Episcopal School for Ministry

Back row- Deacons Chester Hines, Jr; Harry Leip [Bishop Wayne], Barbi Click, Paula Hartsfield, Kevin McGrane, Betty Bowen, Janet Schisser; front row- Deborah Goldfeder; Susan Naylor; Rebecca Barger; Archdeacon Mark Sluss

Who is missing in this photo?

Have you been thinking about the path to ordination as a Deacon of the Church? BIG NEWS about diaconal formation in this diocese from the Episcopal School for Ministry, the Rev. Dr. Dan Handschy, Dean:

In cooperation with the Diocesan Community of Deacons, the faculty of the Episcopal School for Ministry has restructured its basic curriculum, so that those in formation for the diaconate can complete their studies in two years, rather than three.

  • In the new structure, the student will begin by taking a summer course in spirituality, in which he or she will learn the spirituality of the Prayer Book and craft his or her own rule of life.
  • The first year will consist of class-room work (Old Testament, New Testament, and history overview), and the second year will combine practicum with reflection on experience, and cover Theological and Pastoral reflection, Preaching, and Liturgics. These courses will run in tandem with a contextual congregational placement, and provide the opportunity for reflection on that experience.
  • Those in formation for the priesthood will take the first two years along with those in formation for the diaconate, and then take a third year, which will go into depth in Church History and Anglican (and sacramental) Theology.
  • Interested lay persons can take either the two year or three year track depending on the depth of instruction desired.

As always, the Episcopal School for Ministry is open to all, and all the courses area designed to deepen the faith and understanding of what it means to follow Jesus, for lay persons and for those in ‘the process’ toward ordination. Taking courses at ESM can be a first step toward personal discernment (am I interested in this, do I have the gifts for it), but does not substitute for the Commission on Ministry’s discernment process. We have had students at ESM who started out just to enrich their faith, and along the way discover a call to ministry, and then begin the local discernment process, using CoM’s discernment handbook.

The new curriculum will begin with the Summer term 2019, with Spirituality, on May 10th and 11th.

We will begin with an overnight retreat at the Mercy Center. The retreat is open to all, as a way of exploring the ESM experience, even if a person decides not to continue with the rest of the course. The retreat will focus on the foundations of a personal rule of life grounded in the baptismal covenant and Prayer Book offices.

The retreat is available for both residential and commuter students. Overnight cost is $100. Commuter cost is $30. Cost for registration for Summer term is an additional $350. Scholarships are available.


*** This article was taken from the Diocesan iSeek weekly email sent out on Friday, March 29, 2019 ***