Learning Manager Bob Banton talks to us about the importance of Continuing Professional Development.
What is continuing professional development and why do we need it?
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) or Continuing Ministerial Education as it used to be called, is about equipping and developing clergy and readers in order that they may stimulate and enable the whole Church to participate more fully in the mission of God in the world.
The purpose of CPD is to strengthen and deepen a lifelong learning culture amongst clergy and Readers. The aim is that this will contribute to spiritual and numerical growth across the Diocese.
As mentioned above, the desire is to create a culture of continued learning and development amongst all those who minister throughout the Diocese. The days where one thinks that they have learned all they need to know during their initial education and training have long gone. It is vital that we all continue to learn and develop the gifts that God has given us in order to be more effective in playing our part in God’s mission.
How does it link to other training initiatives - Fresh Start, School of Leadership, PIME?
Courses such as Fresh Start and School of Leaders are excellent opportunities for continued development. These courses are targeted towards meeting the specific needs of clergy and readers at specific periods or for specific aspects of their ministry. The CPD programme exists to provide more general opportunities for continued development. You will see below the breadth of opportunities that are on offer within the Diocese as well as the many excellent courses offered outside the Diocese.
Is it compulsory to attend?
All office holders are expected to set aside regular time for study and for professional development in ministry in order to promote their effectiveness in ministry and mission. Clergy subject to common tenure are expected to participate in the equivalent of approximately five days of CPD activity each year.
Additionally it is expected that Clergy should undertake a spiritual retreat of up to five days each year.
Although CPD opportunities will be provided by the Diocese, clergy are encouraged to seek appropriate opportunities outside the Diocese.
What sort of courses are on offer?
We are looking to offer a range of learning opportunities. Courses will include evening only events, whole day events which will offer a chance to more fully engage with the topics under consideration. We are also developing our on-line learning resources so that where appropriate some learning can be undertaken without the need for a training course. This offers a flexible way to learn where learning can be undertaken at time to suite the clergy or reader.
Courses will be held across the Diocese to try and facilitate easy access.
At the moment we are focusing on areas such as leadership, mission, theology / biblical studies, preaching/teaching, pastoral care, spirituality and liturgy.
Obviously we cannot run courses in all of these areas every year. At the moment we are working on a two year rolling programme in which all of the key areas will be addressed.
Who decides what the courses are?
Ministry Division have suggested that a good CPD offering would allow for the “integration of the needs of the individual with the strategic objectives of the diocese and the priorities of the wider Church”
Lifelong Learning are keen to ensure that courses meet the needs of Clergy, Readers and the aims of the Bishop’s Growth Agenda. We have therefore tried to listen to what Clergy and Readers have told us about what they feel they need. We have done this through the MDR scheme, visits to Deanery Chapter meetings, feedback from clergy and readers as well as a from host of information conversations across the Diocese.
If clergy and readers have suggestions for events or topics they would like to see as a part of a cpd offering they should contact Lifelong Learning where we are happy to discuss any suggestions.
How can we find out more?
Information will be published via the weekly bulletin, a monthly communication with all Area Deans and we have redesigned the CPD web pages so that they is a one-stop shop for all information relating to Clergy and Reader CPD.
Find out more about CPD
Visit the CPD pages for a list of courses
You can also find national CPD events here