Is God calling you to ordained ministry as a priest or deacon
in the Episcopal Church in Central New York?
Begin your discernment journey with us.

A message from the Bishop

Dear friend who may be feeling a nudge of the Holy Spirit,

Discerning God’s call for our lives is an essential part of living out our baptismal faith and is a lifelong journey. My hope is that you will find this page helpful as you explore God’s calling for your journey of faith, and that you will feel supported by your church community.

The Episcopal Church affirms four holy orders of ministry (lay ministry, deacon, priest, and bishop), that are mutually discerned based on our interdependent and conciliatory relationships. I encourage you to develop your understanding of each ministry by reading through the ordination rites and descriptions found in the Book of Common Prayer, on this page, and on the website of The Episcopal Church. It is worth noting that the Holy Order of the Laity is understood within the theology of the Book of Common Prayer to be the ministers of the church; the Holy Orders of deacons, priests, and bishops are developed out of lay ministry.

Discerning a call, especially to the particularities of diaconal or priestly ministry, is a communal work of mutual discernment. There are many resources in the community of Central New York to assist you in this process. I encourage you to sign up for the diocesan Messenger newsletter so that you are up-to-date on discernment retreats and workshops that are offered throughout the year.

Blessings of peace for the journey,


The Rt. Rev. Dr. DeDe Duncan-Probe
Bishop of Central New York

The discernment process for Ordination to the Priesthood

Qualities for a priest

  • Belief in Jesus and an ability to share it with others
  • Personal responsibility—an ability to admit one’s failings and articulate new learnings
  • A servant heart—compassion for others, especially those who are marginalized and disempowered
  • Maturity—personal authenticity, healthy boundaries, flexibility, a willingness to grow, a sense of humor, and the capacity to manage strong feelings and impulses
  • The gift of curiosity and an openness to lifelong learning
  • Financial responsibility
  • Resilience—the ability to adapt and learn in challenging situations, grounded in hope and love

Expectations of those aspiring to ordination to the Priesthood (Aspirants)

  • The ability to articulate a sense of call
  • Active engagement in the parish through regular attendance, pledging, and involvement in ministry for at least one year
  • Familiarity with the Discernment and Ordination process as set forth by the Bishop and the Commission on Ministry
  • Awareness of the qualities the Diocese of Central New York is seeking in a priest
  • Awareness of the length of time the discernment process may take
  • Awareness of the financial costs of education and formation for the ordained ministry
  • Willingness to follow the Bishop’s direction in training and placement for ministry
  • Commitment to serve in the Diocese of Central New York for a minimum of 2-3 years following ordination to the priesthood
  • Commitment to communicating with one’s sponsoring parish and the Bishop throughout the Discernment and Ordination process

At the direction of the local priest, the Aspirant may complete the Discernment Process Application form and submit it to the diocesan office. At the direction of the Canon to the Ordinary, the discernment process may continue.

The process of discernment may begin by the Aspirant contacting the clergyperson, the clergyperson speaking first to the Aspirant, through members of the congregation speaking to the Aspirant or the clergyperson, or any combination of the above. The journey towards ordination is one of shared discernment—the Spirit speaking both within an individual and within the congregation—throughout the process.

As the Chief Pastor, the Bishop directs and approves all theological education before Postulancy is granted. Aspirants and Nominees should not pursue theological education without prior approval from the Bishop.

Expectations of clergy guiding Aspirants

  • Familiarity with the diocesan process for Ordination as set forth by the Bishop and Commission on Ministry
  • Through discussion and prayer, help the Aspirant discern whether and when to move forward
  • Be willing to pledge financial support and continuing involvement by the parish if the Aspirant is nominated and applies for Postulancy (if granted) and Candidacy
  • Communicate honestly with the Diocese about the Aspirant’s readiness to move forward at each step in the process
  • Fulfill all canonical requirements for letters of support: recommendation at the beginning of the discernment process, nomination for Postulancy, recommendation for Candidacy, recommendations for ordination to the Diaconate, and ordination to the Priesthood

When the clergyperson feels the Aspirant is ready to move from the parish into a more formal discernment process, the clergyperson contacts the Canon to the Ordinary and instructs the Aspirant to complete the Discernment Process Application form. Clergy should also let the Aspirant know that she/he/they should begin write a spiritual autobiography, begin reading Listening Hearts, and engage a spiritual director.

