What is the School for Formation?

The Episcopal tradition calls every baptized person into ministry, responding to God’s love by living out Christ’s ministry of reconciliation. Our Prayer Book describes four orders of ministry — lay people, deacons, priests, and bishops.

The School for Formation was created to help individuals and groups engage more deeply with their call to ministry by learning, skillbuilding and networking in order to live out those gifts in service to God and in partnership with others in their neighborhood.

Find out more about discernment here or learn more about the Episcopal Church in Minnesota here.

All of us have talents and skills given by God. In Baptism we hear the call to discern what passions and talents give us most life, and to offer those gifts where they will bring the most good to the world.

But between the discernment and the sending, there is a need for formation, for learning, for grounding in wisdom, for gaining skills that let us offer our gifts with the most impact. The School for Formation came together because of that need for formation for those called to lay or ordained leadership in our faith communities.

Formation for Lay Leaders        Formation for Ordination

If you have discerned a call to serve, or if you have a longing to deepen your understanding of God and of our tradition, then you can find in the School for Formation the preparation and the learning you need. All are welcome!

Key commitments of the School for Formation:

  • Leaders as ministry developers: We empower leaders, lay and ordained, to see themselves as ministry developers who will to facilitate deepening faith in the Good News of Jesus Christ, and go with God’s people into the world to join in God’s work.
  • Knowledge for the sake of mission: Participants will be asked how they might teach, preach, or design learning experiences for others with the content learned, rather than writing graduate papers.
  • Learning in context: All course content will be encountered in the light of opportunities and challenges facing the participant’s own faith community.
  • Learning online and face-to-face: Because we are spread throughout Minnesota, most of our courses take place online: participants connect via the internet to submit assignments, take part in discussions, and engage with one other. But formation doesn’t happen without face-to-face connection. Each course will meet for an in-person gathering with the instructor at least once.

Learning Objectives of the School for Formation

Developed in partnership with the Church Divinity School of the Pacific

At the conclusion of the initial course of study, students will be equipped to continue in their own discipleship, to make new disciples, and to equip those disciples to live in service to the Gospel, engaging God’s mission in the world around them.

Specifically, students will be able to:

  • Tell, reflect upon, and use the stories of Scripture, Christian practices, and Anglican tradition to inspire, heal, and form disciples for God’s mission.
  • Assist individuals and faith communities in listening to their cultural contexts, discerning their particular gifts, and bringing these together in a sustainable way to meet the needs of the world.
  • Gather and equip faith communities to join God’s work in their neighborhoods and in the world.
  • Design and implement a long-range plan for their own development as faithful Christian disciples and leaders.