Reimagining Ministerial Formation
Available for pre-order. Publication date: 30/04/2021.
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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