Growing Vocations

We believe every Christian is called to serve God with their given gifts and talents. This calling is what we call vocation. Vocation is a call to follow Jesus in a specific way and in a specific context.

A vocational call emerges through prayerful relationship with God, is tempered by Christian experience and develops with others who discern and encourage. 

Growing Vocations is about fostering a culture in which the vocation of each member of the Church can be identified, nurtured and celebrated so the whole Church can grow and flourish.

For some, this will be a specific calling to ministry, whether lay or ordained.

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Ministry Division

Ministry Division exists to renew ministry in the Church of England. In doing so, we support the mission of the Church.

We want to grow vocations to ordained ministry by 50%, promote equal status between lay and ordained ministries, and help foster a culture of discipleship throughout the Church.

We do this by supporting bishops, dioceses and the theological education sector to achieve growth and flourishing. This includes national stewardship of resources, developing effective polices, sharing best practice and providing expertise, guidance, resources and leadership.

Underpinning all our work is the opportunity to reach out to those who have been underrepresented, whether because of gender, class or ethnicity.

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Through fostering a culture of vocation throughout the Church, we aim to find and encourage those whom God is calling to serve as ministers.

The Great Vocations Conversation is our challenge to all the Church’s ministers to commit to having at least one conversation a month about vocation with someone different from themselves.

Our online and printed resources help to answer questions people may have about ministry, busting the many myths which surround it and revealing the incredible diversity of ministers and ministries within the Church. Explorers can register their interest through the Church of England website, through which they can be connected with the vocations team in their diocese.

For those looking to test their calling, our Ministry Experience Scheme offers a year’s parish placement alongside theological study for young people aged 18-30.

Our national selection panels advise Bishops on who should be trained for ordination. We are currently consulting on new selection criteria and processes as part of the Future Clergy Review. Our goal is to encourage new ministers who are missional, adaptable and collaborative.

For those recommended for training, we approve the pathways they train on and monitor the quality of the institutions at which they study. Training for ordination is fundamentally about formation.

We ensure training for ordination is built on solid financial foundations. Resourcing Ministerial Education is a major new framework for financing ministerial education. Dioceses are paid a block grant, according to the number and ages of their ordinands. These new arrangements offer flexibility and accountability, encouraging dioceses to work with Theological Education Institutions to establish the most appropriate pathways for their ordinands.

After ordination, we support the sending of new clergy to their first posts. This includes advice on curacies and assessment.

By encouraging those with a calling, forming them as ministers, and supporting them as they enter their first posts, we are confident that we can continue to build a growing Church for all people in all places as part of the Renewal and Reform of the Church of England.

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