Qualifications & Honours

Code of Practice

Academic Qualifications & Other Honours

The Anglican Independent Communion is much concerned at the proliferation of bogus theological 'degrees' and other qualifications from around the world. In order that the faithful may have confidence in the qualifications of Communion clergy, the following rules are in place.

Members of the clergy will only use degree qualifications and titles associated therewith where:

1. The degree, which may be earned or honorary, is issued by a British or Australian University under the authority of a Royal Charter or statute law, or

2. The degree, earned or honorary, is issued by the Archbishop of Canterbury under the powers contained in 'Cranmer's Act' 1535, and the Education Reform Act provisions which specifically preserve this right to issue degrees, or

3. The degree, earned or honorary, is issued by a foreign university which has a government licence to issue degrees, that is to say, the degree is formally approved and recognised by the state in which it is issued, or

4. The degree is an Honorary degree issued by the Metropolitan Archbishop of the Anglican Independent Communion Worldwide, or by a Primate of any other church of the legitiate and recognised Apostolic Succession. In the latter case, the consent of the Metropolitan Archbishop shall be sought before the degree is used. In all cases in accordance with the Canons of the church, honorary degrees shall be preceded by the word 'Hon', for example 'HonDCL'

No other degree qualification or title will be used in any Communion context. There are many American Internet sites offering religious degrees and credentials. These may be legal in America due to the freedom of religion provisions of the Constitution, but they are not recognised elsewhere.

Other recognised post-nominal professional qualifications, for example MRCVS, CBiol MIBiol, MCIT, or MBCS, may be used. In any case of doubt over whether or not a professional post-nominal is recognised, advice should be sought from the Metropolitan Chancellor.

Many clergy of the Anglican Independent Communion, and indeed other churches are associated with worthy, legitimate international Chivalric Orders, for example the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, or the Order of St. Cornelius, ministry and military Awards. The position in each Province is a matter of local custom and practice, to be determined by the Presiding Bishop/Archbishop for approval.