Candidates for Ministry of the Word and Ministry of Deacon in NSW/ACT work through a formation program focused on church context, community, ministry, study, and the minister as person. The program usually takes three years. Each person in the program works with Carolyn Thornley, Dean of Ministry Formation, on a personalised track, taking into account previous experience and particular vocation.
Candidates meet with a wide range of people in the formation process, including field education supervisors, personal mentors and supervisors, Presbytery support people, the Dean of Ministry Formation and an academic supervisor. Often their most powerful learning experiences are in the context of field placements, clinical pastoral education in hospital and urban settings, and rural ministry experiences.
Candidates for ministry study subjects in biblical studies, church history, liturgical studies, mission, evangelism and apologetics, pastoral theology, theology, and Uniting Church Studies.
Candidates have access to a range of training and formation workshops and experiences, helping them with knowing God, knowing self, knowing church, knowing community and knowing in ministry.
A journey statement, reflection on life events, spiritual disciplines and practices, self identity in relation to family of origin, cultural settings and life experience, well being and resilience in ministry, group dynamics, collegiality and team ministry, inter-personal boundaries, and time management.
Exploration of the Uniting Church in Australia Basis of Union, the Preamble to the Constitution and other key documents, UCA regulations, ecumenical relations, safe church training, ethical ministry training, working in teams, congregational responsibilities, Presbytery oversight, Synod oversight, Synod resources, Assembly resources, and using National Church Life Survey profiles.
Social analysis, community development, community organising, rural orientation, interfaith relations, using National Church Life Survey community profiles.
Leadership development, adaptive leadership and change management, racism awareness and cross cultural orientation, conflict and peacemaking, reading congregational life, hospital orientation, funerals and bereavement support, weddings and marriage support, disaster training, baptism and communion, transitional ministry, alternative placements and starting fresh expressions of church.