National Ordained Ministry

National Ordained Ministers (NOMs) are those whose call to leadership in the national church is recognised by the Church and who are trained and ordained for the ministry of word and sacrament as teaching elders in the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand.

The oversight of the training programme of national ordained ministers is a major responsibility of the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership.

National Assessment Applications

Applications for national assessment must be submitted to the registrar of the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership by 20th December. The Application Form must be fully completed which means that Presbytery assessment of the candidate would have taken place prior to the application being submitted. Applications will be accompanied by the Presbytery’s recommendation and completed medical forms (available here).

Due to the application process and the work required to be completed by May the following year,  applications will not be accepted after 20th December.


Students for the National Ordained Ministry (also known as “Ordinands”) are those who test their call with the mind of the Church through their Parish leaders and Presbytery and accepted by the National Assessment workgroup. Not all who apply are accepted. The process of selection takes at least 8 months leading to a National Assessment Weekend in May each year.

It is advisable to contact your minister and Presbytery Student Convenor as soon as possible. Applications need to be processed by Presbyteries and sent in before 20 December.


Preparation for National Ordained Ministry includes completing an approved three year degree in theology (Foundation Studies) followed by a two year internship leading to a Diploma in Ministry. The course of training for the ministry is governed by the Student Regulations.

From 2008 study for the Diploma will take place through seven two-week residential ministry schools in Dunedin in conjunction with two years of internship placements in parish settings.

The final stage of training involves conducting a service and preaching a sermon to the satisfaction of the student’s home presbytery. This leads to licensing to preach the Gospel, being available for a call to a congregation, and ordination and induction into pastoral leadership. Placement in parishes is arranged through the Introductions Work Group.

The Diploma in Ministry is a 240 credit programme of internship based field education, involving seven major topics, ministry-related seminars, intensive modules and cross-cultural experience. It seeks to integrate theological understanding, personal development, ministry skills, leadership gifts and Christian discipleship and spirituality.


Procedures are set out in the Book of Order, Chapter 9.