For some, this is a specific calling to ministry. For others, it could mean serving God through faithful discipleship in everyday life.
Everyone has a vocation. Find yours.
Our mission is to be a Christian presence in every community.
God calls people to a wide range of ministries, lay and ordained, in our church and in our everyday lives. Youth and children’s ministers, evangelists, missionaries, Readers, pioneers, and community workers are generally lay ministers, though some may be ordained.
Some roles are the same across the whole church, like Readers, deacons and priests. There also some lay roles which vary by diocese, so have a look at your diocesan website to find out what’s local to you.
Scroll down to explore further or contact your vicar or diocese to begin the process of discerning what God might be calling you to. If you are disabled or have concerns about a cognitive or physical condition that may affect your discernment or training please contact your Diocesan Disability Advisor. And if you are from UKME/Global majority heritage you may want to contact your Diocesan Minority Ethnic Champion.
Exploring a call to ministry or religious life?
Finding your vocation
Myth: Ministry means being a vicar
Vicars are a big part of the life of the Church, but they are by no means the only types of minister. The Body of Christ has many parts. Find out more about the wonderful variety of ministries at work in the Church of England.
Myth: Ministry is for men
We are fully and unequivocally committed to all orders of ministry being equally open to all, without reference to gender. Across the country, women are serving God as priests, deacons, bishops, and lay ministers.
Myth: Ministry and parenthood don’t mix
Ministry is not an easy calling, but life can be more flexible than other forms of employment, and many families flourish with one or both parents in ministry.
Myth: I need to already have a degree to become a minister
You do not need a degree or to have studied theology already, but if you have done you may be able to complete your training more quickly. Candidates for ordained ministry usually achieve a bachelor’s degree, diploma of higher education, or a higher award in theology or ministry. There are no formal academic selection requirements, and candidates without experience of academic study will be supported before and during training. You need to be curious, open and willing to learn, with an ability to reflect and ask questions. Find out more about our selection criteria.
Myth: I can’t afford to study
We provide a broad package of financial support to support ordinands through training. Tuition fees are covered by the Church of England, with family maintenance and travel allowances available as well. Training for lay ministry is organised by dioceses, so each will have its own arrangements for financial support.
Myth: To be ordained I’ll have to give up my job
Some people will be called to leave employment and/or move to a new home for training and ministry. Others will study part time alongside paid employment or caring responsibilities, and some will take up ministry in their free time. Whichever pathway is right, high quality training and preparation for ministry is assured. Learn more about the different pathways.
Myth: Ministers aren’t like me
There is no such thing as a typical minister. God’s call can come in any number of ways. Discover some of the many ways people have come to serve in the Church of England.
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit – fruit that will last.”John 15:16
We are grateful to Allchurches Trust for supporting our vocations research.