Ministry Education

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Bishopdale College is the Diocesan Provider of Ministry Training. This is an ongoing partnership between the Diocese and the College which is really just the two wings of the one bird, combining ministry training for both lay and ordained. It integrates our training into a missional model which lies behind the development of the Institute for New Anglicanism. It is an exciting, but totally new paradigm in training people for ministry.

Our vision was for a Coordinator to facilitate the delivery of Ministry Education and for that Education to draw upon the skills and expertise of a wide range of people both within and beyond the Diocese. We are seeking to foster new forms of leadership in the church so that we may serve God’s mission in the fast changing realities of the world in which we are placed.

The Rev Dr Graham O’Brien is the Ministry Education Coordinator for the Diocese based at BTC. The funding from St John’s College Trust Board that accompanied the Ministry Educator is now used to contract BTC to enable Diocesan Ministry Education.



So why do we as a Diocese prioritise ministry education?  Within the Diocesan Strategic Plan: Towards 2020, strategic priority 3 captures the reason that Ministry education exists: To develop confident, creative and spiritually healthy leaders across the diocese with a clear understanding of the gospel, discipleship and ministry as participating in the mission of God, reflecting a diversity of leadership styles and modes as appropriate to a range of ministry contexts, challenges and needs.  The outcome of which is the identification, nurture and formation of a new generation of leaders (both lay and ordained) for fresh and reinvigorating ministry initiatives. To see existing leaders actively embracing opportunities to grow professionally for ministry with a clear sense of mission and outreach.

Alongside strategic priority 3 is strategic priority 2: To Encourageand Evaluate Worship and Discipleship of the Diocese.  In forming leaders, we are also forming disciples, and so the intent is to create a culture within our churches that encourages and models a selfless and obedient lifestyle amongst those who follow Christ. The outcome of which will be seen in a a greater commitment and involvement in the ministry and mission of the church and increasing evidence of Christ-like Character.

For Clergy ministry education involves developing a culture of life-long learning and ongoing professional development within the Diocese, that enables all licensed clergy to strategically and intentionally reflect on their ministries and embrace opportunities to up-skill. 

For lay leadership, ministry education is about: Identifying those with leadership potential as well as people’s individual giftings; Equipping lay leaders through training opportunities that are relevant to both their needs and parish needs; and Empowering by providing opportunities to be involved in ministry.  One recent piece of feedback on lay training typifies this:

I have always found that I’ve gained a greater understanding of the subject matter of each course. I have more confidence in going out and sensitively sharing my belief on God, and I’ve found the group sessions very beneficial in gaining more skill in hands on stuff.  I certainly go away from each session, really fired up and eager to watch for opportunities to use my newly acquired knowledge.

In today’s context, one of the main challenges we face in leadership is the busyness and rapidly changing nature of our world. As a result, ‘yesterday’s solutions will not solve tomorrow’s problems’ (Marquardt, Leading with Questions, 2014). Leadership in this dynamic context is now focused on what questions to ask rather than about what answers to provide – a culture shift towards a ‘culture of inquiry’ or ‘questioning culture’ (Berger, A More Beautiful Question, 2014). Within Christian ministry we already have a model for this questioning shift in the words of Jesus in Matthew 19:14, ‘Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children’ (NLT). Often, we look back to Matthew 18: 4-5 and focus on humility as the correct child-like quality to aspire to. However, two child-like qualities not often thought of in these words are the innate curiosity and courage of children to explore their world through questions. As we seek to grow in ministry that can adapt and adjust to change - in ourselves, and in others through identifying, equipping and enabling - may we have the curiosity and courage to ask the empowering question that unlocks new understanding as we participate in the ministry of Jesus in this world.

Through ministry education, may we all let God shape and use us as we seek to participate in the ministry of Jesus in this world.



