An intensive course to discern your calling to self-supporting ministry.

Through prayer, bible study, literature, and in conversation with each other and with people who are already ordained, we will look at ministry in the Diocese of Sheffield.  We will also consider in detail the criteria set out by the Church of England nationally - as well as our local requirements - for ordination.

Leading to…

This course could lead to starting ordination training to become a self-supporting minister.

Further information

At the end of the course, we will discern together with you whether or not you might be called to be a priest or distinctive deacon and might be recommended for selection at a national level. Whatever the future holds, we hope that you will gain a clearer sense of God’s call on your life.

For most Church of England clergy, being a priest or distinctive deacon isn’t just a day job. . .

...theirs is a vocation to serve God in the Church and in the wider community by praying, teaching, and caring for God’s people. But for some ordained ministers, their day job is something completely different.

Self-supporting ministers may have jobs in another field, or be recently retired, or have the resources to support themselves financially in ministry. They will be mature Christians, with some experience and knowledge of the Church of England, who feel that they may have more to give, but might not be able to take on a full time role.

Self-supporting ordained ministry offers an exciting opportunity to serve as an assistant priest or distinctive deacon, who will always work alongside a team leader. Self-supporting ministers (SSMs) may work:

  • within a parish team or mission partnership
  • across a deanery
  • as pioneers setting up Fresh Expressions of church
  • in another ministry setting such as a hospital or prison.

SSMs come from all walks of life and from different styles of church. All undergo a period of formation and training for ministry, and all work with a more experienced priest in their first post and maybe beyond.

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Commitment and requirements

This is a part-time course designed to fit around busy lives. 


To join the course, you will need to be a regular worshipper in a parish church in the Diocese, and will need a recommendation from your Vicar, or Area Dean.

Key dates (see course instance below)

October to January



Next steps

Complete the enquiry form below and we will contact you.  

Or for an informal conversation or to discuss the course, contact the DDO (Diocesan Director of Ordinands), Revd Stephen Hunter

Email icon or  phone icon 07739 949473 / 0114 236 9978.

Or contact one of the team:

Email icon Revd Canon Kathryn Herrod

Email icon Revd Dr Richard Walton

Email icon Revd Karen Cribb

Course outline (dates and location)

See individual instance of this course below. (click on the date for full details)

Course Instance Dates

Select below to find out more

Not Just a Day Job

An intensive course to discern your calling to self-supporting ministry.

Leading The Church

Who can I contact about the course?

Course leader: Revd Stephen Hunter

Read more about Stephen on Key People

You can contact Stephen at

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