Ministry Training Programme



As a city centre church we have the opportunity to be a training and sending church to participate in the great task of the re-evangelisation of the nation.  Just as the Scottish Reformation was the work of multiple generations over almost 100 years (from 1560 onwards), likewise the re-evangelisation of Scotland requires us investing now to train men and women to be faithful church workers for the future.

In the last 15 years a number of churches, backed by the Bonar Trust and supported by para-church ministries, have pioneered a model for ministry training that combines the strengths of the local church and the seminary.  We have adopted this same model and are seeking to play our small part in the established national training pipeline. 

There are two stages to the pipeline:

  • Basic training (2 year Ministry Apprenticeships)
  • Advanced training (3-4 year Pastor in Training / Women in Ministry Training).

In both stages, the local church commits to take on an individual for in-house training and development, complemented by the external training provided by an approved institution. 

For example an Apprentice would work 2-3 days at the church, under the supervision of a member of staff, and attend Cornhill for 2 days of training per week.  A Pastor in Training or Woman in Ministry Training would work 3-4 days at the church and study at seminary (e.g. PTC, ETS, Union, Crosslands, HTC) 1-2 days a week.  

An apprentice may not continue into training as a Pastor in Training or Woman in Ministry Training; instead they may opt to go into overseas missions, para-church ministry, youth work in the local church, or secular work alongside active ministry in the local church.  A Pastor/Minister in Training would be expected to graduate as a gospel worker, assistant/associate pastor, church planter, or women's worker.

Given the different levels and aims of training, a more significant level of ministry involvement and responsibility would be entrusted and expected of a Pastor in Training than an Apprentice. 

The Bonar funding model has three contributors:

  • Bonar supplies 1/3 funds
  • Church supplies 1/3 funds
  • Individual raises 1/3 funds

For more information on the costs of an Apprentice or Minister in Training see the Bonar Trust website:

Typically there are three types of individuals who may join the training pipeline:

  • The younger trainee will likely have done an internship in a church-based training scheme, a Relay or Staff Worker experience with UCCF, an Internship with SU or Christians in Sport, etc. Their next step would be to enter the Pipeline as an Apprentice for two years.  Some gifted individuals might come straight from university or the workplace.
  • The invested trainee will have completed an Apprenticeship and Cornhill training course and be supported by their local church for further ministry training as a Pastor in Training or Woman in Ministry Training.
  • The older trainee will likely have worked for several years and have experienced responsibility in the local church (perhaps as a young elder or ministry leader). They might come in straight as a Pastor in Training or Woman in Ministry Training with the local church tailoring the in house supervision and training to make up for missing the basic training Cornhill experience.

Since beginning this training scheme in 2019: Carrubbers has had an apprentice in Mark Azzopardi (2019-2020), Pastor in Training in Sean Brennan (2021-2025), as well as embraced as Partners in Training Mark and Helen Azzopardi during their missionary home assignment (2022-2023). 

The Ministry Training Programme is run by Associate Pastor: David Nixon . For more details contact him: