Guidelines for Those Seeking Holy Orders

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1 THE EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF CALIFORNIA Guidelines for Those Seeking Holy Orders A Publication of the Commission on Ministry 1055 Taylor Street San Francisco CA (415) Process Effective Date: December 1, 2010 Latest document revision: August 18, 2011

2 THE DISCERNMENT PROCESS FOR HOLY ORDERS INITIAL DISCERNMENT The People of God, infused with the Holy Spirit and assisted by resources and training provided by the Bishop and Commission on Ministry, seek persons whose demonstrated qualities of Christian commitment and potential for leadership and vision mark them as desirable candidates for positions of ordained leadership in the Church. Such persons must be confirmed adult communicants in good standing. (TEC Canons III.3.1). An Inquirer (a person entering into the discernment process for ordained ministry) must meet with the priest in charge of his or her congregation for advice and guidance. Both the Inquirer and the clergy person should read through this document as well as the booklet Discerning the Call to Ministry (available at click on CAREERS, then Holy Order Discernment Process ). As part of initial discernment, inquirers will meet regularly (at least once per month) with a trained Spiritual Director. Inquirers should choose a Spiritual Director with whom he or she does not have an existing therapeutic or pastoral relationship. Inquirers must attend a Day of Discernment workshop and complete the 12-week Time of Discernment program. The schedule for these two requirements can be obtained from the Vocations Office. The Inquirer, with the approval of the Rector or Vicar, and after being a member of the congregation for at least three years, begins discernment with the Local Discernment Committee (LDC), a committee formed at the congregational, Area or Deanery level. The Inquirer may engage in a supervised ministry experience. STEPS FOR INQUIRERS SEEKING NOMINATION FOR ORDINATION STEP 1. Using the discernment process outlined above, the Inquirer, LDC and Rector/Vicar should come to an agreement about whether or not the Inquirer will seek nomination for ordination. If all are in agreement that the Inquirer should move ahead, the LDC will help the Inquirer prepare and submit the Nomination Package to the Vocations Office. All forms for the ordination process may be found online at Click on CAREERS, then Holy Order Discernment Process. The Inquirer should keep a copy of all documents sent to the Vocations Office and use the check list of requirements to ensure that all requirements are met. The NOMINATION PACKAGE consists of: Form N1 Application for Nomination for Holy Orders. Include certificates of completion for Day of Discernment and Time of Discernment. 2

3 Form N2 Congregational Endorsement of Nomination for Holy Orders. The letter must be signed by two-thirds of the Vestry or Bishop s Committee of the sponsoring congregation, as well as the Clergy person involved in the initial discernment. Form N3 Autobiography. The inquirer should write an autobiography (not to exceed 400 words or two pages, double-spaced type), which describes the educational and employment experience of the applicant, as well as reasons for seeking Holy Orders and a description of people and events that influenced the decision to seek Postulancy. This document should be submitted to the priest of the sponsoring congregation, the LDC and the Diocesan Vocations Office. STEP 2. The Nominee must accept the nomination in writing (TEC III.6.2b) by signing Form N1. The Vocations Office will confirm in writing that the package has been received. Nomination takes place entirely at the local level (i.e. home parish and Local Discernment Committee) and does not require approval of the Bishop or diocesan Commission on Ministry (COM). The Nomination process formally introduces the individual at the diocesan level and notifies the Diocese of an individual s desire to be ordained. NOMINATION Upon submission of the Nomination Package with the Nominee s written acceptance of the nomination, the Nominee is ready to begin preparing the application for Postulancy. During this phase of the process, the Nominee should continue working with his or her spiritual director and Local Discernment Committee. STEPS FOR NOMINEES SEEKING ADMISSION TO THE POSTULANCY STEP 1. The Nominee works with the LDC to prepare and submit the Postulancy Package to the Vocations Office. The Postulancy Package should be received in its entirety at least 90 days before the Vocations Conference. The Vocations Office will confirm in writing that the package has been received. The POSTULANCY PACKAGE consists of: Form P1 Application for Postulancy, including College transcripts. A person ordained in another Christian body must also provide transcripts of theological education. The Nominee and the priest of the sponsoring parish complete the form together. Form P2 Personal Financial Statement Form P3 Four letters of Recommendation for Postulancy. The Nominee should invite two individuals who know the applicant in a church setting, and two who know him or her outside of Church. These letters should reflect deep knowledge of the applicant and be detailed and specific. Of the four, at least three must be written by lay persons. The writers should each be given Form P3 to fill out and return directly to the Vocations Office. Form P4 Letter of support from the Vicar or Rector of the sponsoring congregation. 3

