Your Ministerial Development Review (MDR)
Ministerial Development Review (MDR) is a process that enables clergy to become even more effective in the service of Christ through careful reflection, support and growth.
Through MDR, clergy are given the opportunity to:
- Reflect before God on their vocation and ministry
- Stand back and look at their ministry, and identify what most needs development and attention
- Receive both encouragement and challenge
- Become more aware of their own strengths and weaknesses
- Set some objectives for their personal and ministerial development
- Identify and arrange resources to help with (5) above
The Bishop’s MDR Scheme
Across the Church of England, not least in response to the Covenant for Clergy, dioceses have been improving the support they try to give to their clergy over recent years. This includes developing our own MDR processes.
- MDR is about maturity in Christ and in Christ’s service. It is a chance for us as deacons and priests to stop and take stock of ourselves and the ministry to which we are called, and to be renewed in Christ
- MDR is about affirmation and celebration. In the midst of the busyness and pressures of ordained ministry it is too easy to lose sight of the gifts we have been given and are exercising. MDR enables us to see these again for ourselves and to receive encouragement from others, including our reviewer
- MDR is about honesty and accountability. This is a chance for us to ask ourselves some searching questions and for us to hear how others see us, even if that can be sometimes uncomfortable. It is also about our accountability to our Bishop and to the Church
- Fundamentally, MDR is about our own motivation as clergy of the Church of England to be and to minister in as Christ-like a way as possible
- MDR is a legal requirement for those on Common Tenure. The Bishop expects all licensed clergy to take part in MDR
The MDR system for licensed parochial clergy has two components.
The priest will be invited to an MDR with the Bishop or a member of the Bishop’s Leadership Team [BLT].
The preparation for this MDR is extensive. It includes:
- a preparation form
- a personal preparation form which invites reflection on the Ordinal, and also
- six pieces of feedback from colleagues and parishioners
This element of the MDR process will have stronger elements of ‘accountability’ but also a clear emphasis on clergy well-being. From this meeting will come an agreed record and agreed development objectives.
The priest will be invited to an MDR with a trained ‘peer reviewer’.
They will work with you to help you gain greater clarity in understanding yourself and your current ministry and how that might be developed.
Their role is to listen, to ask questions, to act as mirror and a sounding-board. They will not tell you what to do but will help make this a good self-review.
The preparation form for this is simpler. It will include a review of the current agreed development objectives. It will conclude with an Agreed Record Form including suggestions for amendment or addition to the agreed development objectives.
Ministerial Review is intended to facilitate both ministerial enrichment and ministerial effectiveness. It should be good for you! For you as an ordained minister and good for those who receive and share that ministry. It is part of the journey of personal flourishing and church growth in all its dimensions.
All MDR documentation can be downloaded here.
- MDR BLT Priests Papers 2022
- MDR BLT Covering Letter 2022
- MDR BLT Ordinal and MDR 2022
- MDR BLT Feedback Request Letter 2022
- MDR BLT Feedback Advice Booklet 2022
- MDR BLT Feedback form 2022
- MDR BLT Agreed Record Form 2022
- MDR peer review covering letter 2022
- MDR peer review PPF 2022
- MDR peer review agreed record form 2022
Licensed clergy in sector ministry
There is a simplified process here, which reflects the annual appraisal systems in place for most clergy in this category.
In addition to the formal requirement for all licensed clergy to take part in MDR, we know that chaplains and other colleagues often value a regular meeting with a member of the Bishop’s Staff, both in order to stay in touch personally and to express a sense of connectedness with the Diocese as a whole.
The simpler MDR package is based on the idea that an employer may review the professional expectations of the job but the vocational, priestly nature of ministry may be better reviewed within the diocesan scheme.
This paperwork is offered as a support to sector clergy. Chaplains and other colleagues are encouraged to use it flexibly, with their Reviewer, as a framework to encourage and enable their ministerial flourishing.
All MDR documentation can be downloaded here.