Clergy also oversee the expectations of the vestry for those seeking ordination:

  • Write letters of recommendation as canonically required
  • If made a Postulant, support through prayer and financial contributions

If there is no clergyperson in charge of an Aspirant’s parish, the Aspirant may work with the local district dean.

The process of discernment may begin by the Aspirant contacting the clergyperson, the clergyperson speaking first to the Aspirant, through members of the congregation speaking to the Aspirant or the clergyperson, or any combination of the above. The journey towards ordination is one of shared discernment—the Spirit speaking both within an individual and within the congregation—throughout the process.

As the Chief Pastor, the Bishop directs and approves all theological education before Postulancy is granted. Aspirants and Nominees should not pursue theological education without prior approval from the Bishop.

Step 3: May attend optional Ministry Discernment Day/Ministry Fair to learn about call and all four orders of ministry (offered twice per year)

The Diocese of Central New York offers opportunities for all parishioners to learn about the four orders of ministry and their responsibilities.

We discuss the four orders of ministry and the importance of each as described in our Catechism:

“The ministers of the Church are lay persons, bishops, priests, and deacons.” The Book of Common Prayer, p. 855.

All baptized people are called into ministry. In the Baptismal Covenant we pledge to “…proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ,” to “…seek and serve Christ in all persons…” and to “…strive for justice and peace among all people, respecting the dignity of every human being…” The Book of Common Prayer, p. 305.

Beyond this commitment, one might discern an additional call:

  • To a specific licensed lay ministry of Worship Leader, Lay Preacher, Eucharistic Minister, or Eucharistic Visitor
  • To the Diaconate
  • To the Priesthood

Want to know more? Check the diocesan calendar to find the next scheduled Discernment Day or Ministry Fair. Participation in a Ministry Discernment Day is an optional part of the Ordination and Discernment Process.

Step 4: If recommended after one year of active involvement in a faith community, may begin formal participation with a Diocesan Discernment Team

Listening Hearts

Listening Hearts: Discerning Call in Community by Suzanne Farnham [purchase book] is the primary resource the Diocesan Discernment Teams in the Diocese of Central New York use for the process of discernment. The ministry and book are described below:

Listening Hearts Ministries, directed by Episcopalian Suzanne Farnham of Baltimore, relies on a deeply prayerful discernment process to help people and communities determine their call.

“You have a vocation in the church beyond what you understand it to be, and it’s up to you to figure out what it is.” When Farnham, wife of a retired Episcopal priest, heard that from her spiritual director, she began a journey that led indirectly to Listening Hearts. But not right away.

What Farnham realized, in time, was that she needed to find a way to discern her own call to ministry. Farnham decided to begin a project that would help members of her parish, Memorial Episcopal Church, Baltimore, to answer similar questions.

Listening Hearts draws on many kinds of spirituality: Carmelite, Benedictine and Ignatian, Quaker and Roman Catholic, Anglican and Orthodox.

The process is simple but not easy. A discernment group meets, asks questions drawn from the book, sits for long periods in silent, contemplative prayer. The goal is to evoke the signs of the Spirit.

Source: Episcopal Life (edited).

Spiritual Autobiography

The Spiritual Autobiography required of Aspirants should include a description of significant events, people, and things that have influenced how the Aspirant sees themself as a person of faith, and how the Aspirant has felt drawn to the ordained ministry as a vocation.

The Spiritual Autobiography might include, but is not limited to, responses to the following questions:

Is there a character in the Bible with whom you identify? Why?

When have you experienced God working in your life? Please describe how you have come to know God and Jesus personally? Were those experiences transformative and if so, how?

