Methodist Chaplain to Birmingham University
Job Description and Person Specification
Main purpose of the job:
This is a role open to an ordained Methodist Presbyter.
Chaplaincy has been a valued part of the University of Birmingham for many years. Whilst the University is a secular institution, it recognises and welcomes chaplaincy work as a valuable complement to the other services which are provided on campus for the welfare, in the widest sense, of students and staff. Chaplains are free to establish contacts through the campus to that end. To facilitate this, the University has committed to maintaining the St Francis chaplaincy centre, and will provide the University Chaplains with access to the University email services, where requested at time of appointment. Chaplains do not currently receive any remuneration or expenses from the University. The Methodist chaplain is funded through the Methodist Church.
The chaplain will work as part of a multi-faith and multi-denominational team and aim to work with staff and students across the whole of the university community, of all faiths and none, to developing a culture of mutual respect, awareness and understanding, being a valued, valuable and supportive part of the University, reflecting and providing for the needs of the wider community. The chaplain will aim to provide opportunities for all staff and students, whatever their faith and background, to engage in worship, reflection and prayer; to explore the tenets of particular faiths and denominations and the relationships between faith groups with and in the contemporary world; to develop a wider understanding of social issues of critical importance to faith groups, and particularly to the Methodist Church, such as justice, human rights, power, diversity and authority; to develop as unique individuals, receiving the pastoral and spiritual support necessary for this; to receive and provide pastoral support as part of the University’s overall welfare provision.
The Methodist Chaplain has a particular role in supporting and resourcing the vibrant university Methodist Society of students.
Main duties and responsibilities:
- Throughout the University, as part of the multi-faith chaplaincy team, to:
- work ecumenically and collaboratively with other Chaplains and their equivalents, making a positive contribution to the university and the student/staff experience from a Methodist position;
- raise awareness of the work of the Chaplaincy and encourage participation by staff and students;
- create opportunities for the exploration of the tenets of particular denominations and faiths and the relationships between faith groups with and in the contemporary world;
- helping the university community to understand and critique social issues and the dialogue between faith communities and others on matters such as justice, human rights, diversity, power and authority;
- work as part of the broader support network in order to safeguard the welfare of students and staff;
- contribute to the provision of opportunities for academic, personal and spiritual development and for the development of future citizens;
- establish and work with student groups in a range of faith-based activities
- provide a challenging and prophetic voice within the university community, acting as a critical friend and adviser on matters relating to the development of university life and ethos
- work with chaplaincy colleagues to develop the St Francis chaplaincy centre as a friendly, welcoming centre with a regular programme of activities
- help develop the life of the University Methodist Society and develop opportunities for students and saff to beome a valued part of the Methodist Church, both locally, through Selly Oak Methodist church, the Birmingham Circuit, and Connexionally, in ways which enrich the life of the college and the University;
- contribute alongside others to the pastoral care of students and staff
- remain faithful to the calling and discipline of a Methodist Presbyter in Full Connexion and in particular contribute to the wider development of Methodist and ecumenical HE chaplaincy networks.
- foster relationships with faith groups within the wider external community;
Ability to offer appropriate pastoral care in a variety of contexts, including urgent situations
Knowledge of the specific needs and spiritual development of young adults
Understanding of confidentiality in a variety of professional environments
Understanding of Child Protection/Protection of Vulnerable Adults
Understanding of personal and professional limitations and ability to make appropriate referrals
Team Working and Diversity:
Understanding of team working and willingness to engage positively and productively with chaplaincy colleagues and the various staffing and departmental structures of the University
Ability to work in an environment and team where there is great diversity of belief
Faith literacy – basic understanding of the beliefs, practices and forms of life found in the major religious and belief systems
Knowledge of work within ecumenical contexts
Proven ability of contributing effectively across an institution, as part of a team
Breadth and depth of theological knowledge appropriate for engagement in a university context, including an understanding of Methodist theology, and a grasp of the Methodist Church’s approach to social and political issues.
