What does the Anglican church require from potential ordination candidates as far as education and background? In particular, how would they handle a candidate from a different Protestant background who came along seeking to be ordained? Obviously I would expect the candidate is expected to agree with some statement of faith covering key doctrinal distinctions, but would they also be required to undergo education in an Anglican institution? Are there set timelines for such proceedings?
Funny you should ask.
I was ordained in the Baptist church, but I've really come to believe that I personally needed to Bette connected to an ancient church, so within the last month, I have begun that process.
Here in the Diocese of Virginia (TEC), ordination candidates with an M. Div. are required to take approx. 1 years addtl training before being made a deacon, then usually a few more months before being made a priest.
If you're going straight in, the process is:
- undergo a discernment process with the bishop and your sending church.
- start a 4 yr M. Div.
- in your 3d year, begin a 2yr field work in another parish.
- at the end of the this year, a review board will give you an interview, and make recommendations about whether or not to proceed with deaconal ordination
- at the end of your 4th year, interview with a church. If they call you, essentially you will be ordained.
In the Church of England the process is described in detail on this website.
Candidates for the priesthood are selected by a discernment process. This will involve your priest and your bishop among others. The process is going to be a relatively long process, and usually involve a Selection Conference, where the candidate spends a weekend with other candidates and a 'selection committee'. There is no minimum education standard as such, but the site says "The job is intellectually demanding, and the academic side of your calling is just as important as any other. In principle, ordained ministry is a graduate profession.". In other words the training is 'degree level' and you will need to be able to cope with that.
After selection you will get training. "Training usually lasts two or three years, depending on your previous academic training and age. It can be full-time and residential, part-time and non-residential, or a mixture of the two". The church pays for this training if necessary. At the end you will be ordained, and then spend some years being mentored by an experienced priest before being given a parish of your own.
There are no problems with having a background in a different denomination. From the website: "it will be normal for any candidate to be confirmed, or welcomed into the Church of England from another Church, before she or he is ordained.".