Applying to study for ordination
Before you apply, please read our vocations guide below on the stages involved in becoming an ordinand, to ensure that you are at the right stage in your vocation discernment process to take this step.
To apply for a place on one of our open days (the first step in coming to Ridley) please complete the appropriate form below.
- Prospective Ordinands from dioceses within the UK (including from the Diocese in Europe):
When complete, upload your application here or return your application by email or by post to:
If you have been recommended for training in the Anglican Ministry and are being sponsored by a diocese outside the UK/Diocese of Europe, and your diocese would like to sponsor you to do part of your training in the UK then please can you contact the Admissions Department with further details of your circumstances.
The vocation discernment process: a guide
There are six stages normally involved in becoming an ordinand (a trainee vicar) in the Church of England. The process of discerning a vocation to ordained ministry can take a good deal of time. This is quite deliberate. In line with scripture, the Church takes care to avoid rushing into ordaining people. All those involved in the process are concerned to seek God diligently and to carefully discern His will for each candidate. As you enter the process you should expect it to take months rather than weeks.
- 1. Prior involvement in the Anglican Church
1. 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.
- 2. Consulting your incumbent
2. Consulting your incumbent
Next, you would normally approach your vicar, chaplain or equivalent, or a member of the vocations team in your diocese to ask whether he or she thinks ordained ministry would be appropriate for you. Do you have the gifts, abilities and temperament, and would they be willing to support your application to the DDO (Diocesan Director of Ordinands) 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.
- 3. Meeting with your DDO
3. Meeting with your DDO
The Diocesan Director of Ordinands guides potential ordinands through the process of discernment. They will spend time with you and listen carefully as you articulate your sense of calling to ordained ministry in the Church of England. They will ask you lots of questions and recommend useful books for you to read, which will help you deepen your understanding of your calling. They will suggest others for you to speak to. The DDO 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.
- 4. The Selection Process
4. The Selection Process
At the First Stage candidates will work with a Vocations Advisor. This is followed by the Stage 1 Assessment: a non-residential day with six short interviews. At this stage a report is created highlighting areas to work on in the second stage.
There is then a Stage 2 Assessment: a two-day process with in-depth interviews and a group exercise.
After this, recommendations regarding training are made.
If applicants are recommended for training, they qualify to begin training for ministry at a theological training institution. This training is currently paid for by the Church of England (see Fees and Funding).
- 5. Choosing a theological education institution
5. Choosing a theological education institution
If you would like to explore whether Ridley is the right place for you to train, we ask that you have first talked to your DDO about it and ensured they are happy for you to take this next step.
When you have the blessing of your DDO, send in a completed application form (see above), which will enable us to book you onto one of our Open Days. It is not necessary to have already attended your Stage 1 & 2 Assessments before making an application to Ridley as long as your DDO is happy for you to do so.
- 6. Choosing a theology course
6. Choosing a theology course
Ordinands who are under 32 when they start training and don’t already have a theology degree generally train for three years. If you are 32 or older when you begin, or if you have already done a significant amount of theological study, you will train for two years unless you apply for and receive permission to train for a different length of time.
Our Course Finder tool on this website will help you to choose a course, and we will also discuss your options with you and give you guidance when you visit Ridley on an Open Day.