A major undertaking by the Anglican Communion commission, Theological Education for the Anglican Communion (TEAC) has been posted on the Anglican Communion website. Under the heading “Grids” can be found an articulation of expectations of competencies, skills and charisms for various ‘target groups’, including bishops, priests, deacons, as well as lay readers and catechists and lay people in their baptismal ministries. Following a plan that looks developmentally and across a wide swath of areas of ministry, learning, and personal development, the grids lay out some common Anglican visions of a wide variety of ministries, and hopes both for theological education, spiritual formation and ongoing learning and development within ministry. The Introduction to the Grids-Report explains TEAC’s process:

“The collection of grids… aim to set out in an accessible way the ‘competencies’ that TEAC believes are essential for people engaged in various forms of ministry and discipleship within the Anglican Communion – at different stages in their formation. The grids are an example of the increasingly used ‘Outcomes Based’ model for education. In such a model the primary question is not ‘What does a person know?’ but ‘What competencies does the learner need to gain in order to be able to fulfil this or that task/job/vocation?’ The necessary competencies can be gained in a variety of ways. One of the features of such ‘Outcomes Based’ models therefore is that they offer considerable flexibility, which means that they are appropriate models to offer for situations such as apply in the Anglican Communion, where the varied contexts and availability of resources mean that different methods of training are obviously appropriate in different places. ‘Outcomes Based’ models of education (as here) also seek to value the different dimensions of training : intellectual, practical, emotional and spiritual. All are important as part of a holistic framework for theological education. As will be obvious from a look at the grids they also work on the principle that theological education and training for discipleship is potentially life-long. Certainly learning does not come to a halt at the point of ordination or licensing. TEAC has made it visibly clear through the grids that we believe that the education and training of ministers need to continue in some overt form for at least the first three years in which a person is exercising their ministry. We also consider that there are certain competencies which need to be gained before a person either takes on a post of particular responsibility, or is involved in the training of others for the ministry concerned.”

TEAC and the material contained in these ‘Grids’ serve as one dialogue partner among others with whom the Faith, Worship and Ministry committee is engaging in its work on theological education, particularly in response to a General Synod 2004 Resolution calling for the development of common standards for theological education across the Anglican Church of Canada.

We welcome your own comments on the “Grids” of TEAC, and in particular request those who are so interested please to make comment about how their recommendations come into play within the particularities of the Canadian Anglican context. What would you add to these expectations? Say differently? Why?

Please send your comments to: Eileen Scully, Director, Faith, Worship, and Ministry.