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If you believe God may be calling you to ordained ministry in the Church of England, the first step is to talk to your local clergy. If they support your sense of call and have put you in touch with the Director of Ordinands for your diocese (your DDO), then a visit to Queen’s as a possible place to train for ordination could be one of your next steps.
For general information about ministry in the Church of England and the vocation process please consult the Church of England website.
If you are selected by the Church for training, we will be pleased to offer you a place at Queen’s. We will work with you and your DDO (within the Church of England’s framework for deciding on training pathways) to determine the most appropriate form of training and academic programme. This is based on factors such as the form of ministry you are sponsored for, your previous education or training, your age, the financial, family or other factors that affect your availability, and so on.
What will you get from a Queen’s training?
Perhaps you are wondering what will be distinctive about training at Queen’s for Church of England ministry. You can find out what we think our training will give you below:
- You’ll be mission-focused
... and you’ll see mission in big terms, not limited to church growth alone. You’ll be aware of all of the Five Marks of Mission, and confident in leading in them. In particular, we pride ourselves in training our students for confident leadership in social justice out there in the wider community, seeing mission as being about God’s kingdom, not just about your church.
- You’ll know how to adapt to different contexts
One of the distinctives of the way we do theology at Queen’s is that we always try to take context seriously – whether we are studying the Bible, or planning good worship, or engaging with our community. We recognise that all theology comes from a context and speaks to a context – none of it is ‘neutral’. That’s why we take seriously Black Theology, liberation theologies, feminist theologies and so on – they help us to see that what we often simply call ‘theology’ also comes from a context, and carries assumptions. Our students tell us that this is often one of the most eye-opening and exciting aspects of doing theology here – you get a bigger perspective on everything, including God and your own faith.
- You’ll be confident, but not defensive, about being Anglican
Queen’s students quickly get used to the idea that not everyone sees the Christian faith the way they do – and they learn to see that as an opportunity to learn, not a reason to feel threatened. It means that they are used to working with difference in ways that are not defensive. That makes them perfectly equipped for leading Anglican churches, which often include lots of people who come from other Churches or none. It also makes them think naturally of working with church leaders from other denominations.
- You’ll be trained for the Church of England as it really is
Anglican students (and staff!) at Queen’s come from a wide range of Anglican traditions, so training alongside them means that you begin to encounter the breadth of the real Church of England, not just the bit of it that you are already familiar with. That makes you well equipped for real ministry in the C of E, where you have to work with those who see things very differently from you.
- You’ll be widely deployable
Whether nationally, or within your diocese or deanery, or even within your multi-parish benefice or Team Ministry, Queen’s students are an easy ‘fit’. They are used to working alongside those who are different from them, or working in contexts which are not their own preference, and so they are very deployable, able to operate confidently and not defensively in a range of church and community settings, and in a range of worship styles and traditions.
- You’ll be a theological resource – not a provider of simplistic answers
In ministry it can be tempting to want to solve problems and answer questions too quickly. At Queen’s you’ll learn not to be afraid of questions. You’ll discover that God is big enough to cope with them, and that means you can help others to be confident in God too. You’ll learn how to ‘hold’ a safe space where the deepest issues are okay to talk about. And we think that will help the Church to grow as people discover a place where their deepest wounds are not dismissed or hidden, but can be named and healed.
- You will be the same – but different
Sometimes people imagine that training alongside those from other Churches means that Queen’s students emerge from training a bit ‘mixed up’. We find the opposite is the case. You will leave Queen’s more confident in your own denominational identity and theological perspectives – but you will be yourself in a more self-aware and reflective way.