Steps to the Priesthood

The Steps to the Priesthood

  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, Mtr. Sue Waldron. E-mail or mail the Application back to Mtr. Waldron.
  2. Mtr. Waldron, Canon Robert Haskell, Canon to the Ordinary, and Archdeacon Harvey Huth will read your Application. If they approve, you will be asked to meet with the Diocesan Director of Vocations, 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 apply to an approved seminary and begin attending. The education requirements are as follows:
    • You may attend a 3-year residential program leading to an MDiv, or
    • You may attend a 2-year distance-learning program leading to an M.A.
    • Bishop Love also asks you complete a Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) class, attend a Cursillo weekend, and complete Level 1 of the School for Healing Prayer©.
  8. At the start of the final year of seminary, 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. Bishop Love may meet with you prior to consideration of Candidacy.
  9. During your final year of Seminary you need to:
    • complete, and pass, the Albany Ordination Examination,
    • receive a recommendation for ordination from the seminary you will graduate from, and
    • be interviewed by the Standing Committee for a recommendation for ordination.
  10. After completion of seminary, the Bishop may ordain you a Transitional Deacon. You may be assigned by the bishop to a parish, or he may release you to seek employment in other dioceses.
  11. While you are a deacon:
    • Your clergy and vestry may complete the Priesthood Recommendation Form.
    • The Standing Committee may recommend you for ordination to the Priesthood.
  12. At least six and typically not more than twelve months after your ordination to the Transitional Diaconate, the bishop, at his discretion, may ordain you a priest.