This department arranges the education, training and support of Connexional ministers. However, taking ministry in its wider sense, it aims to support Christian service in as wide a context as possible. It offers the following services:
(a) Ministry Training and Accreditation
The training and education of candidates for the ministry is currently under review and is expected to be out-sourced in the future. Where appropriate qualifications have been achieved, the Ministry department oversees the recognition as Connexional ministers of those successful candidates whose call to the ministry of preaching, sacraments and pastoral care is validated by their local churches, circuits and the Connexion. This includes the provision and issue of certificates. It also offers guidance to churches on the acceptance of ministers and will participate in Commissioning Services where requested.
(b) Education Scheme
This does not serve as a training course for the denominational ministry but caters for those seeking education in biblical and theological subjects who may be looking to equip themselves for specific areas of service. It provides:
- Studies in the Bible, Christian theology and other subjects relevant to Christian service.
- Tutorial support. Reference books, teaching notes and aids to study are supplied for enrolled students and their tutors.
- Regular assessment of students’ course work and annual report on progress.
- Two study weekends each year.
- An annual conference which is aimed at Ministers and Students but open to others.
- Supply of Christian books to Connexional ministers at half cost.
- Financial and other assistance to ministers ‘in necessitous circumstances' where approved by the relevant officers.
- Advice and financial assistance for those wishing to attend or undertake an approved course of study.
- Occasional publications on subjects relevant to ministry.
- Development of relevant study guides for group use.
- Provision of the Services’ Handbook which contains suggested forms for special services.
- Advice by telephone, letter or visit on an individual basis.
- Promoting theological reflection on matters concerning our relationships with other denominations.
- Keeping a watching brief on current issues of a moral or ethical nature.
Ministry Organiser - Len Ogilvie
Education Organiser - Shaun Newton
Telephone enquiries to Independent Methodist Resource Centre on 01942 223526