Formation for ministry involves many people, including significant contributions from Training Ministers and Placement Ministers. On this page you will find information about these important roles. If you have further questions please contact the Training Coordinator and Administrator.
Training Ministers: Ordinands
The Training Minister is a key person in enabling the growth and development of the Ordinand’s vocation. They may have travelled a similar road in the past, and will almost certainly know the student already and will have supported them during the selection process.
The appointment of Training Ministers is the responsibility of the Diocesan Director of Ordinands; SWMTC may only provide advice. Normally Ordinands retain the same Training Ministers throughout initial training, but a range of factors may lead the Diocese to appoint a new person to serve. If the Ordinand’s parish is in a vacancy, the DDO will approach another minister.
The Training Minister’s role is to enable the Ordinand to grow in skills and confidence in a range of ministries, including preaching and teaching the faith, and in all aspects of leading worship.
Responsibilities: Pastoral care
The Training Minister shares the pastoral care of students with the Staff Tutor.
The Training Minister is responsible for the pastoral care of the Ordinand’s immediate family, if they have one, while they are facing considerable demands on their time and energy, experiencing significant personal growth and changes in their approach to a whole range of issues, and facing the challenge of becoming a public representative of the Church of England.
Responsibilities: Formation in ministry
The normal expectation on the ordinand is that they are in some ‘up-front’ role in their home church once a month (when not on placement). This may involve deaconing at the Eucharist, serving, reading, or leading intercessions.
In addition, the Training Minister is asked to work with the student to ensure that there is an opportunity for an assessed sermon every academic year. This involves both the Training Ministers (or sometimes another ministerial colleague) and selected congregation members filling out feedback forms. The Training Minister is also asked to work with the student’s staff tutor to ensure that there is an opportunity for an assessed leading of an act of worship every academic year. Again this involves written feedback from minister and congregation.
For those ordinands training for 3 years, in their final year of training, the Training Minister is asked to make possible the student’s leading of four sessions of a course for lay adults (this could be a pre-written course such as Pilgrim or Alpha, or a course written by the student). The Training Minister is asked to attend one of these sessions and give the student feedback on their teaching and group-leading.
Responsibilities: Theological formation
Training Ministers are members of a learning community that includes all SWMTC tutors and students. They have theological wisdom, experience and expertise and will be encouraging their PCCs and congregations to engage in prayerful theological reflection on a regular basis. This means that they are well placed to reflect with their ordinand on their experience and learning and to help them integrate theology and practice, particularly as it applies to parish life. That is invaluable for the ordinands and we would encourage Training Ministers to offer them opportunities to do that with them from time to time.
At the beginning of training, there will be a three-way meeting to clarify responsibilities.
In addition, Training Ministers will be asked for a report on their students at the end of each year, in response to a set of questions about formation, theological development and practical skills. The Training Minister should discuss the material of this report with the student and the issues that are being raised with the staff.
Placement Ministers: Ordinands
The primary aim of the observation placement is to enable students in Year 1 to compare an unfamiliar church context with that of their home church, reflecting theologically in terms of descriptions of church and understandings of ministry introduced on the course to date.
The Observation Placement Protocol can be downloaded below. Summary of expectations of the observation placement minister:
- To meet with the student to set a schedule of activities, including observing two main acts of Sunday worship and one midweek meeting for study or devotion; and the following interviews.
- To be interviewed by the student about the character and self-understanding of the church, and the minister’s own understanding of ministry there. The interview will last approximately 90 minutes.
- To invite two laypeople from the congregation to be interviewed by the the student about their different perspectives on the church and its ministry. The interviews will last approximately one hour each.
The long placement provides an opportunity for students to learn from experienced ministers about the planning and practice of liturgical, educational and pastoral tasks. However, the placement is not simply about doing things (which may already have been done in the home church context), but about integrating skills with understanding, and developing skills of collaboration. The placement seeks to build on the skills of observation and analysis developed in the first year – this is the more important given that these skills are to be exercised while participating in the system being observed.
The Long Placement Protocol can be downloaded below. Summary of expectations of the long placement minister:
- To meet with the student and the facilitator to set a schedule of activities. The total time given to the placement by the student should not be less than 60 hours, including travel time.
- To review progress with the student informally at the half-way point in the placement and formally when the above activities have been completed.
- To write a report on the placement, on a proforma provided.
LLM (Reader) Training Minister
The Training Minister is a key person for a LLM (Reader) in Training. Information and guidance is given in the document below.
Feedback forms for leading worship and preaching as above
LLM (Reader) Summer Placement Ministers
The Summer Placement prior to the final year of a LLM’s (Reader’s) training is an important stage in their training. Information and guidance is provided in the document below, and also a feedback form for the Placement Minister at the end of the Summer Placement.
Feedback forms for leading worship and preaching as above