Teach Thou Thy Priests their daily cross To bear as Thine, nor count it loss!
- John Keble, The Christian Year
Called to serve God?
Discerning a vocation can be an intimidating process! How does one begin to explore whether or not the creator of the universe has called them to a ministry within the church? How is a called to ordained ministry discerned?
Discernment is never a short process, it requires time, patience, and most importantly: prayer, and faith in God and his will for your life.
Where to start? Prayer is central to discernment, We must never underestimate the power of prayer, and God's wish to make his will known to us through prayer.
Your parish priest. If after prayer you feel that God is potentially calling you to ordained ministry your parish priest will be your first point of contact moving forward. Speak to them about your sense of calling, and remember that every priest was once in your position! Do not be embarrassed!
Diocesan Director of Ordinands If your parish priest discerns a possible vocation they will contact your Diocesan Director of Ordinands, (DDO), who will then meet with you to further discern what God might be asking of you, and whether this might include a call to ordained ministry.
If the DDO discerns a vocation, candidates may be sent to a Bishop's Advisory Panel (BAP), at which the candidate will undergo a series of interviews in which the candidate will have their vocation tested against 'nine qualities'.
Should the BAP provide the Diocesan Bishop with a positive recommendation, the Bishop may allow the candidate to undergo a period of Theological and ministerial training with hopes to admit the candidate to Holy Orders.
The Vocations Network - an initiative from the ACS and supported by The Society