Discernment and Formation Programme:
Facilitated by The Rev’d Julie Worrall, the diocese’s Director of Ministry Formation and Discernment, this programme assists those in need of spiritual direction formation particularly in discerning a potential call to ordination within the Anglican Diocese of Adelaide and the Diocese of Willochra.
The programme has a number of parts or stages to allow people to test and explore their vocation to ordinated as well as providing specific training for potential ordinands (those the Church has discerned have a call to ordination). There are also a number of services provided to those seeking lay ministry and spiritual direction.
Initial Enquiry and Exploration
This is an individual journey where enquirers “seekers” engage in personal guided reflections and complete 4 units of theological study, in consultation with the Director of Ministry Formation and Discernment. They are invited to gather with other people on the discernment journey for Theological Reflection on the 1st Saturday of the month from 3.00-5.00pm at St Barnabas College.
A group of like-minded seekers gather on a monthly basis and have the opportunity to test their vocation through conversations with others as well as some prescribed readings. At the end of this time, if the Director of Ministry Formation and Discernment, your Parish Priest and the Bishop’s agree, they will recommend to the Archbishop that you are invited to a Ministry Discernment event.
Following the Ministry Discernment Event, those who have been affirmed in their calling to Ordination will be invited to participate in the two year Formation Stage. This consists of the completion of a Bachelor of Theology through St Barnabas College and attending 4 weekend intensive training sessions per year. Provisional Ordinands are also complete training ‘in the field’ through a parish or chaplaincy setting and meet regularly with their Parish Priest; Examining Chaplains, a Spiritual Director; a Supervisor and the Director of Ministry Formation and Discernment. While this can sound onerous, it is an exciting time of learning and growing and together we endeavour to care for all potential ordinands well-being.
At the end of the second year of Formation, the Archbishop will receive recommendations to Ordain a person to the Diaconate (a Deacon) or a Priest. In some circumstances, potential ordinands will require additional training prior to ordination.
Commonly (but not always) the end of the second year of Formation, potential ordinands are ordained to the Diaconate and appointed to a ministry placement (a Parish or a Chaplaincy). Deacons start working in a more focussed way. Some deacons re ‘permanent deacon’s and enter that order permanently. Others will be considered for priestly ordination at the end of their deacon’s year. At the end of the first year, some students change parishes while others remain in their existing setting for further training.
First Appointment Support
Ordinarily, following the second year of ministry practice, priests are appointed to their first “charge” in a parish (or sometimes a chaplaincy) situation. In this they will receive mentoring/supervision from an experienced clergy person.
Deacons should throughout their ministry expect to be “sent” into placements as the Archbishop determines there is a need for their support. Their personal ministry gifts as well as family factors would be taken into consideration.