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Ordained Ministry Training

Considering ministry in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland?

If you are not a candidate for ordained ministry in PCI, but are open to the possibility of giving it serious and prayerful consideration, please contact Rev. David Leach, Professor of Ministry and Director of the Institute for Ministry, who has overall responsibility for guiding applicants through all stages of the Application Process. 

He welcomes the opportunity to chat with anyone enquiring about a vocation in full-time ministry and can be contacted by telephone +44 (0)28 9020 5080 or email:

Applications must be submitted by 15 September in any year.

The programme of training is:

  • Determined by the General Assembly;
  • Overseen by its Council for Training in Ministry;
  • Delivered at Union College as well as a number of 'recognised colleges' elsewhere

All trainees must fulfil the training requirements laid down by the General Assembly and the normal pathway consists of three years full-time study, followed by a 26-month period as a licentiate assistant.

Trainees with primary degrees (2.1 honours or above) normally study a Master of Divinity Programme under the Presbyterian Faculty of Ireland, along with other Council for Training in Ministry modules.

Trainees who do not have the necessary qualifications for admission to the MDiv programme study a ministry preparation programme under the Council for Training in Ministry.

Trainees are required to undertake two full-time placements at the end of the first and second years of study. During the third year, trainees will be assigned to a congregation as a student assistant.

Flexible Training Pathway

The Council can recommend that a training pathway is flexible in cases where a trainee has previous theological education and / or ministry experience. More information is provided during the application process.

To view three short promotional films exploring what it is to be a minister, click here.

You may also be interested in our

Deaconess training programme

Deaconesses in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland are women called to serve by the Council for Mission in Ireland.

Find out more