Clergy Development and Lay Training Officer

This job has now expired
York Place, Leeds

A new Diocesan Strategy framework has recently been drawn up: ‘sharing a vision for Confident Christians, Growing Churches, Transforming Communities; characterised by Loving, Living and Learning; enabled by Clergy and Lay Together, Purposeful Resourcing and Dynamic Partnerships and achieved by five strategic goals’:

  1. Thriving as a distinctive diocese whose culture is shaped by shared vision and values
  2. Reimagining ministry
  3. Nurturing lay discipleship
  4. Building leadership pipelines
  5. Growing young people as Christians

The new role of Clergy Development and Lay Training Officer combines two previously separate roles. It will make a significant contribution to the Diocesan goals in order to facilitate an integrated approach to resourcing clergy and lay people in the Ripon Episcopal Area. The new role is an outworking of the ‘clergy and lay together’ principle of the Diocesan Strategy.

This is a collaborative role, involving membership of several related teams: the Ministry and Mission team, which includes the Diocesan Lay Training Team and the Diocesan Clergy Development Team, along with the Ripon Episcopal Area Team. It also involves working closely with parishes, benefices and deaneries throughout the Ripon Episcopal Area, with training delivered in dispersed learning hubs.

Primary Purpose of the Role

Working within the Diocesan Strategy framework with a focus on the Ripon Episcopal Area, the Clergy Development and Lay Training Officer will take a leading role in the organisation, development and resourcing of:

a) Clergy training and formation - IME Phase 2 and Continuing Clergy Development (CMD)

b) Lay discipleship and ministry.

Training & Formation of curates and support of training incumbents

  • Be part of a team to plan and develop appropriate programmes of training for curates and their training incumbents.
  • Participate in the review processes for curates in the episcopal area, both strategically and pastorally and work with the Director of Clergy Development to ensure curates pursue appropriate training pathways.
  • Provide regular pastoral support for curates and training incumbents and assist the area bishop if relationships between incumbent and curate become problematic.
  • Work with the Director of Clergy Development to arrange appropriate supervision for the curate if the parish becomes vacant or the incumbent is sick.
  • Prepare curates for the next phase of ministry including the provision of interview skills training, job search and applications.

Clergy development and Ministerial Development Review (MDR)

  • Work with colleagues to provide an inspiring and imaginative training programme for clergy, who are at various stages of ministry, which contributes to the diocesan vision of Confident Christians, Growing churches, Transforming Communities and furthers diocesan strategic goals.
  • Enable clergy to respond to their individual outcomes following their MDR.
  • Meet with clergy to discuss sabbatical applications, providing advice, support and guidance.
  • Empower Area Deans to enable chapter meetings to offer some CMD opportunities.
  • Provide joint training courses across the region, eg pre-retirement courses, area deans training.

Lay Training

  • Work with colleagues to identify and prioritise training needs for lay people, developing a coordinated programme of training to further the diocesan vision of Confident Christians, Growing churches, Transforming Communities and diocesan strategic goals.
  • Collaborate with programmes such as Leading your Church into Growth, Messy Church, Youth and Children’s initiatives, Safeguarding, Unconscious bias, Fresh Expressions to provide an integrated approach to learning and training.
  • Contribute to the training of Readers, including CMD.
  • Keep abreast of current and emerging thinking and developments in the theology and practice of discipleship, mission and ministry, including national initiatives linked to the Reform and Renewal programme, such as Setting God’s People Free.

Responsibilities associated with both clergy development and lay training

  • Oversee the initial training programme for Spiritual Directors in the Diocese of Leeds, in collaboration with the Diocesan Prayer and Spirituality Team.
  • Make optimal use of the Diocesan Digital Learning Platform for courses, resources and events, on-line learning and for developing learning communities.
  • Provide training in shared leadership for laity and clergy.
  • Explore with colleagues, the possibilities for developing more combined clergy and lay training
  • Build and co-ordinate teams of clergy and lay trainers, so opportunities to support the nurturing of discipleship and ministry in parishes, benefices and deaneries can be extended across the Ripon Episcopal Area
  • Promote ecumenical and other relevant learning opportunities beyond the diocese.


  • An ordained person with proven experience of training and adult learning, with:
    • A degree in theology
    • A teaching qualification (desirable)
    • Evidence of continuing professional and self-development


  • A good working knowledge of the Church of England at parish, deanery and diocesan levels.
  • A depth of ministerial experience from which to draw when leading IME and CMD sessions.
  • Demonstrable experience of planning and leading teaching sessions /courses at parish level or beyond.
  • Experience in organising and facilitating group work.
  • Experience working in rural communities to enable the development of ministry that can flourish in rural areas.
  • Proven track record of enabling leadership which grows the confidence and gifts of God’s people.
  • Experience of working with various educational levels and styles in the planning and delivery of training, sensitive to the aptitudes of individuals and their different ways of learning.
  • Evidence of having formed effective working relationships with a diverse range of people and with a range of internal and external partners.
  • Experience of teaching and supervising on university-validated programmes (desirable).
  • Experience of, or the ability to engage with, virtual learning programmes.

Personal Circumstances

  • The ability to attend meetings across the area and diocese.

Special Knowledge

  • Knowledge/understanding of changing patterns of mission and ministry in the Church, along with the varied approaches to nurturing lay discipleship.
  • A good working knowledge of the Church of England at parish, deanery and diocesan levels
  • Up-to-date theological reading
  • Familiarity with principles of adult education
  • A working knowledge of the range of learning styles; awareness of own learning style and the ability to train others of a different style (desirable)
  • Mediation skills (desirable)


  • Committed to the well-being, flourishing and life-long learning of clergy in changing times
  • Energised by resourcing lay discipleship and ministry, with the ability to listen, affirm, enthuse and challenge
  • Committed to developing partnership between clergy and lay people in parishes in the context of ‘every member ministry’ and ‘whole of life’ discipleship
  • Ability to promote good ministerial practice credibly to clergy colleagues through CMD
  • Capable of functioning effectively in multiple teams
  • Sensitivity and openness to work with people of different liturgical and theological traditions
  • A person of prayer, committed to developing personal spirituality and practical, theologically-grounded discipleship

Practical and Intellectual Skills

  • A gifted teacher and enabler of learning
  • Excellent presentational skills
  • Excellent listening and communication skills
  • Good organisation and ability to manage a complex dual role
  • Capacity to coordinate and support teams
  • Strong administrative skills
  • Good IT skills

The Diocese of Leeds came into existence at Easter 2014 following the dissolution of the former dioceses of Bradford, Ripon & Leeds, and Wakefield. It covers the whole of West Yorkshire and the western part of North Yorkshire, split into five episcopal areas. It contains a rich variety of contexts, including post-industrial towns, rural areas, city centres and multi-religious communities. The Ripon Episcopal Area is predominantly rural, covering much of the Yorkshire Dales. It includes multi-parish benefices, pioneering expressions of church and diverse forms of lay ministry.