Is God calling me to self-supporting (part time) ministry

Is God calling me to Self supporting, (part time) clergy ministry?

"Priests are called to be servants and shepherds among the people to whom they are sent. With their Bishop and fellow ministers they are to proclaim the word of the Lord with all God’s people, they are to tell the story of God’s love."

The Ordinand

What does it mean to be an ordained, self-supporting minister?

Being an ordained self-supporting minister (OSSM) means that you have been called by God to ordained ministry to offer ministry alongside and under the oversight of your incumbent colleague, whilst also continuing your existing work and family commitments.

What’s involved in becoming a OSSM?

Who can be an OSSM?

If you are someone:

  • Who feels called by God to offer pastoral, missional and sacramental ministry
  • Who is willing and able to minister in the diocese where your gifts are needed as directed by the Bishop
  • Who is able to give time and energy freely with National Criteria working expenses covered

National Criteria for Ordained Ministry

  • Committed to minister in the Church of England
  • Of faith and prayer
  • Who is self aware, mature and stable
  • Who has the capacity to build healthy relationships
  • Who is able to work collaboratively with an incumbent colleague
  • Who is passionate about mission and evangelism
  • Who is open to formation and reflection
  • Who can integrate your priestly ministry with existing work and family
  • Who enjoys working in a team, sharing in ministry, enabling others, under the leadership of the vicar


Working out your calling is about listening attentively to God and reflecting with others. If you feel called to this ministry you will be accompanied on your discernment journey by one of the team of Assistant Diocesan Directors of Ordinands (ADDOs). With them you will explore the national criteria for ordained ministry before attending a Shared Discernment Panel where a decision will be made about whether your calling is realistic, informed and obedient.


Associate ordinands train through one of the Common Awards approved Regional Training Pathways, often at Sarum College. The part time training takes place over two or three years depending on prior learning and experience, perceived need, personal circumstances and National Funding guidelines.

This is followed by a three and a half year curacy, usually in a new context. Matches will be overseen and agreed through the DDO.

Being an OSSM

All OSSMs have a role description.

  • They work under the direction and leadership of their Incumbent, with an annual review.
  • They will have regular biennial reviews with a member of Bishop’s Staff.
  • They will serve under Common Tenure

Who to contact

If you would like to find out about becoming a OASSM, please contact:

Sue Rose, Vocations Team Leader

Rosalind Miles, Administrator for Vocations

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