Definition of ministry in English:



  • 1(in certain countries) a government department headed by a minister.

    ‘the Ministry of Defence’
    • ‘Since arriving in China on Monday, Nowak has met with vice minister-level officials from the ministries of Foreign Affairs, Justice and Public Security.’
    • ‘In 1893 Austria's ministry of culture commissioned the artists Gustav Klimt and Franz Matsch to decorate the Great Hall of the University of Vienna.’
    • ‘The document is the result of extensive consultation with government ministries and departments and other public and private sector organisations.’
    • ‘After each question, the prime minister directed questions concerning a certain ministry over to that particular minister to answer.’
    • ‘Japan's transport ministry said today that it has been informed of a possible terrorist threat against the Yokota base, which serves as the headquarters for US forces in Japan.’
    • ‘This country has a strange culture whereby Government departments and ministries puff out their chests, depending on how much public funds they spend.’
    • ‘There will be three deputy prime ministers, and three new ministries will be created - state administration, sports and youth, and energy and energy resources.’
    • ‘During Zhu's term, the Chinese government abolished 61 separate ministries and departments and laid off more than 1.15 million officials.’
    • ‘He called on the scrap metal dealers to liaise with his ministry if they had any outstanding contracts that needed to be met.’
    • ‘Those Ministers are a risk to them, so if the Minister of State Services and the Government can roll those ministries into a bigger department, then that is fine.’
    • ‘As chairman of the Cabinet of ministers the prime minister is ultimately held responsible by the press and the public for what happens in each ministry represented in his Cabinet.’
    • ‘At the end of 2001, the provincial environment ministry issued four orders against the city of Hamilton for allowing discharges into the Red Hill Creek.’
    • ‘In short, the reforms were an effort to bring under scrutiny the activities of all Government ministries and departments through the supreme law making body of the country, Parliament.’
    • ‘The reporters' expedition to the site was organised by the Iraqi information ministry to document what it called American war ‘crimes’.’
    • ‘Also coming out of the summit was a plan to reorganize government ministries, affecting 15 ministries and 156 associated departments.’
    • ‘The movement's leader was the only one who could elect the head of the parliamentary group, the Parliament itself, the heads of ministries, and the prime minister.’
    • ‘The IGC appointed ministers to head the major ministries last summer, but never appointed a prime minister.’
    • ‘A National Policy Agency official on loan to the ministry, and a health ministry official on loan to the Cabinet Office will also take part, the officials said.’
    • ‘The recommendations of these Parliaments have been tabled to the relevant Government ministries and departments for consideration.’
    • ‘Iraq's interior ministry says that the American, a Sri Lanka and two Arab nationals were kidnapped from their office in western Baghdad today.’
    government department, department, bureau, agency, office
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  • 2[usually in singular] The work or vocation of a minister of religion.