How and when do you pray? Has there been a retreat experience or workshop that has influenced your routine and prayer practice?

Discuss your call to ordained ministry addressing the following questions:

  • What is your understanding of Christian Ministry?
  • How do you distinguish between the role of the laity and that of the ordained?
  • How are you suited for ordained ministry?
  • How might God use your gifts for the kingdom if you enter ordained ministry?
  • When did you first entertain the idea of ordained ministry?
  • What events and people have most influenced you in thinking about your call?
  • In what specific ways have you experienced this call?
  • How have you seen your call confirmed?
  • How has your sense of call changed you?

How would you describe your spiritual life and discipline?

How do you decide what your annual giving will be to the Church?

How do you care for yourself in the areas of exercise, rest, and recreation?

What leadership qualities do you possess?

How do you anticipate using those gifts in ministry?

Describe your weaknesses/growing edges.

Why are you an Episcopalian? How has this Church impacted your call to ministry?

Have you been a servant outside the context of your parish?

What rewards have you found in your Christian service?

What is your vision of yourself as a minister?

Spiritual Director

A Spiritual Director is a trained and usually certified person, lay or ordained, with whom one communicates on a regular basis concerning their spiritual life. A Spiritual Director listens and, when appropriate, responds by giving “direction” which may include spiritual advice, help with discernment, suggested reading or action, or a question to ponder.

Contact the Canon to the Ordinary for a current list of trained Spiritual Directors. If you know a Spiritual Director with whom you wish to work, please confirm that this person meets with the approval of the Canon to the Ordinary.

Letter of Recommendation for Diocesan Discernment Team by Clergyperson and Vestry

When the clergyperson and vestry believe that an Aspirant is ready to work with a Diocesan Discernment Team, a letter should be sent to the Canon to the Ordinary. This letter should be an introduction of the Aspirant by the clergyperson and should include information about the Aspirant in the eight areas listed below:

Background Information: The name and contact information of the Aspirant, how long a member of the parish, how long and in what ways has the Aspirant has been involved in activities and ministries in the parish, your relationship with them, and how other parishioners view the Aspirant.

Spirituality: What have you seen of the Aspirant’s faith life? Is this person able to speak of their faith and God’s call? Is their work or ministry grounded in their faith? In what ways? What is your overall impression of this person’s spiritual health?

Leadership: Describe the leadership style of the Aspirant. How and where has this person exercised leadership in the parish? Is this person able to claim theirstrengths? Is this person aware of their weaknesses? How does the Aspirant handle conflict? Describe a conflict and how this person was able to resolve (or not) the situation.

Character and Mental Health: What is your impression of the health and stability of this Aspirant? Their maturity and judgment? Is this person able to make long-term commitments to people and projects? Is this person able to balance work and life, family and church activity?

Pastoral Abilities: Describe the Aspirant’s pastoral sensitivity—how does this person respond to another’s pain? What kinds of pastoral ministry has this person been involved in? What conflicts or fears might get in the way of this Aspirant’s ability to reach out to or sit with another person?

Gifts and Strengths: What gifts and strengths does this Aspirant bring to the priesthood? Where might this person best serve the Church and what might not be a good fit? Please explain.

Motivation for Ministry: Why is this Aspirant seeking ordination? How will this person function as a colleague, as a member of the Diocese, and in the larger Church? What does the Aspirant think of the ordination vows?

Growth and Discipline: In what areas might this Aspirant need further work spiritually, emotionally, or intellectually? Would the Aspirant agree with your assessment? Please describe one major area of struggle for this person and the work this person has done to address it.

Step 5: If recommended by Diocesan Discernment Team and nominated as a confirmed adult communicant in good standing by one’s faith community, accepts nomination, has physical and psychological evaluation, applies for Ordination Discernment Retreat and Postulancy

Letter of recommendation for ordination to the Priesthood by Diocesan Discernment Team

When the Diocesan Discernment Team believes that an Aspirant has a call to the priesthood, a letter should be written to the Bishop and copied to the Canon to the Ordinary. This letter should include a description of the discernment process taken with the Aspirant and should include information about the Aspirant in the eight areas listed below:

Background Information: The name and contact info of the Aspirant, how many conversations/meetings were held and the general impression of the Diocesan Discernment Team.

