Is there an age limit?
A candidate cannot attend a Bishops' Advisory Panel before they are 18, although a Bishop would not normally sponsor someone until they were at least 21. There is no formal upper age limit, although candidates would need to take into account the length of the discernment/Selection and training process. Bishops will sponsor candidates for self-supporting ministry into their late fifties, but a candidate for stipendiary ministry will need to ensure that they will be able to offer a reasonable number of years’ service after the completion of their Title post.
Do I have to have certain educational qualifications?
For candidates over 25, there are no prescribed educational qualifications. At the Bishops' Advisory Panel, the Educational Adviser will be concerned that a candidate is able to cope with training, which will be to at least Diploma level in Higher Education terms. All Colleges and Courses offer help to candidates who have not undertaken any formal education for many years with advice on essay writing, etc.
It is often suggested that candidates with no academic qualifications undertake a basic theology course, such as the Chelmsford Diocesan Course in Christian Studies, before attending a Bishops' Advisory Panel.
Will I be required to have a medical?
All candidates are required to fill in a medical questionnaire before their Bishops' Advisory Panel. If there is an area of concern for the Ministry Division Medical Adviser, you might be required to have a medical examination.
I am divorced and remarried, can I be considered?
Divorce in itself does not preclude a candidate from being ordained. However, in the case of remarriage, there is an additional process which involves obtaining permission from the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Bishop requires that the circumstances surrounding both the divorce and remarriage have been carefully examined.
Will I have to move house?
Candidates for self-supporting ministry continue to live in their own home and in being appointed to a parish, the Bishop will ensure that you are within reasonable travelling distance of home.
A stipendiary candidate will move to live in the house, which is provided in the parish in which they serve.
How long will the process take?
The discernment and selection process is thorough and cannot be rushed. It will normally take between 12-18 months from a candidate first meeting with an Area Warden of Ordinands to entering training.