Growing as a Disciple course

Growing as a Disciple course

We all need to find the right help for where we are on our journey of faith. The Growing as a Disciple course is another way of refreshing faith and learning together. 

This course is about deepening our personal faith and raising our awareness of how God might be calling us to contribute our abilities and time to our churches. We hope that it will also generate enthusiasm and confidence to express our faith as we seek to live as Christ's disciples in our communities, workplaces and in the wider world. 

In Growing as a Disciple, we delve into the Bible, getting the big story of the way God has worked in the lives of very ordinary people to bring about his purposes and our salvation. We zoom in to look at particular stories and ask, where are we in this story, and what about our journey of faith? 

Course structure

The course is made up of ten sessions each lasting two hours:

Session 1 - Introduction to Growing as a Disciple

Getting to know each other and our different stories, agreeing ways to work together, exploring ways of reading the Bible.

Session 2 - Prayer: The Language of faith

Prayer: prayer as a relationship, different ways of praying in order to keep our relationship with God fresh.

Session 3 - The Old Testament story of faith: Abraham to Joshua

We begin to explore the Old Testament through the eyes of a 1st century Jew, Stephen. Frail humans are repeatedly rescued by God’s steadfast faithfulness and love. 

Session 4 - The Old Testament story of faith: Joshua to the exile

Settlement, judges, kings and failures - a nation in transition.

Session 5 - The Old Testament story of faith: Exile to John the Baptist

A painful time of exile is followed by a difficult return. Had God deserted them, what were the prophets saying? Setting the scene for New Testament times.

Session 6 - The New Testament story of faith: Jesus

We focus on the Gospels and Jesus in the context of God's continuing purposes for his people, and plan of salvation. Jesus challenged assumptions and made radical demands as the New Covenant unfolded.

Sessions 7 - The New Testament story of faith: The gospel explodes

The birth of the early church as recorded in The Acts of the Apostles. We see Jesus’ action and teaching continue as the apostles spread the Good News. Conflicts and dilemmas arise and need resolution.  

Session 8 -The church: The community of faith

What is our perception of the the church? What does the church of the New Testament teach us something about being God’s community of people today? We explore our role in our own context?

Session 9 - Mission: The response of faith

We are called to share in God's mission of grace as individuals and as church communities. How can we respond to this call?

Session 10 - The next step: Living as fruitful disciples

What does it mean to be a fruitful disciple? What have we learned, what do we need to do, what further help do we need?

The introductions to the sessions, which give more detail as to the content and aim for each session, can be found by clicking here

The course is usually run consecutively on a weekday or evening, but sessions can be combined for five Saturday mornings, or a mixture of these formats. Please do contact us to discuss the pros and cons of these different ways if the course is being run in a particular parish. 

What is expected of participants

Each participant has a course book with all the notes. The sessions are a mixture of input and discussion, either as a whole group, or in smaller groups. As a participant you are encouraged to go over the session at home and read ahead in the notes for some sessions. Course facilitators will understand the pressures on your time in daily life, but the more you are able to work at home, the more you will get out of the course.

We ask everyone, including facilitators, to participate respectfully and sensitively. Because the experience of faith and life that you bring to the course is an important contribution to the learning of the group, we encourage commitment to the whole course.  Groups are kept quite small to enable good discussion. 

The diocese is underwriting the cost of this course and is providing all the resources, training and help for facilitators, who are usually LLMs (Readers) or clergy. There are two facilitators per group, which helps to ensures no session will be cancelled. 

Download the Leaflet, application for and details of how to run a course from this page.

Location and time

The course is being run in various venues across the diocese, either for a particular parish, in a deanery or in the diocesan office in Ely. It depends on where the interest is. Most courses run either in the autumn or post-Easter, as travel is easier then, particularly in the more rural parts of the diocese. At least once a year, we will try to run a group in Ely and one in the Cambridge area.

For up to date information on courses currently being planned contact the Mission and Ministry Team by email on



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