The FLTI programme comprises four modules:
Leading Faith-Based Organisations looks at the significant role role that great leadership plays in effective ministry, introducing basic principles of corporate governance including financial management and charity law; confidentiality, privacy, data protection and transparency; and leadership values, ethics, accountability and integrity, and why these are all so important for faith-based organisations in the UK today. The module will help leaders to manage their organisations effectively and understand their legal as well as their religious responsibilities.
Family Life and Family Law explores the cultural and religious aspects of family life in the UK, beginning with a discussion of the importance of religious perspectives on family life and continuing to consider the rights of women and girls, equalities legislation and the ‘protected characteristics’. The second half of the module provides a detailed study of English law on marriage and divorce, addressing forced, same-sex and polygamous marriage as practical and ethical challenges for faith leaders, and concludes by examining strategies for identifying and confronting domestic abuse in its many forms.
Religion in Society addresses the role of religion in public life in the UK, looking at the role of the state church, social and political engagement, countering hate speech and extremism, interreligious relations, shared values and religion in contemporary culture. It also focusses on how faith communities can spot and stop abuse of children and older people, including online.
Finally Faith and Social Challenges considers the many contributions faith communities can make and are making to addressing the social and economic needs of their areas, including supporting wellbeing and mental health, working with partner organisations and national and local government to deliver social transformation and supporting excellent parenting, and also works through effective organisational safeguarding best practices.
Some of the content will be challenging and discomforting to engage with but the programme is intended to help faith leaders deal effectively with the many challenges that contemporary life throws at us. The training is in no way intended to impose an ‘official’, standardised perspective on these issues but to support leaders who are trying to navigate these social, ethical and practical dilemmas by explaining the legal position clearly and authoritatively, but from a religiously-sensitive perspective. Even significant faith communities are sometimes struggling to come to terms with these pressures, and we believe it is best for us to approach them constructively and communally - to work in partnership across the community for the good of us all.
Because the programme has been fully funded by the Government, there is no charge for this training programme, and it will be freely available to faith leaders from all traditions, religions and denominations across England. Modules are available online and will also be delivered face-to-face in training events across England.