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Local ministry programme celebrates seven graduates

The Anglican Church of Bermuda hosted their second St Mellitus graduation last month.

The event was the culmination of two years of theological studies by seven individuals who each earned a certificate in Christian theology and ministry.

The programme was launched in 2017 in affiliation with the London-based St Mellitus College in an effort to offer a local training option for lay and ordained church ministry. The programme, officially known as St Mellitus Affiliate: Bermuda, has trained over 20 students for ministry to date.

Rev Canon Anthony Pettit, director of training and discipleship for the Anglican Church of Bermuda, described the journey the programme has taken over the last four years.

“Two years ago we graduated our first 13 students, and subsequently enrolled a further nine students to train for lay ministries, including licensed lay ministries. I am very pleased to say that this time, even with the rigours and restrictions of Covid-19, seven students have completed the certificate in Christian theology and ministry,” he said.

While hosted by the Anglican Church of Bermuda, the programme is not restricted to its members. It is open for any person of Christian faith that may be interested in ministry.

“The student body is ecumenical,” Mr Pettit said. “We have been privileged to train those from the Baptist, Methodist and African Methodist Episcopal traditions alongside our own Anglican students.”

This year’s graduation took place at The Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity and featured Grace Bally-Balogun, a coordinator of the Beginning Theology Course at St Mellitus with a background in Christian ministry and leadership, as the guest speaker.

The Anglican Church of Bermuda hopes that this course will allow more Bermudians to train and become licensed for ministry through an internationally recognised theological course that has been “Bermudianised” to better train locals for local ministry.

“This partnership with St Mellitus is beautiful in the sense that they provide the structure and framework but give us complete autonomy on the content and delivery of the programme,” Mr Pettit said.

The programme also provides a broader range of lay leaders across the church and a pathway to the possibility of ordained ministry.

“Our courses are intentionally challenging and the feedback we are currently receiving from students is that while the pressure is great, so too is the value such training provides,” Mr Pettit added.

“We have learnt a lot about the delivery of theological education in Bermuda and how we can best deliver, support and encourage ministry among those who take up the challenge of studying through our courses.”

In January 2022 a new course will be launched that will help prepare students who have completed the lay training for ordained ministry within the Anglican Church.

Visit www.anglican.bm for more information

The Right Reverend Nicholas Dill is pictured at back. In the second row (from left) is St Mellitus graduate Bill Ingham, course coordinator Grace Bally-Balogun and graduates Karen Tucker and Natalie Barnett-Dill. Pictured in front from left are Canon Anthony Pettit alongside graduates Lita Woolridge, Frances Spring, James Gilbert and Michael Beach (Photograph by Jenny Arnold)

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Published December 18, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated December 18, 2021 at 9:25 am)

Local ministry programme celebrates seven graduates

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