Blog Interview: Dr Peter Mead – Cor Deo

In the last of the current series I interview Dr Peter Mead one of the leaders of Cor Deo.

1) Please introduce yourself and your role at Cor Deo.

Dr Peter Mead (second from left) is the subject of this week's blog interview
Ron Frost, Peter Mead, David Searight
& Mike Chalmers

I am a mentor at Cor Deo, a deliberately small mentored training programme based in Chippenham, southern England.  I am also part of the leadership of a local church plant, and leader of the Bible Teacher’s Networks at the European Leadership Forum.

2) Tell us a little about Cor Deo.

Along with Dr Ron Frost, I started Cor Deo several years ago.  We saw a need for a more relationally enriched training approach that would allow participants to be part of a team that can study together, serve together and grow together.  We offer a six-month full-time training programme, one-week Intensive courses and are now in the process of launching a follow-up programme to help past participants go further in their studies and ministry.  Our training blends lots of biblical studies, history in the context of church history and applied theology in all aspects of pastoral ministry.  We have only six spaces available each year for the full-time programme, believing that we would rather pursue a multiplicational approach to training, where we hope to go deeper with a few participants, rather than simply trying to get bigger numbers in to the course.

3) Are the courses full time, part-time or a mixture of both?

The main six-month course is full-time.  The Intensives last just one week.  The new follow-up programme for past participants will be a modular study programme that is part-time and flexible.

4) How do Cor Deo students fund their studies?

We do not charge a fee for participation.  Instead we suggest a donation amount, thereby meaning that financial limitations do not restrict potential participants.  As far as living during the six months, some have lived off savings, others have been supported, others have been given an extended study leave from employment.  Six months is much more manageable than 2-4 years of full-time study!

5) Does Cor Deo take students from overseas?

We can if they are from the EU, but we are not in a position to help people get visas.  If someone can legitimately be in the UK for the necessary time, then we would gladly take them.

6) What type of ministry is Cor Deo intended to prepare students for?

We want to prepare people to go on to serve in their own church, either as pastoral staff, or as lay leaders within the church.  We want to prepare missionaries for further and greater service overseas.  We want to prepare people to go on to further academic theological studies so that they can thrive in that environment.  Our goal is to multiply ministry that shares God’s heart.

7) When students leave Cor Deo what kind of ministries / jobs do they go into?

We have seen past participants go on to all of these next steps: senior pastor, church elder, student ministry, church youth work, overseas missionary, student in further training, as well as people heading back into “secular” work with a missional mindset.

8) What is distinctive about what Cor Deo offers compared with other colleges in the UK and overseas?

Cor Deo offers a uniquely integrated programme of study.  All the mentors are present for every subject area. Participants get full life-on-life access to the mentors, with the option of travelling together for ministry, local ministry exposure, mentoring in their own context, etc.  The programme is focused on exposing participants to biblical study as well as a history of spiritual traditions that gives a framework for understanding contemporary Christian spirituality.  We do not have either a carrot or a stick – that is, there is no certificate at the end of the six month course, and there is no academic pressure to get there, instead there is a shared confidence that the God of the Bible is worth pursuing in fellowship with the team.  Cor Deo is a unique opportunity for personal, theological, spiritual and ministerial growth.

9) Please tell us about the library and other research facilities.

Cor Deo has a small, but focused collection of reference materials that is available to participants.

10) Does Cor Deo offer a distance or on-line learning option? If yes, please tell us more about it.

No, we believe in the importance of face-to-face interaction.  It is in community and in relationship that growth and learning best occur.  There are many good sources of information transfer available, but the opportunity to be part of a group like this is sadly too rare.

My thanks to Peter Mead for taking part in this series. If I get any more entries I will re-start the series in October.

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