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Criteria, selection and training

What are we looking for?

The Church of England has agreed nine Selection Criteria (pdf) to help those exploring possible ordination. After a couple of initial get-to-know-you conversations with the Diocesan Director of Ordinands (DDO), Steve Benoy, you will then have an opportunity to explore these criteria, perhaps with Steve or an Assistant Director of Ordinands. This might involve some reading, writing, exploring other churches, experiencing different kinds of service, talking to people such as our team of Diocesan Vocations Advisers who can help you in particular ways. Everyone is different, and so everyone’s journey through the criteria is different. The aim is to build up a picture of who you are, and together listen for how the Lord is speaking to you. Is your sense of calling:


We consider how this sense of calling is costly to you, bringing unexpected challenges, but still a response to God rather than a plan of your own.


We think about your life as whole, your relationships, family, obligations, abilities.


We take time to ensure you understand what ordained ministry means in practice.

What about Selection and Training?

Once you have fully explored the Criteria with Steve, the process begins to get more formal. There are three stages at this point.

1. Bishop’s Assessors (BA)

You complete a Registration Form and meet two people for interviews based on the criteria. Their reports advise the DDO whether you are ready to move forward.

2. Bishop John

Your Registration Form and the BA reports are sent to Bishop John prior to an interview following which he decides if you are ready for the next stage.

3. Bishop’s Advisory Panel (BAP)

This is a 3-day residential selection panel which involves further interviews and group work with other candidates for ordination. Following this, you are either recommended or not recommended for training.

If you are recommended, training can take various forms. It could be 2 or 3 years residentially in a college (there are a variety all over the country to choose from) or on a course which you can undertake alongside your present occupation and without having to move home. You can also study part-time whilst working part-time in a church. We take time to consider what is best. Training is paid for by the Church and the Church also makes grants to support you and your family financially through training if you have had to give up work.

If you are not recommended, Steve will want to work carefully with you, your vicar and anyone else who might be helpful to consider other ways in which your gifts can continue to be used. It is not easy to get this far and not be recommended to train, but it does happen.

Follow the suggestions under Starting to Explore and see where the Lord takes you!














People in conversation



Selection Criteria