Ability to apply and interpret the Christian faith in differing contexts and a knowledge of apologetics
Understanding of the relationship between mission, evangelism and proselytization in a chaplaincy context
Evidence of personal spirituality with sufficient breadth and depth both to sustain the work of chaplaincy and offer spiritual direction to others
Understanding and respect for the diversity of spirituality and belief
Openness to new insights irrespective of their origin
Ability to facilitate and lead appropriate and innovative worship within the University environment and to create inclusive events to support the University in times of sorrow or celebration
An ability to work in a flexible manner
Commitment to continuing professional development and lifelong learning
Organisation and Ways of Working:
Knowledge and understanding of the UK HE sector
Knowledge of systems and ways of working in a large organisation
Ability to work to deadlines
Ability to think strategically and creatively about the work of the chaplaincy
Effective record keeping and reporting
A high level of personal responsibility, self-reliance and motivation
Familiarity with basic office computing
Excellent communication skills using a variety of media
Ability to use social networking media responsibly and willingness to adopt emerging media
Commitment to maintaining strong communication between the chaplaincy and church/circuit/district
- Appointment: This position is a station of the Methodist Church in Britain. Appointments are made by the Conference through the Stationing Committee, at the recommendation of representatives of the Chaplaincy Ovesight Group, who will arrange for interviews with prospective appointees in sufficient time to allow for the proper stationing processes to be completed. The terms on which the Church stations a Presbyter to this appointment are: an initial appointment of 5 years, followed by the possibility of further terms (each no longer than 5 years) in accordance with normal review and re-invitation procedures.
- Those applying need to contact the Stationing Advisory Committee via the secretary: Ian Pruden at for permission to take up the post.
- Stipend: The normal Methodist minister’s stipend
- Housing:A house will be provided by Birmingham Methodist circuit to the specifications of a Methodist Manse (CPD Book V11 A.2).
- Hours of Work/Holiday Entitlement/Sick Pay: Standard terms for Methodist ministers apply. Leave should be arranged with the approval of the Chaplaincy Oversight group, with the expectation that it will normally be taken outside of university terms.
- Pension: The Chaplain shall continue to be a member of the Methodist Ministers Pension Scheme.
- Due to the nature of this post, appointment will be subject to a satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). In addition, except where they relate to terms of service specific to Methodist ministers, the appointed post holder will be required to agree to all applicable policies and procedures of the University, such as (but not limited to) safeguarding and health and safety. All such policies are available on the University’s website.
- The Methodist Church has agreed that its chaplain will serve within the memorandum of understanding between the chaplaincy and the sending faith commninity, and in compliance with all appropriate professional requirements of a member of staff of the University.
- The oversight of the ministerial character and fidelity of the Methodist Chaplain remains with the Methodist Church, and is exercised by a Superintendent of the Birmingham Methodist Circuit. Local oversight of the chaplain’s work is exercised by the Birmingham University Oversight Group.
- Interested parties are invited to express interest in the role by the deadline of Friday 30th March. They should do this through sending a CV and supporting letter, setting out how they would approach this role and how they feel they are suited to it, addressing specifically the role description and person specification. The names of three referees should be provided.
- A short list will be invited to interview, which will include representatives of the University, the Birmingham Circuit and Birmingham District…….. and a name then recommended to the stationing committee, which will initiate the proper stationing processes.
A Methodist Chaplain to the University of Birmingham
Full-time from September 2018
Open to an ordained Methodist Presbyter
To work as part of the ecumenical and interfaith chaplaincy team in a leading British University.
To help support and resource the vibrant student Methodist Society.
To help represent the witness of the Christian faith in the life of the university and the wider community.
The chaplain will be stationed in the Birmingham Circuit.
Further details from the District Office, (0121 449 0131)
and from the Birmingham Methodist Circuit Website
Closing date for applications: 30th March
Interviews: 9th April