Training of Assistant Curates and Training Incumbents

Ordained ministers in the Diocese of Canterbury are held by a series of support mechanisms known as ‘The Canterbury Diet’. These include pastoral supervision, spiritual direction and an ongoing process of ministerial development review (MDR). Running through The Canterbury Diet are three golden threads, which are expressed in the following three questions:

  • How are prayer and spiritual practices being developed?
  • How am I learning and reflecting on ministry practice?
  • How are we attending to good relationships and collaborative ministry?

The Golden Threads are also at the heart of the Initial Ministerial Education (IME2) programme and the Assessment of Curacy (AoC) process and are the key questions that you will be reflecting on at every stage of the process described below.

The Church of England has identified six qualities which candidates for ordained ministry need to inhabit and these are developed during theological training and into curacy. These are:

  • Love for God
  • Call to Ministry
  • Love for People
  • Wisdom
  • Fruitfulness
  • Potential

By the end of curacy, ordained ministers should be able to demonstrate how they inhabit these six qualities and also the seventh quality of Trustworthiness. The focus on trustworthiness is included as one part of our response as a church to the light shone onto our safer recruitment and safeguarding practice. But it is wider than that and picks up other aspects both of character and of action that are integral to being fit to practise.

Curates will learn, reflect and report on their developing ministry practice using these seven qualities as a framework for conversation and assessment. Each quality is examined in four domains:

  • Christ
  • Church
  • World
  • Self

The National Ministry Team have produced formation grids which are described as ‘part of a fitness to practise framework’.

All curates in Canterbury Diocese are placed in a cohort and participate in a programme of events and activities run in conjunction with Rochester Diocese. At present this involves gathering for learning on one weekend and three Saturdays each plus two seminar group meetings and regular Action Learning Sets. As a guide, curates should allow one day per week for IME 2 meetings and assignments. 

During the three years of IME2, curates will study the following five modules:

Year 1

  •  Reflective Practice: Inhabiting Public Ministry
  •  Reflective Practice: Spirituality and Ministry

Year 2

  • Reflective Practice: Mission and Evangelism
  • Reflective Practice: Law and the Public Minister

Year 3

  • Reflective Practice: Leadership and Collaboration

Participation in IME Phase 2 is one of the Bishop of Dover’s requirements of all who serve as curates in the Diocese, and training parishes are asked to ensure that the curate is able to dedicate one day each week to study. IME2 is overseen by the Revd Jon Marlow, Head of Vocations.

Training for Training Incumbents (TIs)

Agreement to be a training incumbent involves the formal commitment to take part fully in the relevant training programmes.

This includes participation in:

  • Three Action Leading Sets per year with fellow TIs
  • One-night residential conference in the January of your curates’ Deacon year
  • Practical training session with your curate in the October after ordination

Training Incumbents need to be able to give at least two hours per fortnight in 1-2-1 supervision of their curate and will participate in the Assessment of Curacy process across all three years.

Page last updated: Friday 22nd March 2024 1:45 PM
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