4 Form P5 Local Discernment Committee Evaluation. The LDC must submit its composite evaluation of the applicant directly to the Vocations Office on Form P7. Form P6 Congregational Endorsement of Application for Postulancy. After the LDC reports to the vestry or bishop s committee with its recommendation regarding the nominee, the vestry or bishop s committee fills out Form P6 and submits it directly to the Vocations Office. STEP 2. Background Check Form B The Behavioral Screening Questionnaire should be completed and mailed separately to the Vocations Office before the psychological exam. Upon receipt of Form B, the Vocations Office will arrange for a Background Check through the agency designated by the diocese. The diocese will cover the cost of the background check. STEP 3. Psychological Evaluation Form PE Psychological Evaluation. A professional appointed by the Commission on Ministry (COM) will perform a psychological evaluation and complete and submit Form PE. The sponsoring congregation is expected to cover the $700 cost of the psychological examination. The Nominee should clearly communicate payment plans for the examination to the Vocations Office before proceeding with the examination. The full report of the psychological examination and the Behavior Screening Questionnaire (Form B-BSQ) will be kept confidential (read only by the Bishop and, at the Bishop s discretion, a consultant). STEP 4. Interview with the Member of the Commission on Ministry. Form P7 Once the Vocations Office has received the entire Postulancy Package, a member of the COM will contact the Nominee to schedule an initial interview. The COM member who meets with the Nominee will fill out and submit Form P7 to the Vocations Office prior to the next scheduled COM meeting. The COM may request additional information, as needed. STEP 5. Interview with the Bishop Form P8 After P7 from has been received by the Vocations Office, the Bishop s office will contact the Nominee to schedule an interview with the Bishop. The Bishop will evaluate the suitability and qualifications of the applicant to seek Holy Orders and will send Form P8 to the Vocations Office. If the Nominee is approved by the Bishop, the Vocations Officer will invite the Nominee to attend the Vocations Conference. STEP 6. The Vocations Conference Form P9 At the Vocations Conference (normally scheduled annually in the Spring), the Nominee will be interviewed by members of the COM and, usually, of the Standing Committee. After the conference, the interviewing team will submit its evaluation and recommendation (Form P9) to the Bishop and the full Commission for consideration along with the other information in the Nominee s file (TEC Canons III.6.3b & 8.3b). The Bishop, after hearing the findings and recommendations of the COM, will decide who will be passed to the next steps of the process (TEC Canons III.6.3d and 8.3d). STEP 7. Decision Shortly after the meeting of the Bishop with the COM, the Nominee will be notified by the Bishop or the Bishop s delegate stating whether or not Postulancy has been granted. If Postulancy is not granted, the Nominee must normally wait one to three years before reapplying (if desired). As the original material will by then have become obsolete, those reapplying must resubmit all forms and materials reflecting the Inquirer s current information and situation (beginning at Step 1). 4

