Life and Ministry Groups

1:45–2:35pm Tuesdays or Wednesdays

What are Life and Ministry Groups?

The thing that students say they love about Ridley is the community. The other thing they love is that we are about forming Christian character not just educating minds. One of the most important places we enjoy community and form character is in our Life and Ministry Groups (LMGs). These small groups meet with a faculty member for 50 minutes after lunch one day a week. LMGs are for full-time first-year students (completing their first eight foundational units. LMGs comprise 7–9 students and are led by a faculty member. The faculty person may invite a student to co-lead with them.

Aims of Life and Ministry groups:

  • to help integrate students into the college community
  • to help students integrate learning with life
  • to provide a forum to discuss and develop ministry skills, character and values
  • to help students reflect on their gifts and passions with a view to discerning ministry pathways (and which learning community to enter in second year)

The Life and Ministry Groups are not designed to be the primary means of pastoral support (the student’s church, family and external mentor should provide that). The faculty person is not expected to mentor each LMG member, though mentoring by faculty is welcomed.

NB Weeks 1–3 of Semester 1 are the study skills sessions.

Week 1: Study Skills – input
(how to learn and record findings from lectures)

Week 2: Study Skills – analysis
(how to organise and evaluate such input in useful ways)

Week 3: Study Skills – output
(how to express [in writing] a specific answer to a question)

Curriculum Ideas

This is a skeletal curriculum. It seeks to work in conjunction with the new Ridley compulsory subject ‘Ministry Foundations’ and the Ridley study skills sessions.

Who am I (are we?)
  • get to know you (general sharing of people’s stories of faith, how they came to college, what they are hoping for, how they are finding things)
  • identity and calling for ministry

Bible reflections on who am I (human, Christian, minister), Bible reflections on the nature of grace and self-understanding. Bible studies on a key passage(s) to understand our purpose (e.g. Eph 2:8–10; Eph 4:1–16; John 20)

  • gifts for ministry (tools, e.g. 3 Colours of ministry, network, SHAPE)
  • finding a mentor to help discern gifts and calling.
Some further skills not covered by Semester 1 Ministry Foundations unit e.g. mentoring others, personal presentation, teamwork, time management and personal organisation, small-group leadership and your leadership style.
Further reflection on being a theological student
  • Integration (of Bible and ourselves)
  • Issues of character: e.g. pride; work (too much, too little)

Resources available in The Trials of Theology ed. A. Cameron, B. Rosner (Christian Focus, 2010).

e.g. B. B. Warfield, ‘The Spiritual Life of a Theological Student’

C. H. Spurgeon, ‘Frailty and the Grace of God’

See also chs 7 and 8 on the ‘trials of theological college/biblical studies’.

LMGs may also like to socialize together e.g. at faculty’s house for dinner, a local cafe, or other



We respectfully acknowledge the Wurundjeri People, who are the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Ridley College campus is built. Ridley College is an affiliated college with the Australian College of Theology, CRICOS Provider Code 02650E. © 2019 Copyright. All Rights Reserved.