YSOM Director Lynn Comer writes:

2017-18 has been a busy year for YSOM as we seek to support the formation and development of those preparing for ministry and mission in the diocese.

Student numbers have continued to grow with 80 students registering for courses at our York, Beverley and Middlesbrough Hubs. These include a mix of those in discernment for ministry, Readers in training, ordinands, RPAs and people studying for personal development, creating vibrant and diverse learning environment with students from a wide range of social and educational backgrounds.

Modules studied include Old Testament, Christian Doctrine, Pastoral Care & Ethics, Christian Worship, Mission & Ministry, Preaching and Anglicanism. Students studying for university accreditation performed extremely well, with the external examiner commenting on the high standards of work submitted. At the end of year exam board, alongside our certificate and diploma students we are able to formally congratulate YSOM’s first successful BA Hons students – all Licensed Readers: Kirsty Dennett and Garry Parkes, Shirley Hebden and Martin Adams. Their Graduation will be in January in Durham Cathedral. Kirsty says of her study:

"It’s no exaggeration for me to say how life changing it has been for me to attend YSOM. I began doubtful of my academic abilities and worried I’d be found out! But the accessibility of the staff has been reassuring, and provision of great tutors has made the whole learning process far easier. To be able to question and think about things beyond my previously held understanding has been an intellectual adventure that has been fruitful on a personal level and to the church I serve."

During the year we have welcomed new staff to the YSOM team. Peter Rushton (Reader), the Rev Catherine Reid and Rev Jan Nobel as part-time tutors based mainly at the York and Middlesbrough Hubs and the Rev Mike Peatman, who has taken up the role of Academic Tutor for the Beverley Hub. We register our thanks to Gill Pickford, Reader at Beverley Minster, for all she has done over the last few years to manage the Beverley Hub and wish her well in her new venture.

Alongside our usual work, as part of the external quality assurance process, YSOM was subject in the summer to Periodic External Review by Ministry Division and Durham University. Whilst we’re still awaiting the official report, informal feedback on the standards of learning, teaching and provision for ministerial formation was very positive and this level of satisfaction has been backed up by feedback from the end of year national student survey where responses in all areas were well above the national Common Awards scores. We look forward to receiving the reviewers’ comments and taking YSOM forward into another successful year.