National Adviser for Discernment

This job has now expired
Westminster, London with the ability to travel and work flexibility.
£44298 - £49113 after probation

The Ministry Division is one of the Divisions of the Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England. It serves the dioceses and the bishops by providing advice and consultancy on ministry, overseeing a national process of selection for candidates and quality assurance of their training and supporting dioceses in their strategic planning for ministry.

Its vision is for transforming ministry for mission and growth and its values are based on working collaboratively to offer a constructive, professional and expert service to the dioceses.

We are looking for an innovative and inspiring National Adviser for Discernment to join our team and take responsibility for all aspects of the selection process for ordained ministry, including overseeing Bishops Advisory Panels.

We are working to implement the target set by the Archbishops' Council of a 50% increase in the numbers of ordinations. There will be new discernment process envisaged by the Future Clergy Review and you will be working to implement this, by developing a resource of expertise and best practice.

As National Adviser for Discernment, you will be part of a team of Advisers who facilitate, moderate and act as the Secretary for Bishops’ Advisory Panels. You will also play a key role in ensuring the effective operation of the Candidates Panel.

Bringing your knowledge of ministry and vocational discernment to the role, you will demonstrate resilience and self-awareness, managing change and complex relationships effectively.

As part of this you will give professional advice on discernment issues to Dioceses and offer training and development to Directors of Ordinands and Bishops' Advisers for selection, ensuring consistent practice in discernment and the adoption of new qualities and standards.

With the ability to travel and attend training events and panels as required, you will enjoy working flexibly to ensure that priorities are delivered according to our mission and values.

Interviews will be held on Monday 14th October 2019

In return we offer a unique environment with opportunities for continuous learning, generous annual leave for work life balance, season ticket loans and a range of benefits including discounted entry to attractions and what we feel is a market leading package when it comes to our pension scheme.

The Role :

  • To be the Panel Secretary to around 8 Bishops’ Advisory Panels each year. Panels advise Bishops about the suitability of candidates for ordained ministry in the Church of England. This will include working with Business Support colleagues in completing pre-panel paperwork checks; advise, coach and support Bishops’ Advisers (assessors at BAPs), in their discernment of candidates and decision-making; overall management, attendance, co-ordination and efficient running of the four-day residential Panels which will include leading worship and preaching; editing and preparing reports on candidates and ensuring that post-Panel records and paperwork are completed and kept safely; maintaining and developing a knowledge of the Selection Criteria ensuring that Panels work consistently with these criteria
  • Candidates Panel: The Adviser will be part of a team who ensure the effective operation of the Candidates Panel which is responsible for advising Bishops concerning candidates who for example seek a new focus for their ministry
  • To work to implement the recommendations of the Future Clergy Review in implementing a new Shared Discernment Framework. This change management process will come to fruition for those attending BAPs from September 2020. These new processes will require National Advisers to work in new flexible ways which will include some regional working
  • To be part of the team of National Advisers who work collaboratively to give expert advice and consultancy to Dioceses in discernment issues and to be involved in building strategic capacity amongst the DDOs so that they can sustain the growth in vocations
  • To play a part in developing and delivering a training curriculum for DDOs that will ensure good practice in discernment.
  • To work with Sponsoring Bishops in the selection, appointment and ongoing training and development of Bishops’ Advisers especially as their role as assessors evolves under the Future Clergy Review process.
  • To work with the Business Support Manager and Officers in the implementation of new administrative processes to support the wider Vocations and Discernment work.

The Requirements:



  • Understanding and experience of ministry in the Church of England
  • Relevant experience of working with individuals in vocational discernment through mentoring and interviewing
  • Demonstrable knowledge of relevant selection good practice


  • Well organised and attentive to detail
  • Skilled in developing partnerships and working in teams with an awareness of group dynamics
  • Able to handle and work with the implementation of change
  • Robustness and self-awareness that is able to handle difference, conflict and to manage complex relationships
  • Capacity to mentor Bishops' Advisers in their role and moderate their work to ensure high quality judgements against evidence
  • Willingness and flexibility to manage work that requires considerable travel and absence from home
  • Excellent communication skills including oral public speaking and presentation skills.
  • Excellent skills in written communication capable of producing nuanced, sensitive and well edited reports on a candidate for the Bishop
  • Good IT skills including proficiency in use of Microsoft Office – Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc.

Personal Attributes:

  • This post is subject to a genuine occupational requirement that the postholder will be a communicant member of the Church of England or of a church in communion with the Church of England. The post holder will represent the Church of England and participate in worship and is responsible for advising on the Selection of those with a vocation to ordained ministry. A well-developed spiritual life is necessary to resource this work.


  • Able to travel within England and attend residential panels and training events away from London


  • Evidence of theological learning
  • Experience of delivering Adult education and training
  • Specific selection process experience
  • Experience of lone working

We in the National Church Institutions support the mission and ministries of the Church all over England. We work with parishes, dioceses (regional offices), schools, other ministries and our partners at a national and international level.

Excellence, Respect, Integrity

We follow these three values in everything we do, whether we are of Christian faith, another faith or no faith. To learn more about working for National Church Institutions and our benefits, please click here

As we are a member of the Armed Forces Covenant, we welcome all applications from those you have served in our Armed Forces and their families

We are committed to building a culturally diverse workforce. As part of this commitment, we welcome applications from people, regardless of their background. As a Disability Confident committed employer, it is important to note that there may be occasions where it is not practical or appropriate to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria* due to high volume. We limit the amount of interviews conducted to five applicants per open post we advertise.

*Where applicable depending on post requirements.