Equipping God's people in Discipleship and Ministry

All Christian people have a calling from God to know and love him more, and to serve others in his name. Through a range of learning opportunities we seek to equip you in your faith and ministry development, to fulfill your calling to Christian discipleship and mission.

Rochester has for many years had three forms of licensed or authorised lay ministry:

Our Diocese is recognised nationally as a leader in lay vocation, particularly for our creative approach to the development and training of unique form of lay ministry to our Diocese: Licensed Lay Ministers.

We have pioneered opportunities in Anna Chaplaincy, which has a special focus on those who have dementia and other end of life issues.

Preparing for Ministry:

For anyone thinking about how they can use their gifts in the service of God, an It's Your Calling is a great opportunity to explore what might be possible.

These days are run throughout the year and are open to anyone who feels God’s call on their life to discover who they are in him and what he might be calling them to do.

You may be challenged to try something new, or be confirmed in your current areas of ministry.

Vocations advisers work with individuals who are exploring the way in which God may be calling them into a specific area of ministry. Click here to find out more.

You may feel called to some sort of outreach and or community mission work. Read about our Community Engagement work here.

Speak to your local clergy first who will help you book onto a day. 

Courses available in theology and ministry

Bishop's Certificate

The Bishop’s Certificate is a diocesan course that offers a foundation in Christian Ministry. It equips people for active discipleship and effective ministry.

It is a two stage programme, designed in line with similar programmes which are validated by higher education institutions at levels 4 and 5, for those wishing to critique and further their understanding of their Christian faith, discipleship and calling, as well as for those who intend to candidate for Licensed Lay Ministry.

Read more here about the experience of students who have received the Bishop's Certificate

The first stage of the programme - Certificate in Christian Ministry - is open to anyone who has attended an It's Your Calling day and who:

  • has an active involvement in their local church,
  • or offers a distinctive Christian perspective in another setting, 
  • and, who wishes to gain knowledge and skills to give a firm foundation to their Christian life and service. 


It also gives opportunity to explore other areas of ministry under the guidance of your parish priest.

Licensed Lay Ministry

The second stage of the programme – Licensed Lay Ministry – is open to those who are recommended and selected for training as Licensed Lay Ministers. 

It is designed to equip lay leaders to be ‘people of mission,’ both in fulfilling ministry tasks within the church and by taking an active role as Christians in society.  

Meet some of our previous Licensed Lay Ministers

In preparing people for ministry leadership roles within and on behalf of the church, the Licensed Lay Ministry training offers a foundation in theology with opportunity to develop ministry skills in different contexts.  Critical reflection on practical experience in the context of theological studies equips people to fulfil a range of ministry leadership roles, developing Lay Ministers who will be

  • Theologically articulate
  • Educators with particular areas of missional and/or ministerial responsibility
  • Leaders in mission and ministry, sharing the role with incumbents or other diocesan officers

Programme aims

The purpose of the programme is to enable and equip participants to:

  • Develop understanding of mission and ministry through theological study and practical experience
  • Undertake structured ministerial experience to acquire and develop a range of skills
  • Integrate the academic study of theology and ministry with pastoral and missiological practice
  • Communicate the Christian faith through word and action, within an understanding of various models of mission and their context
  • Grow in self awareness and appreciate diverse expressions of ministry as the outworking of the Christian life
  • Clarify their vocation and identify their calling to specific expressions of ministry
  • Establish the practice of theological reflection in relation to their experiences in ministry
  • Develop in their prayer lives and spiritual formation

Structure of the programme

Stage One – Certificate in Christian Ministry - is open to anyone who has attended It’s Your Calling and has the support of their incumbent.  It comprises 4 modules in the first year of training and two modules in the second year.

By the end of this stage (Certificate in Christian Ministry) participants will be able to:

  • communicate the Christian faith in a variety of ways according to context
  • engage with the Bible in order to explain key themes and ideas contained in it
  • relate their study of theology and the Bible to the practical contexts of Christian ministry and mission
  • contribute to a variety of tasks in Christian ministry as reflective practitioners
  • apply knowledge of the different ways in which people learn to their own and others’ learning
  • interpret Christian faith in a pluralist world
  • identify different approaches to theology, biblical studies, ecclesiology and missiology
  • demonstrate a maturing faith and an awareness of their own and others’ spiritual formation

Participants who successfully complete and exit the programme at this stage will be awarded a Certificate in Christian Ministry.   It will equip them to undertake a local ministry role agreed with their incumbent.

Stage Two - Licensed Lay Ministry

The second stage of the Foundation in Christian Ministry programme is for those preparing for Licensed Lay Ministry in the Diocese of Rochester.  Entry to training for Licensed Lay Ministry is through recommendation by your incumbent and PCC, and a selection panel which takes place towards the end of the first year of the first stage of the programme.

This stage comprises 2 additional modules in year 2 and four modules in year 3.

By the end of stage 2 (Licensed Lay Ministry) participants will be able to:

  • demonstrate the skills and qualities required for effective leadership including being able to nurture and envision others
  • work effectively alongside others in Christian ministry and learn from feedback
  • use their knowledge and understanding to undertake a range of ministry tasks
  • speak with confidence about their vocation, and understand its implications for their contribution to church life
  • contribute to strategic development in the parish/ministry setting
  • make use of a range of approaches and resources for dealing with issues which arise in Christian mission and ministry
  • communicate and apply theological learning in an integrated manner

Application Forms and Notes for Applicants are now available from the Formation and Ministry Department - training@rochester.anglican.org



For further information, or if you would like to talk through any of the discipleship and ministry development options available to you, please contact: training@rochester.anglican.org

Page last updated: 23rd May 2019 3:42 PM

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