Candidacy

 

Candidacy is a time of formation to prepare for ordination, established by a formal commitment between the Candidate, the Bishop, the Commission, the Standing Committee and the congregation or other community of faith.

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Applying for Candidacy

Eligibility for Application

The application for candidacy is the result and consensus of discernment with the local discernment committee, the clergy in charge of the sponsoring congregation, spiritual director, and COM liaison. The application follows the formation intended during postulancy, including:

  • Two years of required theological study or its equivalent
  • One year of field education, or part of an intern year
  • Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)

If the applicant began postulancy having met these requirements, the applicant must meet the alternative requirements recommended by the assessment committee and approved by the Bishop along with the education plan at postulancy.

All application materials are submitted via online forms at https://diocal.org/candidacy. The list below is representative for ease, but comprehensive details are available in the form itself.

Submitted by you

C1 Postulant’s Application for Candidacy

Click here to complete the application for candidacy.

Dates of nomination and postulancy
A formal letter of 400+ words, addressed to the Bishop

  1. Describing areas of intellectual and spiritual growth during postulancy, and
  2. Outlining goals for continued growth during the remainder of the applicant’s formation

Submitted by others on behalf of you

The postulant is responsible for coordinating this documentation.

C2 Formation Evaluation

Click here to submit this form.

In traditional formation for the priesthood, this is the Middler Evaluation, prepared using the seminary’s own guidelines and process.

Those who have an alternative path of formation for the priesthood, or those with local formation for the diaconate, must assure that the body responsible for formation provides an evaluation, demonstrating the academic record and/or intellectual formation, and assessing the postulant’s progress and suitability for Holy Orders.

C3 CPE Final Report

Click here to submit this form.

The postulant must demonstrate successful completion of CPE or its approved equivalent. This includes a certificate of completion and the final report of the CPE Supervisor, and may include a verbatim or self-evaluation by the postulant for conversation in an interview with the Commission on Ministry.

C4 Field Education Final Report

Click here to submit this form.

The postulant is responsible for assuring that the final report of the Field Education Supervisor is submitted to the Vocations Office.

C5 Intern Year Interim Report

Click here to submit this form.

If an interim year is taken rather than two years of field education, the supervisor submits a progress report.

C6 Congregational Endorsement

Click here to submit this form.

The Vestry/Bishop’s Committee will consider the recommendation of the LDC and other information put forth and, if in agreement, will sign and submit the Congregational Endorsement of Application for Candidacy.

Assessment of Application for Candidacy

C7 Commission on Ministry Interview and Recommendation for Candidacy

The Commission on Ministry will interview the postulant for candidacy. Based on the interview, the CPE report, the field education report, other documentation submitted to the file and the congregational endorsement, the COM will make its recommendation to the Standing Committee and the Bishop.

C8 Standing Committee Interview & Consent for Candidacy

The Standing Committee will interview the postulant for candidacy. Based on the interview and a review of the documentation in the postulant’s file, the Standing Committee will make a recommendation to the Bishop regarding candidacy.

Decision Regarding Candidacy

C9 Bishop’s Decision Regarding Candidacy

Following the recommendations of the Commission on Ministry and the Standing Committee, the Bishop will issue a decision regarding candidacy in writing.

During Candidacy

Candidacy is a time of education and formation in preparation for ordination, established by a formal commitment by the Candidate, the Bishop, the Commission, the Standing Committee, and the congregation or other community of faith.  Candidates can gain greater clarity about their vocational goal, its demands and its opportunities. The Commission on Ministry can seek to assist Candidates in selecting individualized ways to prepare for ministry.

The Candidate must complete the following:

  • Language Requirement
  • Ethnic Diversity Requirement
  • Antiracism Training
  • Safe Church Training
  • For vocational deacons, candidates must also complete:
      • Required theological education
      • Contextual education, such as Mentored Experiential Learning (MEL) or Field Education placement

Spiritual Formation Groups for Candidates for the Vocational Diaconate

Candidates for the vocational diaconate will participate in spiritual formation groups through the School for Deacons. Candidates receiving their education in a school other than the School for Deacons must make provision for participation in a School for Deacons spiritual formation group.

Supervised Ministry

Candidates who have completed field education and/or graduated must be engaged actively in ministry in a congregation, institution, or diocesan program. Formally request or notify the vocations office of a supervised ministry.

Spiritual Formation Groups for Candidates for the Vocational Diaconate

Candidates for the vocational diaconate will participate in spiritual formation groups through the School for Deacons. Candidates receiving their education in a school other than the School for Deacons must make provision for participation in a School for Deacons spiritual formation group.

Language Requirement

Candidates must be able to demonstrate sufficient professional fluency in English and be able to perform certain liturgical functions in one other language spoken in the geographic region of the Diocese of California. Candidates for whom English is a native language must have at least two semesters of study of another language or the equivalent in an intensive and/or immersion learning situation.

Fulfillment of the language requirement is assessed in an in-person meeting with a lay or clergy leader who is proficient in the language. In the meeting, the candidate reads the required prayers aloud.

      • Candidates for the vocational diaconate must be able to say the Lord’s Prayer and be able to perform an emergency baptism in English and one other language.
      • Candidates for the priesthood must be able to say the Lord’s Prayer, a blessing, the absolution and the Eucharistic words of institution, and do an emergency baptism in English and one other language.

 

When applying for ordination to the diaconate, candidates will also be asked to provide a self- assessment of their language proficiency in the second language, as well as English if it is not a native language. The self-assessment is based on the International Language Roundtable, also used by the U.S. Foreign Service; this self-assessment helps identify a corps of future clergy with aptitude to serve in a multi-lingual context.

Understanding Racial and Ethnic Diversity Site Visit Requirement

Site Visits

Candidates must arrange at least two visits to an Episcopal congregation in the Diocese of California which have a different ethnic identity than the candidate or the congregation from which the candidate comes. (Alternatively, the candidate may visit two different congregations once.)

The application for ordination to the diaconate will require a substantial (750-1000 word) reflection on these visits.

Cultural Immersion Experience

All candidates must participate in a cultural immersion experience. The application for ordination to the diaconate will require a substantial (750-1000 word) reflection on these visits. Cultural immersion experiences have taken many forms over time and are intended to enrich and diversity a postulant’s experience of language, pastoral ministry and/or the enculturation of liturgical practice. The immersion experience should be imagined and planned in conversation with the vocations office and Commission on Ministry.

Antiracism Training

See a variety of options for antiracism training that meets diocesan requirements for ordained ministry.

Safe Church Training

Contact Caren Miles (carenm@diocal.org)to begin safe church training, an online program for educating leaders regarding sexual conduct and appropriate boundaries

Constitution & Canons of The Episcopal Church

The Candidate must read and become familiar with the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church, particularly Title IV, the Disciplinary Canons.

Mid-Candidacy Interview

The Commission on Ministry may schedule a mid-candidacy interview after approximately six months.

*No Guarantee of Holy Orders: Candidacy remains a time for critical evaluation and discernment and does not guarantee ordination.