Continuing Ministerial Development

CMD Statement of Expectations

Guidance issued under Regulation 19 of the Ecclesiastical Offices (Terms of Service) Regulations 2009 sets out advice in relation to arrangements for Continuing Ministerial Development in dioceses.

The purpose of CMD is to strengthen and deepen a lifelong learning culture within each diocese. Good practice in both provision and participation are ultimately evidenced in spiritual and numerical growth with the Church’s ministers more fully engaged in God’s mission themselves, in the variety of roles they have been licensed to as public representative ministers, and better able to stimulate and enable the whole Church to respond to its call.

CMD focuses not just on learning and training but takes seriously the flourishing of the whole person in their ministerial context. It cannot seek to meet all the individual needs of everyone but aims to create a normative environment in which developmental learning is recognised as a hallmark of professional good practice as well as a central aspect of discipleship. It is also a means by which we exercise grateful stewardship of the talents which God has entrusted to us, both as individuals and as the Church.

The Bishop encourages all in the ministry of the Church to pursue their CMD education and training. For this purpose the Diocese arranges courses and events for clergy and lay ministers. Some courses relate directly to major transition points of ministry: new posts, mid-service and pre-retirement; others are subject or special interest focused. Clergy and lay ministers are encouraged to be proactive about in-service training and to make use of the training grants available. Such CMD for full-time ministers means taking personal responsibility in setting aside at least 5 days for CMD each year.

A grid to help you plan for such development can be found here CMD Grid.

All Clergy and Stipendiary Lay Ministers
All ministers are expected to take part in CMD programmes and in courses and conferences related to the development of their ministry, although CMD grants are not available to those with Permission to Officiate. CMD events provided by the Diocese of Rochester are advertised directly to the clergy and other ministers through special mailings and in the diocesan newspaper Rochester Link, email and this website.

Main Elements of CMD

Training Grants
Each minister is entitled to an annual personal CMD grant to help defray the cost of a conference or course which is directly related to the development of their ministry and also towards any ministerial and training outcomes as a result of their Ministerial Development Review.  Applications for CMD grants must be made on the forms provided by the Department of Formation and Ministry in advance of the event. Claims made after a training event has already taken place will not be met. For more information click here.


Higher Education Grants
Ministers may also seek help from the Formation and Ministry Department with the cost of fees in relation to higher education or further professional training programmes.  Application should initially be made in writing to the Director of Ministry and Formation, detailing the proposed course of study and its likely costs.  Preference will be given to applicants wishing to develop their expertise in Biblical Studies, Doctrine, Mission, Liturgy, Ecclesiology and Practical Theology.  When considering which programme of higher education or professional study to apply for, it is wise to consult in good time with the Director of Formation and Ministry.

Extended Ministerial Development Leave (EMDL)
Stipendiary clergy are encouraged to take an EMDL at various points in their ministry.  Study leave is defined as three calendar months away from the parish, in addition to the annual holiday allocation. Clergy and stipendiary lay ministers become eligible for consideration for study leave in the seventh year of Holy Orders/post commissioning. The first step is to discuss the possibility with the Director of Ministry and Formation following a Ministerial Development Review (MDR).  The Diocese offers study leave grants and practical help and support in preparation for, and follow up of, the EMDL. It is also possible for clergy and stipendiary lay ministers to take shorter periods of study leave. Those considering this possibility should first discuss it with their Archdeacon. The EMDL policy and guidelines are available from the Formation and Ministry Department at the Diocesan Office. For more information click here.

It is important that clergy and lay ministers take regular opportunity for a retreat. A good guideline is to say that about three or four working days per year should be spent on retreat, either as a block of time or as separate days. This should be regarded as part of normal work, and a legitimate charge on the working expenses to be reimbursed by the parish. Clergy and lay ministers needing help with setting up or resourcing retreats should discuss the matter with their Archdeacon, the Director of Formation and Ministry or the Diocesan Co-ordinator for Spirituality.

Ministerial Development Review (MDR)
The Ministerial Development Review programme provides for ministers to meet with one of the Bishop’s Review Team every other year (rather than every third year as in the past), in order to review and reflect upon their ministry and development as a minister. The programme is administered by the Bishop’s Chaplain. A letter will be sent in advance of the review setting out the details of how to prepare for it. The Bishop’s Chaplain will arrange for a meeting with a Bishop or an Archdeacon in between MDRs. Clergy and lay ministers are responsible for proactively planning their own learning, especially in response to an MDR. 


Three Ways to Engage in CMD

1.    A Personal Cohort: These are CMD courses that are not organised by the dioceses but can be funded by your CMD grant. These could include Masters or PhD studies, EMDL or a course with the Bible Society for example.

2.    A Closed Cohort: These are CMD courses that are organised by the diocese to which you are invited for example the Rochester Leadership Program. They are by invitation only.

3.    An Open Cohort: These are the six CMD courses a year organised by the diocese for clergy, readers, pastoral assistants and evangelists. Booking and details can be found on this website.

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