Supporting candidates through selection

Selection is best understood as a process of discerning, with others, the will of God for an individual with regard to the exercising of an appropriate ministry within the Church. It is therefore more like a pilgrimage of discovery than an examination. This does not preclude a wise and careful appraisal of a candidate.
new clergy member with a bishop standing either side Diocese of Gloucester

The assessment and preparation of candidates within the diocese is the responsibility of the diocesan bishop. Thoroughness of approach at this early stage may well save the candidate and diocese unnecessary disappointment later on. Diocesan directors of ordinands have the joint responsibility of encouraging candidates and fostering their development on one hand, and forming clear judgements about their suitability for sponsorship on the other.

Pre-selection procedures vary between dioceses but should be coherent, rigorous and appropriate to enable the bishop to make well-informed decisions about sponsoring candidates.

Candidates attend a selection panel, after which advisers will recommend to the bishop whether or not the candidate should be trained for ordination. The final decision on selection is made by the candidate’s bishop.

The process of preparing for selection will vary between dioceses. You may find it helpful to point candidates towards our resources for explorers.

Diocesan directors of ordinands in particular play a critical role in the life of a candidate and ordinand, so we would encourage you to familiarise yourself with the resources below.


Sending candidates to a bishops' advisory panel

All candidates must attend a bishops' advisory panel. Candidates generally only attend a panel after a long period of personal reflection and discernment as to what they believe God is calling them to do.

The Sending Candidates to BAP guide provides a complete overview of the selection process, and is available to download below. We would encourage you to refer back to this guide when sending candidate to a bishop’s advisory panel.

In some circumstances, it may be necessary to send a candidate to candidate’s panel rather than a bishops' advisory panel. Guidance on when this applies is given in the booklets below.

Our Sending Candidates to BAP handbook tells you everything you need to know about completing paperwork and what to expect



    Upcoming panel dates

    We would encourage you to book candidates onto a bishops' advisory panel well in advance. This allows sufficient time for you to complete the necessary paperwork, and for the candidate to prepare themselves.

    Please contact us at [email protected] to book candidates onto a panel.

    BAP dates and Candidates's Panel dates are available to download below. The next pioneer panel dates are the 12th of February, 7th of May, and 4th of June. More pioneer panel dates for autumn coming soon.


      Understanding the selection criteria

      Tomorrow’s church will need ministers who are missional, adaptable and collaborative.

      Candidates are assessed on the depth of their faith, vocation, spirituality, personality and character, leadership and collaboration, mission and evangelism, relationships, and quality of mind.

      The downloadable guides below explains how these criteria work in practice:


      Necessary paperwork

      Sponsoring papers must be completed and received by Ministry Division by the deadline set. The necessary forms are available to download below. 

      You will also need to submit the candidate's written reflection six weeks before BAP, and inform us that you have seen evidence of the candidate’s confidential declaration, a full copy of the candidate's CV, enhanced DBS declaration, and financial statement.

      Please send all paperwork to [email protected].  

      Please use the following additional paperwork for pioneer candidates:

      Further information and guidance can be found in the following background papers:

      Template assessment sheets for panel advisers are available to download below. Please feel free to adapt these templates to suit your own way of working.

      For candidates panel please use the following proforma, in addition to the normal BAP paperwork.