The Ministry Experience Scheme (MES) is a unique initiative that gives young adults, from all backgrounds, the space and time away from the pressures of modern life to test God’s calling on their lives. It offers the chance to experience practical ministry, enrich theological understanding and further personal development, all with ongoing support from peers and supervisors. There are around 100 place available every year. Schemes are based in various dioceses across the Church of England.
If you are aged 18 to 30 and are looking for a year-long opportunity to explore what God is calling you to, then the Ministry Experience Scheme could be the for you. You will be placed in a church context where you can experience practical ministry, such as kids and youth work; chaplaincy; community work; preaching; pastoral visiting or event organisation. The year includes some theological study which can be tailored to you - it doesn't matter if you have no prior experience of theology or already have a degree in it.
To view all the schemes available please visit our web-page (link to cofe.io/MES). From there you can make an enquiry about any diocesan scheme. Alternatively you can start and application through this page, your details will be passed on the diocesan scheme you are interested in. We are more than happy to hear from you at any stage of the year but please be aware that schemes start in September.
Supervision and mentoring are key aspects to the Ministry Experience Scheme. At every stage of your year you will be able to reflect on your experience with a supervisor to help you discern what God is saying to you. In previous years 95% of participants have said that MES has helped them clarify their life calling. For some this is to pursue ordination or to step into another type of church ministry; whilst others say they have a clearer sense of God’s purpose as disciples in wider society and the workplace.
The Ministry Experience Scheme is locally led and every diocese will have their own distinct flavour, you do not have to apply to your own diocese. The scheme is free, accommodation and living expenses are provided; as well ministry and theological costs being covered. The exact way each diocese finances their scheme varies, please check the details when exploring further.
Many schemes feature retreats and conferences as part of the year and all encourage the community life of those who are part of the year. Where accommodation is provided through a community house this often means praying and eating together as part of the experience.
If you are passionate about maturing your Christian faith, developing your leadership skills, growing your character and discerning further your life calling then we would love to hear from you.
Please also watch our promotional video to get a feel of what the Ministry Experience Scheme is all about.