Initial Ministerial Education (IME) 1 is a ministerial candidate’s first phase of formation. IME 1 students engage in networked learning, studying locally by means of distance-learning during the academic year, as well as gathering for an annual orientation week, five residential weekends and a bishop’s reflection group. At SEI, emphasis is laid on formation for ministry, rather than theological education per se, although theological education is a key component of IME 1 over the span of three years. Students also undertake context-based field education (placements) under the umbrella of theological-reflection and reflective-practice modules, usually in their own dioceses in a variety of venues, for example local charges and sector ministries. SEI introduced a mixed-mode fulltime training pathway in September 2018, wherein ordinands (for incumbency) are resident in a charge, normally for the three years of IME 1, with emphasis on mission.
Within the overarching Diploma of Higher Education formational programme, SEI seeks to offer a pathway which is suited to the particular ministry that diaconal candidates – ‘Distinctive’/’Vocational’ – will exercise*.
- by ensuring that such candidates’ annual Placements are geared towards diaconal ministry, in settings which model that two-way church-community dynamic.
- by pairing them with a diaconal Diocesan Advisor through the 3 years of formation.
- by offering a context-based Mixed Mode option for those candidates with the capacity to devote more time to placement work than is required by the standard DipHE pathway. This option offers 12-16 hours in placement over 2 days each week throughout the year, in conjunction with the completion of 80 credits annually.
- by directing diaconal candidates towards Modules which are appropriate to their vocation, selected from a dedicated list of community-facing topics.
* Two papers outlining some of SEI’s thinking in this area can be found in the SEI Journal, Winter 2020, accessed here:
– Richard Tiplady ‘The Vocational Diaconate as a Vehicle for Pioneer Ministry in the Scottish Episcopal Church’, pp 63-72
– Anne Tomlinson ‘Formed in the Field: Steps Towards the Provision of Dedicated Diaconal Formation in the Scottish Episcopal Church’ pp 73-86
Students can also make use of the SEI’s library. More information is available at this page.