Ordained Ministry

The diocese is seeking men who have a heart for pastoral ministry.

Most of our clergy are bivocational or serving in ministry after retiring from a previous career.

Clergy and applicants for ministry must undergo criminal records screening. Details are provided in diocesan Canon 12 and the implementing policy.

Discerning a call

If you are interested in exploring whether you have a call to ministry, speak with your parish minister. If you do not belong to a parish of the United Episcopal Church, initiate an informal conversation with the bishop.

These are essential qualifications for aspirants for ministry:

  • Regular church attendance;
  • Baptized;
  • Confirmed;
  • Not under church discipline.

Pathway for evaluation

The UEC Canons specify the path for pursuing ministerial formation. Canon 30, Section 1 summarizes the discernment process, which is under the guidance of the local pastor and the bishop. The remainder of this canon addresses the application for admission to ministerial training (postulancy).

Canon 30. Of Postulants for Holy Orders.

Sec. 1. Every person aspiring to Holy Orders shall in the first place seek the counsel and advice of the incumbent of the parish in which he resides, or another godly and learned clergyman. If that clergyman be satisfied with the spiritual, moral, and academic attainments of the applicant, he shall encourage the aspirant to apply to the bishop for admission as a postulant for Holy Orders.

Sec. 2. In support of such an application, the aspirant shall obtain letters testimonial from the rector and vestry of the parish in which he resides, or from a clergyman of this Church, and three lay persons who shall have known the aspirant for not less than two years. He shall also supply his full name and address, the date of his baptism, confirmation, and admission to Holy Communion, a medical certificate attesting to the sufficiency of his general health, and proof that he shall have reached an adequate level of education to commence the prescribed course of study.

Sec. 3. Should the bishop be satisfied as to the spiritual, moral, and academic character of the aspirant, he shall grant a Letter of Postulancy in the accustomed form.

Sec. 4. Before admission as a candidate for Holy Orders, the Postulant shall be examined by the bishop and his examining chaplains, and by the Standing Committee, or the Council of Advice of the Diocese as to his general fitness and progress in sacred learning.

Qualifications of ministers

To be ordained deacon or presbyter, the following requirements of the UEC Canons must be met.

Canon 31. Of Candidates for Holy Orders.

Sec. 1. Every man admitted to the order of deacons in the Church shall display sufficient knowledge of Holy Scripture, and of the doctrine, discipline, and worship of this Church, and shall have obtained such qualifications as the House of Bishops shall require and have been publicly examined by the Bishop of the Diocese and his examining chaplains.

Sec. 2. Before any man is accepted as a candidate for the diaconate, the bishop must be satisfied as to that person’s physical and mental fitness, age, valid baptism, and confirmation, and shall have received letters testimonial as to the candidate’s good life and conversation. The form usually called ‘Si Quis’ shall be publicly read in the congregation of which the candidate is a member at such times as shall be prescribed, and opportunity given for any alleged impediment to be stated and examined. No candidate for the diaconate shall be ordained unless he shall have attained twenty-one years of age.

Sec. 3. Before being ordained to the priesthood, all candidates must have attained twenty-four years of age, and shall satisfy the bishop of their continued studies, their spiritual development, and of their growth in the ministries committed to them.

Sec. 4. No man shall be admitted to Holy Orders unless he has a valid title setting forth that person’s proposed sphere of duty.

Sec. 5. No bishop shall ordain a man having a title in another diocese unless he also brings a Letter Dimissory from the Bishop of the Diocese wherein that person’s ministry is to be exercised.

Sec. 6. No bishop shall ordain any man to Holy Orders without having first received their subscription to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of this church as laid down by Article VIII of the Constitution of this Church.

Canon 32. Of Clerical Studies.

The teaching of the United Episcopal Church of North America is grounded upon the Holy Scriptures and the Early Fathers of the Church. The clergy of this church shall apply themselves to the reading of Holy Scripture, to such studies as help in the knowledge of the same, and to such other studies as pertain to their clerical duties. They shall follow such courses of study as may be decided upon, from time to time, by the House of Bishops.

Clergy transfer

If you are an ordained minister interested in ministry in this diocese, contact the bishop.

If you desire transfer from another jurisdiction, the following requirements of the UEC Canons must be met.

Canon 35. Of the Reception of Ministers from Other Churches.

Sec. 1. Any duly ordained minister of another church may be received by the bishop into the ministry of this Church provided that he can give proof of his literary and theological attainments, good standing in his previous denomination, religious character, and gives sufficient assurance of the validity and regularity of his Orders. Furthermore, he shall be examined as to his knowledge of the doctrine, discipline, and worship of this Church, and make the Declaration of Conformity required by Article VIII of the Constitution of this Church before he is licensed as a minister of the same.

Sec. 2. Ministers not able to provide sufficient proof of the validity and regularity of their Orders shall be ordained either conditionally, or ab initio as the circumstances of their previous ordination shall dictate.

Sec. 3. Any minister of this Church serving a congregation which is not affiliated with this Church, or shall have been admitted into communion with this Church under the provisions of Canon 16, shall undertake that:
a. In the administration of Baptism, to unfailingly baptize with water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
b. He shall also undertake that, in the celebration of the Holy Communion, he will invariably use the elements of bread and wine, and will include in the service (1) a Prayer of Consecration, embodying the Words and Acts of our Lord in the institution of the Sacrament, an Offering, an Invocation of the Word and/or Holy Spirit and a Thanksgiving, (2) the Lord’s Prayer, and (3) the Apostles’ or Nicene Creed as a symbol of the faith and unity of Holy Catholic Church.
c. He shall also agree to meet regularly with the bishop having jurisdiction over him, or if there be none, with the Presiding Bishop,
d. He shall hold himself accountable to said Bishop in case he be called into question with respect to error of religion or of conduct.

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