MA in Contemporary Church Leadership

The MA in Contemporary Church Leadership is a programme of study which is vocationally orientated, with the needs and concerns of the pastoral ministry in mind. It consists of modules which consider aspects of the pastoral ministry in a scholarly way. The programme encourages students to investigate and understand changing contexts, both within church settings and the wider culture. The MA CCL is intended to challenge traditional ‘maintenance’ models of ministry with alternative New Testament patterns. It will be of particular interest to those who are grappling with questions of cultural transition and who wish to explore the concept of ‘missional’ church. The MA would be equally suited to individuals continuing or embarking on serious theological study with a pastoral dimension, or to working pastors wishing to have some intellectual stimulation in the context of ongoing ministry.

The next entry point for both full-time and part-time study is August 2014. Applications should be submitted by June 24th, 2014.

Admission requirements

Normally, applicants should have an upper second class honours degree in a discipline relevant to the subject area. Applicants may also be admitted who have achieved an aggregate of 50% in the WEST Graduate Diploma in Theology. Alternatively, admission on the basis of experience in a responsible role relevant to the programme may be permitted, if the applicant is deemed capable of meeting the demands of the programme. This experience must be of at least two years’ duration and should normally have been in a full-time position.

International applicants should also note the English language admission requirements which may found by following this link:

The admission process requires applicants to submit an application form supported by at least two references. All applicants are interviewed, either in person or using telephone or Skype. In the case of applicants applying for entry on the grounds of experience, other appropriate methods may be used in addition.

Programme structure

Part One

Students take Part One modules totalling 120 credits. Part One modules are worth 20 credits except for the Church Placement which counts for 40 credits and the two Research Methods modules that are worth 10 credits each.

Students who could be admitted to the MA on the basis of experience, may, at WEST’s discretion, be permitted to substitute two option modules for the Church Placement module.

Not all modules listed below will be available in each year. The actual modules being delivered in any given year may be found on the teaching schedule by following the link lower on this page.

Compulsory Modules

  • TH7811 Principles of Christian Leadership
  • TH7810 Church Placement (40 credits)
  • TH7821 & TH7822 Research Methods (10 credits each)
  • Biblical Exegesis
    • One of the modules listed:
      1. English Text (TH7812)
      2. Greek Text (TH7813)
      3. Hebrew Text (TH7814)

Option Modules

  • TH7807 Aspects of Modern Mission
  • TH7809 Pastoral Response to Trauma
  • TH7815 Contemporary Church Issues
  • TH7817 Popular Culture and the Christian Worldview
  • TH7816 Ministry in an Urban World

Part Two

15,000 word dissertation, which is worth 60 credits

An overview of the MA in Contemporary Church Leadership modules can be found here.


All modules are written, taught and marked by WEST lecturers. The University of Chester appoints an external examiner, in liaison with WEST, who moderates all assessments. Most modules are assessed by means of coursework, though Greek and Hebrew Exegesis also involve an exam. A 15,000-word dissertation completes the programme. Coursework assessment papers are given to students in the relevant teaching week and are usually submitted 6 – 8 weeks later. The deadlines always fall before the next set of teaching weeks.


The attainment of the award of MA is achieved with 180 credits. However, it is also possible for students to terminate their studies having completed a total of 60 credits from Part One to achieve a Postgraduate Certificate, or, having completed a total of 120 credits (i.e. all of Part One), to achieve a Postgraduate Diploma.


The MA CCL programme may be completed in slightly over a year on a full-time basis from the late August/September start date. Full-time students complete the taught modules by June and commence the dissertation immediately for submission in the following October. The MA CCL programme may also be completed on a part-time basis taking up to 5 years. Part-time students may enrol to start in August/September or, alternatively, in January. (Students on The Binary Course undertake the programme full-time.)

Teaching dates and schedule

Six intensive teaching weeks are scheduled each year. Two weeks follow the late August bank holiday, two are held in early January and two are held in March (the dates of the latter vary according to the timing of Easter). A full-time student will need to attend between 4 and 6 of these teaching weeks depending on the choice of modules made.
The schedule and dates of teaching weeks for 2013/14 is available here as a PDF file for you to download.
The schedule and dates of teaching weeks for 2014/15 are available here as a PDF file for you to download.

Programme cost

Please see tuition fees.

Who to contact

Rev Iwan Rhys Jones (Director of Taught Postgraduate Studies)


T: +44 (0)1656 645411

Application process

Apply for the MA programme.


This programme is validated by the University of Chester.