The cost of candidating
Pursuing a call to ordained ministry is sacrificial and costly. It will make significant demands on you and those close to you. You will need to consider how this could impact on your income and your free time. Other people will have expectations of you and your availability, which may sometimes be difficult to harmonise with your family’s expectations. You will also need to think about what you are already doing in the church and whether you can continue to do those things whilst candidating. The Church appreciates your generosity and self-sacrifice as you set out on this journey of discernment.
There is no charge for candidating, but you will be asked to meet various expenses. You will need to budget for the time and travel costs associated with the following events during the candidating process:
- meetings of the Candidating Support Group;
- the Candidates’ Open Day at the Queen’s Foundation, Birmingham;
- the placement required as part of the portfolio
- the circuit meeting, district candidates’ committee, and connexional candidates’ committee;
- the meeting with the psychologist if it is held face to face (in most cases this is held using video conferencing)
- the pre-allocations meeting
You will need to submit your C2 Portfolio and to cover its production costs. There will also be some books that you will need to buy or borrow.
If you are on a reduced income and would struggle to meet these costs, extra help can be made available (see ‘G9 The Costs of Candidating’).
If you become an accepted candidate you will be required to undertake training and this is likely to entail significant changes in your lifestyle and, sometimes, location. There may also be significant amounts of travel involved.
- if full-time, your tuition fees will be paid and you will receive a Bursary and if you are a parent of dependent children (under the age of 18 in full-time education or training) you may be eligible for a Dependent Child Payment (details are listed in the G.16 Training Pathways document); but, out of this, you will be expected to pay for your own accommodation, Queen’s maintenance charge, travel, and books.
- if part-time, you will receive travel and other expenses and a book grant and your tuition fees will be paid, but you will not get a bursary.
if allocated to the circuit-based learning pathway, you will receive a Bursary and if you are a parent of dependent children (under the age of 18 in full-time education or training) you may be eligible for a Dependent Child Payment (details are listed in the G.16 Training Pathways document); but, out of this, you will be expected to pay for your own accommodation, Queen’s maintenance charge, travel, and books; the circuit in which your practice-based learning takes place will be responsible for expenses incurred in that part of the course.
Once in active ministry, as part of your covenant relationship with the Church, you will be at the disposal of the Methodist Conference for stationing. Both deacons and presbyters are expected to be itinerant. You will be placed in a circuit and whilst the Church makes every effort to support ministers and their families, relocation to a new circuit and home can be quite challenging. You will receive a stipend - information can be found here.
It’s important to be realistic that ordained ministry is costly and will involve many sacrifices, but it is also uniquely rewarding.
For more information, see ‘G9 The Costs of Candidating’.