Special Courses

The programme of study at St John’s Seminary has a clear vision, but is also sufficiently flexible to provide many of the shorter courses sought by the local church. The flexible credit system used for accredited courses allows students to obtain certificates and diplomas for short courses of study.

Courses have included, but are not limited to:

  • Courses for Religious, as Postulants, Novices and Juniors , as well as priestly formation for member of Clerical Institutes.
  • Access to Higher Education courses, at Guildford College, for students who lack the usual entry requirements for Higher Education and who might previously have studied at Osterley.
  • Courses for Former Anglican Clergy.

Specialist Tuition

Links with local tutors and institutions gives St John’s Seminary good access to high quality specialist tuition for individual students.

  • Assessment and Specialist tuition for students with Specific Learning Difficulties of a Dyslexic nature.
  • Voice work for all students, with tutors from Guildford School of Acting.
  • Music tuition.
  • Driving Lessons.
  • Tuition for students with English as a Foreign Language.

Courses for Former Anglican Clergy

Courses of formation for Anglican Clergy are always prepared in consulation with the Diocesan bishop and the candidate himself. They typically include the following themes.

Fundamental Moral Theology. A short series of seminars introducing key themes in Roman Catholic Moral Theology: development from the manuals to Veritatis Splendor; conscience and the Magisterium; natural law; human moral acts; dissent.

Marriage and Human Sexuality. This series of seminars explores the Judaeo-Christian understanding of marriage and human sexuality, both in the Scriptures and the tradition. Selected questions of a marital and sexual nature are also examined.

Social and Healthcare Ethics. This course examines two areas of current ethical concern, which are increasingly related. It studies the sources, development, content and applications of Christian social thought. The study of bio-ethical questions is placed within the overall context of healthcare ethics. A wide range of current issues is explored.

Canon Law. The course considers sacramental Canon Law. The first part considers the canon law of the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. The second and major part of the course considers the canon law of Marriage, which is examined in detail. Students also study the canon law of Penance and Anointing of the Sick.

Church, Ministry and Sacraments. Based on conciliar and magisterial documents, these seminars consider: Priesthood (sacramental character, collegiality, collaborative ministry, diocesan incardination, celibacy and married priests); the Papacy (theological foundation and exercise of Petrine ministry, primacy and infallibility, the Magisterium); Ecumenism (history of Catholic participation, principles of ecumenism, sharing in sacramental life); Sacrament of Reconciliation (minister, theology).

Catholic England from 1559 to 1850. These seminars begin with a look at the anti-Catholic legislation and at how it was implemented until the late 18th century. Various factors concerning the survival of Catholicism in England are examined (organisation, training and work of secular and religious priests, the devotional life of Catholics, social and political factors favouring continuity in various parts of the country).

Catechetics and Catholic Education. Various issues are explored, concerning parish catechetics, RCIA and sacramental programmes. The history and development of Catholic education is discussed and current issues explored, such as: relevant documents, leadership and management of Catholic schools, religious education programmes, home-school-parish partnership.

Sin, Sickness and Death. This seminar course begins by building on the theological study of the Sacrament of Reconciliation found in the Church, Ministry and Sacraments seminar. It focuses on the moral theology of the sacrament and the practical difficulties that can arise. The canon law of the sacrament is also studied. The sacrament of Anointing is considered from three angles: dogmatic theology, liturgical practice and canon law. The course concludes with an examination of the new Funeral Rites.

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