The Oak Hall Year


Our goal is to create an affordable programme soaked in prayer, study, service and adventure as preparation for a life lived in wholehearted devotion to the Lord Jesus.

Many in their twenties and thirties want to volunteer with us and we love to serve together! 

The Oak Hall Year is the next step: rather than working together for a few days on an expedition team, we see great potential in investing more systematically and deliberately into the lives of a small group over the period of a year. The Oak Hall year is seminar based with 6-12 people discussing, studying and serving together.

A great programme of study

The programme is structured around three 10 week terms running from September to August. The mornings of term time are spent exploring God’s word, integrating what we are finding to help us think Christianly and applying it so that we can serve effectively.

Each day has a different focus: 
  • Old Testament;
  • New Testament;
  • big picture;
  • practicalities;
  • private study;
- see below for more detail
"Our prayer is that we would – through combining theological training and practical ministry in the context of Oak Hall expeditions and local churches – equip each person to effectively pour out their lives for Jesus."


“Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up”; the greatest danger of a year’s study is growing in arrogance instead of godliness. The best defence against this is service. 

In the afternoons of term time we serve practically at Otford Manor. We strengthen the work of Oak Hall by hosting groups, sharpening skis, loading trailers, cleaning toilets, and generally making Oak Hall happen. We also get stuck into one local church and make the most of the opportunities to reach out there.


There are also opportunities to serve on Oak Hall expeditions, travelling to different parts of Europe, putting everything we are learning into action as we seek to take people away from the distractions of every day life, show them the glory of Jesus revealed in the Bible and send them home refreshed to serve in their home churches.

Timetables and Details...

The programme is structured around three, ten week terms. The mornings of term time are spent exploring God’s word, integrating what we are finding to help us think Christianly and applying it so that we can serve effectively.

Each morning starts in prayer along with the rest of the Oak Hall team. After this, each day has a different focus:

On Mondays and Tuesdays we systematically work through Bible books. By the end of the year, we have studied 6 major books in depth, PLUS we have spent 4 hours in 30 other books. The goal of this time is to be re-shaped by God’s word, to be prepared for a lifetime of studying it ourselves and equipped to use it to help others.

Mondays: Old Testament
Each term we spend half our time focussing on a foundational OT book:

Term 1: Deuteronomy

Term 2: 1 Chronicles

Term 3: Isaiah

This introduces us to the major periods and genres of the Old Testament and sharpens our skills and confidence in reading the Old Testament and seeing how it speaks to us today. To provide continuity, Paul Mayo teaches all of these sessions.

The other half of the time consists of experienced Bible teachers visiting for a morning and teaching a four hour introduction to a particular Old Testament book.

Tuesdays: New Testament
The New Testament section is structured very similarly to the Old Testament programme as we study three books in depth:

Term 1: John

Term 2: Hebrews

Term 3: 1 Corinthians

This introduces us to some of the major genres, authors and concerns of the New Testament. In the other sessions we meet 15 other New Testament books.

Wednesdays: Private Study
Mornings free for research and preparation.

Thursdays: 'Big picture'
We want to integrate the things that we are seeing in the Scriptures into a complete worldview that shapes our behaviour and the advice we give people. 

Term 1: we focus on drawing together the different elements of the Bible’s portrait of God into a coherent whole as we consider 10 key doctrines.

Term 2: we seek to escape our cultural blinkers and learn from the Spirit’s work in past generations by studying 10 key figures from church history.

Term 3: we seek to understand the shape of life that God demands by studying each of the 10 commandments.

Fridays: 'Practicalities'
  • How do we translate all the things we’re learning into effective action? 
  • How do we run effective homegroups, Sunday schools and evangelistic events? 
  • How do we get stuff done? 
  • How do we bring the Bible to comfort and help our Christian family in the tough times? 
  • How do we share the gospel with our colleagues and neighbours? 
On Fridays experienced Christians share their Biblical wisdom on these and lots more issues.

Study Style
There are no essays or exams, but there are assignments to prepare topics for presentation. Whilst the course has great value in the experience and knowledge that you will develop, the course is not accredited externally.


This full-time course is a very valuable one but the 'apprenticeship' nature of its structure, (serving with the Oak Hall team interspersing the tuition) allows us to offer it free of charge to those who successfully apply. 

The course is residential at Otford Manor, Kent and food and accommodation are provided at no extra cost.
"We hope this course will strengthen the Church by producing Biblically-literate, theologically-mature, pastorally-wise servants who get stuck into churches for the rest of their lives."

Application Questionnaire

If you are prayerfully considering joining us for the Oak Hall year, the next step would be to discuss this with your church leadership team. 

If together you are in agreement with your applying to join us, please fill out the form below*.

*we suggest that you fill the questions out in a separate document and then paste them into the boxes here so that you have your own copy of what you have sent.
Full Name:*
Email Address:*
Telephone number:*
Are you a Christian?*
How long have you been a Christian (in years)?*
How did you become a Christian? *
What difference does being a Christian make to your life?*
How do you serve as a Christian? (e.g. in your church, on summer camps, etc.)*
Have you travelled on an Oak Hall Expedition?*
Are you in wholehearted agreement with Oak Hall's vision and values?*
How did you hear about the Oak Hall Year? *
Why would you like to study and serve on the Oak Hall Year?*
What concerns do you have about the Oak Hall Year?*
What people have been most influential in shaping your Christian life and service so far? *
Which books (other than the Bible!) have been most influential in shaping your Christian life and service so far? *
Name and contact details of current church: e.g. website, phone, postal address *
Are you single/ married/ divorced/ separated?*
Do you have the right to live and work in the UK without restriction?*
Please outline your employment history*
Describe the responsibilities of your current or most recent job; if in full time education please give details of additional responsibilities you have.*
Do you have any unspent criminal convictions or cases pending?*
Are you on the Sex Offender's register?*
Please give the e-mail address and phone number of a church leader who we can contact for a reference*
Please give the e-mail address and phone number of someone from work who we can contact for a reference*
* Required Fields