St Albans Certificate in Theology

The St Albans Certificate in Theology lies at the heart of our programme.  It is an academic course which introduces an intellectually rigorous approach to the study of Christian faith and experience, and provides a foundation in the discipline of theology.  It is taught in evening classes during the week, usually based at St Albans Cathedral; depending on the student's chosen content and level of commitment, the certificate will, on average, take around two years to complete.  In order to achieve the award, students complete an assignment at the end of each module.  However, all modules can be audited if students do not wish to work towards a qualification, or single modules may be taken without signing up to the whole Certificate.

  • Tutors are experienced teachers, with academic backgrounds in their respective fields.
  • Help is offered with study skills.
  • It includes membership of the St Albans Cathedral Library.
  • The certificate meets standards similar to the first year of an undergraduate degree, although the credits are non-transferable.
  • An external examiner ensures that all content, teaching and assessment conforms to those which would be required in higher education.

Why take the Certificate?

“This certificate provides an opportunity to grow in one’s understanding of the Christian faith in an ecumenical context. Knowledge of our common heritage as well as greater appreciation of the differences which separate Christians today provide a stimulus for growth towards unity.  In this way we can share the profound hope in Jesus Christ which we hold in common.”  The Rt Revd John Sherrington,  Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for anyone who is keen to grow as a Christian to study with Christians from a wide variety of churches.  I encourage you to consider joining this course as i am sure it will enrich your faith."  The Revd Anne Brown, Methodist Chair of Beds Essex and Herts District.

"Jesus said, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind'.  As the people of the Diocese of St Albans we are committed to 'Loving God's Love', which includes using our minds and intellects to reflect on the world and on our faith.  I commend to you these courses, which offer first class content and teaching and can help us grow in faith and commitment."  The Rt Revd Dr Alan Smith, Bishop of St Albans.

SACT Core Modules

Compulsory; each 20 credits.

Introduction to the New Testament:  students are introduced to the structure, purpose and themes of the New Testament books, outlining the style, purpose and theology of the books it contains.

Introduction to the Old Testament:  students are introduced to the structure, purpose and themes of the Old Testament books, outlining, the style, purpose and theologies of the books it contains.

Introduction to Christian Doctrine:  introduces students to the Christian understanding of God, creation and humanity as they examine the classical Christian creeds.

Introduction to Church History:  a survey of 2000 years of Christian history, introducing major figures and movements, and touching on developments in liturgy, art, architecture, and music.

SACT Optional Modules

The remaining 40 credits are taken from the optional modules, which vary from term to term and offer an opportunity to explore and broaden students' theological study. See our course webpages or Study Centre term brochure for the modules being offered each term.  Examples coming up are:

Independent Project (20 credits)

Latin (offered at a range of levels, 10 credits)

Old English (offered at a range of levels, 10 credits)

Ethics (10 credits)

Passion Narratives (10 credits)

The Book of Isaiah (10 credits)

Guidance on available modules

All modules which are eligible to be taken for SACT are indicated as such on their webpages or in the programme.  If you are in any doubt, please look at this guidance page, or contact us for more information.  We will be more than happy to help you choose suitable options.

How to Apply

Who can enrol?  Anyone can enrol.  The Study Centre is an ecumenical resource, open to all, and no previous educational qualification or experience is required.  (Courses are taught at first year undergraduate level, but we offer support with written work and study skills.)  We welcome students from any or no faith background. The certificate would be of interest to those exploring the Christian faith for the first time, those who want a theological grounding for their faith, those who want to explore theological issues in a neutral environment, and those considering vocation.

Times, dates and venues:  In 2017-19, whilst building work is under way on the Chapter House, modules will run on the ground floor of the Deanery and at the Diocesan Board Room at Holywell Lodge. Both of these have disable access. See the Courses page for details.

Course Fees: Our aim is to make the course as affordable and accessible as possible. We offer flexible payment options which can be tailored to suit your needs at no extra cost. We also have a small bursary fund to which you can apply for support:  please email for an application form.

Fees for 2018/19: Standard fee for each ten week module is £110; five week modules cost £60.  Anyone registered for the Certificate will receive inclusive library membership.

How do I enrol: Students can enrol for individual modules via the online booking system, by telephoning the box office on 01727 890290, or in person at the Gift Shop 10am-4.45pm Monday to Saturday, and 1pm-4.45pm Sunday.

Processes and procedures:  All supporting documentation for the course is available via our Virtual Learning Environment on Edmodo.  You will be sent joining information when you sign up for a module..

After the Certificate:  Students who have completed SACT may enrol in SACT+, our higher level certificate.

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