The Faith Action Programme have developed a scheme in order to assist Presbytery in their support of Candidates for our ministries. This scheme is called Formation Partnership.

The role of a Formation Partner is open to all – ordained and non-ordained – who we feel have the skills to offer this kind of support to candidates.  Formation Partners will act as a ‘critical friend’ to a Candidate throughout their training.  Formation Partners will provide a safe space for their Candidate to explore their experience of placements and studies in light of their faith and call to ministry. A Formation Partner also acts as a link to Presbytery for their Candidate. Additionally, Formation Partners will write an end of year report at the end of the Candidate’s academic year and represents Presbytery at the Candidate’s annual appraisal as an assessor.

The training course for this scheme is provided by the People & Training Team. As part of this training, we ask that all Formation Partners watch through these pre-recorded videos. Those we have identified as suitable to become involved can access whenever is suitable for them. There will also be two online sessions, one held in late Summer and early Spring, to allow Partners to share reactions and questions they may have, reflect on previous experience, and learn more information about the training process and their role in it.


The role of a Formation Partner is more akin to a coach than a supervisor. You will be providing a safe space for Candidates to examine whether they are developing their call in the way they had envisaged. Iain Johnston, who is Director Faith in Community, who does coaching training for the Church, tells us more;

Emotional Intelligence

As a Formation Partner, you will act as a ‘critical friend’ to a Candidate throughout their training.  Candidates are working in a primarily relational field, and understanding Emotional intelligence will help candidates in their personal growth through their ministry.

We suggest starting by watching the below videos;

What is emotional intelligence?

How to develop emotional intelligence

Relating this learning to the context of ministry

John Finch, a former Ministry Support officer with Priority Areas who is trained in this area, tells us more;

Please note, John is no longer available to consult on this matter.

For more information regards the Formation Partnership process, please email us at