This page contains links to websites that I have found useful in my exploration of ordination (see the timeline). More will be added but if you know of anything useful please let me know. Although I am coming from and exploring within the Anglican Communion, and the Church of England in particular, I am very interested in other denominations of the Christian faith. If you have any sites or resources from non-Anglican denominations please feel free to share those too.
Last updated: 29th March 2017.
So far I have found this organisation and website the best source of information in exploring ordination. CPAS (the Church Pastoral Aid Society) is an organisation independent of the Church of England that, amongst other things, tries to help people explore where God is leading them, whether this be to ordained ministry or church leadership.
There are 19 resource sheets available, many of which I have found very useful and illuminating. They have information and resource sheets on the various possible destinations for those exploring God’s calling and ordination, these include: ordained ministers aka the traditional vicar; Readers; Pioneer Evangelists; the Church Army.
CPAS have also produced an online tool (What is your S.H.A.P.E. for Ministry) which is designed to help those taking the first exploratory steps. It also includes details of when and where the You and Ministry weekends are happening next; both my wife and I found the weekend we went on very helpful (see my post Taking Stock – Part 1: The first steps on the road towards ordination).
This is a well presented and helpful website to help you explore your sense of calling, including whether is to enter ordained or reader ministries, join with the Church Army or enter the religious life as a monk, nun or similar.
Though aimed at people under 30 this website has useful information and links for all ages of people wondering if God is calling them to ordained ministry. It contains information on vocation and ordination, helpful prayers, a useful glossary of terms, links, and answers to a few ‘frequently asked questions’. It also includes interviews with people who have gone through the ordination experience.
Not all who explore ordination in the Church of England determine that God is calling them to be ordained as a traditional vicar. This website is dedicated to one of the alternatives, that of a Reader. Readers are lay men or women who are authorised to serve in a variety of roles including preaching and teaching, worship leading, and the pastoral, evangelical and liturgical work in the area they have a license to work within. Although, like the Church of England’s Vocations website, it isn’t the best presented website it is worth a visit if this is an area that you feel called to.
The Church Army is another alternative to the traditionary vicar that many consider. Their vision is “to be a leading organisation in the training, equipping and deploying of evangelists, to develop appropriate and relevant forms of Christian community for pioneering situations”.
Pioneer Ministers ‘do church’ in different ways from the traditional vicar based in a church. They look for and develop ‘fresh expressions’ of church that engage with the various cultures that people belong to.
Jules Middleton has produced a comprehensive “A Short Guide to Surviving ‘The Discernment Process’ in the Church of England”.
“Pilgrim is a major new teaching and discipleship resource from the Church of England. It aims to help every local church create a place where people can explore the Christian faith together and see how it can be lived out each day.
Pilgrim takes a different approach to other Christian programmes. It approaches the great issues of faith not through persuasion, but participation in a pattern of contemplation and discussion with a group of fellow travellers.
Pilgrim is comprised of two stages: the Follow stage for those very new to faith, and the Grow stage for those who want to go further. Each stage contains four short six-session courses which focus on a major theme of Christian life.”