The majority of Oak Hill’s courses are open for part time as well as full time study. There are some big advantages to studying part time. You don’t have to uproot yourself or your family. You can continue to work in the local community where you feel at home. You can be flexible in how you organise your life between work and training. And you can fund your course by continuing to work.
For Ali Campbell-Smith, youth worker at Eden Baptist Church, Cambridge, studying part time at Oak Hill gave her the chance to integrate what she was learning into her ministry week by week. ‘I really valued being able to continue doing youth work at my church while having the academic study alongside it. I felt much better equipped for the work I was doing, because I’d been able to put it into practice as I went along.’
Matt Kottman, now pastoring a church in Arizona, USA, agrees. ‘During my first year of Greek and Hebrew, I was preaching in the New Testament while we were doing Greek, and the Old Testament while we were doing Hebrew. Having that extra practice on the languages was essential. Learning this way is immensely practical because I can see how it immediately benefits us as a congregation.’
So if you’re looking to do some serious theological training but want to continue living and working where you are, part time study offers a great way forward.
You come into college for classroom learning, seminars, discussions and private study, using Oak Hill’s modern and highly resourced campus. You grow in your understanding of the gospel, and you also gain a significant academic qualification at the end of your course.
The experience of community works differently for part time students than it does for full time students, says Matt Kottman: ‘There’s also a community among other part timers, where we’re balancing ministry and the academic life. We know what it’s like to write papers, prepare for exams and get ready for the busy Christmas season at church – all at the same time. We get together at lunch, we pray together, we keep in touch by email, and we support each other over the particular issues which arise from studying part time.’
Part time study is very attractive for churches which want to send their people for training, but also want to make use of their gifts for the rest of the week. Oak Hill forms a partnership with churches for your training, to make sure you receive the academic and pastoral care and support you need while you’re doing both work and study.