Qualities and Selection Criteria for Discernment to the Priesthood

First published on: 7th April 2020

Criteria for Selection for the Ordained Ministry in the Church of England

The following link opens the Church of England document entitled "Criteria for Selection for the Ordained Ministry in the Church of England".

The Criteria set out, under nine headings, the areas of assessment in which Bishops’ Advisers need to be satisfied if they are to recommend a candidate for training.

Qualities for Discernment: Priest

The following table highlights the qualities sought for discernment to the Priesthood. (effective from 2021)






Love for God

The candidate…

Is reliant on God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - and lives out an infectious, life-transforming faith

Is rooted in Scripture, the worship of the Church and the living traditions of faith

Whole-heartedly, generously and attractively engages with God’s world

Is prayerful and studies the Bible

Call to Ministry

The candidate…

Responds to the call of Christ to be a disciple

Understands the distinctive nature of ordained priestly ministry

Is committed to being a public and representative person

Articulates an inner sense of call grounded in priestly service

Love for People

The candidate…

Welcomes Christ in others, listens, values and respects; cares for those in poverty and the marginalised

Builds relationships which are collaborative and enabling

Shows God’s compassion for

the world

Has empathy and is aware of how others receive them


The candidate…

Is inquisitive, curious and open to new learning

Shows leadership that enables thriving and healthy churches, handles conflict, and can lead in mission

Is robust and courageous and prepared to take risks

Is a mature and integrated person of stability and integrity


The candidate…

Embraces the different and enables others to be witnesses and servants

Shows the capacity to exercise sacramental, liturgical and an effective and enabling teaching ministry

Shares faith in Christ and can accompany others in their faith

Has resilience and stamina


The candidate has potential to…

Grow in faith and be open to navigating the future in the company of Christ and guided by the Holy Spirit

Manage change, and see the big picture

See where God is working in the world and respond with missionary imagination

Be adaptable and agile


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Page last updated: 14th April 2020 2:08 PM
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