Journey in Faith: A "graduate's" experience

Maria Jukes will be ordained in September and has recently joined the ministry team in Oadby.

Here she talks about her experiences of the Journey in Faith course and how it led her to ‘truly amazing and slightly unbelievable things’…

“I started the Journey in Faith (JiF) course in 2016 as part of discerning where God was calling me at the time. Following some conversations with people in the Church, the course was recommended to me as somewhere to be able to explore my faith deeper and to begin to think about theology. To be honest, I didn’t quite know what to expect and, as I hadn’t done any study for a while, the prospect of written assignments was a bit scary!

However, I hadn’t needed to be worried.

The course was really accessible, the material covered a wide range of topics and was imaginatively put together. The course ran for one academic year (from September to June) and I had to set aside one evening each week, as well as a little bit of time in the week to read and think through the preparation.

Whilst this was sometimes challenging to fit in, quickly the meetings became something I very much looked forward to rather than feeling like chore, and the preparation work was quite flexible.

On weeks where time was short I would spend less time on the preparation, and when I had time I could delve a bit deeper into the topics covered. The assignments were challenging but also interesting.

I was so nervous handing in my first one, but I felt really encouraged by the comments I got back and the feedback helped me to develop my thinking.

My JiF group was made up people of all ages and traditions, and I loved hearing others’ reflections which challenged and inspired my thinking.

The teachers made each session fun and engaging and created a safe space for questions to be asked. My favourite bit about JiF was the chance to meet such a wide range of people from different churches and traditions, whose perspectives challenged me to think in new ways about my faith. 

During the time at JiF I continued my discernment, and in the end I was put forward to train for ordination. The JiF course gave me confidence to explore this fully, equipped me for further study and also gave me a fuller appreciation of the richness in the tradition of the Church of England.

JiF provided a really lovely place with wonderful people to explore questions that are life changing. It was a time of challenge, encouragement, laughter and friendship - a community of learning that started me off on this exciting journey, which I am still on.”

Journey in Faith

Journey in Faith is a course open to anyone wanting to take the next step in their discipleship.

Feedback from people on last year’s course included:

“I’d say that if you want to know more about yourself, your faith, God and the Bible, then JiF is the course for you!”


“To feel anxious about starting the course is absolutely okay. Have faith that God supports you in your journey and knows of your fears and worries.”

You can hear more from people who have gone through the course in the video below, and also in some interviews during this online compline service.

Reverend Liz Rawlings, our Diocesan Discipleship and Vocations Enabler, co-ordinates the course.

She says: “Blessed are those whose hearts are set on pilgrimage (Psalm 84:5). The Christian life is a journey of the heart and mind taken in the company of fellow pilgrims as the fullness of the life of God grows within and through us.

“The Journey in Faith course is a wonderful set of stepping stones along the way.”

If you’re thinking about joining the Journey in Faith course, you can register your interest now.

The course for the academic year 2020/2021 will begin with an induction morning on Saturday 26 September 2020 on Zoom or in local areas (depending on Lockdown Regulations) and continues in local groups the following week. Full information here.

First published on: 23rd July 2020
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