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St Stephen's House, Oxford

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Ministerial Formation

At St. Stephen’s House we seek to offer the very best place for you to hear your calling most clearly and answer it most faithfully. The ordained ministry has never been more needed, nor has it made so many demands. We do not seek merely to impart knowledge and skills; here, formation is determined by the belief that ordination imparts grace, and character. The process of formation is a gradual one, from the moment of our baptism onwards; our whole life together – academic, liturgical, social and practical - produces a context in which this formation can take place.

Here you will be part of a community that seeks to provide priestly formation in depth. We seek to model what we teach, representing the reality and principles of a sacrificial and Christ-like approach to ministry. This includes the challenges of making sense of the things we do and experience in the light of the things we believe and proclaim – the urgency of mission alongside the timeless rhythms of prayer and study.

The heartbeat of our community is found in the central moments of the Daily Office and Daily Mass. We share a core understanding of the revelation of God in Jesus Christ, and of the importance of the mission of the church. Above all, we are a community of people who engage with, and are supportive of, each others differing traditions and opinions, finding in our life together a strength that comes from the one God we worship.

Within this overall context, courses and lectures focussing on priestly and diaconal formation are part of the weekly pattern of life. Classroom learning is complemented and challenged by a range of term-time and vacation placements. Hands-on experience in mission and evangelism is offered through engagement with a variety of challenging local contexts. Courses in Homiletics prepare us for the privilege of preaching. Pastoral Studies units offer concentrated blocks of learning and reflection in specific areas such as work in schools, among the dying and bereaved, healing ministry and the specifics of mission in a mixed economy church.

Page last updated: 17/09/2010, at 10:46

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