Discerning a Call to Holy Orders

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. The creation of a cohort occurs when eight completed applications have been received. 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. 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.

 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, if there is a desire for additional discernment before submitting an application for the cohort, please contact the Interim Dean of Formation.

To complete the online application you will need:

  • Proof of Baptism (certificate, letter from officiating clergy, or letter from witness)
  • Proof of Confirmation or Reception (certificate, letter from officiating clergy, or letter from witness)
  • A 1,000 word Spiritual Autobiography
  • A reflection of 500 words or less from the priest or church warden who is sponsoring you for Holy Orders Discernment.
    They are encouraged to reflect on the charisms for ministry that the see present in your life, your involvement and engagement in the life of the local faith community, and areas for vocational development and growth.
  • A reflection of 500 words or less from another lay person in the faith community sponsoring you for Holy Orders Discernment.
    They are encouraged to reflect on the charisms for ministry that the see present in your life, your involvement and engagement in the life of the local faith community, and areas for vocational development and growth. 
  • A resume
  • A photo of yourself