Once you have been ordained as a Deacon and have full-time experience as an Assistant Minister, you may wish to explore being ordained as a Presbyter. Ordination to the presbyterate would qualify you to lead a local church as a Rector, if you were invited to do so by the Archbishop at the request of a parish. If being a Deacon is focused on serving as a member of a team, being a Presbyter is about leading a team as a Rector. This team may include paid staff as well as volunteers.
If you wish to apply for the presbyterate, there is a separate discernment and development process where we will explore with you whether you have the convictions, character and competencies to serve as a Rector. The process has a particular focus on your leadership competencies and seeks to answer the following questions:
- Are you gifted by God to help teach his vision for his church?
- Are you able to help the church discern how to apply this teaching in its local context?
- Do you have the skills to raise up staff and funding for that work?
- Are you competent to manage that vision and live it out in your own life?
- How has this been demonstrated in your work as an Assistant Minister?
As being ordained as a Presbyter is a very high calling, we encourage you to read “The Ordering of Priests” contained in The Ordinal before beginning the application process.
If you would like to make an application to be ordained as a Presbyter, the following steps are involved.
1. Making an application
Contact Claire Pritchard at MT&D (firstname.lastname@example.org) to organise an appointment with the Director of MT&D, Gary O’Brien. Claire will also send you three forms for you to complete for the initial interview; an Application form, a Life and Times Profile and a Confidential Lifestyle Questionnaire. We will also confirm with your regional Bishop that he is supportive of your application.
2. Initial interview
At the initial interview, Gary will discuss with you your ministry experience so far, your thinking about serving as a Rector in our Diocese, and the details of the discernment and development process. He will also go through the Application form and Confidential Lifestyle Questionnaire with you. Following this interview, if the decision is to proceed, The Office of the Director of Safe Ministry will conduct the necessary checks to enable you to continue in the process. You will then be given some Parish Feedback forms for you and others to complete and return.
3. Psychological assessment update
You will then complete some online questionnaires and meet up with one of the psychologists at TheMindSpace. The psychologist will provide us with an updated psychological assessment (supplementing the one you completed as an applicant for ordination as a Deacon).
At this interview, you will be able to read the report provided by the psychologist and to discuss it with Gary O’Brien along with the Feedback Forms that you and others have completed. If you’re married, it will be important for your wife to come to this interview.
5. Panel interview
The final step in the application process is for you (and, if married, your wife) to come in for an interview with the Archbishop’s Presbyter Panel. Following this, a recommendation will be made to the Archbishop about your candidature. He will notify you of his decision.
6. Presbyter Ministry Development Plan
If you are accepted as a Presbyter candidate and enter the two-year discernment process, we are keen for you to continue developing your leadership skills so that you are ready to serve as a Rector upon ordination. To this end, Gary O’Brien will speak to you about creating, in consultation with your Rector, a Ministry Development Plan on the Lifelong Ministry Development (LMD) website (https://lmd.org.au). This Plan will form the basis of a mid-process interview when he will visit you on a Sunday in parish.
7. Parish visit and interview with the Director
Towards the end of your first year, Claire will send you two forms (a Self-Evaluation form and a Rector’s Evaluation form) for you to complete and return. She will then make a time for Gary O’Brien to visit you and your family on a Sunday to talk about how you are going in your ministry development toward the presbyterate and to discuss the evaluation forms with you.
8. Panel interview
Towards the end of the second year, Claire will send you additional Ministry Feedback forms for your rector and three lay-leaders to complete. Once you have emailed the completed forms to Claire, she will organise a time for the second Panel interview with you accompanied by your wife. Following this, a recommendation will be made by the Panel to the Archbishop about your suitability to be ordained a Presbyter in the Anglican Church. He will notify you of his decision.