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From its beginnings over 800 years ago, the University of Cambridge has provided a context for formation and training in Christian ministry. Today, working in partnership with the theological colleges and institutes of the Cambridge Theological Federation, the Faculty of Divinity offers the Bachelor of Theology for Ministry (BTh) degree.

The BTh provides a stimulating academic environment and an unparalleled educational experience through which students can reach their intellectual potential in preparing for Christian ministry and service. Students examine the theologies, scriptures, histories, philosophies, doctrines and practices of Christianity, both within their own traditions and through comparative approaches. Current developments in scholarship and research and critical reflection on pastoral experience are central to the aims of the course, which also includes a number of compulsory ministry placements.

The BTh is studied on a full-time basis only; students apply for admission to the BTh through, and become a member of, one of the Federation’s Houses, and are also matriculated through a Cambridge college.

Students from a wide variety of backgrounds are admitted for the BTh.

The BTh is a vocational degree for those preparing for Christian ministry. All students can therefore expect to proceed to a licensed ministerial position within their church, apart from those whose personal circumstances change during or after their degree. Ministers of Religion are often not in “employment” but are appointed to positions within their church, which may be paid or unpaid.

Course Title Bachelor of Theology for Ministry
Awarded by University of Cambridge
Qualification BTh
Level 6
Length of course 2 years full-time
Part-time study is not possible
Entrance requirements Admission to this vocational award is at the discretion of the BTh Management Committee, which reviews all applications on behalf of the Faculty Board.

Applicants must normally have a previous degree in another subject at the level of a first or 2:1. The Faculty will expect to see a sample of written work. Students must apply through and hold membership in one of the Federation Houses listed below, and must also be matriculated through a Cambridge University college. Some prior theological study is preferable.

Students for whom English is a second language need an IELTS score of 7.0. See for international equivalence.

Overview The Bachelor of Theology for Ministry (BTh) is a two year vocational degree. The course is divided into the First Examination and Second Examination years. Entry to the First Examination year is possible for those candidates who have satisfactorily completed study equivalent to 120 credits at Level 4 (Certificate Level) or who have a good first degree. The regulations require that candidates must complete a pastoral portfolio to the satisfaction of the examiners in order to proceed to the degree.

The requirement of constant, intentional integration of pastoral activity (taking the form of a ministry placement), self-awareness and academic study makes it an intense experience and a good preparation for public ministry.

In addition to examined subjects, candidates who are ordinands are also required by their Houses to attend Life and Service, Short Intensive Courses, a five-term Parish Attachment, an eight week Parish Placement, and a Social Context Placement.

Teaching The BTh is taught within the Cambridge Theological Federation. As well as attendance at lectures and seminars, the BTh offers a particular emphasis on small-group teaching and regular supervision. Many subjects are team-taught by teachers from across the Federation, whilst others are taught alongside Tripos students in the Divinity Faculty. Throughout the course, students are encouraged to undertake independent reading and study to consolidate what is being taught.

Candidates complete the equivalent of five papers each year from a list provided by the Divinity Faculty. There is a compulsory Practical Theology – Reflective Pastoral Practice paper each year, in which candidates are asked to respond to their experiences of their ministry placements. In the second year, candidates may choose to substitute one of the full papers for a dissertation. Candidates are also required to take a biblical language paper in the first year, and may choose to take an additional language paper in the second year but this is not required.

Assessment Assessment is by means of extended essays, examinations (which candidates sit at the end of each examination year) and a pastoral portfolio. Candidates may choose to submit an optional dissertation in the second year. The BTh is awarded according to the following classifications; firsts, seconds, thirds (and fail).

Languages: Elementary Hebrew and Greek are both taught within the Faculty of Divinity and may be offered for the First Examination Year. Further papers are available in the Second Examination Year. Candidates must attempt one biblical language paper.

Suitable for Ordinands.
More details For more information on the structure of the programme please see the Statutes and Ordinances of the University of Cambridge

To find out more or to apply, contact the Director of Studies at the member institution of your choice.

Institution Contact
Margaret Beaufort
Ridley Hall
Wesley House
Westcott House
Westfield House