This group selfie, taken by second year ordinand Eilidh Proudfoot (Diocese of Edinburgh; bottom left) shows students and staff at the closing ceilidh of Orientation Week in St Mary’s Kinnoull. But now that the autumn term is underway, such gatherings are taking place in a different mode, online, as students meet to study various modules via Zoom on Wednesday and Thursday evenings.
Dr Amber Shadle is leading the Elementary Biblical Hebrew module, this being audited by two students who are taking it in addition to their accredited studies out of interest in the subject. Dr Anne Tomlinson is teaching Reflective Practice in Context to the final year candidates, a module which looks at how a culture of ‘safe church’ can be created for others and self. And very excitingly, Dr Gillian Straine of the Guild of Health and St Raphael is leading two new modules, entitled Health, Healing and Mission and Theological Perspectives: Healthcare. These latter modules are being taken not only by final year students but by those in IME2as part of the MA programme.
Placements for those in their second and third years have also begun, with a wide range of contexts being experienced across the Province. This year SEI has tried to ensure that the different ministries for which students are training are reflected in the types of placement undertaken. Thus the two Lay Reader candidates are engaged in placements which focus upon group teaching, catechesis, preaching and Bible Study, while those candidating for the vocational diaconate are involved in community-facing projects. More will be shared about these as the year proceeds.
Candidates for priestly ministry have embarked upon church-based placements in the following settings: St Mary’s Carden Place, Aberdeen; St Andrew’s Alford; St Michael’s Inverness; the charges in Cromarty, Fortrose and Arpafeelie; St Ninian’s Troon; St John’s Oban; Old St Paul’s, Edinburgh and St John’s Forres. Those in their final year will produce a portfolio of work reflecting upon their experience of pastoral leadership in the various settings. This will include a section entitled ‘Resources for others’, this being material produced for and shared with their host congregations. In the past, these resources have ranged from the creation of ‘Blue Christmas’ and Forest Church services, Lent and Advent group series, a collaborative art project, a renewed ‘Children’s Corner’ and even the creation of a lectern built from recycled wood. We await this year’s resources with great interest.
Photograph thanks to Eilidh Proudfoot