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Ministerial Development Review for clergy

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Ministerial Development Review is a clergy-led self-review scheme using consultants from a variety of backgrounds and churches to assist clergy in undertaking a review of their current role in ministry. The consultant job description is available here. All clergy holding office under Common Tenure are required to participate in the Ministerial Development Review. The Diocese of London’s scheme was formally established in 1997 and underwent a detailed review in 2007 to ensure that it met the requirements of the terms of service legislation. It was reviewed again in 2013 and in 2022, and has been updated on each occasion.

The objectives of the scheme are that ministers:

  • Be given an opportunity to pray and reflect on their vocation and ministry
  • Take stock of their ministry thus far and identify areas on which to build and areas of need which should be given attention
  • Be given an opportunity to be encouraged and challenged
  • Become realistic about their strengths and weaknesses
  • Set goals for their work and personal development
  • Identify and access both personal and professional training, support and development needs

The MDR scheme consists of a biennial cycle of facilitated self-reviews with the same consultant to review personal and ministerial goals and identify new development needs.

Ministerial Development Review

At the beginning of each cycle, clergy will be invited to choose an MDR consultant (and will remain with the same consultant for the whole two-year cycle, where possible). Once the reviewee has been matched with the consultant by the MDR administrator, the first step is for the reviewee to complete their MDR preparation form, which needs to be submitted to the consultant three weeks before the meeting. As part of the process clergy are encouraged first to get feedback on their ministry from 4-6 people in their context using the MDR feedback form. This might include churchwardens, PCC members, staff colleagues, school headteachers etc. The reviewers will return the form to the reviewee, not the consultant, so there is transparency, and an opportunity to incorporate appropriate comments into the MDR preparation form.

The reviewee then meets with the MDR consultant for a confidential review, and to agree objectives for the coming two years. The reviewee and the consultant complete the MDR objectives form, which is returned to the MDR administrator, remaining confidential to the Bishop, Area Director of Ministry,  and consultant. The Bishop will write to the reviewee responding to any issues raised in the MDR summary. The Area Director of Ministry will write to the reviewee responding to issues raised as development needs. You can read more about the background to MDR here , and download the information introduction (MDR1).

MDR forms:

  1. Choice of consultant
  2. Preparation Form (MDR2)
  3. Feedback form – (MDR3)
  4. Objectives and Development Needs form (MDR4)


A vital accompaniment to the Ministerial Development Review scheme is the Episcopal ReviewThis focuses on that ministry of oversight that is proper to the bishop. It will look at the person’s ministry in relation to the ministry of the diocese: it is an expression of the sharing of that ministry with the bishop. This review is in addition to the Ministerial Development Review, and will take place every three years.

The process presupposes that there are other occasions when the bishop will meet his or her clergy on an individual basis, so that immediate issues of pastoral care do not distort the focus of the review discussion. More information about the Episcopal Review is available here.


Nigel Taylor

Edmonton ADM with MDR portfolio

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