Discernment and Assessment

The call to ministry

The Discernment Process is designed for those who sense a call to any of the ministries of the Church of Scotland.

Watch our video of the Discernment process

Discernment process

Applicants, who have attended a Vocations information day, will be invited to attend a screening interview with Healthlink 360. Following the Healthlink 360 interview, should the applicant be allowed to continue in the process, the Ministries Council will set up a placement for the applicant to embark on the Discernment Process.

During the Discernment Process applicants:

  • Will be assigned a Mentor and Presbytery Assessor by the Ministries Council
  • Will embark on a period of reflection and discernment of call (3 - 12 months), with the possibility of some practical experience
  • Will attend a placement Church 1 Sunday per month, and meet with their Mentor at other times during the month, and will meet with their Presbytery Assessor once per month
  • Will dedicate 8 hours per week to placement

It is the Mentor's decision to determine when an applicant is ready to be move onto the next stage of the process which is a Local Review.

A Local Review is a meeting with the Applicant, Mentor, Presbytery Assessor, National Assessor and a staff member/note taker (non-assessing), which reviews the Period of Discernment (PoD). There are a number of papers, completed by the Applicant, Mentor, Healthlink 360, Presbytery Assessor and Referees, which are also considered by the Local Review Panel.

At Local Review there are four possible decisions,

  1. Proceed
  2. Extended PoD
  3. No, however the applicant may reapply at a date to be agreed
  4. It will not be possible for the applicant to proceed

After consideration, a decision should be reached as to whether an applicant be allowed to move onto the next stage, which is an Assessment Conference.

Assessment Conference

The Assessment Conference is open to all those who have been recommended to it by the Local Review. Over an intensive 24 hour period, the applicant's call continues to be tested. With a strong focus on group and interpersonal skills, tests include a variety of participative group exercises. Applicants are interviewed by National Assessors and a Psychologist Assessor.

It is the Assessment Conference which reaches a final decision on whether or not the applicant should become a Candidate in Training for Ministry.