Ordained Local Ministry

An ordained ministry with a distinctive focus on a local community.

Candidates for 'ordained local' ministry come forward from their local parish context with a vocation endorsed by their church, to serve as deacons and priests within their own parish. Though locally deployed they are ordained into the universal ministry of the church in the same way as other candidates. Their ministry is distinctive in that it is focused especially upon a particular community or group of communities. The official designation for those we have often referred to as OLMs in low 'Self Supporting Minister (local)'.The parish context for vocations and training for Ordained Local Ministry is provided by the Wakefield Ministry Consultancy.


Once commended by the local church as a candidate for ordination, the individual's vocation is tested within the Diocese in exactly the same way as any other candidate. He or she takes part in a series of interviews with the Diocesan Director of Ordinands (DDO) and Bishop’s Selectors and Advisers with a view to a recommendation being made to the Bishop for sponsorship for a Selection Conference.

Criteria for candidates

Given the universality of ordained ministry, the selection criteria are exactly the same as for any other candidate. However, given the distinctive nature of the Ordained Local Ministry, certain qualities are particularly important. There are four key questions:

Does their ministry have credibility locally? Are they recognised within the local church and community as a man or woman of faith and integrity? Do others already look to them for spiritual wisdom or guidance? Are they recognised as leaders within the church? Do they have a track record of service?

Is there stability? Are they well-rooted within the life of the local church and community? Are they likely to remain within the locality for the foreseeable future (as far as it is ever possible to be sure about this)?

Are they people of personal and spiritual maturity? Given that they are likely to remain within this particular parish, are they nonetheless flexible and open to change? Are they excited about their faith and open to learning more about God and God's world?

Are they team players? Are they able to work with others, recognising and developing their gifts, not easily threatened or protective of their own status, authority and power? Are they able to exercise leadership and to accept the leadership of others? How would they see their role within the local ministry team, church and parish if they were to be ordained?

Training for Ordained Local Ministry

There are three elements to the training programme for students starting in 2011:

  • The parishes’ participation in a collaborative programme.
  • Participation in the Diocesan School of Ministry along with candidates for Reader and Lay Pastoral Ministry, covering Bible, Doctrine, Ethics, Mission and Ministry, Worship, Church History, Pastoral Theology, Children and Young People and Practical Placements.
  • Participation with other ordinands in Yorkshire Ministry Course weekends, covering Spirituality, Preaching, selected Social and Pastoral Concerns, Working Together and issues of Ministerial Formation including time in a 'Local Ministry' candidates group.
John Lawson

For further information about self supporting ministry in the local context please contact the Director of Training, Canon John Lawson – 01924 380182.





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