Questions and answers on Foundations
Will I find it too hard?
Foundations is an open access programme. You do not need previous qualifications to join the programme and the courses are designed to enable you to learn regardless of your academic level. Many people who did not consider themselves ‘good at studying' have been pleasantly surprised at their abilities. If you want to see how it works, why not try our sample lesson?
Too easy then?
Not at all. Those with advanced qualifications have been stretched and challenged in their thinking. The Bible raises difficult questions and we try not to duck them. The course will stimulate each student to understand various viewpoints before reaching their own conclusions.
How many hours per week should I do?
Well, it's up to you, but each unit contains four 'lessons' - which take about an hour or so to complete - so the unit may take four to eight hours of private study, plus an hour or two for your group tutorial.
How long does each course take?
Each group works out its own meeting times and schedules. Our new Foundations courses are organised in 5 blocks of study and each course is designed to be studied over a period of 12-14 weeks (including an introductory meeting and a feedback meeting at the end). To keep this schedule, groups need to complete a block of study every fortnight.
How often do the groups meet?
The course units are designed to be flexible in the way they are studied. Most of our groups meet fortnightly for an hour and a half to two hours and cover a block of study each time they meet. Some groups meet weekly and cover half the material each week. Other groups go slower.
So how much is the course?
Each new course costs £45 per person (Old courses are £60). You receive a comprehensive self-study A4 workbook of around 200 pages and regular tutorial help. Still incredible value! An equivalent course in a college would be about £250.
But if you still can't afford it, please contact us as we have a bursary fund for needy students.
What about qualifications?
Qualifications are of no importance in themselves but they can be valuable in giving a goal for the student and guidance to churches who may want to know about a person’s suitability for particular tasks and ministries. This is a balanced programme designed to help Christians equip themselves better for local based ministry and mission. Some churches have made use of the programme in training church members for recognised leadership roles within the congregation and we are in contact with several training institutions and churches to see that it is relevant to their requirements. Those who complete twelve of our new modules or six old modules will receive a certificate from Trinity College Bristol.
What about further study?
It is possible to apply for advanced standing with some university courses on the basis of Trinity/ICES study and we are currently exploring further options for students who have completed Trinity/ICES modules and wish to use them as a basis for pursuing further full-time study towards accredited awards. Please contact us for details.
Who are the tutors?
Our Open Learning tutors are volunteers who have some basic theological education, prepared to contribute time to enabling discussion and feel called by God to enable others to learn about their faith. Most often tutors are leaders in the local church. Tutors are appointed by Trinity College and required to participate in regular training sessions. If you feel that God may be calling you to join our team of tutors, please contact us
How is Open Learning funded?
Open Learning is a 'faith-based' ministry of Trinity College. We believe that God has called us to develop biblical and theological courses as a resource for the mission and ministry of the local church. With this vision in mind, the trustees of Interactive Christian Extension Studies have invested all their financial resources into helping Open Learning get started. We have also appointed Dr David Ball as a 'faith-based' member of our faculty; he is responsible, with the help of the college, for raising his own salary. If you would like to help, please look at further information or you can give online at: http://www.justgiving.com/Trinity-Open-Learning. Because of this commitment, we are able to keep the Open Learning course fees to a very reasonable £45 per student for each course. People who cannot afford this fee may also apply to the Monica Fund for help towards their fees.