Ordained Ministry

Every Christian is called to exercise a ministry of one sort or another, as they use the gifts and talents with which God has entrusted them and respond to God’s call to discipleship. Within that understanding of the ministry of the whole people of God ordained ministry is but one form of service.

Ordained ministry is God’s initiative. Since the beginning of the Church, Christians have set apart those whom God has called to a ministry of word, sacrament and pastoral oversight.

Ordained ministry is therefore a vocation. It is an obedient response to the will and call of God and not primarily the outcome of one’s own desires. That is why, if you believe that God is calling you to ordained ministry and leadership, the Church will rightly test that sense of call with you.

Forms of ordained ministry

God calls in different ways and at different times in life. The Methodist Church in Ireland recognises different ways in which ordained ministry can be exercised. Itinerant ministers can serve anywhere in Ireland and receive a stipend. Local ministers exercise ordained ministry alongside their other work and in a voluntary capacity. The stationing of local ministers is limited to circuits which are accessible from the minister’s own home.

The ordained ministry is open on equal terms to men and women.

Training

Initial training normally takes 5 years; three years in College and two as a probationer on circuit before being ordained. We hope that you will continue to learn and grow throughout your ministry.

Every candidate is treated as an individual, and the best training pathway for the individual is developed with the staff at Edgehill. There are three strands to initial training for all students: theological understanding, the skills necessary for ordained ministry and relationship with God. It is hoped all of these will develop during initial training.

What next?

If you think that God may be calling you into ordained ministry don’t leave it there. Continue to pray, and talk about it with others you trust, and who will speak with you honestly.

Speak with your own minister, who will want to think through your call with you, and who will be able to advise you on qualifications and the processes for candidating and training. You should also talk with the Superintendent minister on your circuit.

You may also wish to speak to others in the Methodist Church who can guide you, and the Revd John Alderdice, Director of Ministry, will be happy to help you begin the process of considering whether the time is right to offer as a candidate for ordained ministry in MCI.

You can contact John by telephone on 028 9066 5870 or by emailing jalderdice@edgehillcollege.org.