Eastern Region Ministry Course
The Eastern Region Ministry Course, based in Cambridge, is a non-residential theological training course which offers initial ministerial training on behalf of the Church of England, the Methodist Church in Britain, the United Reformed Church, and occasionally other churches in England. Currently more than 80% of the students are ordinands sent by the Church of England. Students typically attend the course for two or three years.
The ERMC was formed in September 2005 as an amalgamation of the former East Anglian Ministerial Training Course and part of the former St Albans and Oxford Ministry Course. Students tend to come from the Eastern region of England, including the counties of Norfolk, Essex, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Luton, Hertfordshire and Northamptonshire (or parts thereof). ERMC also takes students from Diocese in Europe of the Church of England, which covers the European continent. Students from a broad spectrum of church traditions are represented on the course, and students are encouraged to participate in liturgies of various types through the year.
The ERMC is one of the seven full member institutions of the Cambridge Theological Federation. Students usually take academic programmes offered through the CTF and validated by Anglia Ruskin University, namely either the BA in Christian Theology or the MA in Pastoral Theology. As a non-residential course, training is offered in two different forms of a dispersed learning mode: either through attendance of evening classes in the St Albans centre, or by means of weekly meetings with a personal tutor located near the student's home. The small core staff team of ERMC also runs six training weekends per annum as well as an eight-day summer school.
Formational training, whereby all aspects of a student's life and experience are combined, is a key part of the course, and academic tutorials are supplemented by supervisions with a local priest or minister. Regular meetings with a (non-affiliated) person to allow the student to receive spiritual direction are also encouraged.
There is also a small 'mixed mode' training scheme associated with ERMC: the Peterborough Project offers full-time training for ordinands of the above-mentioned churches, especially the Church of England.