Spirituality: What have you seen of the Aspirant’s faith life? Is this person able to speak of their faith and God’s call? Is their work or ministry grounded in their faith? In what ways? What is your overall impression of this person’s spiritual health?

Leadership: Describe the leadership style of the Aspirant. How and where has this person exercised leadership in the parish? Is this person able to claim their strengths? Is this person aware of their weaknesses? How does the Aspirant handle conflict? Describe a conflict and how this person was able to resolve (or not) the situation.

Character and Mental Health: What is your impression of the health and stability of this Aspirant? Their maturity and judgment? Is this person able to make long-term commitments to people and projects? Is this person able to balance work and life, family and church activity?

Pastoral Abilities: Describe the Aspirant’s pastoral sensitivity—how does this person respond to another’s pain? What kinds of pastoral ministry has this person been involved in? What conflicts or fears might get in the way of this Aspirant’s ability to reach out to or sit with another person?

Gifts and Strengths: What gifts and strengths does this Aspirant bring to the priesthood? Where might this person best serve the church and what might not be a good fit? Please explain.

Motivation for Ministry: Why is this Aspirant seeking ordination? How will this person function as a colleague, as a member of the Diocese, and in the larger Church? What does the Aspirant think of the ordination vows?

Growth and Discipline: In what areas might this Aspirant need further work spiritually, emotionally, or intellectually? Would the Aspirant agree with your assessment? Please describe one major area of struggle for this person and the work they have done to address it.

Letter of nomination for ordination to the Priesthood from clergy and vestry

According to the Canon III.8.2 of The Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church, Adopted and Revised in General Convention 2015:

A confirmed adult communicant in good standing may be nominated for ordination to the Priesthood by the person’s congregation or other community of faith.

(a) The Nomination shall be in writing and shall include a letter of support by the Nominee’s congregation or other community of faith committing the community to: (1) pledge to contribute financially to that preparation, and (2) involve itself in the Nominee’s preparation for ordination to the Priesthood. If it be a congregation, the letter shall be signed by two-thirds of the Vestry or comparable body, and by the Member of the Clergy or leader exercising oversight.

(b) The Nominee, if agreeing, shall accept the nomination in writing, and shall provide the following to the Bishop: (1) Full name and date of birth. (2) The length of time resident in the Diocese. (3) Evidence of Baptism and Confirmation. (4) Whether an application has been made previously for Postulancy or the person has been nominated in any Diocese. (5) A description of the process of discernment by which the Nominee has been identified for ordination to the Priesthood. (6) The level of education attained and, if any, the degrees earned and areas of specialization, together with copies of official transcripts.

The Letter of Nomination shall be mailed to the Bishop, with copies sent to the Canon to the Ordinary, the Chair of the Commission on Ministry, and the Nominee.

Letter of Acceptance of Nomination by Nominee

According to the Canon III.8.2 of The Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church, Adopted and Revised in General Convention 2015:

A confirmed adult communicant in good standing may be nominated for ordination to the Priesthood by the person’s congregation or other community of faith.

(a) The Nomination shall be in writing and shall include a letter of support by the Nominee’s congregation or other community of faith committing the community to: (1) pledge to contribute financially to that preparation, and (2) involve itself in the Nominee’s preparation for ordination to the Priesthood. If it be a congregation, the letter shall be signed by two-thirds of the Vestry or comparable body, and by the Member of the Clergy or leader exercising oversight.

(b) The Nominee, if agreeing, shall accept the nomination in writing, and shall provide the following to the Bishop: (1) Full name and date of birth. (2) The length of time resident in the Diocese. (3) Evidence of Baptism and Confirmation. (4) Whether an application has been made previously for Postulancy or the person has been nominated in any Diocese. (5) A description of the process of discernment by which the Nominee has been identified for ordination to the Priesthood. (6) The level of education attained and, if any, the degrees earned and areas of specialization, together with copies of official transcripts.

