Reimagining Ministerial Formation
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The Church is currently experiencing a transition in the way it understands and practises both mission and ministry. It is to be outward-looking, engaging with the wider community, involving all its members in mission and clergy are to play the role of enablers and equippers of the ministry of the whole church.
However, ministerial formation in colleges and courses throughout the country lags behind this emerging consensus. 'Theological education' is still largely based on academic models.
Reimagining Ministerial Formation offers a new way forward, where 'ministry' comes to be about the whole church, and ministerial formation is about collaboration between clergy and laity. It argues strongly for a shift away from 'front-loaded' training, to a new focus on formation as a life-long process.
“This is a magnificent book which is a timely, imaginative, grounded and prophetic contribution to re-imagining ministerial formation. It is timely because it speaks directly into a church which is committed to placing discipleship at the heart of its life and especially at the heart of its ministerial formation. It is imaginative in painting a picture of what good lifelong formation might look like and the kinds of structures which might enable it. It is grounded through the rich experience of the author who has devoted a lifetime to this kingdom learning from within the context of his ministry in parish, Diocesan and ministerial formation contexts. It is prophetic in drawing in much overlooked capacities such as emotional intelligence into the centre of the formational process and giving real substance to what that might look like in a formational curriculum. This is the distillation of a lifetime’s work and passionate commitment which longs for a church to be shaped by the mission of God and where local church communities enable the people of God to be kingdom disciples.” -- Ian McIntosh, Ministry Division, Church of England
"David Heywood’s book speaks to many issues: the need to make theological reflection a core discipline and practice, training together of lay and people for licensed ministries, the danger of training an elite, centring on Christian practices rather than intellectual subjects, questioning the efficacy of frontloading of education, training as timely rather than all at the beginning. These are some of the issues delved into and examined in the book. As such it opens up a rather closed debate about the current provision of theological education and suggests a new path for the future. There is much to be considered here." -- Phillip Tovey, Principal, Oxford Local Ministry Pathway
"If we are to shape a future for flourishing communities of faith engaged in the mission of God then reframing ministry roles as gifts that enable the mission and ministry of the whole people of God is an urgent task. Built on the firm foundation of decades of teaching and research this book identifies barriers and blocks to formation of the whole people of God and offers generative solutions for transforming our paradigm and practices in this. I thoroughly recommend it to all who are concerned with being a church of missionary disciples." -- Nick Shepherd, Programme Director, "Setting God's People Free."
“David has written a wise, nuanced and thoughtful book which will enrich the debate about ministerial formation in the next season of the life of the Church of England. His deep analysis of the current reality should provoke radical heart searching among those who have responsibility for the design and funding of ministerial formation, particularly as it involves the priesthood of all believers. This should be the blue print for the future of ministerial education!" -- Mandy Ford, Dean of Bristol
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