Where is God leading you?
At the heart of the process of the Period of Discernment is the understanding that discipleship and ministry is a calling on all people who have been baptised. The essence of the Period of Discernment is to discern where that ministry lies. It is not simply a process to be completed prior to entry into the ordained ministry.
The Period of Discernment (POD) is a yearlong adventure in faith which the Uniting Church offers its members to:
- learn more about faith, discipleship and the church
- learn more about themselves, their passions, gifts and character
And through this process to discern where God might be calling them to exercise their gifts in growing the kingdom of God, whether that be:
- in their local church
- in a UnitingCare Queensland or Wesley Mission Queensland agency
- in a school
- in their local community
- In their workplace
- through ordination
The Period of Discernment has the following elements to achieve this:
- ministry experience
- six months experiencing a wide variety of ministries in the Uniting Church and wider community
- six months experiencing in-depth one ministry whether that be in church, community or workplace
- biblical study
- two subjects through Trinity College Queensland or, if you are discerning a call to ordination the two subjects at bachelor level
- a discipleship action/reflection course
- your own journaling
- mentoring: someone who will travel the journey with you and help you discern where God is leading you
Download the Participant and mentor handbook
Download the Go Deep guide
Any member of the Uniting Church can do a Period of Discernment. Discuss it with your local minister and register through your presbytery who will appoint a mentor in consultation with you.
While there is no cost to the Period of Discernment in itself, the study at Trinity College Queensland costs money. Expect to pay about $600 for all the study needed (more if you are studying at Bachelor level).
The Period of Discernment is a process approved by the National Assembly in 1997 to enable the church and individuals together, to discern God’s call on their life for future ministry and where our individual ministry lies. More information available on the Period of Discernment guidelines.
If you haven’t already discussed this with your local congregational minister, do.
Fill in the expression of interest form below. This will be sent to your presbytery Period of Discernment coordinator, who will then contact you.
You can enrol in a unit at Trinity College Queensland here (New Testament BS001 is suggested first).
*Note participants who have done theological study or significant ministry experience can apply for recognition of prior learning but will need to contact their presbytery Period of Discernment coordinator about that.
Download the Period of Discernment Participant and mentor handbook
Period of Discernment participants will be doing a unit called Discipleship, Mission and Ministry in the Uniting Church in Australia as their first ministry elective. Your presbytery Period of Discernment coordinator will have these materials which can be emailed to the participant.