5 THE POSTULANCY The Postulancy is an initial time of vocational testing and discernment. Inquirers commit themselves to a course of discernment around a particular order of ministry (Deacon or Priest) since the requirements and the preparation for each are different. During this process the Church (through the Bishop, the Commission on Ministry and the postulant s congregation), guides and evaluates the individual, in order to determine the appropriate order of ministry for that person: the order of the laity, the diaconate or the priesthood. Yearly Meeting with the Commission The Canons of the Episcopal Church do not specify a minimum or maximum time for the Postulancy. However, the length of Postulancy is usually at least six months. If Postulancy is extended beyond a year, Postulants must arrange for an additional interview with the COM to report on his or her progress. COM Liaison All postulants will be assigned a COM member who will serve as liaison with the commission. Postulants are to communicate with their liaison at least four times each year and, particularly, before each time they meet with the COM. Bishop s Approval of Educational Plan All Postulants must obtain the Bishop s approval of the seminary or other school which they hope to attend. Ember Letters The canons require that all Postulants, Candidates and Transitional Deacons report, in writing, to the Bishop four times a year reflecting on spiritual and personal development as well as academic experience and any major life changes. Postulants may choose to share the contents of their ember letters with their COM liaisons or not. Letters should be submitted electronically to the Bishop as directed by the Vocations Office and should be sent by the end of each Ember week (Saturday). Ember Days are traditionally observed the week after the First Sunday in Lent, the Day of Pentecost, Holy Cross Day, and December 13. Annual Financial Aid Requests All Postulants requesting financial aid must submit Form F, Budget and Financial Aid Request annually by April 15. Local Discernment Committee All Postulants will continue meeting with their LDC throughout their discernment period. Spiritual Director All Postulants should continue regular monthly meetings with their Spiritual Director. Spiritual Formation Group All Postulants preparing for the Priesthood must participate in monthly meetings of the spiritual support group arranged by the COM. Postulants for the Vocational 5

6 Diaconate must participate in Spiritual Formation Groups through the School for Deacons. Postulants for the Vocational Diaconate receiving their education in a school other than the School for Deacons must make provision for participation in a School for Deacons Spiritual Formation Group. Pastoral Education Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is required for those preparing for the Priesthood. For the Vocational Diaconate, CPE or some other form of approved pastoral training is required. The site at which pastoral training is undertaken must be approved by the Bishop or whomever the Bishop designates. Field Education Two years experience in field education centers, approved by the applicant s seminary or school, is required of all applicants. Ordinarily applicants should not pursue field education experience in the parish or mission that sponsors that Candidate for holy orders. A full intern year may be substituted for this requirement. (An intern year is a year during which a student takes a leave of absence from the seminary in order to work full-time in a parish or similar setting. The seminary is in charge of making such arrangements.) Multicultural Sensitivity & Canonically-Mandated Trainings Postulants should begin working on the language and diversity exposure requirements for ordination which must be completed by the end of candidacy in order to apply for ordination to the Diaconate. (See Candidacy pp.8-9) The Episcopal Church Canons require anti-racism and sexual misconduct prevention trainings prior to ordination. Individuals do not have to wait until Candidacy to take these trainings. Portfolio Postulants should begin assembling a portfolio which will be submitted as part of the application for Ordination to the Vocational Diaconate (see p. 10) or the Transitional Diaconate (see p. 12). A portfolio is a collection of materials a student has created and which evidence of a new knowledge, skills or attitudes appropriate to someone seeking ordination. A portfolio documents and validates, in a structured way, a person s formation toward ministry competencies for the Bishop and the Commission on Ministry. Portfolios provide comprehensive documentation of what the students have been doing to prepare for ordination during their time of academic training and allow the students an opportunity to dialogue with and reflect upon the training and formation experience. No Guarantee of Holy Orders Postulancy is a period in which the person tests his or her vocation and the Church can test the person s vocation. Postulancy does not automatically guarantee Candidacy for Holy Orders. Those moving into Candidacy must have clearly demonstrated gifts for ministry and the Church must have a clearly defined need for the skills and gifts offered by those seeking Orders. 6 Application for Candidacy One must remain a Postulant long enough to complete the requirements described in this document. Adequate time must pass to provide both the school and the COM with sufficient data to determine the Postulant s suitability for Candidacy. Further, sufficient time must be afforded the Postulant to thoroughly test and become committed to a specific vocational goal, either the Diaconate or the Priesthood.

