Discipleship and Ministry Licensing (Lay and Ordained)
At baptism all Christians are united with Jesus Christ and called equally to be disciples, follow Him and work towards God’s reign in the world. Discipleship is an inclusive call.
The ministry of living and sharing God’s mission is entrusted to all Christians and every baptised Christian is, potentially, a minister. But not everything that a Christian does is ministry. Over time the definition of ministry has swung between narrow (only ordained clergy have a ministry) to more inclusive interpretations.
Ministry is distinguished from discipleship by ministry being commissioned, that is, publicly recognised and owned by a Christian community either informally or formally (the later through licensing by the Bishop). It can be undertaken by lay or ordained people.
Guidelines on the vocation process to ordained ministry and ministry training and development are set out in A Guide to the Process of Discernment, Selection, Training and Formation for Ordained Ministry 2018.
Before the Bishop commissions and licenses an individual to ministry, details of that ministry and safe ministry checks must to be completed affirming the person’s endorsement by their faith community and good standing. Successful clearance of those checks is a prerequisite for licensing for all ministry. Similar checks are undertaken in all Anglican Dioceses in Australia.
For guidelines and forms for lay minister and clergy licensing see: