Theological Education - TEAC - Ministry Grids

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Introduction to the Grids

The collection of grids which can be accessed through this page on the website aim to set out in an accessible way the ‘competencies’ that TEAC believes are essential for people engaged in various forms of ministry and discipleship within the Anglican Communion – at different stages in their formation.  The grids are an example of the increasingly used ‘Outcomes Based’ model for education.  In such a model the primary question is  not ‘What does a person know?’ but ‘What competencies does the learner need to gain in order to be able to fulfil this or that task/job/vocation?’ The necessary competencies can be gained in a variety of ways. One of the features of such ‘Outcomes Based’ models therefore is that they offer considerable flexibility, which means that they are appropriate models to offer for situations such as apply in the Anglican Communion, where the varied  contexts and availability of resources mean that different methods of training are obviously appropriate in different places.  ‘Outcomes Based’ models of education (as here) also seek to value the different dimensions of training : intellectual, practical, emotional and spiritual. All are important as part of a holistic framework for theological education. For more about the philosophy of ‘Outcomes Based’ education as it applies in the context of South Africa, please see the following article.

As will be obvious from a look at the grids they also work on the principle that theological education and training for discipleship is potentially life-long. Certainly learning does not come to a halt at the point of ordination or licensing. TEAC has made it visibly clear through the grids that we believe that the education and training of ministers need to continue in some overt form for at least the first three years in which a person is exercising their ministry. We also consider that there are certain competencies which need to be gained before a person either takes on a post of particular responsibility, or is involved in the training of others for the ministry concerned.

Five of the grids relate to different forms of ministry and/or discipleship. These are:

(See further notes on these grids below)

 

Two of the grids relate to the particular dimensions and needs of the ‘Anglican Way’ in theological education:

  • One of the grids sets out what training in the Anglican Way is appropriate and necessary for the different forms of  ministry whose training TEAC is exploring ( Anglican Way Part One)
  • The other grid makes some suggestions as to the locations and means by which this necessary training may be obtained.  ( Anglican Way Part Two)

These two grids in particular are less ‘finished’ than the other grids, and may be subject to revision after a consultation  which TEAC plans to hold on the Anglican Way.

The members of TEAC, a body which comprises 35 people representing most of the Anglican Provinces, have worked together on these grids over a period of months, and particularly during out meeting in South Africa. We offer our thanks to a variety of individuals and organisations with whom we have consulted during this process. We now offer them as a resource and  for comment to the wider Anglican Communion.

Comments on specific grids

Bishops
This grid relating to the theological education and training of bishops is based on the principle that all potential bishops will have already received theological training along the lines suggested in the ‘Priests’ grid. The Bishops’ grid strongly suggests that all bishops should receive appropriately targeted training during the early years of their episcopal ministry.
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Priests and transitional deacons
The principle on which this grid is drawn up is that training for the priesthood needs to take place in a continuum beginning with the selection process, followed by preparation for ordination, but then continuing in a structured way in at least the early years of ministry.
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Vocational deacons
This grid refers to the ministry of those who are called to the long-term or ‘permanent’ diaconate ie those who have no intention of seeking further ordination to the priesthood. In view of the fact that the understanding of training for ordained ministry has often been dominated by the needs of the priesthood, TEAC feels it important to provide a dedicated grid relating to training for the vocational diaconate.
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Licensed lay ministers
This grid relates to the training needs of lay people who have a licensed or formally authorised ministry in the church (normally receiving their licence or authorisation from the diocesan bishop). We are aware that there are a considerable variety of such ministries within the Anglican Communion (eg Catechists, Evangelists, (Lay) Readers, Pastoral Assistants). We also know that ministries with the same name may be exercised very differently in different parts of the Communion, for example the tasks and responsibilities given to Lay Readers or Evangelists vary considerably from place to place. The grid therefore deliberately does not seek to be prescriptive about the precise roles of each of these lay ministries, but offers suggestions framed more widely about the needs of any lay people exercising a licensed ministry in the church.
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Lay people
The grid is designed to encourage lay people themselves, and all those with responsibility for Christian education and training, to reflect on and encourage the importance of adult Christian disciples continuing their Christian learning after baptism and confirmation.
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