Reimagining Ministerial Formation
Author David Heywood
Publisher SCM £25
The author, who recently retired as Deputy Director of Mission for the Diocese of Oxford, brings his considerable experience in the field of ministerial formation to bear in this timely book which sets out what he refers to as a ‘new paradigm’: a life-long learning approach for both lay and ordained ministry. Refreshingly, the book does not draw a distinction between the sorts of training that are required for lay and ordained ministry. The author sees the process of lifelong learning and development of ministry as a continuum that should start with one’s baptism/confirmation. The new paradigm envisages all church members as being part of this process, encouraged by those around them to embrace the idea of discipleship in its true sense of being a learner, and being supported in whatever ministry their circumstances and talents lead them to. Education and training are therefore based on practical and emotional skills for ministry, which is to be seen as ‘pastoral imagination’. It is an inspiring manifesto for a new collaborative approach for clergy and laity though it will take time and a considerable devotion of resources to achieve.
Reviewed by IMOGEN CLOUT