Education for Parish Service
offers a progamme of
formation that leads to a
Foundation Degree in
Pastoral Ministry,awarded
by St. Mary's University
College, Twickenham,

Who is this course for?

EPS students come from a wide variety of backgrounds and circumstances.  There is no upper age limit, and any of the following may apply:

Pastoral workers, parish administrators and secretaries, parish assistants, those in ordained ministries, catechists, those who have completed the Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies, parish liturgists and musicians, RCIA coordinators, sacramental coordinators, religious in formation for pastoral ministry, religious in parish or other pastoral ministry, school or hospital chaplains.


Entry Requirements

You should be a volunteer or in half time paid employment. You must have a letter of recommendation from your parish priest, religious superior or congregation leader.   You should have a GCSE grade C or equivalent in English Language.   Ideally you should have one A Level or NVQ Level 3.

Structure of the Course

The course has been devised to give a balance between theological reflection and the development of pastoral skills. In each of the modules links are made between what is being learned and the reality of contemporary pastoral situations.


Level 1 Modules


Foundation for the study of theology
Foundation for the study of Scripture
Sacraments and liturgy
Catechesis and RCIA
Parish in context
Evangelisation and Mission




 In these modules the language of faith is explored together with the biblical and catechetical framework to support pastoral ministry. The student will become familiar with parish pastoral ministry and key skills needed in a parish or other pastoral setting


Level 2 Modules

Christian Spirituality
Trinity and Jesus Christ
Ecclesiology and Canon Law
Marriage and Family life
Faith, Justice and the Common Good
Sacraments in Practice


The second year provides a deeper understanding of pastoral ministry, examining patterns of spiritual practice, effective group skills and ways of praying. The key canons on pastoral ministry and sacramental preparation are explored, together with good practice in relation to preparation for sacraments. The Church's social teaching is applied to concrete situations and the student's own experiences.


Course Length

Part-time, one day a week (Thursday) over two years

Methods of Teaching

Teaching is varied throughout the day to include lectures, group work, seminars, pastoral sharing and prayer

Study Arrangements

Students need to be able to study independently within what is a very supportive learning environment.  Individual tutorials are a particular feature of this EPS course.  We offer an exceptionally well-stocked, specialist, pastoral theology library.  Students are also able to make full use of the library and online resources at St. Mary’s.   


Assessment per module (in most cases) consists of one essay, one oral presentation in class and log book reflections on the student’s own pastoral ministry and personal growth.

Qualification on Completion

Foundation Degree in Pastoral Ministry from St. Mary’s University College


The fees are set by St. Mary’s University College.  They currently stand at £2,000 per year (at September 2012)

For Further Information

Go to  See the Leaflet on the ‘Documents Page’ of this website, go to the ‘Contact Us’ page, or telephone 0202 8767 4445