About PT Cornhill
A little about our history
The PT Cornhill Training Course was founded in 1991 by David Jackman as part of the ministry of the Proclamation Trust, under the leadership of Dick Lucas. Since its beginning, Cornhill has trained over 1,200 men and women for word ministry. We long to see many more people confident in their God and in his gospel, serving in the local church, ready to proclaim God’s word accurately, clearly, passionately and persuasively.
What makes PT Cornhill distinctive?
Our conviction is that when the Bible is taught God’s voice is heard. We focus, therefore, on training people to proclaim God’s word in the context of the local church, believing that the Spirit of God takes the word of God to do the work of God. The course is intensive, with lectures, seminars and group discussions, including regular assessed talks, Bible studies and sermons.
Who the course is for
We serve men and women from a wide range of cultures, ages, churches and academic backgrounds. People come to our various courses with a range of aims: some are definitely considering long-term, full-time work as a church minister, but others might be Ministry Trainees, church elders or PCC members, home group leaders, Sunday School teachers. Our courses work best alongside a placement in a local church and, for many, this will mean that they are employed in a church part-time. Our training will benefit anyone with a word ministry in the local church, and all you need is a firm commitment to the trustworthiness and sufficiency of Scripture, and a willingness to learn and serve.
Where the course is based
PT Cornhill is based at our London offices, Willcox House, near to London Bridge train and tube station, and easily accessible from the surrounding area. Students come to us from throughout the UK, and from all around the world. Some travel to and fro each day. Others stay over with friends for one night a week (and in some cases, we may be able to help with finding overnight accommodation). In recent times, students have successfully commuted from places such as Lincoln and Worcester by train, Cornwall by sleeper train, and Dublin and Jersey on cheap flights.
What students say
“Cornhill provided a foundation, vision and peer group for a lifetime of Bible ministry”
(Assistant pastor in the UK)
“My time at Cornhill gave me a thorough grounding in how to open up and teach the scriptures. On the long journey to the overseas mission field Cornhill was, by far, the single most useful element of my training and equipping.”
(Church planter in Japan)
“I highly recommend Cornhill to anyone who wants learn to faithfully bring God’s word to God’s people for God’s glory.”
(Pastor in Ghana)
“Every day I get to open up the Bible with young people in schools. Cornhill has helped me to correctly handle God’s Word and apply it to today’s teens. I wouldn’t want to be doing this job without it!”
(UK schools worker)
The syllabus at PT Cornhill
We want all our students to know their Bibles well. The heartbeat of PT Cornhill is learning the content and meaning of a wide range of Bible books, coming to grips with their message in order to be able to teach and preach them to others. We train students to be able to discover that message for themselves. We long that people are well-equipped to spend a lifetime in the word, competent in ‘getting it right’ and in ‘getting it across’.
How the course is taught
PT Cornhill now offers a family of courses: each course builds on the previous one, taking students on a journey of learning and experience.
PT Cornhill Foundation Year 1
‘F1’ is a one-day-per-week course that lasts one year (on Mondays or Tuesdays). It is taught chiefly through lecture, supported by small group interaction. This new introductory level course was piloted in 2016-17 as the ‘London Ministry Training Course’, and is similar in level and content to the many ministry training courses run by regional Gospel Partnerships around the UK. The syllabus includes:
Chronological Bible Overview
Students find it very exciting to see how the whole Bible fits together, as a single story, from Genesis to Revelation. This overview provides a vital foundation for understanding all the Bible’s individual parts.
Experienced Bible teachers will introduce the outline and major themes of nine different Bible books, from different parts of the Bible. Most teaching includes a mixture of lecture, seminar and workshop.
Each year, we examine what the Bible teaches on three major Bible themes.
The afternoons provide practical training in:
Character: the attitudes and lifestyle of a Christian worker
Evangelism, church planting and sector ministries (to children, young people, men, women, students, older people, etc)
The ‘how to’ of preparing a short talk or Bible study (in our popular series ‘From Text to Talk’)
Pastoral ministry (including consideration of skills needed for a range of pastoral situations
In Teaching Practice, students have the opportunity to try out the skills they’ve been learning by preparing and presenting a short Bible talk. The workshop environment is a safe and supportive group context to ‘have a go’ and to receive encouragement and feedback. Students can expect to give six presentations through the year, all from the same New Testament epistle.
PT Cornhill Foundation Year 2
‘F2’ is a one-day-per-week course that lasts one year (on Wednesdays). It assumes that someone has already completed F1, and deliberately extends that learning. It feels like ‘a step up’. The syllabus includes:
Thematic Bible Overview
We trace several ‘themes’ through the whole Bible story watching how they develop in God’s progressive revelation.
Experienced Bible teachers will introduce the outline and major themes of nine further Bible books, from different parts of the Bible. Most teaching includes a mixture of lecture, seminar and workshop.
