Cookies are in use to track visits to our website: we store no personal details.

The Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe

Called To Ministry

Pastoral Leader

Posted by The European Institute for Christian Studies on

Section 2A:  Pastoral Leader

A Pastoral Leader is a lay person authorized to exercise pastoral or administrative responsibility in a congregation under special circumstances, as defined by the Bishop.

Applicants for the ministry of Pastoral Leader are recommended by their Rector/Priest-in-Charge to the Bishop for licensing. The recommendation will outline the nature of the ministry envisaged and the qualities that the candidate would bring though exercising this ministry. The Bishop will refer candidates to EICS who will establish an appropriate training program. The Bishop may license a candidate prior to the completion of training. EICS will inform COMB of candidates who have been licensed.

The Pastoral Leader is a confirmed communicant in good standing or, subject to guidelines established by the Bishop, a communicant in good standing. The Pastoral Leader functions with the permission of the Bishop and under the direct supervision of the Bishop’s Office. Once licensed, the Pastoral Leader functions at the discretion of the Bishop. The license is only valid within the congregation in which the Pastoral Leader is a member at the time of licensing. A Pastoral Leader, however, with written permission of the Bishop, may serve another congregation within the diocese when clergy are not available. The Pastoral Leader, under the direction of the Bishop’s Office, will pursue Diocesan-approved continuing education.


Applicants for the ministry of Pastoral Leader will be trained under a program devised by EICS appropriate to this ministry, and, if necessary, modified according to the applicant’s previous education and experience. The program may be primarily self- study or distance study and may include reading material, seminars, webinars or actual courses. Applicants will also need to undertake a program of Clinical Pastoral Education, which takes the form of on-the-job experience in some clinical setting, approved by the Bishop. The areas of study are:

  • Holy Scriptures, contents and background

2 CDSP CALL Modules, taken from for example: Old Testament Overview; Introduction to New Testament Interpretation; The Anglican Bible, Scriptural Conversation and Formation; The New Testament – the Parables.

  • The Book of Common Prayer (and its authorized supplements) and the Hymnal (and other authorized music resources)

EICS module on Liturgy

  • Church history

1 CDSP CALL module such as: Church History, Anglican Identity; Church History, Mission for the Church Today;

  • Christian ethics and moral theology

1 CDSP CALL module such as: Facing Choices: ethics in the Anglican Church

  • Church doctrine as set forth in the Creeds and An Outline of Faith, commonly called the Catechism

EICS module (2-3 zoom sessions)

  • Appropriate canons

EICS module (1 zoom session)

  • Pastoral Care; appropriate boundaries

1 CDSP CALL module such as: Introduction to Pastoral Care

1 zoom with Priest from Convocation

  • Individual Prayer

1-3 zoom sessions with Priest from Convocation

  • Baptismal covenant and its application to ministry

Part of EICS module

  • Polity, governance and structure of The Episcopal Church and its relationship to the worldwide Anglican Communion

EICS module

  • Contemporary society, the issues faced and The Episcopal Church’s response to these issues

1 CDSP CALL module such as: Changing Church: Mission, Leadership, and Beloved Community

  • Safeguarding God’s Children (Praesidium Academy)
  • Anti-Racism Training

This amounts to 6 CDSP CALL modules and 2 EICS Modules to be completed in 15 months to 24 months. CDSP cost is $205 per module so $1230.

The applicant must also meet all the requirements for licensing of Eucharistic Visitor.

A Pastoral Leader may also be authorized to exercise administrative responsibility within a specific congregation where no clergy leadership is present. Pastoral Leaders serving as administrators will also be trained in the areas of internal controls, taxes, insurance and records management, including financial management, bookkeeping, clergy discretionary funds, and audit guidelines. Responsibilities include:

  • Serving as custodian of all parochial records
  • Completing (or delegating) reports required by the diocese and canons
  • Managing (or delegating) budgeting and fiscal administration of parish
  • Documenting required training and licensing for lay ministries
  • Coordinating maintenance and security of buildings and grounds


The Pastoral Leader license is valid for three years and is renewable at the Bishop’s discretion upon evidence of Diocesan-approved continuing education and the needs of the congregation as determined by the Bishop.


The Bishop or Bishop’s representative will maintain a confidential personnel file for the Pastoral Leader which shall contain the following:

  • Documentation and certification of the Pastoral Leader’s training, examination and competency in the areas listed above under “Training”
  • A copy of the application sent to the Bishop
  • A copy of the certificate from the Bishop licensing the person to be a Pastoral Leader

Documentation of licensing of Pastoral Leaders will be maintained and displayed in the parish.

> Next: Worship Leader