Training of Assistant Curates and Training Incumbents

Initial Ministerial Education Phase 2 in the Diocese of Canterbury

In their first three years of ministry the training that our curates receive in their parishes (from their incumbents and others) is complemented by the university-validated programme of IME Phase 2. With its regional partners our Diocese has long been a champion of validated training for curates. We believe that partnership with a university does not just mean that a curate’s work is acknowledged with an academic award. It adds rigour to the training curates receive, and helps to embed in them a culture of study and reflection that will sustain them in ministry.

Our regional partners are the Dioceses of Rochester and Chichester, and from September 2014 the programme will be validated by the University of Durham, administered locally by the South East Institute of Theological Education.

Curates study six twenty-credit modules over three years. These are:

Year 1 modules:

  • Module 1: Reflective Practice: Inhabiting Public Ministry
  • Module 2: Reflective Practice: Spirituality and Ministry

Year 2 modules:

  • Module 3: Reflective Practice: Mission and Evangelism
  • Module 4: Reflective Practice: Law and the Public Minister

Year 3 modules:

  • Module 5: Independent Learning Project
  • Module 6: Reflective Practice: Leadership and Collaboration

Each module is delivered through a day school, a residential weekend, and up to three seminar evenings. The day schools are – as far as possible – shared by curates from all three partner Dioceses. The residential weekends take place at Aylesford Priory (although the weekend for Module 6 takes place in France or Belgium). The seminar evenings are chaired by a facilitator who accompanies the curates through their three years of training. In these curates make presentations to their peers and receive feedback from them. Assignments are handed in and assessed in February (modules 1, 3 & 5) and July (Modules 2, 4 & 6).

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.

Sharing the experience of curacy with others in a culture of study and reflection adds to the experience’s depth and increases its effectiveness in forming priests for ministry in the Church of England- and that is IME Phase 2’s ultimate goal.

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