Belfast Telegraph

Concern is voiced over number of ministers

By Alf McCreary

The Presbyterian Church is facing a shortage of applicants for the ministry and members are being asked to encourage people to consider this role.

The General Assembly was told there were only five applicants for the ministry this year and that all five had been accepted. None of these are women.

It is likely that there will be only 17 students for the ministry in Union Theological College for the 2017-2018 academic year, the lowest number for many years.

The Rev Nigel McCullough, the Convenor for the Council for Training In Ministry, said that should the trend continue, there will soon be an under-supply of ministers for the Presbyterian Church in Ireland.

He urged ministers, elders and other leaders to "identify suitable people with potential ministry gifts, disciple them and provide them with the opportunities to test and develop their gifts, so they might explore whether God is calling them to Ordination. This should be a cause of prayer for the whole Church."

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