Ordained ministry is an exciting and big commitment. It requires thought and prayer as you prepare.
Here you will find practical information to help you understand the process, training and life in ministry.
If you feel called to ordained ministry your chaplain will be your first port of call and then please contact the Diocesan Director of Ordinands (DDO), Revd Canon William Gulliford.
What is a deacon and a priest?
The ministry of deacons is focused on being heralds of the kingdom and in bringing before the servant church the needs of the world.
The ministry of priests (who continue to exercise diaconal ministry) is focused on calling the church to enter into Christ’s self-offering to the Father, drawing God’s people into a life transformed and sanctified through the ministry of Word and sacrament.
I feel called to ordination, what next?
The initial step is to have a conversations with your local chaplain.
Your chaplain will then share your interest with the diocese, who will then help you identify what type of ministry is right for your unique gifts and talents. When our Diocesan Director of Ordinands (DDO) knows you are ready, the bishop will send you to a selection residential known as a Bishop’s Advisory Panel. The panel will decide whether to recommend to the bishop that you go forward for ordination training.
Once recommended, you will prepare for ordination at a theological education institution. There are numerous options available, both full-time and part-time. They are either residential (where you live in the college) or non-residential (where you train in a different setting).
Once you have completed your course successfully, you will be ordained as a deacon by the bishop and will begin a curacy. Your curacy is an opportunity to serve alongside an experienced priest, putting into practice the knowledge gained from your course and learning from them as you prepare for your own ministry.
As a deacon you are able to do weddings and baptisms, but you must be an ordained priest before you can preside over Holy Communion. You will most likely be ordained a priest by the bishop after a year of curacy, provided this is the type of ministry you have been training for.
How are ordinands trained?
An ordinand trains for two or three years, either full-time or part-time depending on age, prior learning and experience. It also depends on whether you offer yourself for full-time stipendiary ministry (nationally deployable) or self-supporting ministry (usually ministering alongside other employment or work in the local community). The right pathway for you is worked out with our Diocesan Director of Ordinands (DDO) and the bishop.
For those 32 and under, you normally undertake three years’ training full-time (or two years for those who already have a Theology degree). For those between 33 and 50, training normally lasts two years full-time or three years part-time. For those between 50 and 55, training will be part-time and usually lasts three years.
After ordination, a period of three or four years is served in a chaplaincy as a curate. Those seeking a stipendiary post may be 'released' to seek a title in a different diocese, whilst self-supporting candidates are deployable only within the diocese. To gain a rounded experience of ministry, curates are usually required to serve in a different chaplaincy from their ‘sending’ chaplaincy.
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit – fruit that will last.
Lord help us to believe that we are all ordinary people made extraordinary through your vision and your power.
Take our insecurities and feelings of inadequacy, and give us the courage to see ourselves and others as you see us, with gifts and potential to transform your world and build your Kingdom.