Initial Ministerial Education

In the first three years of ordained ministry, clergy are involved in a programme of Initial Ministerial Education (IME). In some dioceses this is known as IME 4-7. 

The programme consists of ministry training days spread throughout the year. Curates in their deacon year generally meet separately from those in years two and three of the programme, but there are events during the year that all curates attend.


Curacy Handbook 2022

Checklist for Regular Review

IME Programme for Curates 2022-2023

Continuing Ministerial Development (CMD) for Licensed and Authorised Ministers

All ministers, licensed and authorised are on a life-long learning pathway. No one is fully equipped for the tasks to which God has called them by virtue of having undertaken initial ministerial training. The landscape in which we serve is constantly changing - particularly as a result of our experiences of the pandemic; we are changed as individuals, as churches, and society as a whole is different too. Developing our knowledge, skills, our approach to personal wellbeing and our spiritual life, our leadership style and more, all enhance the way we practice ministry, enabling us to be more effective in our work of mission and ministry, and to flourish as human beings.

The College of St Hugh already produces a monthly bulletin filled with training, events, and resources that are home grown, (i.e. created and facilitated by folks in and around the Diocese of Lincoln), or offered by groups and institutions further afield. The bulletin is sent to all clergy, Readers, ALMs, Churchwardens, and our Church Army evangelists. In addition to this the College will soon have an expanding programme of training available to a wide range of delegates. 

If there is a learning opportunity you would like to be part of, do get in touch with the College of St Hugh team. The Reverend Jackie Johnson is the Continuing Ministerial Development (CMD) Officer and she can be contacted via email: [email protected] and via phone on mobile number 07590 950040. 

Readers and ALMs can find more information about study opportunities and resources via this link: and within the website for the Central Readers Council,

CMD Funding for Clergy

There is funding available for clergy wishing to attend courses, study days, and resourcing events. A CMD Funding Application Form is available via this link here, which, when completed, should be emailed to The Reverend Jackie Johnson via [email protected] There is also an accompanying sheet. 

CMD Funding for Readers 

There are some grants of up to £100 for Readers wishing to attend courses and study days. If you would like to speak with someone about the possibility of making an application, please contact: [email protected]

Retreat Funding for Clergy

There is funding available for clergy wishing to access a retreat, and the application form is available via this link, which, when completed, should be emailed to the Reverend Jackie Johnson via [email protected]

The Retreat Association website provided information on retreat houses across the country, so please do take a look to find a place that would offer what you need, where, and when you need it.

There are a number of relatively local Retreat Houses which you might check out if travelling longer distances is not possible.

Edenham Regional House

Community of St. Francis, Metheringham

Launde Abbey

Sacrista Prebend, Southwell 

Sabbaticals and Extended Study Leave for Clergy

Clergy become eligible for a three-month sabbatical or study leave after every ten years of ministry. If you are interested in taking up this opportunity, you will find the application form and guidelines here.

Ministerial Development Review (MDR)

 - not a management technique but a spiritual tool for personal and vocational growth and development

The MDR process and documentation is currently under review with a new scheme planned for use in 2023. The raison d'etre of MDR as detailed below still provides an overview of our approach to this process. 


A cairn is a balanced pile of rocks marking a significant event or place. We read in scripture that Jacob and his kinsfolk built a cairn as a witness, a memorial to an event of great import, the place where a covenant and a boundary was agreed (Genesis 31:45–52).

The building and balancing of cairn stones requires patience, skill, physical, and sometimes emotional, effort. Each rock can signify an intention, something to remember, be thankful for, treasure or discard. A cairn can indicate a place of passing, a way-marker signalling you’re on the right track, or point to a turn in the trail. They identify land boundaries, or note where water or other resources for living can be found; and they can represent a summit or achievement. They can be burial monuments, reflecting an ending, sadness and grief; but also places of new beginning. And, cairns have been built to commemorate a remarkable moment – even those places where an individual meets with God (Genesis 28:18).

MDR: a significant and regular cairn in our vocation

As disciples of Christ and followers of the way, we who have been called by God to an ordained ministry need such stopping places at which to reflect, regroup and re-source, and the Ministry Development Review (MDR) can be a significant and regular cairn in our vocation. The process happens every two years, and provides time in which to look back at what has been, and how you have come to the present moment. It’s a place in which to take stock of the here and now, in which to pray and seek who God would have you become, what more, or less, he would have you do. If patiently and skilfully applied, MDR can offer space in which to give thanks; it can help you to recognise things you should let go, identify grief for that which has not come to fruition, or that which has caused damage – and suggest where you might best express that pain and receive support. 

MDR: a spiritual tool for your personal and vocational growth and development

But an MDR can also confirm you’re in the right place, or signpost a new and exciting direction – in the role you now have, or elsewhere. It can help identify where boundaries need to be set, maybe for wellbeing purposes, and where resources of support, nurture and growth can be found to enable a continuing or new flourishing in ministry. An MDR can be a spiritual tool for your personal and vocational growth and development, a place where you can meet with God to look at your vocation, and then, together with another person, form intentions or objectives that will help you to move forward, until you reach the next marker or MDR cairn.

At the foot of this page you will find the MDR material, with Guidance Notes to introduce the process and its raison d'être. You will find the form itself, and a document to complete which provides details of what your intentions for the next 18–24 months might be, what the outcomes of the MDR might look like on the ground. There is a Role Description template, which will help you to boundary your work more appropriately, and a Wellbeing Checklist to help identify areas of stress and burnout. Finally, there’s an evaluation of the process where you can feedback to us its helpful and negative aspects.

If you have a query about the date or time of your next MDR, please contact the PA of whomever is conducting your review. 

If you have any questions about the MDR process itself, please contact the Revd Jackie Johnson, your Wellbeing and CMD Officer via email or by calling 07590 95 00 40. 

Guidance Notes for Your Ministerial Development Review: 2020 & 2021

Your Ministerial Development Review Preparation Form: 2020 & 2021

Intentions or Outcomes following MDR in 2020 & 2021

Role Description template: 2020 & 2021

Wellbeing Checklists - MDR: 2020 & 2021

Feedback on the Review Process and Your Reviewer form: 2020 & 2021

Ministerial Wellbeing

The Diocese of Lincoln is committed to promoting and sustaining the wellbeing of all who serve and worship within our parishes. We have a responsibility to each other, as sisters and brothers in Christ, to ensure we are practicing our faith and living out our call in such a way that we, alongside those with whom we live, those we serve, and those with whom we worship are all able to flourish.

The Reverend Jackie Johnson is our Wellbeing and Continuing Ministerial Development Officer. A major part of her role is to review and renew systems and policies that may impact wellbeing, mainly in regard to our clergy and their families/households. However, she is also mindful of the wider ministerial community and the promotion of wellbeing to the whole body of Christ, showing due care and compassion for everyone, and especially to ministerial leaders and those who hold key roles within church life. We must care for those amongst us whose role it is to care for others. 

If you would like to discuss a wellbeing issue, please contact The Reverend Jackie Johnson by phone 07590 950040, or email [email protected]

For more information click here.

A place to go:

If you’re not already familiar with the Sheldon Hub, why not take a look?  It is a safe place for people in ministry to meet, share and support each other.

For those nearing retirement

Step-by-Step Guide to Retirement for Clergy is available.