New Testament epistles.
Preaching groups in which students give full practice talks and receive constructive feedback.
Each morning begins with the Word of God and prayer as a student gives an exposition.
We study a number of Old and New Testament books in depth, as well as a brief introduction to each book and a Bible overview to tie our studies in to a proper biblical theology.
Rounding off our communal study is a course in Biblical doctrinal themes.
A foundation course on Principles of Exposition that runs throughout the year, working at how to preach different genres of Bible book – the gospels, New Testament letters, Old Testament law, Old Testament narrative, the prophets, apocalyptic, poetry and wisdom literature.
This is done in small groups with constructive criticism from a staff member or experienced minister. The groups can take the form of:
Gobbet groups where short passages of Scripture are examined to determine their meaning in context.
Preaching groups where a student gives a full practice talk.
These focus on practical skills in particular areas of ministry, and input is provided by visiting ministers and others with proven experience, considering, among other things, the work of the pastor–teacher, working with women, and working with children and teenagers.
It was a real boost for our congregation to have Sarah, a Cornhill student, with us for the year. As a full–time student on the course she was available for a few sessions each week and also on Sundays. This allowed her to engage with some of our youth and children’s work and help with some pastoral work.
Through our knowledge of the course we were confident that she was gaining he tools to handle and teach the Bible in a faithful and relevant way.
During the time she was with us, Sarah made a real impact upon our leaders and young people. Many of the young people that she worked with are more regularly involved in church life as a result of her work and influence.
I tried to meet with Sarah most weeks as she joined our family for dinner. This gave us an opportunity to catch up and share how things were going. One of the practical ways in which our church was able to help Sarah was with accommodation, through a family in the congregation with a spare room.
Looking back on the year, it was a real benefit for West Kirk to be part of the work of the Cornhill Training Course by offering a placement to one of their students.
Under God, Cornhill Belfast has proved to be a rich blessing not only to our two interns, Dónal and Ivan, but equally so for us as a city centre church in Dublin today. From our church’s point of view we are committed to training everyone in handling God’s word better, and this has been massively helped by having our two interns attend Cornhill.
Each week they are able to demonstrate more and more to us as a congregation what it means to carefully, humbly and obediently understand God’s Word as they apply their learning in many different Bible teaching contexts. The effect is contagious as others in church then see first hand how God still speaks to the world through his Word. Confidence in God’s Word to do His work is growing through the congregation as a result.
Of course there are many other benefits too. As a church we get to rejoice in the progress of others who, God willing, will plant the gospel in new and different contexts all over Ireland, perhaps even further afield. The interns are exposed to real pastoral issues as they serve in the messiness of congregational life. They are provided with opportunities to explore teaching God’s word both in Cornhill and the church. But above all, they get the privilege to speak for and we get the privilege to hear from God himself!
My congregation have worked in partnership with Cornhill Belfast for a number of years. It has brought great benefits to us as a church.
Matthew, a part–time Cornhill student, is now in his second year with us and we have been able to see how the Bible handling lessons of Cornhill are applied in a live situation on a regular basis. This could be pulpit ministry, youth ministry, one–to– one discipleship or pastoral situations. For us as a small congregation, that flexibility has been key. Whatever context the student is involved in, we know that he has had a strong guide in how to use and apply the Word of God.
For the students, a congregational placement will allow them full exposure to the trials and triumphs of church life. It is a real primer for further theological study, mission preparation, planting or other forms of Christian service. In our congregation Cornhill students will get quality mentoring time and regular spiritual encouragement. For our church, having a Cornhill student has been a very edifying experience and one greatly used by God.