EQUIP Ministry Education (Lay)

Over the past 7 years, members of Diocesan ministry team have developed a number of training resources that form the core of the EQUIP Lay Ministry programme leading to the Bishopdale Ministry Certificate (for those that complete 9). Typically, the training is one Saturday event per month (3 regions), so that there are 3 events in each region per year. The training modules are:

  • Unit 1: Mission of God (Core)

  • Unit 2: Handling the Bible (Core)

  • Unit 3: The Heart of Worship

  • Unit 4: Mission-Shaped Ministry

  • Unit 5: Discipleship and Gifts of the Holy Spirit (Core)

  • Unit 6: Contemporary Issues in Pastoral Care

  • Unit 7: Christianity in Aotearoa New Zealand: Engaging Biculturally (Core)

  • Unit 8: Everyday Evangelism

  • Unit 9: Working with the Vulnerable (SafeHere Programme)

  • Unit 10: Prayer

If there are other topics you wish to cover, we are happy to prepare material for you.

The units that have been developed can be run over a whole day, can be adapted for a half day, or broken up into evening sessions (2 per unit).

Training sessions are available online via the BTC/ Diocesan websites “Resources” sections or as DVDs from Holy Trinity, Greymouth and St Christopher’s, Blenheim, the Bishop Sutton Library BTC, and the Anglican Centre Resources Library.


Post-Ordination Ministry Development (POMD): 

Post Ordination Ministry Development (POMD) is a 3-year programme for those newly ordained (and if required those new to the Diocese), and is a requirement of your ordination and Bishop’s license.  The aim of POMD is to cover ministry competencies for your current and future ministry and to build collegiality as a group.

The current POMD process is 2-fold. 

  1.   Participation in a Community of Practice (replaces or sits alongside regional deanery meetings). Find dates below.

  2.   2 one-day meetings, and 1 two-day meeting (Marae visit or Bishop’s retreat).  The aim for each day will be to discuss ministry competencies.

Daily Plan:

  • Arrive 9.30am – coffee

  • Begin 10.00am -Topic 1

  • Lunch 12.30

  • Begin 1.30 – Topic 2

  • Finish 4pm


  • March 16: Evangelism (Monika Clark, Church Army)
  • June 29: Boundaries (Sarah Park)

Nb. For POMD Expectations see under Ministry Education Resources at this link


POMD Competencies















School of Preaching:

  • June 8-9 (Monika Clark, Church Army)

Diocesan Leadership Conference:

  • October 8-10, Lake Rotoiti

International Rural Ministry Conference

  • April 15-20

3DM Learning Community 3

  • May 8-10, Christchurch

The Abbey

  • August 24-26


We now have the exciting development of offering a 1yr fulltime certificate and diploma which majors on internship (20hrs per week) which would be ideal for any young person wanting to do a gap year programme or gain experience in Christian ministry.  Remember that a ministry intern is a training position, so the intern needs to be working under someone with experience.  Our two internship options are:

a. Fulltime Level 4 Certificate of Christian studies (Internship); Level 5 Diploma of Christian Studies (Leadership)

b. Fulltime BTC (4 papers/semester) and 10hrs ministry per week



3DM is a strategy to develop a discipleship culture within groups “huddles” and congregations.  Currently several clergy parishes are utilising this approach, with funding coming from the St John’s College Trust, under ministry Education.

Method of Delivery: Attending 3DM training in Christchurch 2017-2018

Achievement: Establishment and multiplication of “huddles” that utilise the 3DM strategy.


Applying for Funding:

Funding Options Flowchart 2017







COP Dates for 2018












16th (Westport)

6th (Reefton)

1st (Cobden)

6th (Westport)

5th (Greymouth)

2nd (Reefton)


15th (Nelson)

3rd (Nelson)

5th (Nelson)

6th (Nelson)

1st (Nelson)


15th (Picton)

19th (Havelock)

21st (Nativity)

16th (Awatere)


1st (Richmond)

14/21/28 (Waimea)

29th (Mapua)

20th (Waimea)

15th (Golden Bay)

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  • February 7,8,9       February 22,23

  • March 8,9             March 22,23

  • April 12,13            April 26,27

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EQUIP Ministry Education

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