An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Total Ministry

A model of pastoral oversight based on the development of the ministry of the whole church, lay and ordained. This model seeks to provide a comprehensive program for the education of the laity for ministry. It also seeks to insure that the laity are able to exercise their ministry by sharing fully in the power and authority of the church. The term came into official use in the Episcopal Church at the 1976 General Convention through various reports and resolutions. In Sept. 1978 forty-five lay and clergy participants met in Cincinnati, Ohio, as members of the informal support network for the Office of Lay Ministries of the Episcopal Church Center. They noted that Total Ministry is the ministry of all God's people in all areas of life, carried out through the interdependent and mutually affirming ministries of laity and clergy. Total Ministry is, therefore, correctly understood as Mutual Ministry. The drafters of this outline recognized that the local parish has the primary responsibility to develop Total Ministry.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.