    ‘he is training for the ministry’
    • ‘Many times church leaders or pastors may say that a ministry's goal is to change lives.’
    • ‘Love for God and neighbor, as lived out in the ministry of Jesus, specifies and constitutes freedom as Christians understand it.’
    • ‘The story is that as Hays struggled over his choice of vocation, the ministry or politics, the church and politics fought over him.’
    • ‘And Vernon Presley, Elvis' dad said Elvis felt a call toward ministry.’
    • ‘I encountered Maritain in this his last book while studying for the Episcopal ministry in 1969.’
    • ‘The church ministry is now divided according to different age groups and administered by the pastor and six deacons elected by the congregation.’
    • ‘The chapters cover topics such as: worship, Bible versions, the ministry, elders and deacons, moaners and groaners, problems in the church, and revival.’
    • ‘Will Willimon is dean of the chapel and professor of Christian ministry at Duke University.’
    • ‘I think there are going to continue to be men and women called to ministry as God would call him.’
    • ‘Fr. Dunne, since moving to Tinryland in 1989, became very well respected in the parish for his pastoral and caring ministry.’
    • ‘The antidote to this is for committed lay people, men and women, to be included in the ministry of the church.’
    • ‘He came to a personal faith in Jesus Christ in 1976 and has served in the Christian ministry for 23 years.’
    • ‘We also discussed why Marian decided to train for the ministry, and her training so far.’
    • ‘But the most important result is that, in a divided Church, ministry is not efficacious.’
    • ‘His entire Christian life and ministry revolved around visible churches.’
    • ‘I've heard it argued that it shouldn't be easier for a priest to leave the active ministry than it is for laypeople to end their marriages.’
    • ‘The office traces its origins to the New Testament church, where the ministry of Stephen and others is described in the Acts of the Apostles as their diaconia.’
    • ‘The essential apostolic office is that of the bishop, an office intimately associated with the person and ministry of Jesus Christ.’
    • ‘Does a decline in the social status of the ministry as a profession weaken recruitment?’
    • ‘In short, black women are important in the life of the church and in the ministry.’
    holy orders, the priesthood, the cloth, the church
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    1. 2.1The period of tenure of a minister of religion.
      ‘a tablet in the church commemorates his ministry there’
      • ‘Periodically in my ministry, we have done worship planning with groups of lay people.’
      • ‘During the time of His ministry, Jesus Christ lived in northern Galilee, at Capernaum, a short distance north from Magdala along the shore of the sea.’
      • ‘In the decades that followed his death, out of the circle of 12 that had accompanied him during his three years of ministry, 10 would die a martyr's death.’
      • ‘It was there that he lived during the time of the ministry and crucifixion of Jesus Christ.’
      period of office, administration, incumbency
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    2. 2.2The spiritual work or service of a Christian or a group of Christians, especially evangelism.
      ‘a ministry of Christian healing’
      • ‘Colenso continued his successful Zulu ministry, creating a schism that lasted until 1911.’
      • ‘Fairbairn entered the ministry of the Evangelical Union in Scotland.’
      • ‘Others present awards to volunteers who are concluding service in a ministry.’
      • ‘He said: ‘The village needs a place of evangelical ministry and the Baptist Chapel is the place for that.’’
      • ‘In 1996, I heard about a Christian ministry that was distributing a recording from Israel of some traditional Hebrew songs.’
      • ‘He views this as a lay ministry of evangelism as Christian and Turks intermingle within the conflicts of war.’
      • ‘Oh, you can't really do that when you're in ministry.’
      • ‘It is a Christian ministry, and all the counselors are expected to sign a statement of faith.’
      • ‘I was shocked to see that you consider yourself a Christian ministry.’
      • ‘Next year will mark fifty years of evangelical ministry at the church.’
      • ‘He then nominated his good friend, Billy Graham, to be field evangelist for the new ministry.’
      • ‘W.T.F. is an evangelical, Pentecostal ministry that believes in the full Bible, rightly divided.’
      • ‘I wonder if their passion for Christian ministry is being reframed by the instrumental, entrepreneurial drive of the business world.’
      • ‘Dr Long is also Executive Director of Presbyterian Reformed Ministries International, a North Carolina-based Christian training ministry.’
      • ‘Care Net is a U.S.-based evangelical Christian ministry that was featured in a W5 / CTV documentary last year.’
      • ‘Not too long ago I became involved with Drug-ARM, a Christian street evangelism ministry.’
      • ‘Selian is a health-care ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania.’
      • ‘This article in the Belfast Telegraph gives a good example of what kind of people they are-protecting Ulster by intimidating a woman working for a Christian ministry.’
      • ‘But no, there's no discussion whatsoever of moving Habitat away from being a Christian ministry.’
      • ‘He heads a creation ministry, the Christian Center for Science and Apologetics.’
      teaching, preaching, evangelism
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  • 3(in certain countries) a period of government under one prime minister.

    ‘Gladstone's first ministry was outstanding’
    • ‘After the death of Canning and the failure of the Goderich ministry, Wellington became prime minister in January 1828.’
    • ‘In his first ministry from 1868 to 1874, Gladstone implemented many government reforms.’
    • ‘Governments in the faction period were usually short-lived; a ministry which lasted 12 months had done well.’
  • 4rare [mass noun] The action of ministering to someone.

    ‘the soldiers were no less in need of his ministry’
    • ‘I was impressed with the pastor, interested in the church's ministry to the poor, and cajoled by a daughter whose best friend was a member.’
    • ‘Finally, he upheld patriarchy while delegating ministry and discipline even to women and children.’
    • ‘But in general, church ministry is ministry to people who need help desperately - not to people who work.’
    • ‘But he also asked for help from the same people in the square to pray for him, to give him enough strength to continue in this ministry.’


Middle English (in ministry): from Latin ministerium, from minister (see minister).