First Steps of Discernment

1. Requirements to begin the process:

Canonically, the person who wants to be ordained must be:

  • At least 24 years old. Persons older than 72 years of age at the time of ordination should email for more information.
  • Either confirmed or received by a bishop into the Episcopal Church.
  • Must take communion a minimum of three times per year.
  • Must have participated in the life of the community for a minimum of three years, though exceptions can be granted.

2. Notify Vocation’s Office

Notify the vocations officer when you begin by emailing

3. Attend Day of Discernment

The aspirant attends Day of Discernment, conducted multiple times per year by the Working Group Head for Formation and the vocations office. Subscribe to DioCal News & Events to be notified of upcoming dates.

4. Consistent Spritual Direction

The aspirant begins regular spiritual direction, which continues throughout the discernment process.

5. Discernment Program

The aspirant undertakes Time of Discernment, a 12-week self-directed program of discernment. Submit this form to begin Time of Discernment.

6. Local Discernment Committee Established

The sponsoring priest establishes a local discernment committee (LDC). The LDC is encouraged to participate in diocesan formation that explores the role and charism of the LDC such as this LDC curriculum.

7. Forms of Nomination

After the aspirant has done sufficient discernment with the LDC, the aspirant completes the forms for nomination (the N forms) and submits them to the vocations office by June 1st.

8. Application for Postulancy

After the N forms have been submitted, the aspirant works with the LDC to complete the application for postulancy (P forms). The N and P forms introduce the aspirant to the Commission on Ministry and begin a formal diocesan discernment process.

The annual deadline for submitting P Forms is July 31.