7 The Postulant s vocational development will be evaluated by the COM when the requirements listed in this document have been completed. In addition, Postulants seeking ordination to the Vocational Diaconate must have completed at least nine months of work at the School for Deacons or other appropriate educational institution. Postulants seeking ordination to the Transitional Diaconate must have completed at least nine months of seminary. On the basis of this evaluation, the COM will make a formal recommendation to the Bishop and Standing Committee as to the suitability of the Postulant for Candidacy, the next step in continuing preparation for Holy Orders. STEPS FOR ALL POSTULANTS SEEKING CANDIDACY FOR VOCATIONAL OR TRANSITIONAL DEACON STEP 1. The Postulant prepares and submits the Candidate Package to the Vocations Office. The Vocations Office will confirm in writing that the package has been received. The CANDIDACY PACKAGE consists of: Letter of Application. The commission requires that the postulant submit a letter of application addressed to the Bishop, describing areas of academic and spiritual growth during Postulancy and outlining goals for growth during the remainder of theological education. The Postulant must also state his or her intended vocational goal (Deacon or Priest) and date of admission to Postulancy. Seminary Evaluation. The seminary (or other school) which the Postulant has attended must provide an evaluation showing the scholastic record and faculty evaluation of the Postulant s progress and suitability for Holy Orders (III.8.5j). Pastoral Education. Once the clinical pastoral education site or its equivalent has been arranged, the Postulant should notify the Vocations Office in writing of the dates and location of the experience in order to receive approval for the pastoral training plan. The Postulant must demonstrate successful completion of CPE or its approved equivalent. The evidence for this usually takes the form of a report by the Postulant s supervisor at the Pastoral Education site. The Postulant is responsible for making sure that this report reaches the Vocations Office. Report on Intern Year: If an Intern Year is undertaken, the Postulant should notify the Vocations Office of its dates and location. The supervisor at the location should submit a summary report, including an evaluation of the Postulant s work and recommended areas for growth, to the Vocations Office at the end of the year. Form CI: Congregational Endorsement. The Vestry or Bishop s Committee of the Postulant s sponsoring congregation must sign and send Form C1, Congregational Endorsement of Application for Candidacy (TEC Canons III 6:4a & 8.4a) to the Vocations Office. STEP 2. Interview with the Commission on Ministry (TEC Canons III.6.4b & 8.4b) The Postulant must schedule an interview with the COM. The COM recommendation for Candidacy is sent to the Standing Committee and the Bishop on Form C2. STEP 3. Consent by the Standing Committee (TEC Canons III.6.4b and 8.4b) The Standing Committee must give its consent for admission to Candidacy. The Standing Committee will schedule an unterview with the individual following the COM interview. The Standing Committee will inform the COM and the Bishop of its decision on Form C2. 7

8 STEP 4. Decision After receiving the recommendation of the COM and the Standing Committee, the Bishop will grant or deny Candidacy. The Vocations Office will notify the postulant of the Bishop s decision. 8 CANDIDACY Candidacy is a period of continued self-evaluation, as well as an opportunity for the Church to test the person s vocation. Candidacy does not guarantee ordination to Holy Orders. It is also a time when Candidates can gain greater clarity about their vocational goal, its demands and its opportunities. The Commission on Ministry will seek to assist Candidates in selecting individualized ways to prepare for ministry. Requirements for Vocational Diaconate and Transitional Diaconate are not identical. Candidates must be sure to follow the guidelines for the appropriate candidacy. Ember Letters All Candidates should communicate with the Bishop, in writing, four times a year during Ember Weeks, reflecting on academic experience and personal and spiritual development. Ember letters are to be submitted electronically as directed by the Vocations Office and should be sent by the end of the Ember Week (Saturday). Candidates may choose to share the contents of their Ember Letters with their COM liaison or not. Local Discernment Committee All Candidates will continue meeting with their LDC. Spiritual Director All Candidates will continue monthly meetings with their Spiritual Director. Spiritual Formation Group All Candidates preparing for the Priesthood must participate in monthly meetings of the Spiritual Support Group. Candidates for the Vocational Diaconate participate in Spiritual Formation Groups through the School for Deacons. Candidates receiving their education in a school other than the School for Deacons must make provision for participation in a School for Deacons Spiritual Formation Group. Ministry Candidates who have completed field education and/or graduated are expected to be engaged actively in ministry in a congregation, institution, diocesan program or in an Area Ministry. Multicultural Sensitivity Language Requirement: 1). All persons seeking ordination must have a good-to-excellent fluency in English and a knowledge of one other language spoken in the geographic region of the Diocese of California. English-speaking candidates must have at least two semesters of study of another language or the equivalent in an intensive and/or immersion learning situation. The Vocations Office can provide suggested courses of study.