The Letter of Acceptance of Nomination shall be mailed to the Bishop, with copies sent to the Canon to the Ordinary, the Chair of the Commission on Ministry, and the clergy and vestry of the Nominee’s faith community.

The date of ordination to the Priesthood is set by Canon III.8.7.(a)(1) “after at least six months since ordination as a Deacon under this Canon and eighteen months from the time of acceptance of nomination by the Nominee as provided in III.8.2(b).”

Life History Questionnaire

Complete the life history questionnaire prior to meeting with the psychologist designated by the Diocese of Central New York.

Aspirants for ordination to the priesthood receive this questionnaire for self-examination and preparation for the mental health evaluation required by the Canons of the Episcopal Church. This completed, confidential document is conveyed by the applicant directly to the mental health professional(s) conducting the clinical examination in whose custody it exclusively remains.

Behavior Screening Questionnaire

The behavior screening questionnaire is to be completed prior to meeting with the psychologist designated by the Diocese of Central New York.

Aspirants for ordination convey the completed form both to the examining mental health clinician(s) and to the diocese sponsoring the evaluation. This questionnaire remains in the clinician’s custody and in the Aspirant’s permanent diocesan file.

The examining clinician(s), diocese or any of its agents reserve the right to verify independently any information provided in this questionnaire.

All questions must be answered.

Required Medical Examination

The required medical examination form is to be completed for use by the physician conducting the physical examination in preparation for the Ordination Discernment Retreat in the Diocese of Central New York.

This report should be mailed by the examiner directly to the Bishop, and the information should be treated as strictly confidential. By submitting to this examination, the Aspirant consents to the use of the information herein in connection with their formation process.

Application for Ordination Discernment Retreat

Download the Application for Ordination Discernment Retreat.

Step 6: Attends Ordination Discernment Retreat with Bishop, Canon to the Ordinary, and Commission on Ministry

Step 7: Discernment and decisions about next steps by Bishop, Canon to the Ordinary, and Commission on Ministry

  • See the diocesan calendar for upcoming Ordination Discernment Retreats
  • Sample schedule for Ordination Discernment Retreat with and without the Standing Committee

Schedule for Ordination Discernment Retreat (including Standing Committee)

Friday

2:00 p.m. The Commission on Ministry (COM) meets to discuss paperwork for each Nominee (Nominee’s paperwork sent to each COM member the week prior by diocesan staff). Questions are discussed and plans are made. Prepared questions are discussed ahead of time with copies for COM members. COM members will discuss who will keep time, who will ask which questions, who will open and close in prayer during the Saturday breakout sessions. During this time the Standing Committee can conduct business.

4:00 p.m. While the COM meets, the Nominees, Postulants, Candidates and Transitional Deacons arrive, get copy of the schedule, meet each other, and get settled into their rooms.

5:00 p.m. The Bishop, Canon to the Ordinary, COM, Standing Committee, Nominees, Postulants, Candidates, and Transitional Deacons meet for a social hour. Spouses/significant others and children living at home are included during this time.

6:00 p.m. Dinner is served with everyone present and a more formal introduction is done. Guests/family leave after dinner, including Bishop and Canon to the Ordinary.

9:00 p.m. Compline is held and led by a Person in Process (PIP) with the COM, Standing Committee, Nominees and others; instructions for the following day are given.

Saturday

7:00 a.m. Morning Prayer lead by a COM member or PIP.

7:30-8:30 a.m. Breakfast

9:00 a.m. Breakout sessions: Each Nominee or PIP that needs to be interviewed will meet with a group of three, four, or more COM members. The Nominee is invited in and the session begins with prayer. The same primary questions are asked of each Nominee. The session closes in prayer and the Nominee leaves the room when time is called (usually 30-45 minutes). A discussion will take place reflecting the COM’s impressions of the conversation, the strengths and weaknesses seen, and any further questions they might have about the Nominee. The note keeper fills out a form after the discussion on each Nominee. PIPs who need to meet with the Standing Committee will do so during breakout sessions.

