The Apprentice Programme aims to develop missional activities among children and youth by training up new people from within church communities across the Diocese of London over the course of three years.

Apprentices are employed by the Diocese of London, and work under the direction and support of a church’s leadership team to begin, establish or develop the youth and/or children’s ministry in that church.

Apprentices also study Theology, Ministry and Mission with Ridley London, the London training centre of Ridley Hall Cambridge. They are paid the London Living Wage and gain valuable experience of church ministry with children and young people.

“We have loved benefiting from this scheme and wouldn’t have been able to do many of the things that are taking place and growing through St Luke’s without it.”
– Church leader

“When I first started my role, I had many anxieties. But I have grown to love my work with children and young people…I’ve done things that I never thought I could before.”
– Programme Graduate

The application process

Eligible churches with a potential candidate, or candidates interested in applying to the programme, should get in touch as soon as possible so we can send you documentation and support you through the process. If you are considering becoming an Apprentice, you should begin by talking with your vicar / church leader.

This is not an open-application training programme: churches apply to the programme with someone already in mind, normally from within their congregation, to take on the role of becoming an Apprentice. The programme does not recruit and place Apprentices into churches, or take applications from solo candidates who are looking to work for a church they are not already part of. There is scope for someone to join a church in order to become an Apprentice where there is an invitation to do so, but this is not the original aims of the programme.

The process

  • A candidate is identified within a church’s community
  • The church completes the parish application form
  • The candidate applies for the job listing directly via CofE Pathways

Application deadlines

  • Deadline for 2024 applications from church and candidate:  Friday 5 July 2024

Apply to join the programme

Recruitment is open for 10 new Children and Youth Work Apprentices to begin training in September 2024.

To submit an application or for any queries, contact the Apprentice Coordinator.

Get in touch

Ruth Etang

Coordinator, The Apprentice Programme
ruth.etang​ 020 3837 5139

The programme structure

Apprentices are employed for 21 hours a week: 16 hours in the church context, with 5 hours set aside for study.

The curriculum is broken down as follows:

Year 1 Apprentices complete an introductory level 4 module in “Foundations in Theology, Ministry and Mission”, studying at Ridley London, with a focus on youth and children’s work. This gives them access to the Cert HE in years 2 and 3.
2 & 3
Apprentices complete the Cert HE (Level 4) course in “Foundations in Theology, Ministry and Mission” with a focus on youth and children’s work.

Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve answered some frequently asked questions below, but if you have any other questions please get in touch.

The Diocese of London employs Apprentices directly using national funding, and churches are asked to contribute £7,000 per year towards the costs. The academic course with Ridley London is paid for by the Diocese.

There is no cost to Apprentices, who are paid a salary at the London Living Wage (recalculated every November).

The programme is open to churches in the Diocese of London. We are looking for churches who already have a potential apprentice candidate in mind.

To be considered for the programme, churches must show that they have the following:

  • A potential apprentice candidate in mind
  • A vision to meet local needs
  • A long-term mind-set
  • The vision and ability to line-manage an apprentice well
  • An intention to integrate the apprentice into the leadership/staff team
  • The ability to combine realism with flexibility
  • An intention to engage the whole church
  • The vision to build a strong volunteer base
  • A focus on building relationships
  • An intention to integrate faith and discipleship
  • A ‘Whole Life’ approach to people

An initial church application form can be found at the bottom of this page.

A potential candidate for the scheme needs to demonstrate that they want to pursue this opportunity because they have a heart for youth and/or children’s ministry, as well as a genuine desire to serve their local community through the church. It is not anticipated at the start that the apprentice will be fully skilled in all areas of the job description, but that they will be aspiring to achieve them through training and experience.


Examples of what apprentices on the programme have done so far:

  • Establish a youth group from scratch
  • Lead Youth Alpha courses
  • Lead confirmation classes
  • Set up toddler groups or Messy Church
  • Support lunchtime clubs in a local school
  • Outreach activities through football/dance
  • Volunteer at a local charity supporting young refugees and asylum seekers.

Potential candidates need to demonstrate:

  • They are a practicing Christian
  • Qualifications obtained at Level 2 (GCSE or NVQ) in Maths, English and IT (or a willingness to work to obtain these in the first year of the programme)
  • Experience in youth/children’s work

Aptitudes and abilities

  • Willingness to commit to a three-year programme which will include study, theory-based assessments, regular attendance at college and additional learning activities
  • An ability to engage and work with young people and adults
  • A readiness to reflect on experiences and learning
  • A commitment to others and to work for equal opportunities
  • An ability to manage different aspects of life and to work on own initiative
  • An ability to communicate in a friendly and professional manner with others face-to-face, via telephone and in writing
  • A clear Enhanced DBS check (to be carried out by the Diocese at offer stage)
  • An ability to integrate well into a small team environment
  • Self-motivated, enthusiastic and an ability to manage their own workload.

Personal attributes

  • High personal integrity
  • Flexible in approach
  • Ability to work confidentially
  • Sympathetic to the aims of the Church of England.

Apprentices are employed for 21 hours a week:

  • 16 hours in the church context
  • 5 hours set aside for study (curriculum above)

The programme entails certain commitments by host churches, the Diocese of London, and Ridley Hall to provide the following:

Church Diocese of London Ridley Hall
Line management Employment Cert HE (Level 4) in Theology, Mission and Ministry, with a focus on youth and children’s work
Paying the church fee Line manager and apprentice support Study support
Project and apprentice running costs Apprentice social events and specialised training
Providing an appropriate supervisor