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?

  • Just curious, thinking about ordination? Commented Jan 25, 2012 at 13:10
  • As the Anglican church sets this sort of rule at the local level, it will depend on what part of the world you are in. But this is an odd quesion as the anglican church is a protestant church. Commented Jan 25, 2012 at 15:03
  • I think this is too broad as each diocese could have different rules (and many definitely do). The diocese where I live unofficially hates another diocese in the country. If you don't train at the official seminary you might be forced to do at least a year there, but other diocese don't have similar restrictions.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Jul 2, 2014 at 10:46
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    @curiousdannii - I'm not so sure it's really too broad... I could be wrong, but isn't the Anglican is similar to the catholic and LDS Church in that they all have a central point of authority? In all three, there's likely variation at the "local level", but I guess I'd think the variation would be limited by general guidelines that are set at a higher level. That's opposed to a denomination like Baptists, where central authority is shunned, and the autonomy of the local Church is held in high regard. In those, you'd expect the question to be too broad and unanswerable. Commented Jul 2, 2014 at 11:41
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    @curiousdannii - Understood! Thanks for the clarification! Clearly the Anglican Church is not my area of strength, and I appreciate the extra info. Although there's precedent on site history for allowing "There is no one answer and here's why..." with a list of examples on differences. You sound like you could make a good answer out of an otherwise broad question. Commented Jul 2, 2014 at 12:11

2 Answers 2


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.
  • How uniform are these regs across diocese?
    – Caleb
    Commented Jan 25, 2012 at 7:50
  • And now you see why answers from personal experience stink :). In all seriousness, my guess is that the overall process is fairly similar, but the discernment process and interviews vary according to the needs of the diocese. Commented Jan 25, 2012 at 13:10
  • Ok so the "discernment" process might be different, but are there set standards for education? could a lax diocese somewhere ordain a bunch of folks that then migrate to other diocese that they might not have met the requirements for? or are there ate least some fixed standards?
    – Caleb
    Commented Jan 25, 2012 at 16:13
  • I can't come up with any other explanation for John Shelby Spong ,Gene Robinson, or KJS. Oh wait, did I say that out loud? Commented Jan 25, 2012 at 17:55
  • In all seriousness, yes, a lax diocese could ordain someone that everyone else is supposed to recognize, especially much to the chagrin of the African dioceses in particular. Commented Jan 25, 2012 at 17:57

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.".

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