About Local Tutors
Could you be a tutor?
Local tutors are a key ingredient in STETS formation for ministry. They give vital support to the students’ own independent learning. The main task of local tutors is to lead a small discussion group, usually based in the tutor’s own home, each week. Please contact Anne Claar Thomasson-Rosingh for more details.
Being a local tutor
The preparation of students for ministry in the church is a major responsibility for all those involved. We hope that local tutors will enjoy their part in developing the church’s future ministry, and see the time they give as part of their service of the wider church. Tutorial groups often develop close bonds of mutual support, as well as exploring academic issues, and we see them as one of the main strengths of the training that the course offers. Involvement in STETS training is also an important resource for tutors, keeping them in touch with latest developments in theological thinking, and we hope enabling them in their other areas of ministry.
Being a tutor means guiding a small group of students through our study programme for this (normally) 3 year part-time course. Students are usually in secular employment and are expected to study for 15 hours per week for about 36-40 weeks each year. We have compiled study modules, rather along Open University lines, for study at home and these contain reading requirements and details of both written and tutorial assignments.
A tutor meets with a student group (between 1 & 5 students) usually in the tutor’s home, ideally weekly, to guide them through this material, advise them where they are unclear, and lead the tutorial session. Tutors also discuss with the students the penultimate draft of their written assignments. Assessment is carried out by the core staff based in Salisbury.
Since the course is contained in the modules, tutors do not have to rely wholly on their own knowledge or spend long periods in preparation, though naturally we anticipate the tutors being familiar with the teaching material, since the students will look to them for elucidation and some informal teaching.
The course comes in the form of modules, each lasting ten weeks, including time for writing assignments. Each module requires six tutorials of about 1½ hours (normally in week 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 8 of the module). During the ten week module the student will meet two times (week 4 and 7) with a local learning group. The last two weeks of each module are set apart for writing the assignment. The students will study four modules each year. The days and times for the tutorials are arranged by each group individually, to the tutor’s convenience.
An initial full training day is provided for those beginning tutoring on the course. This covers the tasks of the tutor, gives an overview of the STETS pattern of training, and in particular looks at the nature of study in a distance-learning adult education context.
Further tutors’ meetings are held twice a year to offer ongoing training, to introduce tutors to forthcoming modules, to hear their comments on student progress and to invite them to give feedback on the modules. Students’ local training ministers follow a similar training and support process and participate in some of the same sessions offered to tutors. We encourage tutors and training ministers to keep in touch with each other about student progress.
Tutors are not expected personally to pay for required core textbooks. Any ‘required reading’ in STETS modules will be supplied free of charge via the Sarum College Bookshop. Or, alternatively, if tutors wish to source these books themselves STETS will reimburse them (receipts must be provided). In addition to this tutors may claim other expenses that arise in the course of training. Primarily these are: travel to tutors’ meetings and occasional expenses incurred through helping tutees.
While they are associated with STETS, tutors are able to use the Sarum College library free of charge (borrowing membership normally costs £40 p.a.) The library, as well as offering normal services, sends books post free to members who are distant from the college.
The Sarum College Bookshop stocks all basic books. Tutors are eligible for a 10% discount on all purchases made and paid for in person at the shop. Purchases by post or through invoice are at full price, but will be sent post free if required.