Part of the cost of training students for the ministry is met through the offerings at services to license students and at the ordination and installation of elders and ministers.
It costs approx. £12,000 (€14,750) per year, usually for three years, to train each student, pay their course fees and provide them and their families with a living allowance. To help finance this we rely on your continued generosity.
All those who have responsibility for planning services of licensing, ordination and installation are asked to ensure that full use is made of the Students Bursary Fund literature available from reception in Assembly Buildings, especially the Gift Aid envelope.
Past experience has shown that where literature is handed out at an earlier service, those attending the special service are more likely to use a Gift Aid envelope.
What does training for the Presbyterian ministry involve and how long does it take?
Rev. Ronnie Hetherington, Director of Ministerial Studies explains:
The formal process begins with applicants being commended by their Kirk Session and interviewed by their Presbytery.
Next there is a seven week placement in a congregation, to observe how a minister functions and to experience church life from that perspective.
After a further interview with a panel appointed by the Board of Christian Training, candidates for the ministry are approved by the General Assembly.
Normally three years’ full time study follow, which most undertake at Union College - where theological study is complemented by practical training.
On successful completion of the course, the student is licensed and continues training for at least a further 26 months as a full time assistant minister.
So, after a total of five to six years training and study, they can be called to a congregation and ordained as a minister of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland.