Developing Community Experiences – Training Opportunity

Creating Change in Communities and the Church

Developing Community Experiences (DCE)

September 2015 – June 2016

 The aim of this three term programme is; to develop an understanding of community development principles and practices in order to stimulate informed and practical presence and engagement in communities and neighbourhoods from a faith perspective.

Through study, teaching, discussion and practical engagement the course will encourage confidence in participants and enhance their skills within the fields of community development work & community mission.

The Developing Community Experiences course is particularly relevant to:

  • People whose churches are already involved with their local communities & neighbourhoods or for those who wish to be so, such as volunteers, local residents, church members, ministers, elders and other leaders.
  • People who have a role within community, voluntary and faith-based organisations who wish to enhance both the work of the organisation and their own contributions.
  • People in secular employment who wish to explore their faith response to their roles in communities.
  • Leaders and facilitators of community initiatives, neighbourhood activities and social action projects.
  • Christians who feel that the church should be even more engaged with their communities but who are not sure know how to set about doing this.
  • People who are considering a potential calling to the ministry of Church Related Community Work.

Learning Outcomes:

The course member who successfully completes the course will:

  • Understand different types of community work and their relationships to faith with a particular focus on the community development work approach.
  • Enhance their ability to reflect theologically about community settings, initiatives and activities.
  • Develop their own skills, self-esteem and confidence in working with people and the use of community development work principles and practices.
  • Increase their awareness of social justice issues and how to adopt anti-oppressive practices.
  • Develop their understanding about working with people from a variety of different backgrounds.
  • Increase their knowledge about developing community organisations, networking and partnerships, engaging in regeneration initiatives, working with volunteers, and many more principles.
  • Acquire and develop their skills in communication, fund raising, publicity and marketing.
  • Gain knowledge about monitoring systems, evaluation processes and exit strategies related to community development work.

The syllabus is organised into three Terms each having five Home Study Units.

TERM A – Setting the Scene

Unit A1: What are Community and Community work?

Unit A2: Theologies of engagement

Unit A3: Faith-based Community Work – a History of Christian Engagement

Unit A4: Examples of Christian Community Work

Unit A5: Personal Skills for Community Development 

TERM B – Structures and Strategies

Unit B1: Developing Community Projects

Unit B2: Introduction to Church – Community Buildings and Funding

Unit B3: Introduction to Planning and Management of Projects and Groups

Unit B4: Good Governance and the Structure of Your Group

Unit B5: Business Planning – Practicalities of Developing your Idea into Reality 

TERM C – People, Partnerships & Review

Unit C1: Conflict and Resolution?

Unit C2: Partnership Working and Community Development

Unit C3: Working with volunteers

Unit C4: Community Audits

Unit C5: Monitoring and Evaluation

Each course member attends a Local Study Group meeting with a Local Tutor and other students.  Course members also attend three Residential Weekends and are involved with three practical projects. A Journal is required to be written and other assignments depend upon which particular Pathway is chosen.

It’s as much about personal development as community development. One person who’s on the present programme, who recognises that she thinks that all church initiatives have to be implemented by her says she’ll go back and let others do more. Another says she’ll go back with renewed confidence, energy and commitment to try and inspire her church to get involved with community initiatives. Another recognises that by becoming mission-focussed and involved in the neighbourhood, her discipleship and faith has deepened. Yet another is pursuing a number of conversations with key people in her village, recognising that the basis for community development and mission is forming and sustaining relationships and exploring potential community partnerships which may evolve from these relationships.

Fees:  The real cost of TLS is well above the subsidised course fee of £650. (For URC members who have the signed support of their local church, the fee is £550. For applicants authorised by the CRCW office, the fee will be no more than £299). This fee includes the full cost of the residential weekends, tutor support and all course materials.

No one should hold back from applying because they cannot afford the fee. Confidential bursary aid is available.

For further information contact Steve Summers, CRCW Development Worker Tel. 0207 916 8653

email: [email protected].    Please also see: http://tinyurl.com/TLS-Video

twitter: https://twitter.com/CRCWteam    facebook: https://www.facebook.com/churchrelatedcommunitywork?ref=hl

The deadline for receiving completed TLS application forms is 31st May 2015