Formation for Ordained Ministry

There is much to be done in the Anglican Diocese of Adelaide. Many opportunities for creative ministry exist in our parishes, schools and agencies. We are very much aware that the harvest is plentiful and the Lord is calling labourers.

All the baptised are called to ministry. Some are called to ordained leadership. However, no ministry is to be regarded as more important than another.

The Most Rev'd Dr Jeffrey Driver
Archbishop of Adelaide

The process of Formation can be divided into two stages: the Discernment Year and Preparation for Ordained Ministry. If you feel called to ordained ministry, please read this page carefully. If, after reading this page, you have any questions, please speak to your Parish Priest or call Diocesan Office (8305 9350) or St Barnabas' College (8340 0411)

The Discernment Year

Helping people discover God's Call within the Anglican Church.

We are committed to healthy expressions of all forms of Anglicanism.
The discernment year helps men and women explore the call to Christian ministry. 

The First Steps

1. Discuss your sense of vocation with people like your Parish Priest or congregational Minister.

2. When you are ready, make an appointment with the archbishop by contacting his Personal Assistant on (08) 8305 9353. The Archbishop will want to meet with you as soon as possible, but it may be a few weeks before a suitable time is available.

3. After you have met with the Archbishop, he will seek advice from people who know you well. This will include your Parish Priest and the Churchwardens. They will be asked about your character but also about the ministry gifts you already show. Your Parish Priest will be asked to provide a letter of recommendation.

4. Once the Archbishop has this information he will write to you either to invite you into the Discernment Year or to recommend other steps for you. For some people it will be clear even at this stage that ordination is not the right way forward.

The Discernment Year

5. The Discernment Year normally runs from October each year to September the following year.

6. Before entering the Discernment Year, you will be expected to complete the Diocesan Safer Ministry Accreditation process if you have not already done so.

7. The Archbishop will appoint an Examining Chaplain for you. The Examining Chaplain will be asked to provide a report on your progress during the Discernment Year.

8. One of the key jobs for the Examining Chaplain is to work with you and with your Parish Priest to develop a ministry plan through which you are given the opportunity to explore and demonstrate some of your ministry gifts within the community of faith. Often this will build on what you are already doing.

9. The Discernment Year involves joining with other people for four meetings each year. There will be two weekend meetings; these will normally be held in November and May each year. There will be two other meetings during the year, most often on a Saturday morning. These will normally be in February and July. Where people are living interstate, the February and July meeting will usually be replaced with a local meeting with the Archbishop's leadership team.

10. Mid-way through the Discernment Year you will be asked to meet with a psychologist who will ask you to complete a number of tests and interview you. The psychologist will provide you with a copy of the report. The report is forwarded to the Archbishop and members of his leadership team involved with formation and placement.

Ordination Advisory Conference

11. The Ordination Advisory Conference, normally held in November, is the opportunity used to determine whether you should join the Formation Programme.

12. When the psychologist's report has been received you will be invited to apply to attend the Ordination Advisory Conference. After your application has been received you will be asked to meet with the Examining Chaplains, who will explore your readiness to attend the conference.

13. On the basis of the Examining Chaplain's advice, the Archbishop may invite yu to attend the Ordination Advisory Conference or recommend that you come in a later year.

14. At the conference you will be involved in a number of interviews conducted by an Advisory Panel. At the end of the Conference the Advisory Panel considers the interviews as well as the comprehensive report from your Parish Priest and Churchwardens, your referees and your Examining Chaplain.

15. In the weeks following the Conference the Archbishop will write to you and may meet with you personally. He may enrol you in the Formation Programme or he may recommend to you some alternative pathways for ministry.

Preparing for Ordained Ministry

Equipping people for creative ministry within the Anglican Church

We are committed to healthy expressions of all forms of Anglicanism.
Our ministry formation prepares men and women for exciting and creative ministry among God's people.


The journey towards ordained ministry in the Diocese of Adelaide involves three phases.  The first phase involves discernment. To learn more about that, please read about the Discernment Year. This section looks at the next two stages: Foundations and Internship.


When you have completed the Foundations phase you will have completed at least 18 months of a three year degree in theology from an accredited institution such as Charles Sturt University. Normally all students will complete some topics or units in their degree study through the St Barnabas' College. At the end of the Foundations phase you will have experienced various aspects of ministry in a parish and other settings, and you will have concluded the Formation programme at St Barnabas College. The Formation Programme runs on Mondays during the semester.


At the end of the internship you will have completed your theology degree and you will have gained extensive experience in a parish or other setting. People entering the Internship will have been accepted by the Archbishop.

Different Pathways for Different People

The process has been designed to take into account the different experiences and needs of every candidate. Some people will be eligible for financial support from the Government of Australia and some will be self-supporting. Some people will study part-time while others will be full-time. Study programmes can be obtained from St Barnabas College.


People in the Foundations and Internship phases will come together each year for three intensives. A four-day residential intensive will be held in late January/early February, running from Tuesday until Friday. There will be two non-residential intensives, one in July and one in November, running from Friday until Saturday.

Learning in Community

People prepare for Anglican ministry in a community formed from participants, college staff, Bishops, experienced clergy and other Diocesan Leaders.