9 2). All applicants for ordination to the vocational diaconate must be able to say the Lord s Prayer and be able to do an emergency baptism in English and a second language. All applicants for ordination to the priesthood must be able to say the Lord s Prayer, a blessing, the absolution and the Eucharistic words of institution, and do an emergency baptism in English and a second language. 3). Applicants must familiarize themselves with the Multicultural Sensitivity Materials of the Diocese of California available online with the ordination discernment resources. Exposure to Diversity: 1). All candidates must arrange at least two visits to an Episcopal congregation in the Diocese of California which have a different ethnic identity than the candidate or the congregation from which the candidate comes. (Alternatively, the candidate may visit two different congregations once.) The candidate must submit a written reflection on the experience. The Multicultural Sensitivity Materials of the Diocese of California includes some suggestions for reflection. These materials are available from the Vocations Office. 2). All candidates must participate in a cultural immersion experience and write a reflection on that experience. The Vocations Office can provide suggested immersion programs. Training required by TEC Canons III.6.5g and 8.5h (see Form D2) All Candidates must have signed documentation of their participation in an antiracism training. They must read and familiarize themselves with the diocesan document Called to Right Relationship, which can be downloaded from the Diocesan Web site (click on Resources and then Safe Church Policies). Candidates must also complete the required trainings on prevention of sexual misconduct and civil requirements for reporting and pastoral opportunities for responding to evidence of abuse. Contact the Vocations Office for a schedule of required trainings. They must read and familiarize themselves with the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church, particularly Title IV, the Disciplinary Canons. Communication with Commission Candidates should continue to communicate with the COM through their assigned liaisons, with an eye toward timely completion of requirements. Candidates should be in touch with their liaisons at least four times a year, and particularly before each time they are to meet with the commission. Candidates should also maintain relations with appropriate representatives of their sponsoring parish. Annual Financial Aid Request All Candidates requesting financial aid must submit Form F, Budget and Financial Aid Request annually by April 15. Canonical Examinations for Candidates for the Priesthood The General Board of Examining Chaplains administers the General Ordination Examination (GOE) in January of each year. It is essential that those Candidates intending to take the GOE should so advise the Vocations Office by the end of the 9

10 month of October preceding the date of the examinations. The Vocations Office will make arrangements for the test. The Candidate must be examined and show proficiency in the following subject matters prior to ordination (TEC Canon III.8.5g): The Holy Scriptures Church History Christian Theology Christian Ethics and Moral Theology Studies in Contemporary Society Liturgics Theory and Practice of Ministry No Guarantee of Holy Orders Candidacy remains a time for critical evaluation and discernment and does not guarantee ordination. STEPS FOR CANDIDATES SEEKING ORDINATION TO THE VOCATIONAL DIACONATE A person may be ordained to the Diaconate after a minimum of 18 months from the written acceptance of Nomination and upon attainment of at least twenty-four years of age. (TEC Canons III.6.6a). The steps in the application process are: STEP 1. Letter of Application Each candidate must write a brief letter of application addressed to the Bishop indicating birth date, dates of nomination, admission to postulancy and candidacy and requesting ordination to the Vocational Diaconate. This letter will be submitted by the Vocations Office to the COM and the Standing Committee (TEC Canons III.6.6a & 6b). STEP 2. Mid-Candidacy Interview The Commission on Ministry may schedule a mid-candidacy interview after approximately six months. STEP 3. Portfolio Candidates must submit a portfolio demonstrating academic preparation and formation for ordination to the Diaconate to the COM. The portfolio may be submitted in hardcopy or digital format. Candidates are encouraged to put materials created in their education process into the portfolio whenever possible. The portfolio will be evaluated by the Diocesan Board of Examining Chaplains under the direction of the COM and the Candidate may be interviewed by the Board. The portfolio must include: All transcripts documenting theological education and other relevant vocational education (including Pastoral Education) Evaluation from the School for Deacons or other training program Letter of evaluation from the Pastoral Education supervisor Letters of evaluation from Field Education supervisor(s) The Candidate s own evaluation of academic and ministry strengths and areas requiring further growth At least one sermon in written as well as audio or video format At least one theological reflection paper 10

