Vocation - Ordained Ministry

Easter Adventure at Hexham Abbey
A Vicar partaking in a 'Messy Church' session
Bishop processing out of Cathedral


How is God calling you?

God calls us in many different ways. You might have a feeling deep in your bones that’s been there for years.

Or maybe the call comes as a bolt from the blue as you listen to a sermon or take communion or walk the dog.

Perhaps friends and people in your church have seen it and mentioned it – and perhaps you’ve ignored them for a while, but now you’re beginning to wonder if they’re right.

God calls all sorts of people at all sorts of times in their lives – young and old, rich and poor – regardless of race or nationality or career or qualifications. God needs all sorts of people to reach out and serve all sorts of people.


What is ordained ministry?

An ordained person is either a priest or a deacon, and they, and their ministries, come in many different shapes and sizes, but they are all called to build up the body of Christ wherever they serve.

They do this by

  • Leading worship and administering the sacraments
  • Caring for people pastorally
  • Preaching and teaching
  • Leading and serving others

They are public representatives of God and of the Church. They are charged by, and responsible to, the diocesan bishop. They are called to point to Jesus Christ, crucified and risen, and to encourage all God’s people to show God’s love and compassion in the world.


What is involved in getting ordained?

Ordained ministry is both joyful and demanding. Any calling must be tested. The Church has a set of criteria (click here) which are explored during the testing process, which is known as ‘discernment.’

During the process you might find that your calling is different from what you expected – though of course it is still a calling, for God calls us all.

The process involves

  • Seeing a Diocesan Director of Ordinands over a number of months, using the criteria to guide your conversations
  • Being interviewed by a local panel of people
  • Meeting with the bishop
  • If recommended, attending a Bishops’ Advisory Panel (BAP)

You may also be asked to do some training, some reading or a placement outside your ordinary church life.

All through this process, you will need to be patient. Everyone – you and those working with you – will be asking the question ‘what is God asking of this person?’ And all through the process you will need to pray.

If you are called to ordination training you will train for 2-3 years, either away at college or locally with the Lindisfarne Regional Training Partnership. The training involves

  • Learning about the Bible, church history, church life and Christian doctrine
  • Skills training
  • ‘formation’ – learning to become a person ready for ordination


Candle map of Newcastle Diocese
A conversation
Useful reading

What next?

If you think this may be your calling

  • Pray – take time to speak to God about this, and to listen for the answers. Ask one or two others to pray for you and with you too




  • Talk – see your vicar or chaplain, who will be able to advise you. You may be encouraged to talk with a Diocesan Vocations Adviser or DDO.



If you want to talk to someone about your calling, in the first instance call or e-mail the Rev'd Claire Robson: ddo@newcastle.anglican.org. 0191 285 4154 or Dr Hilary Elder, h.elder@newcastle.anglican.org. 0191 270 4154. Claire normally works Wednesday to Friday, Hilary Monday to Wednesday.

Go to Vocations home page