Education for Ministry
Following ordination, ministers enter the second stage of education – EM2 (EM1 is the pre-ordination period). There is a prescribed programme, with an amount of leeway, and a pastoral advisor is appointed to act as a mentor and support. At the end of three years, the minister writes their own report and, if the necessary elements of study and reflection have been completed, a certificate is awarded. During EM2 up to £175 per annum is available for self-directed study. Applications on the G1 Form should be made to their Synod Pastoral Advisor.
Thereafter ministers in both stipendiary and non-stipendiary service enter the third stage – EM3 – and are encouraged to take 2 weeks of continuing ministerial education each year. Grants totalling up to £350 each calendar year are available to fund individual participation in educational courses of the minister’s choice. Applications should be made on form G1 and sent to their Synod Pastoral Advisor. Ministers including foreign travel in their study arrangements can apply for a grant from the Belonging to the World Church fund, information from the Synod Office.
For all grant applications, once approved a Grant Claim form should be completed and sent, with receipts, to the Synod Office.
Regular EM2/3 events
Ministers’ Spring School is a Monday – Friday event, in April/May. This combines study of a particular theme led by invited speakers with opportunities for relaxation and fellowship with colleagues.
Further details are available from the Synod Officel.
Every 10 years ministers are eligible to take a 3-month sabbatical. Planning for this should begin at least a year in advance, so that local arrangements can be made and funding put in place. Up to £1200 is available from the URC and there are other sources. Ministers thinking about taking a sabbatical should contact their Synod Pastoral Advisor as soon as possible to discuss all the options. Full details of the sabbatical process are in the Synod Sabbatical Procedure paper. When ready applications for sabbatical approval should be made on form G2 and sent to appropriate Synod Pastoral Advisor.