Each year, we examine what the Bible teaches on three further major Bible themes.
The afternoons provide practical training in:
Christian leadership, with seminars considering what it means to be a leader in Christ’s church.
Pastoral Care and Biblical Counseling, thinking in more detail about what it is and how it is provided in Christ’s church.
An introduction to church history
Reaching my friend from another faith, and apologetics.
In Teaching Practice, students will again have the opportunity to try out the skills they’ve been learning. There will be additional practical instructions on how to teach from six different Bible genres (e.g. the gospels, OT historical books, NT letters). And every student will prepare and present a short Bible talk or lead a small group Bible study on each of the Bible genres considered (i.e. giving six presentations in the year).
PT Cornhill Core
Cornhill Core is aimed at the aspiring lifetime Bible teacher and preacher. It lasts for one year on two days each week (on Thursdays and Fridays) It is for both men and women who, having completed F1 and F2, are now pursuing the probability of long-term, full-time Christian work. The cohort of students on ‘Cornhill Core’ is deliberately smaller to allow for more learning in a seminar format.
In the mornings, we study a further 12-15 Bible books. Sometimes these will be taught in lecture-and-workshop by experienced Bible teachers from around the UK. At other times, in groups of 8-10 sitting around a table, Cornhill staff will lead students in studying Bible books ‘from scratch’: we focus on developing ‘nose in the text’ skills that will equip students for a life-time of studying and teaching God’s word in the context of local church ministry.
Afternoons are dominated by Teaching Practice where students will again use the skills they’ve been developing, and present Bible talks in a supportive workshop environment, receiving group feedback. Students can expect to give as many as two presentations in each ‘half term’ (totaling 12 talks through the year).
There are further teaching sessions from Preaching Practitioners (who allow students ‘into their study’ to watch the steps they go through in preparing a sermon). Plus there are a wide range of topical sessions under the title Preparing to be a Church Worker (how to be an assistant minister, leading All Age services, keeping spiritually fresh, pastoring from the pulpit, reading the Bible one-to-one, keeping a church outward-looking, etc).
PT Cornhill Plus
Cornhill Plus is designed to support ‘Cornhill Core Graduates’ in their first 3-5 years in full-time ministry. It assumes that someone has completed Cornhill F1, F2 and Core, and is fully committed to implementing the principles and priorities taught at Cornhill in a role as a Church Worker (for example, as an Assistant Minister, or equivalent).
Cornhill Plus is made up of three elements:
A Reading Scheme
We have developed a list of topics that it has proved helpful or necessary to think through during a first full-time church appointment. The topics that are covered, and the speed at which they are covered, are agreed with the Cornhill Plus Tutor.
Regular Study Days
are held at Wilcox House six times a year. These aim to refresh students to recommit themselves to word ministry in the busyness of normal church life. Topics covered include study of Bible books (to provide the basis for a church’s preaching program), doctrinal issues, and practical ministry issues. One additional benefit of study days is that they can enable some to establish ‘accountability groups’ where new church ministers commit to watch over one another; some of these groups of Cornhill graduates are still continuing many years later.
Annual Residential Conference
is held each year in September/October. This provides the opportunity for ongoing friendship and support, preaching practice groups, and teaching from a respected Bible teacher.
Fitting it together
The door of Cornhill is wide open to people at many different levels and stages of life, seeking different levels of training. Through our family of different courses, we are able to offer great flexibility to provide the training that is right for each individual student. Some will be employed in a local church, whilst others may continue with a renegotiated four-day week in a workplace, or they might be recently retired.
For some, one single year as an F1 student is exactly the level of training that they are looking for. Others may continue to complete a second year too (F1 and F2). Others may complete all three years. Initially any new student should apply for Cornhill Foundation Year 1.
Students progress from F1 to F2, or from F2 to Core after discussion with their Cornhill tutor and their church placement supervisor: their support is essential.
Previous study on certain training courses may count as credit to allow you to slot into Cornhill further on than F1. In particular, we welcome applications onto Cornhill Core from those who have already completed two years on a Ministry Training Course run by a Regional Gospel Partnership.
Cornhill Foundation year 1 (F1) is offered on a Monday OR a Tuesday (and you can choose which day you will commit to). We have space for 60 students on each of those two days.
Cornhill Foundation year 2 (F2) takes place on Wednesdays.
Cornhill Core is on Thursdays and Fridays (two days every week).
We largely follow academic terms, ending with attendance (free of charge) at PT’s Evangelical Ministry Assembly.
We expect all our students to be serving in a local church, so each student is linked with a local church for the period of the course. We can help arrange these placements, although most students make their own arrangements.
The video below, taken from the service of thanksgiving for 25 years of Cornhill, explains how it all fits together.