11 A two-page reflection on the congregational field education experience A two-page reflection on the social agency field education experience A two-page reflection on the spiritual challenges faced during the time of Postulancy and Candidacy Multicultural sensitivity reflection papers One or two other documents or other materials of the Candidate s choice that reflect some aspect of training or ministry, or the candidate s identity, not reflected in the other materials (these may be in the form of recordings, poetry, music, art, photographs, etc.). STEP 4. Medical Examination Form ME The Diocese requires a medical examination within 36 months of ordination (TEC Canons III.6.5j). The medical examination is to be performed by a physician of the nominee s choice, at the nominee s expense. The examining physician will complete and submit Form ME, Physician s Report. STEP 5. Psychological Evaluation If ordination to the diaconate does not take place within 36 months of the first psychological evaluation (TEC CanonsIII.8:5k), the candidate must have a second psychological evaluation in the form of an interview with the Psychologist. The results of the interview are reported by means of a letter. The evaluation should be available at the time of the mid-candidacy interview, if that is required. Candidates who need a second psychological evaluation should notify the Vocations Office of their intent to apply for ordination to the Vocational Diaconate. The Vocations Office will arrange for the psychological interview. STEP 6. Background Check Form B The Diocese requires a second background check (Form B) if the background check on record was not completed within thirty-six months of the expected ordination date (TEC Canons III.6.5j). STEP 7. Congregational Endorsement Form D1 The sponsoring congregation must furnish evidence of its official endorsement of the Candidate on Form D1, Congregational Endorsement for Ordination to the Diaconate (TEC Canons III 6.6b). STEP 8. Formation and Demonstration of Competence The Canons of the Episcopal Church (TEC Canons III.6.5f) require each Candidate for the Diaconate to demonstrate competence in five general areas: Academic studies, including The Holy Scriptures, theology, and the tradition of the Church Diakonia and the diaconate Human awareness and understanding Spiritual development and discipline Practical training and experience Graduation from the School for Deacons with a degree or a certificate in combination with submission of the Portfolio is recognized as demonstrating adequate formation and preparation in these areas. Candidates who have attended academic programs at other theological schools must take courses at the School for Deacons in diaconal studies. STEP 9. Signature Form Form D2 The candidate must complete the signature form (Form D2) for the Multicultural Sensitivity and Training Mandated by the Canons of the Episcopal Church (language, cultural immersion, antiracism, and sexual abuse prevention). STEP 10. Interview with the Commission on Ministry 11

