E-Study Courses

We have currently have four e-studies courses and there are more under development. Each course has its own particular purpose, so please choose carefully.

Foundation Course

  • Igniting the Flame - A foundation Course in living by a Way of Life from the Community of Aidan and Hilda, in which you have the personal support of a Tutor and a Course Accompanier/ Soul Friend, and the opportunity to take part in two retreats. Find out more here

Advanced Courses

The following are courses are pitched at under-graduate level, designed to last one year, with up to eleven units, each taking about one month. It is hoped that students will learn with the heart as well as the head. A course tutor is allocated who receives and gives feed-back on assignments. There is a bursary for those who cannot afford the full fees. The courses are designed by Ray Simpson with the course director, Peter Sharpe, formerly Learning Development Officer, Open Learning Unit Aberystwyth, University of Wales.

  • Introduction to Celtic Christian Spirituality - you can find more about this course here.
  • From Ancient Celtic to New Monasticism

To enrol or get further details contact the Course Direcector.

Pilgrimage for Life

This is the most recent course offered by Ray Simspon and is fully explained on the website www.waymarksoflife.com

You can download a flyer for it here and you will find out more from Ray's personal website

It is an on-line course, which is self-guided and supported by email contact. The course will unfold insights and encourage us to live in a whole new way. Seven days of email correspondance are followed by resources and spiritual formation exercises for the next week. You only receive the next email when last one opened. The course os free, but donationas are welcome.You can cancel at any time. Once you have joined you will have access to a closed Facebook group so that you can interact with others on the course.

Igniting the Flame

Igniting the Flame is based on Ray Simpson’s book New Celtic Monasticism for everyday people and leads to students putting together a Way of Life. It is a Distance learning course with an opportunity to meet other students via Zoom meetings for fellowship and support.

The Introduction to Celtic Spirituality is also distance learning, more academic and you work on your own with support from a Tutor.

Our next ITF course, which starts in January 2024, is already full. However, to register for the 2025 course, please email:

Course Coordinator

Jane Franklin is in overall charge of the course:

Register early to avoid disappointment!

This distance learning course will be of interest if you are looking for a carefully structured and supportive way to make sense of your life.

The course aims to help you

  • understand the benefits of a well thought-out personal Way of Life
  • reassess your present Way of Life
  • develop the confidence to go on exploring and refining your Christian faith
  • introduce you to Celtic spirituality


The course operates according to the Community's Safeguarding guidelines.


  • Course runs January to December each year
  • Modules are timetabled
  • Distance learning
  • 10 units each of 2/3 weeks, plus time to put into practice decisions made
  • Each unit includes set readings and suggestions for further reading
  • 4 short pieces of work to hand in, each preceded by a preparation week
  • A final additional piece of work: your completed Way of Life
  • Assignments do not have to be submitted as written work
  • You keep a journal


  • Unit 1Introduction to the course
  • Unit 2A rhythm of prayer, work and recreation
  • Unit 3Life-long learning
  • Unit 4Spiritual journey
  • Unit 5Prayer - Openness to God
  • Unit 6Simple lifestyle
  • Unit 7Creation
  • Unit 8Healing fragmented people and communities
  • Unit 9Building unity
  • Unit 10Mission/justice


  • A tutor and your existing Soulfriend or Spiritual Director
  • Other students, via email, etc as negotiated
  • Optional 2 online day workshops or on-line weekend workshop shortly after the start date
  • Optional retreat week in October


  • You will receive a hard copy of the illustrated course books and should purchase a copy of the course reader New Celtic Monasticism, by Ray Simpson, published by Kevin Mayhew, if you do not already have one (2014 Edition).


The cost for the course is £100

The next course will run January to December 2024


Contact the Course Coordinator to register

Introduction to Celtic Christian Spirituality

Length of course

Students have a one year registration period in which to submit all assessed work. There is no submission schedule of deadlines, but we advise that as a rule students should submit assignments for each unit within one month. Students are free to work at their own pace and are responsible for organising their own study and writing time, although they can discuss this with their tutor.

How do I apply to study the course?

In the first instance contact the Director of Celtic e-Studies

This one-year course has been developed by Ray Simpson (founder of the international Community of Aidan and Hilda), and Peter Sharpe (Learning Development Officer at Aberystwyth University).

It is designed to introduce students to the key components of spirituality that characterise the Celtic Christian tradition in its first and subsequent waves.

Subjects covered in the units of the first course include:

  • Borderlands
  • Presence
  • Prayers, penance & praise
  • Love of the poor, justice & hospitality
  • Womanhood, wisdom & nurture
  • Awareness of heaven
  • Community & church, mission & Kingdom
  • Poetry & art
  • Humanity, nature & creativity
  • Manhood, desert athletes & living martyrs

Who is this course for?

Anyone who feels drawn to explore Celtic Christian Spirituality, for example:

  • People who seek to know God in a more holistic way; and who intuitively feel that‘Celtic spirituality’ may develop this.
  • Christians who are otherwise well-grounded in Bible or Church teaching who want to fill a gap in their knowledge or experience.

How much does it cost?

The course costs £300

Course level and approach

The course is approximately equivalent to work done at under-graduate degree level, but differs quite significantly in approach. If you are familiar with the UK Higher education credit system, the module is about 30 credits worth of study material. You should not be discouraged from applying if you have not studied at degree level.

We design courses with the aim of facilitating what we call ‘head through the heart’ learning. This approach sets out to lead students to consider and reflect upon the personal meaning and relevance of what they are learning about, not just to engage with subjects in a purely intellectual or ‘academic’ way.

We are aiming for a holistic approach where the intellectual, the spiritual, and the practical applications of learning are integrated and support each other. This makes for a rich learning experience with the student’s personal responses and reflection at the centre.

Students registering for the course are allocated a tutor whose role is to assess submitted work and provide feedback about it. Students may also contact tutors for advice about studying and producing assignments.


Students are required to submit three pieces of work to be assessed by the course tutor. Two of these can be chosen from a number of different essay titles that reflect different areas of the course content. The third assignment is a more personal piece in which the student is asked to reflect on what they have learned while studying the course.

The work is not graded in the traditional academic sense (i.e. no mark or score will be given). Rather, the tutor will comment on the degree to which the work satisfactorily demonstrates that students have been able to engage with, reflect upon, and think critically about the material the course introduces.

The course is divided into units, each with a specific theme. The text in each unit introduces and discusses the core subjects and ideas related to this theme. Students are directed to read particular sections of core texts and to look at online web pages and other relevant materials. In each unit we ask students to undertake particular exercises which are not assessed. This may be to explore a particular subject more deeply, or reflective exercises that help students to consider the personal applications of what they are learning.

Students who satisfactorily complete the course, as confirmed by their tutor, will receive a Certificate. The course is not credit-bearing for academic purposes.

Length of course

Students have a one year registration period in which to submit all assessed work. There is no submission schedule of deadlines, but we advise that as a rule students should submit assignments for each unit within one month. Students are free to work at their own pace and are responsible for organising their own study and writing time, although they can discuss this with their tutor.


You can download a PDF file for reading here and one for printing out in flyer form here.