The Discernment Process is designed for those who sense a call to any of the ministries of the Church of Scotland. The goal of discernment is for the applicant to explore their call and figure out what path God is leading them down.
During the Discernment Process, applicants will:
- be assigned a Mentor and Presbytery Assessor by the Church
- embark on a period of reflection and discernment of call (6 months) with the possibility of some practical experience
- attend a placement Church 1 Sunday per month, meet with their Mentor at other times during the month, and meet their Presbytery Assessor once per month
- dedicate 8 hours per week to placement
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. There are a number of papers, completed by the Applicant, Mentor, and Presbytery Assessor, which are considered by the Local Review Panel.
After consideration, a decision should be reached as to whether an applicant is ready to move onto the next stage.
At Local Review there are four possible decisions:
- Extended Period of Discernment
- To not proceed at this time, however the applicant may reapply at a date to be agreed
- It will not be possible for the applicant to proceed
For Ordained Local Ministry, Diaconal Ministry and Full-Time Ministry or Word and Sacrament applicants, the next stage is Assessment Conference and, for Readership applicants, it's training.