One Year as the Lead for Continuing Ministry Development


30 Jul, 2020


One Year as the Lead for Continuing Ministry Development

By Andrew Clarke

Over the past twelve months, I have occasionally described myself as a glorified hat-stand – a piece of furniture designed to carry more than one hat at a time! Let me explain.

If you were to list areas where our Union of Baptist Churches and our Baptist College have most in common it would surely include our commitment to the training and education of disciples for their kingdom task. This happens to be the main focus of my role as ‘CMD Lead’, but also of my role as the Director of the Scottish Baptist College’s Northern Hub.

At times this overlap might create a moment of confusion – for you as much as for me! Which email address should I/you use? However, the benefits are overwhelmingly greater, as I try to capitalise on seamless ways of interacting with students, church leaders and ministers, regardless of whether they are involved in Continuing Ministry Development workshops, Lead Academy Learning Communities, weekly Lunchtime Conversations for Ministers, College courses, or the increasing array of lifelong learning opportunities developed by the College, many of which are now available through Zoom, right around the country.

Happily, this overlap in roles also generates increasing possibilities for events to be co-hosted. One upcoming example is a CMD workshop for Church ministers that will also serve as a College seminar for students – Revd Dr Steve Holmes (St Andrews), ‘The Lord’s Supper and Reconciliation’ (18 November).

alpha onlineAnother shared venture, beginning this autumn, is a regular programme of convenient ‘evening classes’, ranging widely across biblical, theological, ethical and practical topics. The disarmingly simple pattern will be for once-a-week, one-hour sessions, spread over four consecutive weeks. These will be co-hosted by both our Baptist Union and our Baptist College. Their key selling point will be accessibility: delivered interactively and online, and available for all members of our churches – no necessary prior learning or reading.

The first two mini-courses will be:

‘What are they saying about: How to Read the Bible as Story?’ (Sunday evenings in October)

‘What are they saying about: How our Communal Worship shapes our Attitude to the Environment?’ (Sunday evenings in November)

For further details, see

You may also like…



At its worst 2020 has been a nightmare. Often it has not been that bad – it has just been downright frustrating. And every now and then it has felt like an adventure.

An Age of Anxiety

An Age of Anxiety

I am increasingly becoming aware of the anxiety that is being felt by our younger people that has seemingly increased over the last 8 months or so. Many young people have struggled to balance life, work, play and faith in the midst of social distancing, partial lockdowns and complicated Covid regs at their schools.

Chaplaincy at the Coalface

Chaplaincy at the Coalface

Working and supporting doctors and nurses on the coalface at the beginning of the pandemic was incredibly inspirational. They talked about compassion, care, dignity in tones that stirred the heart and made you feel proud and privileged to share that space with them. They had resolved to be everything they needed to be to get through the day and they displayed no outward sign of fear or hesitation and during those first months, for that moment in time, they were one.


On these pages you will find information, advice and support for church leaders. This includes guidance on ministry, mission, training, safeguarding, financial and legal compliance.


Prayer is at the heart of our Union. The prayer calendar is a framework to help individuals or congregations pray for all our churches throughout the year.  Every Sunday evening several hundred people from our churches across Scotland join in our National Prayer Livestream.