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Ordained Local Ministry Pathway

The OLM Pathway exists to provide training for those being called into the ordained ministry from rooted parochial (or other, eg. chaplaincy) settings. Typically an OLM candidate is someone whose evident suitability for ordination is recognised and affirmed by their friends and colleagues (or even strangers!) within their worshipping community, place of work or neighbourhood. This means that in considering someone for this ‘pathway’ into the ordained ministry, length of residence or association is important. The ‘local’ community needs to affirm that this person’s future ministry is consonant with what is envisaged in the development of the church in that place. There are, of course other routes which people take as they explore God’s call in their lives [link to vocations pages] The OLM scheme is a part of a ‘family’ of pathways to ordination.

Rationale of Pathway and Outcomes

Ordained Local Ministry has its origins in an awareness of the importance of sustaining local church life in the face of all sorts of pressures to consolidate and contract. At the heart of the Christian life is a community which meets for worship and for which duly formed and authorised ministers of Word and Sacrament are needed. OLM is a response to that – often instinctive – sense that a priestly presence is an important element in the health and well being, not just of the Christian community but of the wider context in which the Church is set. But Ordained Local Ministry is not to be thought of in individualistic terms. For alongside issues of representation we are discovering the importance of the ministries of the whole People of God, of which the priestly is one. The model in 1 Corinthians 12 of the Body of Christ is particularly fruitful in this respect: we all have need of each other. So, as part of the review of ministry which took place in the diocese eleven years ago, strong emphasis was placed on ‘working together’, collaboration. In 1997, Diocesan Synod agreed that

Ministry belongs to the whole people of God by virtue of their baptism, being both a response to and expression of God’s healing and saving love for the world. Ministry focuses on worship of God and service to the world rather than on the institution of the church itself.



Because ministry has its origin in the creative and saving love of the Trinity, who is a community of equal persons, all ministry is by nature collaborative. No-one should minister independently in isolation. Christian ministry must be rooted in a community which is marked by mutuality and equality. . . . .

The basic recommendation of the report was, therefore, that

Teams should be established at all levels of the life of the Diocese, to model, focus, and enable the ministry of the whole people of God. The purpose of these teams is not to undertake all ministry themselves, but to enable, encourage and lead the whole People of God in ministry.

Our expectation is that during training candidates will become increasingly confident in exercising the particular gifts which belong to the ordained ministry and that they will be developing those habits of life which are particularly conducive to the office to which they are being called. In particular we expect that they will be able to affirm the characteristic of local ordained ministry as collaborative and missional.


Outline of Pathway

The Pathway is part-time with six residential weekends in each year. A central feature is that learning is founded in the setting from which candidates come. It is helpful to think of the Pathway as the opportunity to stand back from this setting in order to

The Pathway assists candidates to achieve these aims by offering

For details see and associated pages.



Training is rooted in a developing relationship with the God whose call candidates are seeking to honour, Worship, both private and public, nourishes all other learning. The primary focus of worship is the local Christian community to which the candidate belongs. Members of the Pathway also worship together in the Tutorial Group and as members of community at Queen’s. They are encouraged to explore the worship of other communities that are accessible to them. In addition, with the support of their own spiritual adviser, they will be developing personal patterns of prayer and spiritual refreshment.


Course Outline

see and follow the links to Training for Ministry then Weekend and evening class learning


How do I find out more?


Please contact The Revd Dr Richard Cooke, Acting OLM Officer at


However, please note that Richard can’t assist with individual vocational enquiries. Please direct these to the Vocations Team:

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