The Selection Criteria for Ordained Ministry
It is important to look carefully at these 9 areas. These are the points around which all the decision making about a person's suitability for Ordination is made. We must be able to see that there is evidence of these criteria being met to some extent now in each candidate's life and each candidate for Ordination must show potential to go on growing into the areas described.A. Vocation
Candidates should be able to speak of a growing sense of being called by God to ministry and mission, referring both to their own inner conviction and the extent to which others have confirmed it. Their sense of vocation should be obedient, realistic and informed. Candidates should also be able to demonstrate ways in which their vocation has had an impact on their life.
B. Ministry within the Church of England
Candidates should demonstrate an understanding of their own tradition within the Church of England, an awareness of the variety of traditions and practice that are encompassed within the Church of England and commitment to work within that variety. They should be able to speak of the distinctiveness of ministry within the Church of England and of what it means to be a deacon, priest or accredited lay minister. They should show a commitment to a ministry of Gospel proclamation through word and sacrament, pastoral care and social action.
Candidates should show commitment to a spiritual discipline, involving individual and corporate prayer and worship, including a developing pattern of disciplined daily prayer, Bible study and regular receiving of Holy Communion. Their spiritual practice should be able to sustain and energise them in training and ministry. They should demonstrate a connection between their prayer life and daily living and show an understanding of God's activity in their life.
D. Personality and character
Candidates should show an appropriate degree of self-awareness and self-acceptance, and sufficient maturity to sustain the demanding role of a minister. They should be able to face change and pressure in a flexible and balanced way. They should be people of integrity and be seen as such by others. They should demonstrate a desire and capacity for further self-development and growth.
Candidates should show an awareness of their strengths, weaknesses and vulnerabilities in order to demonstrate a capacity to build and develop healthy personal, pastoral and professional relationships, together with an awareness of the power dynamic inherent within such relationships. Candidates should show evidence of integrity in all aspects of their life and relationships; emotional, psychological, physical, sexual, financial, and more generally in matters of honesty. Candidates must submit to the disciplines in Issues in Human Sexuality. They should show an ability to listen to others and demonstrate a willingness to negotiate over disagreements.
F. Leadership and collaboration
Candidates should demonstrate the ability to offer leadership in the Church community, and to some extent in the wider community, and to guide and shape the life of the Church community in its mission to the world. This includes a willingness and capacity to draw on and develop the abilities of others. Candidates should be witnesses to the servanthood of Christ and show evidence of providing an example of faith, love and discipleship which is inspiring to others.
Candidates should show an understanding of the Christian faith and a desire to deepen their understanding of it. They should demonstrate a personal commitment to Christ and a desire and capacity to communicate the Gospel. Candidates should be able to make connections between faith and the complex demands of contemporary society.
H. Mission and evangelism
Candidates should demonstrate a wide and inclusive understanding of God's mission to the world that permeates their prayer, thinking and action. They should be able to articulate what it means to proclaim the good news of the Kingdom and be able to speak of Jesus Christ in a way that is attractive and appropriate. They should show an awareness of how changes in culture and society have an impact on the life of the Church. They should also show potential as leaders of mission and a commitment to enable others in mission and evangelism.
I. Quality of mind
Candidates should have the necessary intellectual capacity and quality of mind to undertake satisfactorily a course of theological study and to cope with the intellectual demands of ministry. They should demonstrate a desire and commitment to engage in theological study and a willingness to embark upon lifelong ministerial and theological formation. Candidates should exhibit a readiness to reflect and enquire.
Each candidate is also asked to complete the Vocations Module Opening Up the Criteria with their Vocations Adviser.