Oasis College launches new undergraduate ministry courses

Oasis College started its new term on Saturday with a graduation ceremony and the commissioning of undergraduates to the new three-year honours degree courses in youth work, children's work and family support work.

The courses are validated and accredited by Staffordshire University and place a strong emphasis on work-based learning.

The Rev Peter Ball, National Youth Officer for the Church of England, said the courses were a welcome addition to the current training offered to youth workers.

"Churches are increasingly conscious of the need to ensure that training offered to those working with children and young people is of a high standard and focuses on the realities of that ministry today, and these courses look set to be one such pathway," he said.

Principal Paul Fenton said Oasis College would make a distinctly Christian contribution to the higher education community.

"When Oasis started youth work and ministry training over 17 years ago, many questioned the need for such specialised training," he said.

"We feel our decision was justified now that job sections within the Christian press awash with advertisements for youth, children’s and family support workers."

Tim Jeffery, Chief Executive of Spurgeon’s Child Care, said: "For many years, Oasis has been equipping Christians to work with young people.

"I’m excited to see Oasis rising to the challenge of doing the same for those who are called to work with children and families – work which is at the heart of so much Christian social action.

"Well-trained and caring Christians are vital to our mission of building God’s kingdom."

Prospective students are being asked to apply early for entry in September 2010 after this year's courses were oversubscribed.

There is an Oasis College open day scheduled for 27 October when prospective students can find out more about the new degree courses and other vocational qualifications that Oasis College runs.