12 Form D3 When the preceding steps have been completed, the Candidate should, through the Vocations Office, schedule an interview with the COM, in order to obtain its recommendation for ordination to the Diaconate. This recommendation is sent to the Bishop and Standing Committee on Form D3. STEP 11. Consent by the Standing Committee Form D3 The Standing Committee must certify that the canonical requirements for ordination to the Diaconate have been met (TEC Canons III.8.7c). Therefore, the Standing Committee will interview the Candidate closely following the interview and recommendation by the COM. The committee also submits its testimonial on Form D3. STEP 12. Decision After receiving the recommendation of the COM and the Standing Committee, the Bishop will decide on ordination. The Vocations Office will notify the Candidate in writing of the decision of the Bishop and of the date of ordination to the vocational diaconate. The Candidate will also be informed of the date and location of the ordination retreat. VOCATIONAL DIACONATE Fresh Start Group Fresh Start, a group for all newly ordained people, meets several times a year. The coordinator of this program will be in touch with all Deacons regarding participation. STEPS FOR CANDIDATES SEEKING ORDINATION TO THE TRANSITIONAL DIACONATE There is no minimum time requirement for Candidacy prior to ordination to Transitional Diaconate specified in the Canons of The Episcopal Church. (TEC Canons III.8.6) The steps in the process are: STEP 1. Letter of Application Each Candidate must write a brief letter of application addressed to the Bishop, indicating birth date, dates of nomination, admission to the postulancy and candidacy, and requesting ordination to the Transitional Diaconate (TEC Canons 8.6b & 6c). This letter will be submitted by the Vocations Office to the COM and to the Standing Committee. STEP 2. Mid-Candidacy Interview The Commission on Ministry may schedule a mid-candidacy interview after ten to twelve months. STEP 3. Portfolio Candidates must submit to the COM a portfolio which demonstrates their academic preparation and formation for ordination to the Transitional Diaconate. The portfolio may be submitted in hardcopy or digital format. Candidates are encouraged to put materials created in their education process in the portfolio whenever possible. The portfolio will be evaluated by the Diocesan Board of Examining Chaplains under the direction of the COM and the Candidate may be interviewed by the Board. The portfolio must include: Seminary and other school transcripts (including CPE) Seminary letter of evaluation Letter of evaluation from the field education supervisor 12

13 Letters of evaluation from CPE supervisor and intern supervisor (if applicable) including areas for growth The Candidate s personal evaluation of academic and ministry strengths and areas requiring further growth At least one sermon in written as well as audio or video format At least one theological reflection paper A reflection on the congregational field education experience (and intern year if applicable) A reflection on the spiritual challenges faced during the time of Postulancy and Candidacy A copy of the General Ordination Examination and evaluations Multicultural sensitivity reflection papers Two or three other documents or other materials of the candidate s choice that reflect some aspect of training or ministry or the candidate s identity, not reflected in the other materials (these may be in the form of recordings, poetry, music, art, photographs, etc) STEP 4. Medical Examination Form ME The Diocese requires a medical examination within 36 months of ordination (TEC Canons III.8.5k). The medical examination is to be performed by a physician of the nominee s choice, at the nominee s expense. The examining physician will complete and submit Form ME, Physician s Report. STEP 5. Psychological Evaluation If ordination to the diaconate does not take place within 36 months of the first psychological evaluation (TEC CanonsIII.8:5k), the candidate must have a second psychological evaluation in the form of an interview with the Psychologist. The results of the interview are reported by means of a letter. The evaluation should be available at the time of the mid-candidacy interview, if that is required. Candidates who need a second psychological evaluation should notify the Vocations Office of their intent to apply for ordination to the Transitional Diaconate. The Vocations Office will arrange for the psychological interview. STEP 6. Background Check Form B The Diocese requires a second background check (Form B) if the background check on record was not completed within thirty-six months of the expected ordination date (TEC Canons III.8.5k). STEP 7. Congregational Endorsement Form D1 The Vestry or Bishop s Committee of the individual s sponsoring congregation must furnish evidence of its official endorsement of the Candidate on Form D1, Congregational Endorsement for Ordination to the Transitional Diaconate (TEC III.8.6c). STEP 8. General Ordination Examination All Candidates seeking eventual ordination to the Priesthood must show evidence of successful completion of the General Ordination Exam. Results of the GOE are sent to the Vocations Office and those Candidates who do not receive satisfactory evaluations in all areas by the National Board of Examining Chaplains will be referred by the Bishop to the Diocesan Board of Examining Chaplains who will evaluate the GOE results in the light of the Candidate s Portfolio. If, in the judgment of the Examining Chaplains, competence has not been demonstrated in certain of the canonical areas, this requirement may be fulfilled by the satisfactory completion of further study or writing which the Examining Chaplains may prescribe after consultation with the Bishop. The results of any supplemental examinations must be reported to the COM. STEP 9. Signature Form Form D2 The candidate must complete the signature form (Form D2) for the Multicultural Sensitivity and Training Mandated by the Canons of the Episcopal Church (language, cultural immersion, antiracism, and sexual abuse prevention). 13

