Continuing Ministerial Development

Everyone in ministry in the Diocese is encouraged to pursue their Continuing Ministerial Development(CMD), Education and Training for their own, and the wider Church's ongoing flourishing.

To support this, the Mission and Ministry Development Team arranges courses and events for clergy and lay ministers. Some courses are related directly to major transition points of ministry: new post, mid-ministry, pre-retirement. Others are subject or special interest-focused.

On this page we cover:

How to access Continuing Ministerial Development
The purpose 
Responsibility for learning
Types of lifelong learning
Spiritual Development
Extended Development Ministerial Leave (EDML)

We also have dedicated pages on:

Ministerial Development Review
Curacy training and formation

How to access Continuing Ministerial Development

Continuing Ministerial Development (CMD) events provided by the Diocese, are either advertised directly to clergy and other ministers through special mailings or posted in Events and Training.

Under the Ecclesiastical Offices (Terms of Service) Regulations, all those holding office under Common Tenure are under a duty to participate in Ministerial Development Review and Continuing Ministerial Development and so clergy and lay ministers are encouraged to be proactive about in-service training and to make use of the training grants available.

CMD Application form


The Purpose

The fundamental purpose of Continuing Ministerial Development is to equip and develop ministers so that they may stimulate and enable the whole Church to participate more fully in the mission of God in the world.


Responsibility for learning

There is a mutual responsibility for ongoing support, training and development between individual members of the clergy and the Diocese of Rochester.

The Diocese recognises its responsibility to offer appropriate provision for support and development. The Bishop has, therefore, appointed officers to oversee the delivery of support and development opportunities and have also ensured the provision of financial and other resources. The first point of contact will be the Diocesan Director of Formation & Ministry whose details are below.

For their part, each member of the clergy has the responsibility to seek out and use the resources available, both at a local level and more widely.


Types of lifelong learning

Explore some of the different types of learning opportunities that are available:

Professional development

All Stipendiary Clergy (and Self-Supporting Clergy, where possible) are expected to attend designated continued ministerial development such as conferences and study days which are designed to offer opportunities to address issues of topical importance in clergy ministry.

The term ‘Self Supporting Ministers’ is used to cover all Clergy who carry a Bishop’s Licence who are not paid by the Church, including, Self-Supporting Ministers (SSM) and Ministers in Secular Employment (MSE).

Professional update
All clergy are actively encouraged to undertake an annual programme to update their theological and associated studies as well as practical skills. Many courses are made available through the Diocese. However, there will be many other opportunities available through universities, colleges, church and secular organisations. Some financial provision is available to support this, and clergy are also encouraged to negotiate contributions for this from their working expenses. Personal CMD Grants are available after consultation with Diocesan Director Formation & Ministry, however, these grants must be related to MDR outcomes. 
Initial Ministerial Education (IME 4-7)
All clergy in their first three years of ministry are expected to undertake the Diocesan.  The Initial Ministerial Education (IME 4-7) Programme is a joint programme with the Diocese of Canterbury. Visit our dedicated Curacy Training and Formation page
New appointments

Those who are new to posts are invited to attend the New Posts Programme which is held biannually. You are also offered to make use of a mentor and belong to a reflective practice group. 

Alongside our Mentoring Programme, all new Incumbents can expect to meet with their Area Dean, the Director, or a Representative from the Formation and Ministry team at various points in their first year.

Ministerial Development Review (MDR)

Our Diocesan scheme for Ministerial Development Review (MDR) follows guidance from the House of Bishops and is, therefore, similar to schemes in other dioceses. 

The aim of the Scheme is to help clergy take time to reflect upon their ministry not least in relation to the Ordinal.  It is an opportunity for them to think about what has gone well and to consider the reasons for this. Visit our dedicated Ministerial Development Review page.

Work and ministry consultancy
Individual work and ministry consultancy, coaching, and other support are available for clergy to assist them in their ministry.
Other residential opportunities
The Diocesan CMD programme also offers a variety of other residential opportunities for clergy to develop their ministries and seeks to support and encourage clergy at various stages of ministry. In each archdeaconry, the archdeacon provides a 24 hour residential for their clergy alternate years.
An important part of clergy support will be opportunities to spend time and share ministry with clergy colleagues. All licensed clergy are expected to participate fully in Deanery Chapter and Synod, and to use such meetings as opportunities for encouragement, support and shared learning. Area Deans aim to include in chapter gatherings opportunities for development and mutual support. 


Spiritual development

All clergy are encouraged to undertake an annual retreat and to have a Spiritual Director, Mentor, or equivalent. The Bishop, Archdeacon, Director of Formation & Ministry or Diocesan Adviser for Spirituality may be contacted to discuss these issues further. The Diocesan Spirituality Network also runs a full programme of courses, retreats, events.


Extended Ministerial Development Leave (EMDL)

All licensed clergy may apply for a three-month period of Extended Ministerial Development Leave (EMDL) after ten years in ministry (and after every subsequent tenth year). Normally, up to a £1,000 grant is available for approved study leave.

Study leave is defined as three calendar months away from the parish, in addition to the annual holiday allocation. The first step is to discuss the possibility with the Director of Formation & Ministry following a Ministerial Development Review (MDR), which identified the possibility of an EMDR. 

The Diocese offers study leave grants and practical help and support in preparation for, and follow up of, the EMDL. It is also possible for clergy and stipendiary lay ministers to take shorter periods of study leave. Those considering this possibility should first discuss it with their Archdeacon. The EMDL policy and guidelines are available from the Formation and Ministry Department at the Diocesan Office.

Find out more about grants here

Useful forms and guidance

Key Contacts


Director of Mission and Ministry Development


The Rev Jane Winter

Assistant Director of Mission and Ministry Development

Get in touch

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