Baptism and the ministry of all the baptized are primary in the Anglican Church.  The Christian identity and purpose baptism gives to all the people of God is the source from which all vocation and ministry flows.

Some of the baptised discern an even more specific call that is focused on ministry within and to the Church, itself.  These "orders," the orders of deacon, priest and bishop, find their roots in the early Church as it attempted to provide for the needs of Christian communities of faith.  Deacons assist bishops and priests in their work but also have a special responsibility in Christ's name to minister to and advocate for the poor, the sick, the suffering and helpless.  Priests or presbyters participate in the mission and pastoral ministry of the church as well as ensuring that the preaching of the Word of God and the administration of the sacraments creates and contributes to vital communities of faith.  And, finally, bishops are to carry on the apostolic work of leading, encouraging, and uniting the Church and to do so in collaboration with all other orders.

The liturgies of the ordination of deacon, priest and bishop share common elements: the placement and grounding of the ordination in the context of Holy Eucharist, that liturgy that witnesses to the Paschal Mystery, losing life in order to gain life; the presentation of the ordinand by others, and an examination in which the candidate affirms his or her belief that he or she is called to this particular ministry as well as the his or her affirmation of loyalty to Scripture and to those in authority over him or her.