What is it about?

This article looks at how the Church of England can communicate clearly about what it means to discern a vocation to ordained ministry as a deacon or priest and compares this process with the experience of choosing a career or vocation outside of the church. It considers the language of ‘vocation’ and how this has come to be understood to refer to careers and suggests that this means that the Church needs to be clear about how its understanding of ‘vocation’ differs in substantial ways from wider usage. It outlines three ways in which ordained ministry differs from other careers and suggests that this might help those who are responsible for identifying people for ordained ministry as well as candidates for these roles.

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Why is it important?

Although it focuses on the Church of England, this article will be of interest to churches of other denominations. it may also offer an interesting perspective on careers choice and vocation for those involved in careers guidance or vocational exploration in other contexts.

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This page is a summary of: Ordained Ministry: Divine Calling or Career Choice? Is there Anything Distinctive About a Vocation to Ordained Ministry?, Ecclesiology, November 2022, Brill, DOI: 10.1163/17455316-18030005.
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