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Continuing Ministerial Development 

No minister can learn at college all they need to learn. And no minister can operate in isolation from the support, friendship and advice of others in ministry. A healthy approach to ministry involves a commitment to both ongoing learning and accountability. This benefits the minister themselves, their families and their churches or mission settings. Churches play their part by giving ministers time and financial support for their development.
In 2020, the Ministries Team introduced a framework for Continuing Ministerial Development (CMD). Every accredited or recognised Baptist minister is strongly encouraged to engage with the CMD scheme. Those who are pastors in our Baptist churches but who do not have formal accreditation for their role are also welcome to engage with it. Our hope is that accountable ongoing development becomes an unquestioned element in our ministerial culture –  simply part of what all ministers and pastors do.
The purpose of CMD is to sustain the well-being and capability of ministers.
The outworking of CMD is the practice of five habits:

  • Learning through reading, training, conferences, blogs, seminars, theology days and so on.
  • Attentiveness to their own relationship with God and to their physical, emotional and relational well-being.
  • Accountability through mentoring, pastoral supervision, spiritual direction, coaching, soul friends, or learning communities.
  • Connection to fellow Baptist ministers by meeting together, and to the Baptist family by serving locally, regionally or nationally.
  • Review, by asking others to reflect on their ministry strengths and weaknesses at least every three years.

Those who participate in CMD meet with a peer once a year for a 'CMD audit'. Together they will record their development over the previous twelve months and plan their development over the coming twelve.
You can find out much more in the CMD handbook. All ministers are asked to read this handbook and start to think about how they might initiate or refine their practice of the five CMD habits. They are asked to hold a CMD audit with a fellow minister in the autumn of each year that helps them to reflect on their practice of CMD in the previous twelve months and plan for the next twelve. All the necessary forms for audits and ministry reviews and so on can be downloaded from the resource section of this website.

Please note that the recommended terms of appointment now allow ministers time to engage with CMD which is likely to be in the region of 2 weeks spread over a calendar year. For newly accredited ministers, the expectation is greater at around half a day each week. The terms also allow for a minister to take a sabbatical, typically  up to three months every seven years. All these allowances are in addition to the annual leave entitlement. We hope that churches will readily grant time and financial assistance to ministers for these and other elements of CMD. As a guide, churches are asked to put aside £500 each year for their minister's development activities, in addition to paying for their attendance at association ministers' conferences and Baptist Assembly. Grants are available for those in less affluent settings.

A summary of the CMD framework is available that may prove useful for church leadership teams who want to understand what the broad requirements are.

CMD webinars

Two recorded webinars with Tim Fergusson from the Ministries Team, introducing CMD, are available online, one with BSL interpretation.  We also hosted a range of CMD  webinars concerning topics to do with ministerial development during 2021 and details of the recordings of these webinars can be found here.

Click here to contact the Ministries Team about CMD.

Photo by Christian Bisbo Johnsen on Unsplash

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Why self-care (and mutual care) is a key part of the Continuing Ministerial Development Framework - by Tim Fergusson
Why Continuing Ministerial Development aims to address not just what we do as ministers, but how we are - by Tim Fergusson and Sue Clements-Jewery