Formation for the Diaconate

1.  Process towards Postulancy:

a. enter the School for Formation in the diaconate academic curriculum
b. meet with Missioners for the Diaconate to develop mentoring and cohort tracks
c. Discernee fills out Application for Holy Orders (Form D) and sends it to the Bishop’s office, including with it:

    • sense of call
    • spiritual autobiography
    • resume
    • picture
    • transcripts from most recent education
    • proof of confirmation
    • proof of baptism
    • Waiver of Information (Form F) – also bring waiver to psychological and medical appointment

d. set up psychiatric appointment at North Central Ministry Development Center, using Form H, (note: the fee is approximately $1100 which is typically paid as follows – 1/3 by individual, 1/3 by local faith community, 1/3 by Episcopal Church in Minnesota)
e. set up medical appointment, using Form G and the Church Pension Group (CPG) recommended forms
f. Discernee discusses their application with Sponsoring Priest and asks them to bring support for nomination to Vestry or Bishop’s Committee
g. Sponsoring Priest and Vestry or Bishop’s Committee review materials and fills out Form E Nomination by Vestry/Bishop’s Committee
h. Sponsoring Priest writes a separate letter of recommendation and sends it along with Form E  to the Bishop’s Office
i. When all of above materials have been sent to the Bishop’s Office, set appointment with the Bishop to review material and to discuss discernment and formation to date.
j. Person eligible for Postulancy, as determined by the Bishop, following their meeting

2. Non-Academic work in Diaconate Track:

a. Continue working with a Spiritual Director
b. Be assigned a deacon-mentor (duration of formation)
c. Be assigned to an Internship: faith-community setting (first year)
d. Be assigned to an Internship: pastoral care setting (second year)
e. Particulate in a liturgical practicum
f. Social justice “Plunge” experience (summer between first and second year)
g. Regular participation in Cohort Group

3.     School for Formation Core Curriculum:

The diaconate track is a two-year program with three trimesters per year: six courses per year. Courses are hybrid: combining online learning with face-to-face instruction. The curriculum includes courses on: scripture, liturgy, theology, history, and ethics. See courses for current offerings.

4.     Process towards Candidacy

a. In the fall of the second year of formation, the postulant submits the Application for Candidacy (Form I); and
b. The Sponsoring Congregation submits the Vestry/Bishop’s Committee Recommendation for Candidacy (Form J)
c. COM reviews the file and makes a recommendation to the Standing Committee
d. Standing Committee reviews file and sends a readiness report to the Bishop
e. Bishop affirms and establishes date of Candidacy

5.     Process towards Ordination to the Diaconate

Note: Date of Ordination should be no less than 18 months from Date of Application to Holy Orders (Date from Form D)

a. At the completion of formation, Candidate submits an Application for Ordination to the Diaconate (Form K)
b. The Sponsoring Congregation submits the Vestry/Bishop’s Committee Recommendation for Candidacy (Form L)
c. Within 36 months of Ordination to the Diaconate, the following must be accomplished or, if beyond 36 months, re-examined:

    • Background Check (Oxford)
    • Psychological Testing (North Central)
    • Medical  Test

d. Candidate provides proof of certification for the following:

    • Safe Church training
    • Anti-racism training
    • Civil Report training
    • Title IV training
    • Episcopal Church in Minnesota history

e. Examining Chaplains submit a report of demonstration of competencies
f. School for Formation transcript
g. COM recommendation
h. Standing Committee reviews file and conducts optional interview
i. Standing Committee sends a testimonial to Bishop indicating recommendation
j. Bishop affirms and establishes date of Ordination