12:00 p.m. Noonday Prayer together led by a PIP.

12:30 p.m. Grace and Lunch. During lunch, the Nominees are encouraged to meet any COM members they may not be meeting during the breakout sessions.

1:30 p.m. The PIPs have free time. The COM gathers again to discuss the breakout sessions: what surprises were encountered, what questions still need to be asked, and what stories were told that need to be told to additional COM members.

2:30 p.m. More breakout sessions, if needed.

2:30 p.m. If there are no further breakout sessions, everyone meets for a simple Eucharist. Each Nominee, Postulant, Candidate and Transitional Deacon will have been assigned a reading or prayers for one or more of the worship services.

3:00 p.m. Nominees, Postulants, Candidates and Transitional Deacons leave after the Eucharist and the COM meets again to go over each Nominee and PIP. Each breakout group will report on each person interviewed and then spend time in prayer before voting to recommend or not recommend moving that individual forward in the process toward ordination.

Recommendations and ALL individual reflections on each Nominee will be given to the Bishop for her decision. All paperwork sent to us by the Diocese will be collected and shredded.

Schedule for Ordination Discernment Retreat (not including Standing Committee)

Friday

2:00 p.m. The Commission on Ministry (COM) meets to discuss paperwork for each Nominee (Nominee’s paperwork sent to each COM member the week prior by diocesan staff). Questions are discussed and plans are made. Prepared questions are discussed ahead of time with copies for COM members. COM members will discuss who will keep time, who will ask which questions, who will open and close in prayer during the Saturday breakout sessions.

4:00 p.m. While the COM meets, the Nominees, Postulants, Candidates and Transitional Deacons arrive, get copy of the schedule, meet each other, and get settled into their rooms.

5:00 p.m. The Bishop, Canon to the Ordinary, COM, Nominees, Postulants, Candidates, and Transitional Deacons meet for a social hour. Spouses/significant others and children living at home are included during this time.

6:00 p.m. Dinner is served with everyone present and a more formal introduction is done. Guests/family leave after dinner, including Bishop and Canon to the Ordinary.

9:00 p.m. Compline is held and led by a Person in Process (PIP) with the COM, Nominees and others; instructions for the following day are given.

Saturday

7:00 a.m. Morning Prayer lead by a COM member or PIP.

7:30-8:30 a.m. Breakfast

9:00 a.m. Breakout sessions: Each Nominee or PIP that needs to be interviewed will meet with a group of three, four, or more COM members. The Nominee is invited in and the session begins with prayer. The same primary questions are asked of each Nominee. The session closes in prayer and the Nominee leaves the room when time is called (usually 30-45 minutes). A discussion will take place reflecting the COM’s impressions of the conversation, the strengths and weaknesses seen, and any further questions they might have about the Nominee. The note keeper fills out a form after the discussion on each Nominee.

12:00 p.m. Noonday Prayer together led by a PIP.

12:30 p.m. Grace and Lunch. During lunch, the Nominees are encouraged to meet any COM members they may not be meeting during the breakout sessions.

1:30 p.m. The PIPs have free time. The COM gathers again to discuss the breakout sessions: what surprises were encountered, what questions still need to be asked, and what stories were told that need to be told to additional COM members.

2:30 p.m. More breakout sessions, if needed.

2:30 p.m. If there are no further breakout sessions, everyone meets for a simple Eucharist. Each Nominee, Postulant, Candidate and Transitional Deacon will have been assigned a reading or prayers for one or more of the worship services.

3:00 p.m. Nominees, Postulants, Candidates and Transitional Deacons leave after the Eucharist and the COM meets again to go over each Nominee and PIP. Each breakout group will report on each person interviewed and then spend time in prayer before voting to recommend or not recommend moving that individual forward in the process toward ordination.

