Criteria for candidates
Your candidating offer will be assessed against Selection Criteria for Ordained Ministry which have been approved by the Methodist Conference. You are strongly advised to look at the Competencies for Ministry and study the criteria carefully.
Briefly, what are we looking for?
- Vocation (call and commitment)
Fundamental to ordained ministry is an inner sense of being called by God. You should have a personal assurance and conviction of your call. That call should also be recognised and encouraged by others. You should have the necessary gifts and graces and a realistic understanding of the responsibilities of ordained ministry.
What is different about presbyteral and diaconal ministry? Which might you be being called to?
- Vocation (ministry in the Methodist Church in Britain)
You should have a deep commitment to the life of the Methodist Church. You will need a clear understanding of ordained ministry within the Methodist Church and its discipline. You will be eager to serve the Methodist Church in Britain, respecting and honouring its diversity.
How has your particular experience of Methodism shaped your sense of call?
- Relationship with God
Presbyters and deacons are first and foremost people of prayer. You should be able to speak authentically about your spiritual life and how it impacts everyday living. You should be confident of God’s love for you and open to further transformation by God. You will need to be regularly engaged with ‘the means of grace’ and appreciate their importance (individual and corporate prayer and worship; reading, hearing and meditating on Scripture; receiving the Eucharist; showing God’s love and mercy).
Is your relationship with God child-like and mature with a real capacity to grow?
- Personality and character
Ordained ministry is demanding - spiritually, psychologically, emotionally and physically. To cope with the pressures, you will need to show: self-awareness and self-acceptance, grounded in God’s loving acceptance of you; emotional stability; maturity, honesty and integrity; appropriate self-confidence and humility; stamina, robustness and resilience. You need to be able to take care of yourself and understand your own vulnerability, while also drawing on the support and encouragement of the Christian community. You need to be willing to grow and develop.
What are your strengths and weaknesses? Do you have the personal resources to flourish in ministry?
- Being in relationship with others
Good relationships are at the heart of ordained ministry. You should be able to relate well to a variety of people, in your personal life, with colleagues, and more widely. You need to be aware of and maintain appropriate boundaries. You should accept the discipline of the Church and respect the diversity of views within Methodism. You should have the potential to act lovingly and professionally and to exercise effective pastoral care.
What are the most important relationships in your life?
Are your own relationships a secure basis from which to offer ministry?
- The Church’s ministry in God’s world
Ordained ministers need to be personally committed to mission and evangelism, by the Methodist Church, using a variety of approaches, in rapidly changing contemporary contexts. You need to understand how the Church plays its part in God’s mission and what its priorities are. You should have the gifts and ability to make imaginative connections between today’s world and the gospel and to work for change, especially benefitting marginalised people.
How would your ministry be mission-shaped?
- Leadership & collaboration
The call to ordained ministry is a call to leadership with a public profile. By your faith and discipleship, your life should reflect the servanthood of Christ. You should be able to take the initiative, as well as collaborate and delegate. You should be flexible and responsive, adapting your leadership style in different settings and inspiring, encouraging and empowering others.
How are you already exercising leadership within the church and other contexts?
- Learning & understanding
Part of the task of ministry is to help people to understand the Church’s doctrines, and to relate Christian faith to their lives. You need to be able to clearly express Christian beliefs to those in the church and wider community and to help people understand who they are within the love of God.
If accepted, your ministry training will include academic study. You will need to show that you have already begun to develop some theological understanding. You should be curious, and open-minded, eager to learn and reflect, and committed to lifelong learning.
People come to ministry training from a range of academic backgrounds. We also welcome candidates with additional learning needs, disability or impairment.
What excites you about God?
Do you have an appetite to learn?
Ordained ministers need to be good communicators. You will need to be able to use your communication skills and your biblical and theological understanding. You should express faith naturally and effectively, in ways that are appropriate, accessible and sensitive to the situation. You should be able to mobilise the most appropriate media, language, symbols and gestures for the context. You should be able to communicate effectively across the Methodist Church, taking due account of its cultural diversity.
How do you communicate your faith?