The Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut

Ordination Process in CT

Overview of the Ordination Process

A visual overview of the Ordination Process may be viewed here. A document of desirable qualities in ordained leaders may be viewed here. An article written by the Dean of Formation was published in In Trust magazine. It provides a summary of the process here.

The formation process for those preparing for Holy Orders in the Episcopal Church in Connecticut (ECCT) seeks to offer flexible individualized programs for postulants and candidates. This process provides an opportunity to understand and begin to master the tools and resources critical to the life of the ordained ministry in the 21st century. The process is guided by the following principles:

COLLEGIALITY

Ordained ministry is best done in collaboration. From admission to postulancy, the process provides a colleague group for postulants and candidates. Formation occurs in the context of formal academic study and regular conversation (structured and spontaneous) with colleagues. Establishing these collegial relationships while in Formation supports a normative pattern that, with God’s help, extends into and throughout the life of the ordained minister. Once in a colleague group, the postulant or candidate will remain with that group for three years, regardless of their date of ordination.

FLEXIBILITY

Each postulant begins his/her formation process by creating an individual plan (see outlines for diaconate and priesthood plans). This plan takes into account the particular context, experience, and gifts that a postulant presents. Over the course of Formation the plan is assessed and refined, in consultation with the bishops, Commission on Ministry, the Dean of Formation and the colleague group.

HYBRIDITY

The diaconate is hybrid ministry by nature, as a deacon is expected to maintain employment status throughout the time of ministry, typically in the secular world. Given the increasing number of part-time positions, more and more priests must engage a hybrid ministry. While we do not assume that all priests will have more than one job or source of income, we recognize the increasing need for priests who are able to recognize and embrace this changed dynamic in the Church; priests who are able to serve God’s mission in a variety of ways — i.e., “in the Church” while employed “in the world.” The formation process is designed to enable the flourishing of those who will serve as hybrid priests.

MISSION

Our ordained leaders are formed to serve God’s mission in the world. Understanding how to explore what God is up to in a particular context or culture and how to equip the disciples to participate in God’s mission presumes a particular path in formation. A deep experience of God’s story — Incarnate in Jesus, told through the Scriptures, handed on through traditions and practices — enables the priest to more fully equip God’s people to participate in God’s work in the world. We seek to give our future leaders the tools for leading and supporting worshiping communities in the 21st century, particularly with an eye toward building up communities in new and creative ways.

A more detailed outline of the ordination process in ECCT may be found here.


For additional information on the various requirements for those in the process, see the guidelines for Priesthood and Diaconate. Questions? Contact Molly James, Dean of Formation: mjames@episcopalct.org.

FAQs

I think I might be called to the Diaconate, what should I do?

  • We encourage you to have a conversation with a clergy person in your worshiping community and then to contact the Dean of Formation. 

 I think I might know someone who would make a great deacon, what should I do?

  •  Please first have a conversation with that person and then ask them to be in conversation with their clergy person and to contact the Dean of Formation.

I think I might be called to the Priesthood, what should I do?

  • We encourage you to have a conversation with a clergy person in your worshiping community and then to contact the Dean of Formation. 

 I think I might know someone who would make a great priest, what should I do?

  • Please first have a conversation with that person and then ask them to be in conversation with their clergy person and to contact the Dean of Formation. 

How do I find out more about the Commission on Ministry?

 Where can I find information on the process for ordination to the diaconate or the priesthood?

  • A detailed overview may be found here.  

What if I have already been ordained in another denomination and am interested in becoming an Episcopal Priest? 

  •  Please contact the Dean of Formation. Clergy coming from other denominations have varying requirements (depending on whether or not they are traditions in which we are in communion or share apostolic succession). The process is clearly laid out in the Canons of the Episcopal Church Title III, Canon 10.

What if I have additional questions that are not answered here?

Topics

Helpful Links

Resources

The Dean of Formation maintains a Blog with reflections, ideas and a variety of Ministry Resources here.