Every Christian is called to serve. This call, often called our vocation, may and often does change over time as God calls us into new spaces and ways of being. Some may sense God inviting us to discern if we are being called into ordained ministry as a priest or deacon.
For those discerning a call to ordained ministry (diaconate or priesthood), we offer Holy Orders Discernment Cohorts. These groups are gathered on a rolling basis; and consist of eight individuals who are putting themselves forward to discern the diaconate or presbyterate as well as two discernment leaders.
Make them, O Lord, modest and humble, strong and constant, to observe the discipline of Christ. Let their life and teaching so reflect your commandments, that through them many may come to know you and love you.From the Prayer of Consecration, Ordination of a Deacon, Book of Common Prayer (p. 545)
The creation of a cohort occurs when eight completed applications have been received. ECCT works to ensure that each group contains a diversity of racial and ethnic groups, socioeconomic backgrounds, gender identities and sexual orientations, levels of education, and more. We believe this diversity offers an additional layer of vocational discernment.
Once the eight applications have been received, the Commission on Ministry recruits two discernment leaders to facilitate the group’s gathering. The Cohort itself meets every-other-week for 6 months. The details of date, time, and location of meetings is determined collaboratively by the cohort.
All those interested in discernment for holy orders should first be in conversation with their local priest (or church warden in the absence of a priest). Anyone interested in exploring ordination must have been a member of a worshiping community in ECCT for at least a year. Following conversations with the local clergy person, if there is a desire for additional discernment before submitting an application for the cohort, please contact the Interim Dean of Formation.