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“Hardly anyone can ever find God because God is right at the end of your mind after all the background thoughts are gone.”
Maisie Satchwell-Hust

Sheffied Methodist Circuit
Aurora Youth and Children's Ministry 

Aurora is a 8-month training course for anyone involved in Youth or Children’s Ministry who are wanting to develop their ministry, volunteers or paid workers. It’ll be entering it’s 9th year in Sept 2022, with around 200 students having completed the course over the past 8 years or so. It’s run in partnership between Sheffield Methodist Circuit and Sheffield Diocese, with 3 Saturday sessions taking place physically in Rotherham and 8 Wednesday evening sessions on Zoom. We explore a wide range of topics, from the Values of Youth and Children’s Ministry; Theology of the Child and Young Person and more.

The majority of the Youth and Children's work within local Churches is undertaken by volunteers. Whilst there are a number of good quality Degree programmes available for people to train and learn, we felt that they were generally geared towards paid workers, and that there was a need locally here in South Yorkshire to develop a training course specifically aimed at volunteer youth and children's workers.

As a result, back in 2012 Sheffield Diocese and YMCA White Rose partnered together to write and develop the Aurora Course, with the first course running in September 2013 with around 25 students between the two courses. In 2017, due to a changeover in staffing, YMCA White Rose pulled out of the Course, with Sheffield Methodist Circuit partnering with the Diocese to run the course ecumenically.

Alongside the formal training and lectures etc, we find that most of the learning takes place in conversations with and between students and course tutors. There are 3 modules, with two 1000 word assignments per module which encourage and enable students to engage what they learn in class to their practice on the ground. For us as tutors, we often get most excited when we get to read and mark students assignments, and can read first-hand the difference and impact that their learning is having upon their practice.

The course is accredited by St Peter's College, the Virtual College of Sheffield Diocese, and costs £250 / student (bursaries are available upon request). Applications for September 2022 are open now, with more information at




For more info please see