Let us take you through the training process,
step by step


Your Calling to serve God

It’s an inspiring idea that the universe has a path in it, prepared just for us, uniquely us.

The Church of Scotland seeks new people to train for our next generation of ministers. Is this path for you?

Find out more about recognising your calling

Exploring Your Calling

When finding our path in life, we ask the biggest questions, about who we are, where and when God might be calling us.

Church of Scotland ministry happens in a huge variety of ways. But at its heart it’s about how you love.

We are looking to understand the connections you make between your faith and your life. How do you relate to other people in friendship and leadership? How might you live in places where there is conflict? How open are you to learning new skills and wisdom?

Discuss your calling with one of our Vocations Champions

Attend a Vocations Information Day

You’ve explored your calling to serve God and have a sense training for ministry could be for you.  The next step is to attend one of our 3 annual Vocations Information Days, a necessary step before the Discernment process.

Apply to attend a Vocations Information Day

Apply for Discernment Process for ministry

Once you’ve attended a Vocations Information Day, you’ll be able to apply to be considered for a position in ministry. On receipt of your application, you will be entered into an initial screening process, including an interview, before being able to proceed to the Discernment Process.

Attend an initial screening interview

Applicants, who have attended a Vocations Information Day, will be invited to attend a screening interview. Following interview, should the applicant be successful, the Ministries Council will set up a placement for the applicant to embark on the Discernment Process.

Discernment (mentoring)

Discernment involves taking a placement with an appointed mentor, usually a parish minister, for between 3 and 12 months to assess your suitability to proceed to the next stage.

Find out more about Discernment

National Assessment Conference

Following a period of discernment and local review, you can attend a national 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.

Study at University

Training for Church of Scotland ministry has a number of demanding components that help in the process of training and formation. At an initial course meeting we will advise what additional academic training you require depending on previous qualifications and experience.

Our academic partners include world-leading universities: Edinburgh, Glasgow, St Andrews, Aberdeen and Highland Theological College. Alongside the rigorous academic training modules you will take part in residential conferences and schools run by our Education Team where you will develop wellbeing strategy, pastoral care, serving sacraments, preaching, and church law.

During your studies you will also attend small groups known as Ministry Training Network which helps cement your learning and experience in formation.

  • Study for Bachelor of Divinity
  • If you already have a theology degree, complete a post-graduate course
  • Practical work experience in a congregation or alongside a chaplain
  • Conferences with fellow students

Find out more about Study


Once you have successfully completed your formal classroom training you will transition into a 15 month probation. You are placed with a supervisor in a congregation and learn first-hand all the aspects of ministry. You gain experience through responsibility and mentoring.

Find out more about probationary Work Placements

Your own parish

Toward the end of your probation, and after successfully completing your Final Review, you will be able to apply for vacancies known as ‘vacant charges’. We help support you as you discern where God might be calling you to serve in the Church. When applying for a vacant charge you will meet with a Vacancy Committee who will interview you – and it is an opportunity for you to sense if you are a good match.