Cornhill Scotland

Pastors’ Training Course

What is PTC?

PTC is a three year programme of on-the-job theological education for trainee ministers. The course provides a flexible, affordable, high level theological education, in which ministry and theology are rigorously integrated. Our aim is to equip competent future pastors who will be able to build churches in which a culture of training is deeply embedded at every level.

Who is it for?

Students will normally have completed the Cornhill Training Course or equivalent, and be employed in supervised post-apprenticeship training roles in churches.

The content

PTC is a rolling programme of theological study based around 6 core modules:

  • Doctrine of God
  • Christology
  • The Holy Spirit
  • Ethics
  • Salvation and Church
  • Eschatology

Two modules will be studied each year. The core programme is supplemented with a rich and varied diet of topical material relating to ministry, expository preaching and church leadership.

The course has a core textbook, Robert Letham’s Systematic Theology. Each module has a core textbook of its own, supplemented with a range of other material.

The format

The course requires a day a week during university terms (two days a week if taking the MA qualification). We alternate home study days with classroom days. Classroom days are usually devoted to processing the implications of material the students have already studied at home.

All PTC students engage in the same programme of home study and classroom discussion.

We also hold three residential study weeks each year, usually with visiting speakers. These are devoted to a variety of theological and ministry topics.

MA Theology option

We have recently developed an option to study the course to MA level, in conjunction with Union Theological College in Belfast. UTC’s innovative distance learning MA is structured exactly like our own course, with an additional Dissertation module after three years. Students who take the MA follow the regular PTC course, use the same core texts throughout, engage in the same classroom programme, but do additional written assessments requiring wider reading.

The MA option is particularly suitable for students who require a degree level qualification for further ministry, or wish to develop their thinking and writing skills more intensively. We recommend that MA students will need two days a week for study during university terms.

The MA Course Specification Document can be found here.

MA in Theology

This fully online postgraduate programme provides students with the opportunity to study theology by concentrating on some of main topics in systematic theology. Delivered through our partners at BibleMesh this course enables students to see the role of Scripture in developing theological understanding and the manner in which ideas have developed amidst controversy.

Further information about Our Rationale for Training can be found here.


The total cost of the three year PTC course is £8,550*

(the 2022/23 fees for PTC are £2,850 per year)

The total cost of the three year PTC + MA option is £12,470*

(the cost of the MA is £5,600 (£800 for each of the seven modules*). PTC students receive a 30% bursary towards this).

*NB Fees are reviewed each year, so these totals may change.


If you are interested in applying for the Pastors’ Training Course then please contact us.
You download the application form here.

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