GradDip in Church Planting and Leadership

WATCH: Quin Delport – GradDip CPL Student

Small plants nurtured
  • Designed for individuals currently involved in church planting
  • Integrating a strong emphasis on Spirit-filled leadership
  • Providing a chance to learn from a variety of experts in the field within a dynamic learning environment
  • Join with others who share a vision for church multiplication
  • Study and reflect on the unique challenges and opportunities of church planting with an excellent teaching team of academics and practitioners
  • Establish a long-term support community for the church planting journey

More about the Church Planting & Leadership GradDip

This two year part-time course offers foundational modules in Biblical studies, Church history, spirituality, and Christian beliefs. Students then build on these foundations with modules in mission, shapes of the church, and formation for leadership. This Graduate Diploma is designed for men and women embarking on the church planting journey, or church planters who are seeking deeper theological engagement to nourish their existing ministry. The Church Planting and Leadership Grad Dip is for graduates (in subjects other than theology) and also acts as an entry qualification for the MA in Kingdom Theology.

Church Planting & Leadership Advisors

Roger Ellis WTC FacultyRoger Ellis
24-7 Prayer

Roger has been involved with church planting since he was 23 years old. He pioneered and led the UK student ministry Fusion and currently oversees 24-7 Prayer’s training and development. Roger mentors and trains church planters and pioneers around the world. He is the author of several books, including ‘Essence: The Manifesto of Jesus’, ‘Radical Church Planting’, and has developed several training courses.

Ben Jeffery CPL PDBen Jeffery
CPL Programme Director

When I was a teenager I felt God call me to plant a church, a moment which has changed my life ever since. In 2017 we stepped out from the church I was leading, Ivy Kingsway, so that we could plant a new reproducing church in our hometown of Stockport. We now meet in a new cinema complex in the centre of the town. I have also been involved in training missionaries and developing the NewThing international network, which aims to plant 10,000 churches by 2020, and have been a seminar speaker at LAUNCH for the last three years. One of the most significant decisions that I made as I prepared was to start studying with WTC, which has been practical, intellectual and spiritual. I am so excited for this brand new programme that will equip you as you step out and plant a new church(es!). I would love to chat about how we can help you.

Anthony Delaney WTC FacultyAnthony Delaney
Ivy Church, Manchester

Anthony leads Ivy, a network of churches in Manchester. When he arrived, ten years ago, Ivy was one church gathering in one building. Since then Ivy has grown to five locations led by leaders raised up within Ivy. Ivy has also sent out other church planters from their community. Anthony coaches and connects with other planters of reproducing churches nationally and internationally through NewThing and LAUNCH.

Andy Masters WTC FacultyAndrew Masters
Lagan Valley Vineyard

Andrew is the Senior Pastor of Lagan Valley Vineyard Church, which he planted along with some friends in 2012. Andrew has been in church leadership for over fifteen years based in both Northern Ireland and North America, and currently oversees church planting for the Vineyard movement in Ireland. Andrew is passionate about seeing vibrant churches planted all over the island of Ireland and beyond.

    The course is validated by the University of Chester.

Course Content

Year 1 Modules

TH6953: Spiritual Formation for Church Planting and Leadership - Rev Anthony Delaney

The church is experiencing a kind of culture shock in the massive and fast moving seismic shifts of the 21st Century with a mindset formed by and suited for centuries past. Various ecclesiologies formulated in entirely different sets of circumstances can inform us but may not help us successfully navigate this new terrain. The reduction of Jesus’ ecclesia to the merely local, and its leadership exclusively to the pastoral, leads to shrinking maintenance. This module helps students attempt to rethink how it is possible to grow and develop apostolic leadership models whereby disciples make disciples, leaders develop leaders, churches plant churches and movements start movements. But all of this begins with the spiritual formation of church planters who rediscover how Jesus modelled, called, led and released an unstoppable movement. This module will provide students with practical teaching and tools and methods of self-assessment in their personal spiritual formation and others, with a focus on fulfilling the Great Commission.

TH6930: Introduction to Old Testament Studies - Dr Stephen Dempster

The module introduces students to the critical study of the Old Testament through an examination of selected key primary texts from Torah, the Prophets and Historical books. Students are introduced to the study of the OT as a collection of texts whose meaning depends on an understanding of their relationship to the historical contexts of both the wider ancient Near Eastern religious, cultural and political environment, and to developing Israelite religion. Particular attention is paid to the insights of literary criticism, and to the methodological questions raised by the relationship between literary historical approaches to the texts. The key primary texts, and the larger canonical corpus of which they are a part, are also studied as witnesses to the theological character of Israelite faith and consideration is given to the ways OT texts might provide resources for Christian discipleship, ministry and mission ­ in the Church and in the world ­ in the 21st Century.

