Course of Christian Studies




For any one interested in taking the course, there is a taster evening at St Mary’s on -

Tuesday 24th July at 7.30pm.

(Speak to one of the ministry team if you are interested.)


Read on for more general details of the course:


  • The Course in Christian Studies is a two year course exploring the Christian Faith with others, delivered weekly in local centres around the diocese.

CCS has a foundational first year and a more flexible second year and leads to the Bishop’s Certificate.


Course dates for 2018-19


Week commencing:                   Monday  17 September

                                                     Monday  24 September

                                                     Monday    1 October

                                                     Monday    8 October

                                                     Monday  15 October

(Half term break Monday 22 October)

                                                     Monday  29 October

                                                     Monday   5 November

                                                     Monday  12 November

                                                     Monday  19 November

                                                     Monday  26 November

                                                     Monday    3 December (1st years only)



Week commencing:                   Monday   14 January

                                                     Monday   21 January

                                                     Monday   26 January

                                                     Monday     4 February

                                                     Monday    11February

(Half term break: Monday 18 February)                                 

                                                     Monday  25 February

                                                     Monday    4 March

                                                     Monday   11March

                                                     Monday   18 March

                                                     Monday   25 March                                              


Week commencing:                   Monday 22 April*      

                                                     Monday   29 April

                                                     Monday  6 May*

                                                     Monday   13 May

                                                      Monday  20 May

(Half term break: Monday 27 May)

Monday     3 June

                                                     Monday    10June

                                                     Monday    17 June

                                                     Monday    24 June

                                                     Monday      1 July

* Monday groups will meet on Tuesday 23 April & 7th May



CCS is also available online




About the Course in Christian Studies 

Since it began in 1987, over 2500 lay people from Essex and East London have joined the Course in Christian Studies.


What has it given them?

What could it give you?

The excitement of discovery and learning together: members bring their own varied stories and experiences and share them, finding new truth in themselves and in each other through lively discussion.


Knowledge of the Bible

...   and of the huge riches of Christian tradition, nurtured by tutors and textbooks, and whetting members' appetite for more knowledge - but not providing all the answers.

Delight in that biblical and Christian tradition, finding in it a field for imaginative and practical exploration, for wonder and worship and decision.


Constructive Reflection on the Bible

... and tradition and on the contemporary world: the Course does not shirk the hard questions posed by the Church's history or by believing in God and seeking peace and justice today.


Spiritual Formation 

... of both the local group and its individual members: the Course does not set out to convert or evangelise, but it is concerned with the whole life of prayer and activity and relationships - not just with the mind.


For those who desire it, the Course also provides a foundation for further education or training. This could be other local courses; it could be a degree or diploma. Or it could be training for a specific ministry in the Church including the ministry of: Reader, Pastoral Assistant, Lay Evangelist or Priest


CCS groups and CCS online 

There are two ways in which you can take the CCS: 

  • in local, face-to-face groups or
  • online in an interactive, password-protected group.



The online CCS:

Would you like to take the Course in Christian Studies, but your job or your personal time-table makes a weekly meeting difficult? Or do you prefer to learn online, and want to be able to study at the times which suit you? The online CCS will take you through the same material as the face to face version – the Bible,  prayer and sacraments, church history, ethics and doctrine and our part in God’s mission, and the assessments – which are optional – are the same.  This will be available from September 2017.

The on-line version has elements such as teaching, discussion, thought-showering and worship happening on-line using tools such as forums, wikis, quizzes, questionnaires, and multimedia learning and worship materials. You will ‘journey’ through each week’s ideas with a facilitator and a group of a dozen or more learners, learning from teaching material, from each other, from the facilitator, from your own developing inner resources – and, we pray, the Holy Spirit.

As a guide, three to five hours a week would allow you to do justice to the material, and you will be encouraged to log on to the website every other day (to participate fully in ongoing forum discussions and other interactions with fellow learners). The great thing is that how and when you log on is down to you. The on-line material aims to be tablet- and smartphone-friendly, so if you commute, you can learn as you go.

CCS will follow the same unit order as the group version, i.e. A - F.  A certificate will be presented on completion of all the units.


The cost of the online CCS is £150 for 6 units, or £30 a unit.  To apply please complete the application form by ------- and also the Data Protection form by --------- and return them to Diane Hardy, Diocesan Office, 53 New Street, Chelmsford, CM1 1AT, with your payment. Or you can return the form online to  and make your payment via BACS - details are on the form.



Local face-to-face groups:

  • Each September there will be centres in each of the three Episcopal Areas. Click here for details of the proposed centres for this year (2017).  Please let us know if you would like to take the course, but there is no centre near you – you may be the beginning of a group!
  • For an application form please contact Diane Hardy or 
  • You must also complete the Diocese Data Protection Consent Form.
  • Groups usually meet weekly, though it is possible to complete the course by meeting monthly on Saturdays (available at certain venues). All necessary reading and preparatory material is provided and group members commit to spending a few hours each week in preparation for the group session. They are led by ordained and lay tutors and include people from all kinds of churches. The group learns from the tutors, the Bible and the reading material provided, and from each other.  Certificates are presented at the end of two years in a Cathedral service.
  • Assessment is optional! The assessments which are set always give the option of a short piece of writing or a recording of your talk. Other options include producing a portfolio, or designing a leaflet. You can choose not to do any assignments at all and receive an ‘attendance’ certificate – but they are there to assist your learning.
  • The cost of the local course is £150 each year, or £50 a term.



1st Year

Unit A


Unit B 


Unit C


Unit D


Unit E


Unit F

Baptismal Service video


2nd Year

Unit G


Unit H


Unit J



Unit K is a Lent module



Unit L


For more information please contact


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Page last updated: 10th July 2018 6:03 PM