The Uniting Church has a strong commitment to formation of people preparing for ministry, and to continuing education for ministry for people in the field.
The Assembly’s Ministerial Education Commission has produced “Seeking A Heart of Wisdom“, a document outlining an invitation to lifelong learning, suggesting three broad areas:
1. Academic theological study (e.g. Biblical studies, systematic theology, missiology, church history, culture and society)
2. Ministry practice and skills (e.g. preaching, community development, leadership development, pastoral care, justice, education methods)
3. Spiritual Growth and Formation (e.g. training in spiritual direction, attendance of spiritual retreats)
Continuing education may be in the form of formal academic study at Theological College campus, distance or online learning, conferences, and independent reading.
People in placement are provided with 14 days of study leave per calendar year (including Saturdays and Sundays but excluding public holidays), allocated on a pro rata basis, to provide opportunity for continuing education for ministry. Approval of Church Council is required for those in congregational placements. The congregation pays normal remuneration while the minister is on leave. Leave can be accumulated for no more than 5 years. All study leave accumulated for three or more years (42 days or more) should be approved by Church Council and Presbytery Pastoral Relations Committee.