TH6946: Discovering the New Testament - Dr Jason Myers

This module introduces students to the historical, theological and literary content of the New Testament. It will focus especially on the challenges of reading various and distinctive styles and themes across New Testament genres and authors. Attention is paid to the practices and beliefs of Christianity in the context of Second Temple Judaism and the first century Church. Selected texts provide case studies that illustrate the historically conditioned character of early Christianity. There is a consideration of both the exegetical value and the critical challenges that an historical examination of the New Testament produces. Particular attention is paid to questions of Christology, eschatology, soteriology, Jesus’ Spirituality, the ‘Kingdom of God’, the meaning of Jesus’ death and the relationship between these themes and the shape of Christian discipleship and ministry.

TH6944: On the Incarnation - Dr Jasper Knecht

This module gives students the opportunity to delve into the fascinating questions around the person and work of Jesus Christ. Who do people think Jesus is? What does it mean for God to have become man and dwelt among us? What are the implications of the Incarnation for the church and the world? In this module we focus on the biblical and early church portraits of Jesus, questions around how one person can be the God-man, and the debates around orthodox views of Christ with a particular focus on the development of ideas around the identity of Jesus in the first few hundred years of the church.

Year 2 Modules

TH6945: Christology in Context - Dr Lucy Peppiatt

This module builds on the foundations of TH6944 (On the Incarnation) as we go deeper into questions of the identity of Jesus and what it means to be ‘saved.’ We study some of the developments through history in thinking about Jesus, as well as the biblical perspective on the incarnation, salvation, atonement, and the second coming. Students have the chance to think through what all of this means for modern day discipleship, life, and engagement with the world in mission.

TH6954: Shapes of the Church: Past, Present, Future - Alain Emerson & Roger Ellis

This module explores different perspectives on the nature and identity of church in relation to historical and contemporary doctrinal and missional developments. In addition to an appreciation of historical developments, students will study new forms of church and possible developments in the future. Students will have the opportunity to reflect on particular pastoral and devotional practices, approaches to church leadership and church multiplication, and to kingdom theology and ministry. This module will also include reflection on non-conformist and non-denominational models of church, charismatic approaches to church, and new monasticism. There will be a practical focus on questions of leadership, power dynamics, and gender.

TH6955: Missiologies in the Power of the Spirit - Dr Steve Addison and Nick Hoult

This module explores the scriptural and historical foundations of mission, church planting, and church multiplication. It focuses on the identity and implications of the church as a missional people sent in the power of the Spirit. There will be a strong practical focus on leadership and gender, following the leading of the Spirit, processes of church multiplication, building a local economy, laying apostolic foundations, fruitful evangelistic ministry, and engaging with society.

TH6952: Professional Formation - Prof Andrew Parker

Reflect upon the call to develop excellence for church planters and what that looks like in practice. This module will equip you to strengthen your ministry practice through diligence and confidence in communication, public speaking, self-awareness, team and people-management, and conflict resolution while helping you consider these things from a biblical perspective.

For full course delivery details, please visit the Course Delivery page.

For first year students during 2020-21, in addition to the residential and Hub delivery, there will be an extra two days of teaching on 23rd and 24th October 2020 in Manchester. Students will be given further details at their first residential in September 2020.

Entry Requirements

This programme is designed for students who already have a bachelor’s degree in a subject other than theology, and who can demonstrate experience in, or recognition from a local body for, church planting and leadership.

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As part of the application process, applicants will have up to two interviews: an initial interview with the Programme Director which will help the applicant understand the programme’s aims and outcomes, and to check that the programme is a good fit for their ministerial needs. If necessary, a second interview will take place with the Academic Dean to determine the applicant’s ability to successfully complete the programme. 

Consideration is given to some applicants who are not graduates of a Bachelor’s programme but who have significant experience in church planting and leadership, who would benefit from this programme. In these cases, applications would be interviewed by both the Programme Director, and the Academic Dean to establish their ability to successfully complete the programme. 

  • Generally, a Bachelor’s degree is required, usually in subjects other than theology.

  • For those without a Bachelor’s degree, but with professional qualifications or relevant experience, please contact us to discuss your eligibility for the Graduate Diploma.

  • If English is not your first language, please see the English Language requirements on the Admissions page.


The cost of this course is £3,500 per year, which includes a £350 non-refundable deposit to confirm your place after receiving an offer.