Steps to the Diaconate

The Steps to the Diaconate

  1. Discuss your sense of call with your parish’s Priest or Deacon-Vicar. You may also wish to attend a Holy Orders Interest Meeting, which are held throughout the Diocese from time to time. If your parish’s Priest or Deacon-Vicar is positive about you moving forward, obtain an Application for Holy Orders from the Chair of the Commission on Ministry from Mtr. Sue Waldron. E-mail or mail the Application back to Mtr. Waldron.
  2. Mtr. Waldron, Canon Robert Haskell, Canon to the Ordinary, Archdeacon Harvey Huth, Director of the Vocational Deacon Formation Program, and Fr. Tom Malionek, Director of Vocations will review your application. If they approve, you will be asked to meet with Fr. Tom Malionek.
  3. After you and Fr. Malionek have met, you will be assigned a Discernment Committee. You will meet with the Discernment Committee over a period of 4 to 6 months completing various activities in relation to verifying a call to ministry.
  4. During this discernment period, the Diocese will send you information in order to:
    • Complete an Oxford background check, the cost of which will be your responsibility.
    • Receive a medical evaluation from your personal physician. The cost of this will also be your responsibility, though insurance may cover it if you have insurance that covers physicals.
    • Receive a psychological evaluation by a Diocesan-approved psychologist, the cost of which will also be your responsibility.
    • Receive your acknowledgement that you have reviewed and agree with the Episcopal Diocese of Albany Sexual Misconduct Policies and Procedures Manual.
    • Receive a completed Information Release for the Diocese.
  5. If you and your Discernment Committee agree that you should move forward, you will then be scheduled to interview with the Commission on Ministry. Before meeting with the Commission, you must obtain a Vestry Nomination form signed by the Rector and Vestry of your church.
  6. The Commission will make a recommendation to Bishop Love to either recommend you for Postulancy, i.e. to allow you to proceed on the path to ordination, or not. You then will be asked to schedule a meeting with Bishop Love. Bishop Love will review all of the material as well as the recommendation made by the Commission on Ministry and will then decide whether or not to grant you Postulancy.
  7. If the Bishop grants you Postulancy, you will begin the Diocese of Albany Deacon Formation Program. (A few individuals are approved to begin classes earlier). This program takes a minimum of three years to complete. Bishop Love also asks that you attend a Cursillo weekend and complete Level 1 of the School for Healing Prayer©.
  8. During your third year of the Deacon Formation Program, you will be assigned fieldwork in a church different from your home church.
  9. At the start of your final year of the Deacon Formation program, or when at least six months has lapsed from Postulancy, whichever is later, you will apply for Candidacy. This requires a second Vestry Nomination from the Rector and Vestry of your church and a meeting with the Commission on Ministry and Standing Committee who make a recommendation to Bishop Love whether you should continue in the process or not.
  10. Bishop Love may meet with you prior to consideration of Candidacy.
  11. During your final year of the Deacon Formation Program:
    • You will receive a recommendation for ordination from the Director of the Deacon Formation Program if the Director believes you have progressed sufficiently in the program.
    • You will be interviewed by the Standing Committee for a recommendation for ordination.
  12. Upon completion of the Deacon Formation Program, the Bishop may ordain you a Deacon and assign you to a parish. This parish may not be the same as your sponsoring parish.