There are various pathways towards ordained ministry within the Church of Ireland.
In order to avail of any of these candidates must go through the relevant selection process and be sponsored by one of the diocesan bishops.
The primary pathway towards stipendiary ministry is the Master in Theology accredited by the University of Dublin, Trinity College.
This exists as either a three year full–time, residential programme or in an equivalent four year, part–time version. This latter is delivered through a combination of monthly residential weekends, a one–week summer school and online distance–learning, and is suitable for those who wish to remain either in employment or closer to home during training.
Subject to satisfactory progression, all students fulfil a final year deacon–internship.
Entry to the MTh is subject to completion of a 12 month Foundation Course delivered by St. John’s College, Nottingham.
It is possible to be deployed into part–time and unremunerated ministry via completion of the MTh. At the request of the sponsoring bishop, training towards ordination can be undertaken through the category of an Individual Learning Agreement.
This is a tailored provision and generally applies to those who are already Church Army Evangelists, those who already ordained in a different Christian tradition or, occasionally, those who reach the commencement of training with an already well–established proposal for higher research.
The pathway of training for Ordained Local Ministry (OLM) involves local diocesan selection and completion of up to twelve courses through the Open Learning Centre at Queen’s University, Belfast (exemptions can be offered on the basis of prior theological attainment).
This programme is delivered jointly with Edgehill Theological College and represents a significant expression of the covenant which exists between the Church of Ireland and the Methodist Church in Ireland. It is not possible to transfer from deployment as an OLM into stipendiary ministry.
An introductory leaflet on OLM has been produced, and may be downloaded as a PDF by clicking here.
Further information is available from your Diocesan Director of Ordinands (DDO) or see www.theologicalinstitute.ie