Discerning a Call to Holy Orders

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.

If you are prepared to move forward, formally, in discerning a call to ordained ministry (diaconate or priesthood), we welcome your application to our Holy Orders Discernment Cohort. This group gathers annually; and consists of individuals who are putting themselves forward to discern the diaconate or presbyterate, and two discernment co-faciliators. There must be at least four applicants in order for the cohort to begin. The Episcopal Church in Connecticut 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.

Applications for the most current cohort are no longer being accepted. The next application deadline will be posted soon. For planning purposes, assume an April 1, 2024 deadline and check this webpage for updates. A cohort begins regularly meeting late Spring, early Summer and meets through the summer and early fall. The details of date, time, and location of meetings is determined collaboratively by the cohort and co-facilitators.Members of the cohort may be recommended to attend the Holy Orders Discernment Retreat with the Commission on Ministry in the fall.

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)

Next Steps

In order to apply to join a cohort, you must be:

  • An adult communicant in good standing in the Episcopal Church in Connecticut (Canon I.17.3)
  • Engaged in an ongoing conversation regarding discernment with your priest (or church warden in the absence of a priest)

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 The Episcopal Church in Connecticut for at least a year. Following conversations with the local clergy person, someone in discernment should be in touch with the Dean of Formation (rhatch@episcopalct.orgbefore submitting an application. General information about the ordination process can be found by reviewing the relevant Canons (Title III).