Ordained Ministers are those who have responded to a call, had that call tested, and have been trained and ordained by a Bishop. As ordained ministers, they have promised to serve the church faithfully and have authority from the church for their ministry.

The most common roles for an Ordained Minister are:

  • Incumbent (leading one or more local churches);
  • Assistant Minister (working with an incumbent, paid or unpaid, full-time or part-time);
  • Chaplain in a Prison, Hospital, Education, or the Military.

Many of the senior roles within the church are always filled by an Ordained Minister:

  • Area Dean (leading a team of incumbents and often done in parallel with being an incumbent)
  • Many Cathedral posts (eg the Dean)
  • Many Diocesan posts
  • Archdeacon (a senior position within a diocese)
  • Bishop (the leading minister of a diocese)

The Church of England has a list of criteria against which candidates for ordained ministry are assessed and those exploring a call to ordained ministry should consider this list carefully as part of the process of testing whether their call is realistic.

If you believe God is calling you to ordained ministry, the best place to start is by talking to your vicar or chaplain. Or send us an email to get a list of Vocations Advisors. There’s no charge, and you will not be committing yourself to anything.

There is more information in the links below that may help you understand your calling and the process of becoming an ordained minister.

In 2014 we are marking the 20th anniversary of the ordination of women as priests. See Sharing the Journey for more information.

Look here for more specific information
Publications that may be helpful
Useful Websites