What makes a competent priest?

The Anglican Church of Canada is developing a set of competencies for priesthood. They will be used in the formation and evaluation of priests.

The following document is prepared by the Primate’s “Commission on Theological Education and Formation for Presbyteral Ministry” in response to Resolution A143 of General Synod, 2010. This draft proposal is being circulated for widespread consultation, with formal consultations planned for each of the Provincial Synod meetings in the spring and autumn of 2012, followed by a final consultation with the House of Bishops and presentation to the Council of General Synod. To guide your responses, three questions are included below.

The document is designed to help bishops, candidates, diocesan officers, educators, field educators, parishes, and anyone else who seeks to raise up leaders for the church. The foundation of this proposal is our faith in Christ who is continually raising up a body for the work of God’s mission in the world.

The document will have done its work when it has informed and inspired the development of those who are called to the ministry of a priest. It will also help with navigating various tensions (eg. the tension between local needs and the universality of the church, the tension between the autonomy of each diocese and a desire for common expectations, etc.).

The document also gives aid to the difficult process of determining what constitutes competency. The primary question underlying the use of this document is not ‘What does a person know?’ but ‘What competencies does the person need to gain in order to be able to fulfil this ministry/vocation?’ The necessary competencies can be gained in a variety of ways.

The areas of competency are:

I. Personal and spiritual formation

II. Anglican heritage and identity


I.1 Scripture

II.2 Theology

II.3 History

II.4 Contextual ministry

II.5 Liturgy

III. Cultural Context

IV. Capacity for leadership

V. Skills for teaching and learning

Download the document here.

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