IME part 2 is the name given to the period of formation and training for curates.
Curates in the Diocese of Oxford follow a three-to-four-year programme of training and assessment focused on practical contextual ministry as they respond to God’s calling on their lives as deacons and priests. Most of this learning is done in their parish or ministerial context and focuses on supervision with a training incumbent. Alongside this, the Diocesan IME 2 Team offers a range of high-quality training days across four learning tracks that can be individually tailored to the curates’ needs, calling and experience. At the end of curacy, all curates are assessed against nationally-agreed standards (known as Formation Qualities) to show they have the necessary skills, knowledge and dispositions to move onto the next phase of ministry.
The programme has been revised for 2021 onwards but broadly has seven key elements:
- Practical ministry in the local parish or context.
- Supervision with a training incumbent/minister appointed by the area bishop.
- Core Topic Days. These build up over the course of a curacy to cover key areas and are studied mostly with curates from the same cohort. Core Topic Days replace the older 'modular courses' and are intended to increase choice and flexibility for different ministry contexts, while also being a little more practically-focused.
There are four learning tracks, allowing curates to engage at different depths, either purely formationally or at more academic depth.
- Standard Track curates usually cover: Reflective Practice, Preaching, Mission & Evangelism, Catechesis, Community Outreach and Leadership & Collaboration. At the end of a core topic, Standard Track curates write a 1,000-word theological reflection and/or produce a practical resource.
- Curates may also opt to take their core study deeper and further by completing the Durham BA or PGDip (or PG Cert or MA) in Theology, Mission and Ministry. These qualifications are entirely funded by the Diocese and offered through the South Central TEI (a partnership between the Dioceses of Guildford, Oxford, Winchester and Sarum College). The awards involve producing a 6,000-7,000-word assessed portfolio for each of six related topics during curacy.
- Curates with a higher degree in theology and an active research calling may also undertake a self-directed study track.
- Engagement with a range of Optional Themed Study Days (previously known as 'Hard Skills' days). Curates choose the days best suited to their own learning and calling. Associate-focus curates choose about eight optional study days over the whole curacy (usually two a year); incumbent-focus curates choose about twelve.
- Sharing in regular Ministry Development Group meetings. These are peer groups of curates in each archdeaconry, supported by a wise local minister and meet about six times a year.
- A mission and ministry project undertaken in the curate's parish or local context. These are usually planned for the third year of curacy and are written up as either a 2,000-word theological reflection (Standard Track), a 6,000-word Independent Learning Project (BA), or a 7,000-word Reflective Practice portfolio (PGDip).
- Evidence of each curate's ministry is collected in a Ministry Development Folder (MDF) for final assessment at the end of curacy (and for informal feedback in the diaconal year and mid-way through curacy).
Orientation & training days for training incumbents:
All training incumbents expecting to receive a new curate in 2022 should attend one of the two online orientation sessions with Grant Bayliss and Hannah Hobday (Tuesday 3 May 10am-12 noon or Monday 16 May 2-4pm). Booking available via IME 2 Eventbrite button above.
New Training Incumbents (TIs) and those who have not trained a curate in the Diocese of Oxford before or not done so recently should also attend the training incumbent training offered by the CMD Team. The first session covering supervision skills, learning agreements and general curacy matters will be led by Andrea Russell and held at Ripon College Cuddesdon on a choice of either Thursday 12 May or Thursday 16 June. The second session on assessment and reporting will be held on a choice of dates in January/February 2023. Booking available via IME 2 Eventbrite button above.
2023 dates will be posted in due course.
Induction to IME 2 for curates & training incumbents:
General infoirmation and this year's Welcome to Curacy booklet will be emailed out in early May but prospective deacons and their TIs may want to note the following dates:
- Ordination services will be held at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford on Saturday 2 July at 10am, 2pm and 6pm. The Deacons' Retreat will be held at Ripon College Cuddesdon from Wednesday 29 June until Saturday 2 July (further information available from the Vocations Team).
- All curates and TIs should attend one of the two online induction sessions, shortly after ordination (Wednesday 13 July or Saturday 16 July). Please agree the date that suits you both best and then book via Eventbrite.
- Curates should also plan to attend the Getting up to Speed core formational training day on Saturday 10 September (10am-4pm and hopefully on-site in Oxford).
- Curates considering the BA or PGDip learning tracks should watch the relevant online videos and put in an application (using the form on Moodle) by 23 August. The BA course induction will be held online 10am-12noon on 15 September. The PGDip course induction will form part of the first online teaching day on Thursday 29 September.
The full calendar of 2022-23 dates should be available in May.