We as a diocese would love to help you explore and discern your sense of calling to ministry.

Exploring ministry together

The Bible shows us that God is a God who speaks, who calls His people out and into His plans and purposes. This call can take time to tease out and is often revealed slowly and gradually. 

The Bible also describes his Word to us not as a floodlight across the landscape, but a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. If you sense the beginnings of a call, then we’d love to facilitate that process of discerning your path through our Exploring Ministry Group.

The group meets four times a year and gives you the opportunity to connect with other like–minded individuals, to learn more about the process, discover your gifts, test your call, ask questions and receive prayer and support.

The programme runs over a two–year cycle, and you may join the group at any point in the two years.

As well as visiting different centres of ministry around the diocese and having input from local church leaders about ministry in their context, you will also consider topics such as the character and spirituality of a leader, communicating God’s Word, evangelism, clergy life, transition and cultural engagement. In addition, you will spend time discussing chapters from a book that will help you explore the various criteria involved in the selection process.

Individuals are usually expected to belong to the EMG for at least one year before progressing further along the route to selection. It is worth noting that being part of this group does not necessarily mean that a person will go on to become ordained.

How do I join the Exploring Ministry Group?

If you haven’t already done so, it’s a good idea to chat through your sense of call with your minister and other trusted Christians. Please also get in touch with one of the (Joint) Diocesan Directors of Ordinands, Revd Simon Genoe and Revd Karen Salmon who oversee the EMG. 

Download the Ordination Training Brochure 2023 HERE.

The next step

After at least one year of regular participation in EMG events, you may apply to the bishop for the next formal stage in your journey, The Foundation Course. 

The Foundation Course

The course is run by the Church of Ireland Theological Institute. It is designed to help those  testing God’s call upon their life and who are enthusiastic to develop their own capacity for furthering God’ mission through his church in today’s world. 

For everyone it provides an extended opportunity to think through the implications of what a particular vocation may look like. Is it a call to ordination or to a particular expression of lay ministry? 

For some, therefore, the Foundation Course will be a means towards the end of selection and training for ordination; for others it will be the opportunity to acquire new learning skills for a continuing and enhanced role in lay ministry. 


Following completion of the Foundation Course, if your sense of calling still points towards ordination you will meet with a DDO and the bishop. Candidates will go forward for selection only upon the recommendation of their bishop.

Visit the Theological Institute website for further information on training.