Recommendations and ALL individual reflections on each Nominee will be given to the Bishop for her decision. All paperwork sent to us by the Diocese will be collected and shredded.

Step 8: Admission as a Postulant in formal formation for ordination to the Priesthood, including seminary education, Clinical Pastoral Education, and field placements

Application for consideration as a Candidate for ordination to the Priesthood

According to Canon III.8.5 of The Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church:

(a) A person desiring to be considered as a Candidate for ordination to the Priesthood shall apply to the Bishop. Such application shall include the following: (1) the Postulant’s date of admission to Postulancy, and (2) a letter of support by the Postulant’s congregation or other community of faith. If it be a congregation, the letter shall be signed and dated by at least two-thirds of the Vestry or comparable body and by the Member of the Clergy or other leader exercising oversight.

(b) Upon compliance with these requirements, and receipt of a statement from the Commission attesting to the continuing formation of the Postulant, and having received approval in writing of the Standing Committee who shall have interviewed the Postulant and who shall have had an opportunity to review the documentation relating to the application of the Postulant, the Bishop may admit the Postulant as a Candidate for the ordination to the Priesthood…

Application from a Candidate requesting ordination to the Transitional Diaconate

According to Canon III.8.6 of The Constitutions and Canons of the Episcopal Church:

(c) The Bishop shall obtain in writing and provide to the Standing Committee: (1) an application from the Candidate requesting ordination as a Deacon under this Canon. (2) a letter of support from the Candidate’s congregation or other community of faith, signed and dated by at least two-thirds of the Vestry and the Member of the Clergy or other leader exercising oversight. (3) written evidence of admission of the Candidate to Postulancy and Candidacy, giving the date of admission. (4) a certificate from the seminary or other program of preparation showing the Candidate’s scholastic record in the subjects required by the Canons, and giving an evaluation with recommendation as to the Candidate’s other personal qualifications for ordination together with a recommendation regarding ordination to the Diaconate under this Canon. (5) a certificate from the Commission giving a recommendation regarding ordination to the Diaconate under this Canon.

Step 11: Ordination to the Priesthood (minimum of six months after ordination to the transitional Diaconate and 18 months from acceptance of nomination by Nominee)

Application from a Transitional Deacon requesting ordination to the Priesthood

According to Canon III.8.7 of The Constitutions and Canons of the Episcopal Church:

(b) The Bishop shall obtain in writing and provide to the Standing Committee: (1) an application from the Deacon requesting ordination as a Priest, including the Deacon’s dates of admission to Postulancy and Candidacy and ordination as a Deacon under this Canon, (2) a letter of support from the Deacon’s congregation or other community of faith, signed by at least two-thirds of the Vestry and the Member of the Clergy or other leader exercising oversight, (3) evidence of admission to Postulancy and Candidacy, including dates of admission, and ordination to the Diaconate, (4) a certificate from the seminary or other program of preparation, written at the completion of the program of preparation, showing the Deacon’s scholastic record in the subjects required by the Canons, and giving an evaluation with recommendation as to the Deacon’s other personal qualifications for ordination together with a recommendation regarding ordination to the Priesthood, and (5) a statement from the Commission attesting to the successful completion of the program of formation designed during Postulancy under Canon III.8.5, and proficiency in the required areas of study, and recommending the Deacon for ordination to the Priesthood.

(c) On the receipt of such certificates, the Standing Committee, a majority of all the members consenting, shall certify that the canonical requirements for ordination to the Priesthood have been met and there is no sufficient objection on medical, psychological, moral, or spiritual grounds and that they recommend ordination, by a testimonial addressed to the bishop in the form specified below and signed by the consenting members of the Standing Committee.

Step 12: Minimum 2-3 years of service in the Diocese of Central New York

The discernment process for ordination to the diaconate

The Commission on Ministry is working on an updated outline of the discernment process to become a deacon in the Diocese of Central New York. Meanwhile, please speak to your clergyperson or district dean about your sense of call, and review the  Deacon Customary. The information in the Customary is temporary and will be updated soon by the Commission on Ministry.

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