The Church of England gives a helpful distinction in the understanding of Pioneer Ministry as either ‘Fresh start Pioneers’ or ‘Parish-based Pioneers’.
Fresh start Pioneers work from a blank canvas commissioned by Diocese or Deanery. Parish based Pioneers ‘work from a parish base but from there develop fresh expressions of church…expanding the growth and reach of the local church’.
Our focus at Sarum College is on Parish based Pioneers. The Pioneer pathway is based in our standard ordination pathway, 2 years full time or 3 years part time. The particular focus on Pioneer ministry is through:
- Pioneering context to train in.
- Placement in one (or more) pioneering situations – the ability and willingness to observe different projects nationally will be an advantage here.
- A Pioneer project with a local group.
- Certain modules (Mission and Evangelism, Leadership) deepened in Pioneer focus, and with specific application of teaching to pioneer ministry.
- Linking students in to Pioneer networks where possible.
To fulfil formation requirements, Pioneers have the standard core training, for example including leading Common Worship Daily Prayer at residentials, as well as addressing the Ordained Pioneer Ministry formation requirements.