FORMATION PROGRAMMES

CHAPEL

The Chapel of Christ the Servant is the spiritual centre of SMMS.

Chapel Worship services take place each weekday morning. There is also a Sunday morning service for all First and Second Year Seminarians during the academic year. Holy Communion Service for seminarians takes place on the first Sunday of the Month.

Seminarians, covenant groups and Seminarian Committees may at times be called on to lead Chapel services

WORK-INTEGRATED LEARNING

Seminarians participate in credit bearing and non-credit bearing work integrated programs. This practical training is an integral part of the SMMS curriculum and completion requirements.

Work Integrated Learning occurs in two settings: Fieldwork placements with various partner agencies (Field Education and Ministry) and Church Placements.

FIELD EDUCATION & MINISTRY (FEM)

The placements in community-based projects have been designed to give students practical exposure to critical social needs, work alongside successful practitioners in the range of designated projects, experience best practice models, and inter-relate with both state and non-governmental agencies. The purpose of such placements is to teach students the role of the church in community transformation and the value of social partnerships across the full range of complex social needs.

CHURCH PLACEMENTS (CP)

Third year seminarians are attached to local churches as part of their vocational training. During such placements students will be given opportunities and skills training in a range of ministry subjects pertaining to the ministry and mission of the church.

COVENANT DISCIPLESHIP GROUPS (CDG)

Seminarians are assigned to a CDG at the start of each year. CDGs are organised primarily by age cohort. CDGs meet for at least 1 hour each week.

The purpose of CDGs is to promote fellowship and to create a space for seminarians to share and work on their personal and spiritual growth and their personal or spiritual troubles.

As part of spiritual formation, the seminary was designed in such a way to afford space for practice of personal spiritual disciplines. This space is available in the especially designed seminary gardens which are located in secluded spots behind the chapel. These are sacred spaces set aside for spiritual experiences.

From its inception the Seminary adopted the Benedictine Spirituality approach where work and prayer go hand in hand. It is for that reason that Seminarians will be involved in the Food Garden as CDGs. In as much as these gardens also serve to enhance and empower the future leaders with skills which will be used in their future ministries to address the most important needs of the community, the spiritual aspect of gardening will be emphasised.

VOCATIONAL INTENSIVE (VI)

Vocational Intensive occurs for approximately 2 weeks during the mid-year academic break during which a special programme focusing on developing spiritual and vocational skills is presented.

The content of VIs is designed to

  1. Supplement knowledge and skills learning from the academic programme with specialised seminars which focus of particular skills or issues. Content areas are primarily divided into: church management, pastoral skills and social issues. The VI programme exposes seminarians to these topics in a progressive fashion over the course of the three years
  2. Strengthen the spiritual life of seminarians by means of retreats, daily worship, and times of prayer

The seminars are presented to by a variety of persons and organisations chosen for their specialised knowledge in areas that will better equip ministers.

FORMATION INTERNSHIP PROGRAMME (FIP)

The FIP is designed to accommodate the MCSA probationers sent to SMMS for their three years of residential formation who have completed their academic requirements for entry into ministry.

ALL seminarians entering SMMS with a relevant diploma or degree, and who are not yet busy with post-graduate studies, are required to enter the third-year curriculum at SMMS in their first year. This is due to two reasons. First, the third year curriculum focuses on Methodist history, theology, and other subjects which form part of MCSA required studies. Second, SMMS has an obligation to the MCSA to assess the academic level of probationers to ensure they are at an adequate level, particularly if they are seeking church sponsorship for postgraduate studies. Seminarians may enter postgraduate work or enter the FIP programme once the Dean of Academics is satisfied that requirements have been met.