Diaconal Ordination


Canonically, a person may be ordained to the vocational diaconate after a minimum of 18 months from the written acceptance of nomination and upon attainment of at least twenty-four years of age. Our diocesan custom is to also require that a person may be ordained to the transitional diaconate after a minimum of 18 months from the written acceptance of nomination and upon attainment of at least twenty-four years of age.

Submitted by you

D1 Candidate’s Application for Ordination

Click here to submit this form.

Letter of Application: The Candidate must write a ~400-word letter of application addressed to the bishop reflecting on growth during candidacy, outlining goals for ongoing growth, and requesting ordination to the diaconate.

Fulfillment of Canonical and Diocesan Requirements: The candidate will be asked to upload certificates, provide dates and other details for, and paste in the reflections for the canonical and diocesan trainings outlined above.

Submitted by others on behalf of you

The postulant is responsible for coordinating this documentation. Where signatures are canonically required, they are uploaded in common image formats (.pdf, .jpg, .jpeg, .png, etc.) in the form.

D2 Congregational Endorsement of Application for Diaconal Ordination and Attestation

Click here to submit this form.

The sponsoring congregation provides its official endorsement of the candidate.

Fitness for Ordained Ministry and Eligibility for Ordination

The background check, medical evaluation and psychological evaluation conducted during the application for postulancy must be current within 36 months of the anticipated dates of ordination to the diaconate or priesthood. If more than 30 months have elapsed since the original evaluations, follow up evaluations must take place.

Assessment of Application for Diaconal Ordination

D3 Commission on Ministry Interview and Recommendation for Ordination

The Commission on Ministry will interview the Candidate for ordination. Based on the interview, the application and supporting documentation, the COM will make its recommendation to the Standing Committee and the bishop.

D4 Standing Committee Recommendation for Ordination to the Diaconate

The Standing Committee will review the file of the candidate to assure that all requirements for ordination have been met. The Standing Committee will make a recommendation to the bishop regarding ordination.

Decision Regarding Diaconal Ordination

D5 Bishop’s Decision Regarding Ordination to the Diaconate

The bishop will issue a decision in writing on the application for candidacy following the recommendation of the Commission on Ministry and the recommendation of the Standing Committee.

Preparation for Ordination to the Diaconate

Ministry Placement

If approved for ordination, the ordinand proposes a placement and seeks the bishop’s approval of that placement. For ordinands to the Vocational Diaconate, this placement must be determined with the Archdeacons and the diocesan plan for deacons. For ordinands to the transitional diaconate, conversations with the transitions officer, Archdeacons, Commission on Ministry and/or vocations office may inform placement. Formally make a site request. The bishop’s office will respond either approving the request or suggesting an alternative.

Registration and Ordination Service Preparation

Once candidates have been approved for ordination, they submit all the information that the diocesan staff involved in benefits, transitions and other departments need to register the ordination through this form. The same online form collects other information required for the ordination liturgy, including presenters (3), acolytes, and hymn requests.

Ordinands Retreat

All ordinands are required to participate in a day-long ordination retreat, typically the Tuesday prior to ordination.

During Your Diaconate

As a deacon (transitional or vocational)

Fresher Start: Newly ordained clergy, along with clergy who are new to this diocese convene for regular formation and reflection for their first two years in that ministry. The Canon to the Ordinary or another representative of the Working Group for Congregational Development will contact the newly ordained about beginning Fresher Start.
Clergy Benefits: If eligible, the deacon will receive information to enroll in the Diocesan Clergy Benefits Plan.
Transitions Office: It is the responsibility of every member of the clergy to keep the Transitions Office informed regarding personal and professional information.
Annual Report to the Bishop. Submitted according to diocesan guidelines announced annually.

As a transitional deacon:

  • All required theological education, e.g., the final courses of a seminary degree, a tailored list of classes for those with previous theological training, or other educational requirements as identified by the bishop must be completed before ordination to the priesthood.
  • A second year of field education (or intern year) must be completed before ordination to the priesthood. For those who have already completed two years of field education, a diaconal placement is required.
  • Ember Letters: transitional deacons must continue to be submit ember letters.
  • Exploring placement options: Transitional deacons must actively explore options for placement as priest, drawing on the resources of the diocese. Propose your ministry site for the bishop’s consideration.
  • Attendance at clergy events: Transitional deacons are required to attend clergy retreat, diocesan convention, Holy Tuesday, and other clergy events that may arise.
  • General Ordination Exams: The GOEs are offered in the first week in January. The diocese will pay the fee for the GOEs for postulants, candidates, and transitional deacons in the process sponsored by the Diocese of California. Intent to prepare for and take the GOEs should be established in October. Successful completion of the General Ordination Examinations or an alternative authorized by the bishop is required before ordination. Those who do not receive satisfactory evaluations in all areas by the General Board of Examining Chaplains may be referred by the bishop for supervised research and/or writing. More details about the GOEs are available, including subject areas and prior years’ examinations.