Welcome to Formation School

Do you want to be better at helping others grow as Christians?
Do you want to learn how to lead well in today’s context?
Would you love to be more effective in reaching people who are not Christians?
Apply Now!

Formation School is here to help you

Formation School is here to help you by equipping you for making disciples, leadership, and mission.

Apply for Formation School and invest a year in going deeper into the Bible, growing as a Christian, and developing new skills, all within a supportive learning community of tutors and participants.

This exciting, innovative, and life-changing course will inspire, challenge, and train you. Don’t settle for staying as you are now.

The Five Dimensions

Formation School grows character and confidence in the ways in which God gifts us and sends us. Four theme tracks unpack how the Bible equips us to live for God in today’s world, while a fifth dimension – huddles – grounds the teaching and provides mutual support and accountability.

Track 1. Bible: God’s Big Story

Human beings are in search of a story. We desire to know who we are, why we exist, and how life is best lived. However, we can answer these questions only by setting them in the context of a greater story. The Bible answers this deep longing, teaching us that it is God’s own story – the purpose (mission) he is pursuing in creation and salvation – that provides the true context in which our lives belong. We trace the story through creation, de-creation, re-creation, and new creation, to see how the story revolves around Jesus and is the defining story of our humanity.

Track 2. Blessing: Intimacy with God

Personal identity is shaped by how we view of our life-stories. This track is all about exploring our personal identities within God’s over-arching story. At the heart of this endeavour is the task of re-orienting our hearts, allowing the Holy Spirit to transform who we are and how we conduct our lives in relationship with God. We will look at developing practices that keep us oriented towards God. As we grow in our knowledge of Him, he will begin to form our identities as biblical, spiritual leaders in God’s mission.
© Steve Halama, used under a Creative Commons licence
Conversation photo by Jessica Da Rosa on Unsplash

Track 3. Mission: Serving and Reaching

The gospel is far greater than saving us so we go to heaven. God is reconciling everything to himself through Christ. He created us for wholeness in relationship with Him, each other, and the environment. In track 3 we reflect on how Jesus calls us to gospel-shaped living in every part of life. We probe the mindsets of those around us, and consider some of the challenges we face. And we explore our part in God's mission of serving and reaching the world.

Track 4. Discipleship: Growing and Releasing

Jesus initiates the story arc for his church in his uncluttered commission: go and make disciples. What Jesus taught as that normal expectation now often appears to be confined to the elite. This Track puts being a disciple who makes disciples back into the reach of the average Christian. Having carefully laid a foundation for the grace-fuelled nature of the discipleship journey, we build a picture of the stages of that journey. We conclude by evaluating the key contribution each one of us could make within our own disciple-making community.


Many churches are finding that huddles are great places for growing leaders who make disciples. They are small groups for reflection and discussion, designed to help leaders to be disciples who make disciples who make more disciples. By emphasising the corporate nature of discipling, a huddle is a place where leaders find support and accountability. 

Huddles have become a vital part of Formation School as they have enabled deep and significant friendships to flourish within the group, producing a great sense of being a vibrant learning community.

Formation School is a partnership between Above Bar Church, and Living Leadership, as well as a number of churches around the area.

Above Bar Church is a charitable company limited by guarantee. Registered in England and Wales, registration no 6959469. Charity registration no:1131075. Registered office: 69 Above Bar Street, Southampton, SO14 7FE.
Living Leadership is registered as charity number 1121621.
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