How your work is assessed
There is no written work on the course but students will give many presentations in Teaching Practice. These are assessed and notes are kept (after full disclosure to every student), to form part of the evidence required for our accreditation. Each student has a Tutor at Cornhill (as well as a Supervisor in their local church), with whom they will meet at regular points through the course.
The PT Cornhill Training Course is accredited by Middlesex University and the School Inspection Service (previously, the Bridge Schools Inspectorate). The Proclamation Trust is a Tier 4 Sponsor with UK Visas and Immigration for sponsoring Tier 4 Student Visas. The latest report can be found here.
Who teaches on the course
The course is currently taught by Proclamation Trust staff, and up to 65 other visiting church leaders, preachers and trainers. The Director of Cornhill is Nigel Styles. Stephen Boon, Gwilym Davies and (from September 2017) Andrew Sach are Tutors. Neil Watkinson (PT’s International Director), and Carrie Sandom (Director of Women’s Ministry) both teach and tutor on the course.
They are fully supported by a busy Proclamation Trust office in Willcox House.
Visiting the course
We strongly encourage all prospective students to visit us for a day to get an idea of how the course works and whether it is suitable for you.
Applying for the course
The number of students is limited by the space we have in our buildings, and also (for Cornhill Core) by our aim to keep the numbers small enough to allow for the kind of interaction we intend. Early application is therefore strongly advised. Please apply by completing the online application form via the link at the bottom of this section (include contact details for three people willing to provide references). Some students may also require a personal interview with a member of Cornhill staff.
Deadline for applications for 2017-18: Thursday 01 June 2017
We have a limited number of places available for overseas students (subject to students obtaining the appropriate visa). Please ask for more details.
There are some modest bursaries available to allow international students to join us. Please ask for details before you apply.
What support you need
We only accept applications from students who have the support of their local church minister or leadership team. On the application form, you are asked to indicate that you definitely have their backing (and we will be contacting them for a supporting reference).
Finding out more about the course
If you have any questions about the course, please contact the Course Administrator, Jaz Goodyear on 020 7407 0562 or using email.
When the course runs
Term Dates for 2017-2018
Autumn Term 2017:
Monday 11 September – Friday 15 December 2017
Half term: Monday 23 October – Friday 27 October 2017
Spring Term 2018:
Monday 8 January – Friday 30 March 2018
Half term: Monday 12 February – Friday 16 February 2018
Mission Week (compulsory for all Core students; optional for F1 and F2): Sunday 4 February – Sunday 11 February 2018
Summer Term 2018:
Monday 23 April – Friday 29 June 2018
Half term: Monday 28 May – Friday 1 June 2018
Evangelical Ministry Assembly: Tuesday 12 – Thursday 14 June 2018
How much the course costs
The course fees per term for 2017/18 are:
F1 students: £480
F2 students: £480
Cornhill Core students: £960
Please note that anyone who withdraws from their confirmed place at Cornhill after August 1st is asked to pay the first term’s fees.
Other training opportunities
We offer several short courses for those seriously considering gospel ministry at some point in the future, or preaching already and looking to refresh their skills.
PT Cornhill London week
For undergraduate students
London Week is PT’s longest-running conference. It provides an opportunity to experience ministry first-hand as you are placed with a ministry family in London, living and serving with them in the busy lead-up to Christmas. Each weekday morning is spent at our central London offices where there will be time to reflect on what you’re learning, to discuss the practical implications and to be taught by Cornhill staff and other London-based ministers.
You can find details of the next PT Cornhill London Week here. If nothing shows on that page, then the dates for the next London Week have yet to be finalised; either contact us, or come back and check in a few weeks.
PT Cornhill summer school
For those who are or hope to be in any kind of Bible teaching ministry in the local church
Cornhill Summer School lasts for one week, and provides a short, intensive taster of some of the key elements of PT Cornhill. All sorts of people come:
- students, workers, people who have retired
- people wanting a taster of Cornhill
- people taking a week out of their normal lives to be equipped, encouraged and refreshed in their service of the Lord.
Taught by Cornhill lecturers, this is an opportunity to work through some of the important principles of handling the Bible faithfully with the aim of teaching Christ with integrity.
It’s an opportunity to work through some of the important principles of handling the Bible faithfully with the aim of teaching Christ with integrity. The week consists of some of the key elements of PT Cornhill and is taught by Cornhill lecturers.
You can find details of the next summer school here. If nothing shows on that page, then the dates for the next summer school have yet to be finalised; either contact us, or come back and check in a few weeks.
Cornhill in a day
For those with preaching and Bible teaching responsibilities in the local church
From time to time, we take Cornhill ‘on the road’ to different locations around the UK. The day will focus on a particular Bible genre or one Bible book and provides expository training.
Each training day is led by one of the PT staff or Cornhill Scotland team and includes teaching, practical work and the chance to assess a sermon.
Click here for more details