FAQs about vocations

Find out more about your calling

Here are some questions we are asked most often. If your query is not among them then please get in touch.

What sort of people become Ministers?

All sorts of people become Church of Scotland Ministers and make the commitment to training for ministry at different stages in their lives. In this site you'll find a wide range of first-hand accounts from our Ministers and Chaplains talking about their calling, the communities they serve, and the challenges and highlights of their role.

You can view a selection of video stories from our Ministers in A Life In Ministry.

I think I have a calling to serve God. How can I explore this further?

A good start is to watch the video from Rev Neil Glover talking about how to explore your calling.

As Neil suggests, approaching your local parish Minister is a great starting point to explore your calling.

Church of Scotland also has a Vocations Network whom you can connect with – find out more by emailing vocations@churchofscotland.org.uk.

You can also visit A Life In Ministry, where a number of ministers talk about their calling and their subsequent progression into ministry.

Why does the training take so long? I just want to get started!

There are different routes into training that can vary the length; for example, a previous degree in theology. The training we offer is comprehensive and ensures the best start to ministerial formation. Ministry has some exciting challenges that we help prepare for in our initial ministerial education programme, and continue to support through our continued ministerial development scheme.

You can find out more about our training here

I already have a qualification in theology. Will this make a difference?

Yes. When accepted for ministry you will have an initial course meeting with one of our training team and together we will sketch out your learning path. For those with previous theological training this will often mean a reduced period in formal education. We have a fantastic conference programme which runs alongside the academic training too.

If I'm accepted for training, what sort of funding might I receive during my college or university degree course (bachelor of divinity) or post-grad in theology?

We provide a range of funded support for degree or postgraduate study. There are often a number of smaller grants that can also be applied for during studies.

Fees are paid for students in training. This is either done via SAAS or Faith Nurture Forum (formerly Ministries Council) depending on prior training.

At the moment candidates for full-time ministry and Diaconate can receive:

  • Candidates' grants of £15,000 paid annually in monthly instalments
  • Travel expenses while on placement from church to placement activities
  • Ordained Local Ministry candidates' fees are paid

You can find out more about study here

Workplace experience is a 15-month probationary placement. Do I have a choice in the parish I'm assigned to and what sort of remuneration might I receive during probation?

Throughout training for ministry you will have review meetings which documents training that has been achieved, and highlights areas for further development. For probationary placement we work with you to find the right place and the right supervisor to prepare you for life in the parish.

During probationary placement remuneration is set at 85% of national stipend, which is reviewed annually. Currently, the national stipend starts at £26,119, so probationary remuneration is currently £22,201.

You can find out more about work placements here

What sort of stipend (salary and benefits) might I expect as a full-time Church of Scotland Minister?

Ministers receive the national stipend which is the same for all Ministers. This is reviewed annually and currently starts at £26,119.

A manse (house) is provided to all our full-time Parish Ministers. This is normally located close to the church buildings.

The Church has recently renewed efforts for lifelong learning and additional resources are being made available to ensure that Ministerial formation continues throughout your ministry.

Once I've completed workplace experience (probation) how do I go about applying for a permanent position in a parish?

During your probationary placement you will attend a number of conferences that help make you ready for the next stage. We spend time looking at applying for a charge. There is advice on the practicalities and further support and guidance in discerning where your call is leading you.

Can I hear and read first hand accounts from Church of Scotland Ministers about their life and work?

We've gathered a wide-range of first-hand accounts from a wide diversity of Church of Scotland Ministers. They talk about their calling, the challenges and rewards of their role as parish Minister and their outlook on life. Hear from our Ministers here.

We've also asked Church of Scotland Ministers to contribute My Ministry blog posts to give further insights.

I am from another denomination, can I apply to work within the Church of Scotland?

You can apply for admission to the Church of Scotland through our admissions process.

Contact ministry@churchofscotland.org.uk to find out more.