14 STEP 10. Interview with the Commission on Ministry Form D4 When the preceding steps have been completed, the Candidate should, through the Vocations Office, schedule an interview with the COM, in order to obtain its recommendation for ordination to the Diaconate. This recommendation is sent to the Bishop and Standing Committee on Form D4. STEP 11. Consent by the Standing Committee Form D4 The Standing Committee must certify that the canonical requirements for ordination to the Priesthood have been met (TEC Canons III.8.7c). Therefore, the Standing Committee will interview the Candidate closely following the interview and recommendation by the COM. The committee also submits its testimonial on Form D4. STEP 12. Decision After receiving the recommendation of the COM and the certification from the Standing Committee, the Bishop will decide on ordination. The Vocations Office will notify the Candidate in writing of the decision of the Bishop and the date of ordination to the Transitional Diaconate. The Candidate will also be informed of the date and location of the ordination retreat. TRANSITIONAL DIACONATE Ember Letters All Transitional Deacons should communicate with the Bishop, in writing, four times a year during Ember Weeks, reflecting on academic experience and personal and spiritual development (III 4:8). Ember letters should be submitted electronically as directed by the Vocations Office and should be sent by the end of the Ember week (Saturday). Communication with Commission Transitional Deacons should continue to communicate with the COM through their assigned liaisons; this will be helpful for timely completion of the requirements. They should also maintain relations with appropriate representatives of their sponsoring parish Spiritual Director All Transitional Deacons should continue monthly meetings with their Spiritual Director. Spiritual Formation Group All Transitional Deacons will participate in monthly meetings of the Spiritual Support Group. Fresh Start Fresh Start, a group for all newly ordained people, meets several times a year. The coordinator of this program will be in touch with all transitional deacons regarding participation. STEPS FOR TRANSITIONAL DEACONS SEEKING ORDINATION TO THE PRIESTHOOD Candidates for ordination to the Priesthood in the Diocese of California must serve at least six months in the Transitional Diaconate, and there must be at least 18 months from the time of acceptance of 14

15 nomination and ordination (TEC Canons III.8.7a). The steps for Transitional Deacons seeking ordination to the Priesthood are: STEP 1. Letter of Application The Transitional Deacon must send a letter of application to the Bishop requesting ordination to the Priesthood and including the Transitional Deacon s dates of nomination, admission to Postulancy and Candidacy and ordination as a Transitional Deacon, and date of birth. Transitional Deacons must be at least twenty-four years old before ordination to the Priesthood (TEC Canons III.8.7a). The Bishop will submit the letter to the COM who will then decide whether or not to recommend the Deacon to the Standing Committee for ordination to the Priesthood (TEC Canons 8.7b) STEP 2. Congregational Endorsement Form Pr1 The Transitional Deacon must provide the endorsement of the Rector (or Vicar) and the Vestry (or Bishop s Committee) where the Transitional Deacon serves on Form Pr1, Congregational Endorsement for Ordination to the Priesthood (TEC Canons III.8.7b) STEP 3. Comprehensive Evaluation by Supervisor The Cleric for whom the Transitional Deacon is working must submit a comprehensive evaluation of the Transitional Deacon s ministry. STEP 4. Commission on Ministry Interview Form Pr2 The Transitional Deacon, together with any other Transitional Deacons at the same stage in the process toward ordination to the Priesthood, will meet with the COM, in order to obtain its recommendation of his or her application to the Priesthood. This recommendation is reported to the Bishop and the Standing Committee on Form Pr2. STEP 5. Standing Committee Consent Form Pr2 The Standing Committee must certify that the canonical requirements for ordination to the Priesthood have been met (TEC Canons III.8.7c). Therefore, after receiving Form Pr2 from the COM, the Standing Committee will add its testimonial to Form Pr2 and submit the completed form to the Vocations Office. STEP 6. Decision After receiving the recommendation of the COM and the certification from the Standing Committee, the Bishop will decide on ordination. The Vocations Office will notify the Candidate in writing of the decision of the Bishop and the date of ordination to the Priesthood. The Candidate will also be informed of the date and location of the ordination retreat. 15

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