1) Please introduce yourself and your role at WEST
I am the Director of Union, a ministry of WEST, and serve on the faculty, lecturing in systematic and historical theology. Previously I was Head of Theology at UCCF
2) Tell us a little about WEST
WEST’s origins can be traced back to the fruit of the Welsh Revival in the early years of the 20th century. It became a fully fledged theological college when it moved to its present campus in 1985. Renamed WEST in 2007, WEST is an interdenominational School, offering degrees in theology through from BA to PhD. We also run an International Foundation Course, which majors on English for Theology, in preparation for the BA. Currently there are just over 100 students registered with us. We would describe our theological stance as contemporary reformed.
We are soon to be announcing the launch of an entirely new product, which will deliver a world –class theological education directly into local church contexts…
3) Are the courses full time, part-time or a mixture of both?
We take flexible learning seriously at WEST, so we offer options at undergraduate level in both pace and place. Part-time students can take up to 7 years to complete the BA/BD or 4 years for the Graduate Diploma.
4) How do WEST students fund their studies?
Student loans are available for eligible students taking undergraduate degrees. Many are supported by their churches or friends and family. Others make considerable personal sacrifices to finance their studies.
5) Does WEST take students from overseas?
Yes, EU students have free access. WEST can accept Tier 4 visa students and short termers under student visitor visa regulations.
6) What type of ministry is WEST intended to prepare students for?
Pastors and church planters, plus many other roles, paid or otherwise, full or part-time, that would benefit from a Bible-centred, theological education. We have a broad range of modules especially on the BA/BD so that students can create a course for themselves that is best suited to them in terms of their previous exposure to theology and ministry, gifting, and intended sphere of service.
7) When students leave what kind of ministries / jobs do they go into.
8) What is distinctive about what WEST offers compared with other colleges in the UK and overseas?
We teach theology from an evangelical, contemporary reformed perspective. Our concern is to be ‘missional’ recognising that we are located in a post-Christian society where we cannot simply prepare church leaders for traditional, maintenance ministries. Our international, cross-cultural context greatly helps students gain a more global understanding.
9) Please tell us about the library and other research facilities.
|Photo: Donald Mitchell (WEST Librarian)|
WEST’s library is comprehensively stocked with 25,000 volumes and includes a wide range of over 120 print journals as well as a broad range of electronic resources.
10) Does WEST offer a distance or on-line learning option. If yes, please tell us more about it.
Yes, the BA degree is fully available as a distance learning option, which may be taken either full or part-time. Modules are taught via Moodle, the virtual learning environment through which course materials, readings etc are delivered. Continuous interaction with the study material is encouraged by activities for which the lecturer gives feedback.
We are actively encouraging the formation of learning communities in various places both in the UK and overseas to better enable those who do the programmes by distance learning to reflect together on both their studies and their ongoing experiences of ministry.
My thanks to Dr Reeves for taking part in this series.