Ministerial Development Review is a clergy-led scheme using consultants from a variety of backgrounds and churches to assist clergy in undertaking an annual 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.
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 three year 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 three-year cycle, clergy will be invited to choose an MDR consultant (and will remain with the same consultant for the whole three-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.
The reviewee then meets with the MDR consultant for a confidential review, and to agree objectives for the coming year. The reviewee and the consultant complete the MDR summary form, which is returned to the MDR administrator, remaining confidential to the Bishop, CMD Officer and consultant. The Bishop will write to the reviewee responding to any issues raised in the MDR summary. The CMD Officer 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 booklet for the process in full detail.
Extended Ministerial Review
Year 2 gives the opportunity for Extended Ministerial Review (EMR), during which four to six other individuals (known as reviewers) are invited to provide enhanced feedback online or by hard copy. All of this remains confidential and serves to shape the direction and future development of the reviewee.
The EMR takes place over two meetings (allowing two hours for each meeting) between the reviewee (clergy person) and consultant. The clergy person is invited to complete the Current Situation Summary form in advance of the first meeting. At that meeting, the consultant will share the feedback of the reviewers. The clergy person is then invited to complete the Preparation form in advance of the second follow-up meeting. During that meeting, they will work with the consultant to set a small number of detailed objectives as well as complete the Action Plan form.
The EMR has been designed specifically for incumbents and equivalents, but is available for all clergy who undergo the MDR cycle. You can read more detail about the EMR process here.
In Year 3 of the cycle, those taking part in the EMR follow-up will need to complete the Follow-up Situation Summary Form and the Preparation form. They will need to refer to the outcomes of the previous year’s EMR in order to complete this. At the end of the meeting, the reviewee and consultant will complete a revised action plan.
EMR follow-up documents:
A vital accompaniment to the Ministerial Development Review scheme is the Episcopal Review. This 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 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.