What is the Lincoln School of Theology?

The Lincoln School of Theology [LST] was originally created to provide learning and development for people offering either for ordained or licensed lay ministry in the diocese of Lincoln. More recently it has broadened its work in order to offer people an opportunity to study theology to Higher Education level, either as a qualification in its own right at Certificate, Diploma or first Degree level, or else to provide an opportunity to enhance an existing higher education qualification. In the future it is intended to expand this still further to make LST the organisation through which continuing ministerial development can be offered to people in a wide range of ministries in the diocese of Lincoln. Students from other dioceses and denominations are also eligible to study with LST. 

What does studying at Lincoln School of Theology entail?

Tuition on courses is offered through fifteen weekend learning days throughout the year, running from September to June.

For sponsored candidates for ordained ministry: there are six residential weekends a year in Lincoln, starting on Friday evening and ending on Sunday lunchtime.  In addition there is a week-long residential Easter School, organised outside of Lincoln.  Sponsored candidates for licensed lay ministry will undertake two of the residential weekends. For all ministry candidates There are up to thirteen Saturday tuition days running from 8.45 to 5.00.  There will also be other learning and developmental activities, including practice in preaching, which are in addition to these events. Satisfactory completion of an approved course is a normal prerequisite for ordination or licensing in the Church of England and in other Anglican provinces.

For students working for higher education awards but not proceeding to ministry in the church:

Tuition happens on fifteen Saturdays which coincide with the weekends for ministry candidates, again organised in Lincoln; these run from 8.45 to 5.00.

All students: Will need to find time outside of the weekends and Saturdays to read and to prepare assessed work for the courses they are undertaking. It is estimated that completing a course of study leading to a higher education award will entail a total of 460 hours, spread over a period from early September to mid-June.*

For students pursuing other courses: Tuition arrangements will vary. 

Courses leading to a higher education award: Are structured around a common Foundation Year followed by either two or three further years of study. Students’ exact requirements will vary according to their eventual objectives and need to be discussed with the academic staff.

What does studying at Lincoln School of Theology cost?

For sponsored candidates for ordained or licenced lay ministries: studying at LST is free, funded by the candidate’s sponsoring diocese in accordance with the rates laid down by the Ministry Division of the Church of England.

For students exploring ordained or licensed lay ministries who are not yet sponsored: study on the initial Foundation Year may be financed by the diocese with which they are discussing their vocations. This is, however, dependent on the agreement of their Diocesan Director of Ordinands [DDO] or Warden of Lay Ministries, which needs to be confirmed before their studies begin. If students are recommended for ministerial training during their Foundation Year their subsequent studies will normally be funded by their sponsoring diocese.

For licensed ministers, Readers and ordained: there are no fees as long as they remain in active ministry in the Diocese.

Students who are not sponsored for ministry or who are not in active licensed or ordained ministry in the Diocese: must pay their own fees.

Students who commenced their Foundation Year having their fees paid: by the diocese with which they were discussing their vocations and who are not subsequently recommended for training for ministry will need to finance themselves for any studies beyond the Foundation Year.

Studying in a Christian context

Lincoln School of Theology is a department of the Church of England’s diocese of Lincoln, so the learning and development it offers takes place in an intentionally Christian context. Each study day includes a time of collective worship and LST aims to provide a supportive environment which reflects Christian understandings of people and of their place within society. There are a number of chaplains to LST who are available to students for confidential conversations, should students wish to discuss matters of personal concern.

There is however no expectation that students who are not studying for ordained or licensed ministries will subscribe to any particular understanding of the Christian faith; nor will they necessarily need to be practicing Christians. Part of the ethos of LST is to encourage people to grow in understanding and to form their own judgements on matters of faith and religious practice; this requires an appropriate commitment to value different approaches to these matters and to respect the people who hold them, without implying a need to agree with what they believe. Much of this will apply equally to candidates for ministries within the church, within the church’s overall formulae.  


Study at Lincoln School of Theology is open to all those who fulfil any stated academic requirement in respect of the courses of study offered. It aims to welcome everyone so qualified, irrespective of age, gender, nationality, ethnicity or sexual orientation. Students with recognised mobility or learning difficulties will need to give information about these when they apply.

How do I apply to study at Lincoln School of Theology?

There is an application form here which should be completed and sent to LST to arrive not later than July 20th in the year in which you propose to begin your studies. You may be invited to come in for a short interview to discuss what you hope to do.

If there are any questions about Lincoln School of Theology, please contact the Academic Officer Clare Lindsay: [email protected] 

* This figure is based on completing studies giving students 60 HE credits per year. This equates to classroom time on Saturdays, plus around 10 hours study a week for the year.

Candidates for ministry will need more time for their extra commitments.