Certificate in Independent Church Ministry

Online Course

Through partnership with the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC), we are pleased to offer a Certificate in Independent Church Ministry. 

Independent churches are one of the fastest growing sections of the UK church and beyond. They come in all shapes and sizes and with a variety of historical backgrounds. This growing force for the gospel needs leaders who are well trained both theologically and in the practicalities of leading a self-governing church.

To meet this need FIEC has partnered with ETS to provide a course geared specifically to understanding the needs and dynamics of Independent churches.

As a UK network of over 600 Independent churches of all types (Baptist, Brethren, Congregational, Mission Hall, new Plants etc), FIEC is uniquely placed to provide wisdom and practical instruction in this area. A range of FIEC leaders will lead sessions sharing their knowledge and experiences.

Those attending will gain an understanding of the theology and history of Independent churches, along with a range of practical ministry issues. Sessions will allow time for discussion and questions.

Those who attend and complete an optional assignment will be eligible for the ETS Certificate in Independent Church Ministry.

Who is this course for?

ETS students who are preparing to serve in Independent Churches can do the Certificate in Independent Church Ministry as an optional supplementary module.

The Certificate is also open to anyone serving in Independent churches (FIEC or otherwise) who could benefit from the course – and others who would like to deepen their understanding of this unique church grouping.

What does this course cover?

  • Introduction to the theological and ecclesiological rationale for Independent churches, along with its varying forms of church order, governance, and sacramental practice
  • Exploration of the historical background to the Independent Church tradition as it is today, including key developments and individuals, and assessment of its future trajectory in the UK and globally.
  • Introduction to the dynamics of leading independent churches including: membership, training, structuring for growth and mission, women’s ministry and smaller church challenges.

You can download the full course programme here.


When does the course take place?

This online course will run over 14 weeks between 11 September 2024 to 5 February 2025.

Classes will run on Wednesday afternoons (2pm to 3.45pm).

Each session will consists of two 45 minute halves with a short break in the middle.

Play Video

In this video FIEC Scotland Director Andy Hunter and ETS student Chris Ranson explain to prospective students what the Independent Church Ministry course involves.

Distance Learning

Participants will be given log-on information, along with access to the ETS Moodle system where they will be able to obtain course notes and other information.

Further Information

Course fees can be found here.

On successful completion of the course, all students will be awarded a Completion of Studies certificate at the Seminary’s Annual Awards Ceremony in May.

We will be accepting applications from June 2024 onwards.