studying at st barnabas


SBC has a growing bank of public access resources which we hope will be useful to those wanting to grow in their knowledge and love of God.


If you’re considering Ordination to the Diaconate or Priesthood, check out these great books.

  • Called or collared? : an alternative approach to vocation  /  Francis Dewar.  (2000)

  • This is our calling  /  edited by Charles Richardson.  (2004)

  • Being a deacon today : exploring a distinctive ministry in the Church and in the world  /  Rosalind Brown.  (2005)

  • Being a priest today : exploring priestly identity  /  Christopher Cocksworth and Rosalind Brown.  (2006)

  • Life is for Giving: A Toolkit for exploring your calling / Andy Rider, Jo Bailey Wells. (2018)


Frequently asked questions about Formation for Ordination…

When does the process start?

From the moment that you enquire with the Director of Formation, we take note of your character and your manner. In this respect, the selection process starts with ‘Hello’! However we are really keen about learning in community – so it really starts when you begin with engagement in the enquiry group. But… you’re not always “being assessed” and we encourage you to be yourself as much as possible and talk freely with the Director of Formation and College Chaplain who are clear about confidentiality and what can and cannot be shared on your record.

How long will the process take?

For active Anglicans with a track record of parish involvement, the discernment (Enquiry-Exploration-Discernment) process takes one to two years. If discernment to continue for Formaiton for Ordination, there are then usually two years in the formation process at St Barnabas College, although it must be remembered that people are ordained when they are ready – which may mean a process longer than this.

If a candidate starts enquiring at the point of just entering the Anglican Church, with no Anglican background, then they would need at least one year to become an active member of their local church, prior to entering the exploration process (but can commence with Enquiry immediately).

Can I be ‘fast tracked’?


Candidates are only presented for ordination when they are ‘ready’.  The readiness for ordination includes ALL the requirements of the Ministry Discernment process are shown to have been met.  This includes positive reports from the Parish Placement, College and Examining Chaplains, as well as meeting Professional Standards checks, Working with Children registration, Ethics and Safe Ministry training.

Sometimes someone is ready for Ordination when they have not completed the full two year Formation Process. When this happens, someone may be ordained but must complete the remainder of the 2 year Formation Process and continue to meet the Archbishop’s requirements.

Is there are an age limit?

No.  But reality must be acknowledged.

If aged 65, an Anglican just starting the seekers process, who has none of the Archbishop’s requirements, will not be ‘ready’ for ordination, which means satisfying ALL requirements for ordination, until after the point of mandatory retirement age.

Seekers are considered as individuals and advised appropriate to their age and qualification.

Does my spouse need to attend church?

No, but they will need to be supportive of your calling.

Can I be sent anywhere?

Yes and no. Prior to entry into the Exploration Stage of the process, you must worship at a Parish within the Adelaide Diocese. During Formation candidates are normally requested to attend a church within travelling distance of the their home (also within the Adelaide Diocese).

At the end of Formation and the start of the first placement (called a ‘curacy’), the bishops have many factors to consider before offering a curacy placement. These may include:

  • available vacancies.

  • appropriateness and ‘fit’ of context.

  • training needs of the newly ordained person.

  • family work or schooling considerations.

When a possible placement is found the Bishop or Director of Formation will contact the candidate to discuss with them and their family. Remember at the time of ordination if there is only one curacy available in the diocese, options are very limited for both the Bishop and you.

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