The majority of our residential students are preparing for ordained ministry in the Church of England, to serve across the country in rural, suburban and inner city parishes.
We would normally interview candidates who either have already been to a Bishops' Advisory Panel (BAP) or have been given a date for one by their Diocesan Director of Ordinands (DDO).
The Road to Ordination
Becoming an Ordinand in the Church of England
There are five (overlapping) stages normally involved in becoming an Ordinand (the term for a candidate for ordained ministry) in the Church of England:
- Prior involvement in the Anglican Church
- Consulting your incumbent priest
- Contacting your Diocesan Director of Ordinands (DDO)
- The Bishops' Advisory Panel
- Theological training
Click the tabs to find out more.
Prior involvement in the Anglican Church
Normally before you can be ordained in the Church of England, you need experience of regular attendance and involvement in an Anglican church.
This helps to test whether you really want to commit yourself to the denomination's way of doing things, and it also helps to demonstrate to the wider Church that you are serious about the demands of ordained ministry. It is also important to test whether this ministry would really be suitable for you by asking those who know you well.
Consulting your incumbent
Next, you would normally approach your church's incumbent priest to ask whether he or she thinks ordained ministry would be appropriate for you. Do you have the gifts, abilities, temperament, etc., and would the priest be willing to support your application to the DDO (Diocesan Director of Ordiands) for training?
The DDO is the person in each diocese who has the responsibility to oversee applicants for ordination. Normally it is crucial for your own incumbent to support your application to the DDO.
Contact your DDO
The Diocesan Director of Ordinands has the authority to say no to an applicant, or to require more church attendance, study, or other preparatory experiences before approving a person's application.
Once the DDO gives approval, the person normally meets the Bishop, who also must give his approval.
The Bishops' Advisory Panel
All applicants must go to a selection conference (called a "Bishops' Advisory Panel" - BAP for short) run by a group of Selectors who serve the bishops of the Church of England.
If applicants are approved by the panel, they qualify to begin training for ministry at a theological college (seminary) or regional course. This training is currently paid for by the Church of England.
Our Interview Days normally take place on Thursdays within University term time. Thursdays are our ‘community days’ when many students’ families come in to meet up in the morning and stay for lunch. If you are married or engaged, your spouse or fiancé(e) is very welcome to accompany you on your visit. It is an ideal opportunity to meet with partners of current students and find out about life at Ridley from their perspective.
We would normally interview candidates who either have already been to a BAP or have been given a date for one by their DDO. See our application page for further details.
Ordinands who are under 32 and have not done a theology degree, generally train for three years.
If ordinands are over 32 at the start of training, or if they have already done a significant amount of theological study, they train for two years, unless they apply for and receive permission to train for a different length of time.
For more information, go to the Ministry Division pages of the Church of England's website.