Vocational Pathways

The Church of England is home to over 20,000 ordained ministers, who serve 42 dioceses in a vast array of roles. Around 500 ordinands enter training for ordination every year: women and men; single people and married couples; people with young children and those with elderly parents; people with full-time jobs and others moving into full-time ministry; those straight out of education and those with decades of experience. Their initial ministerial education takes place over one to three years at one of 22 training institutions, followed by three to four years as a curate in a church.

Given the diversity of both the people entering training and the contexts and roles they are training for, ministerial education is complex and challenging to deliver. It is also rapidly evolving, with new institutions, structures and models emerging and developing to meet the needs of today's church.

The Vocational Pathways Research carried out by the Ministry Division in 2016 explored both phases of training to gain a better understanding of how they are understood and experienced from different perspectives: ordinands, educators, placement supervisors and diocesan directors of ordinands in Phase 1, and curates, training incumbents, diocesan officers and churchwardens in Phase 2. Follow the links below to view the reports.

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