"The Anglican Church of Canada is a national body that has never had national guidelines describing its expectations of clergy. That's about to change, however, thanks to a far-reaching new document called 'Competencies for Ordination to the Priesthood in the Anglican Church of Canada'. Arising out of General Synod 2010, this document will be an important measuring stick for discerning vocation for the priesthood and supporting ordained clergy in lifelong learning". "The broad scope of priestly proficiencies cover five core categories: personal and spiritual formation; Christian heritage and Anglican identity; cultural and social context; capacity for leadership; and skills for teaching and learning". "Endorsed by CoGS in March , 'Competencies' will go to General Synod 2013 in July. If the guidelines are approved, it's not clear what authority they will have or whether or not they can compel action. The Rev. Canon Todd Townshend, dean of theology at Huron University College in London, Ont., concedes that these competencies set the bar high, but says that 'good priestly leadership requires many gifts".
Eight page insert (1-8) with May 2013 issue of Anglican Journal. Anglican Church of Canada Ministry Report. Insert produced by Resources for Mission Dept.
That this Council of General Synod recommend the following motion to General Synod 2013:
Recognizing the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada Declaration of Principles, item 6, “subject to the provisions of section 7 the General Synod shall have authority and jurisdiction in all matters affecting in any way the general interest and well-being of the whole Church and in particular: .(l) the basic standards of theological education, and the qualifications and training of candidates for the ministry of the Church”, the Commission recommends the following actions to the General Synod of 2013:
That this General Synod:
1. receive the Final Report of the Primate’s Commission on Theological Education and Formation for Presbyteral Ministry and adopt Competencies for Theological Education for Ordination to the Priesthood in the Anglican Church of Canada and commend this document to the dioceses for implementation;
2. a. request the Primate in consultation with the Council of General Synod to develop pathways to support implementation by dioceses of the Competencies and report on such implementation on a regular basis to the Council of General Synod.
- b. build on the work of this Commission to fulfill its responsibilities for theological education by:
-- coordinating a national register of recommended resource persons for ministry formation to assist in the achievement of the Competencies;
-- identifying and/or developing other resources to assist in the implementation of these competencies across the church, as appropriate, eg. teachers, mentors, programmatic materials and centres of excellence in teaching and ministerial formation;
-- strengthening stewardship, including increased financial capacity to support ministerial development, and more effective approaches to the distribution of these resources.
3. undertake the emergent work recommended during this consultation process, as follows:
- a. develop mechanisms to ensure that the Competencies continue to reflect the current needs of the Church;
- b. develop ways to support the faith formation of the whole people of God, with a view to formation in community for discipleship and mission;
- c. develop guidelines for competencies for the diaconate;
- d. develop guidelines for competencies for the episcopate;
- e. consider the development of a national roster of ordained ministry personnel;
- f. continue to work in concert with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada in all of these recommended initiatives, and to work more broadly ecumenically where appropriate.
4. request that the House of Bishops:
- a. create regular opportunities to reflect together upon the meaning and significance of the Competencies and upon their implementation;
- b. develop ways of strengthening the mutual accountability of bishops in the exercise of their responsibilities regarding ordination within the mandates of the General Synod.
The remaining resolutions were deferred until after presentation of the Structures Report.
"As Anglican educators, bishops and clergy debate how theological education should be adapted to meet the needs of the 21st-century church, they should not lose sight of the fact that the final goal is to produce ministers with a 'Christ-like character', said Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada". "Alongside .. all the courses we put in place for training men and women to be priests in our church in very diverse missional and cultural contexts, there must be every effort across the board to nurture and form them in such a way that their ministries are enriched by their holiness of life, their own devotion to Christ", Hiltz said. "Among the tools Hiltz commended to the gathering were The Anglican Communion Approach to Theological Education, a report presented by Theological Education for the Anglican Communion at the meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council in 2012, and the Competencies for the Ordination to the Priesthood in the Anglican Church of Canada, a series of guidelines produced by the Primate's Commission on Theological Education and Formation for Presbyteral Ministry in 2013".