The United Reformed Church Ministries Department has partnered with Westminster College and Wesley House in Cambridge to provide training for the Certificate in Pastoral Supervision. This Certificate is recognised by the Association of Pastoral Supervisors and Educators. Currently the Ministries Department are covering the cost of this course for URC ministers and laypeople with the recommendation of their Synod Moderator.

The Certificate course consists of a taught component of 5 intensive face-to-face days. Following the taught component, those who wish to receive the full Certificate need to (1) offer supervision; (2) engage in reflection with a supervisor on that practice; and (3) complete the following portfolio of work, which includes:

  • A verbatim account of one supervisory session with a 2000-word commentary reflecting on its processes
  • References from two supervisees
  • A reference from an Accredited Supervisor
  • 3000-word essay articulating the nature of pastoral supervision and giving a rationale for its use in the participants context. The essay should engage with the literature of pastoral supervision and give examples of the benefits of pastoral supervision from the participant’s own experience.

Future courses to be held at Westminster College are scheduled for:

  • November 20-24, 2023
  • March 4-8, 2024

For further information please contact Rick Mearkle –
To apply for a course please contact Ministries PA –

Below are comments from recent trainees who have completed the course:

“I admit my first reaction to Pastoral Supervision being required, was sceptical – I had managed 22 years as a minister without such a thing, but I remembered when I was a medical social worker in North America, we had such things and found it very beneficial. Then I heard from Rick Mearkle about the course to train to provide supervision and explored the course. I signed up and found that it was interactive and dynamic – it used all my previous counselling experience and more. I loved the purposeful descriptive model to follow and the live demonstrated sessions with real issues which showed that ministers can benefit from creative ways of reflecting on challenges as well as rewards of ministry.

Now as a supervisee and a pastoral supervisor I continue to learn and grow as I seek best ways of approaching situations, and encouraging those who give their lives in service of the Lord’s church and mission.”

“The taught element of the pastoral supervision course was very interactive and interesting; it was good to work with others to explore and learn new ways of thinking. There was a lot of support during the rest of the course to complete the written work and to build a practice portfolio. Training to be a supervisor also helps you to understand how to get the most out of supervision and provides a toolkit to use in ministry.”

“I had a really great time on the course, I came expecting it to be good, but it actually exceeded my expectations. The trainers delivered thoughtful, and thought provoking, training which was stretching but empowering. The combination of demonstration and practise really helped me, and the other participants, get a sense of what ‘real’ supervision would be like. To be able to do this in a supportive and ‘safe’ environment was really special. I’d heartily recommend this training.”

“The Pastoral Supervision course held in the autumn of 2022 was intense, but very well structured and organised. Both the tutors felt personally involved in getting the best out of all the delegates and were passionate about the benefits of Pastoral Supervision. The prior reading was helpful, and the delegates all participated well. It was not an easy course, but it was a very worthwhile course. “