Potential barriers to ordination: Some key Issues
Some of the things that could prevent a candidate going forward for ordination
(This is not an exhaustive list) These guidelines do not represent a formal legal statement.
The national Church of England web page with the canons (rules) regarding ordination is here
- The candidate has no discernable sense of calling from God
- Safeguarding issues
- Age limits
- The minimum age for ordination is 23 for deacons and 24 for priests, though you can begin formal exploration when you are younger
- There is an official diocesan policy regarding the maximum age for ordination. This can be summed up as:
- Under 55 at the point of starting training for stipendiary ministry
- Under 57 at the point of starting training for Self-Supporting Ministry
- NOTE: It is Diocesan Bishop's policy not to waive these limits in any circumstances.
- The candidate is not a British citizen or does not have the right to work in the UK and so cannot remain here
- Baptism and Confirmation
- A candidate must have been baptised and confirmed in the Church of England, with appropriate certification, or have been baptised/confirmed in another Christian denomination, and formally received into the Church of England.
- Previous marriage
- If the candidate or their spouse has a previous marriage and their former partner is still living, they have to go through a Canon C4 process.
- This also applies if the candidate is currently single but has more than one previous marriage
- Lack of clear Christian commitment
- Significant financial debt (excluding mortgage, car loan or student loan)
- Previously not recommended by a Bishop's Panel three times
- Non-residency in the Leeds Diocesan area - in these cases speak to the DDO in the diocese where you live.
- "Great crimes" - a term used to describe serious criminal activity
- Lack of regular church involvement
Some things that need not prevent you from being ordained (despite what you might have heard!)
- You have children
- You are disabled
- You left school without any qualifications
- You grew up in another denomination
- You have occasional doubts about your faith
- You are female
- You don't support the ordination of women
- You find it hard to remember Bible verses
- You have an outstanding student loan to pay off