All baptized Christians share in the ministry of Christ. From time to time God calls faithful people in the church to be ordained and to use their gifts in this way.
People who wish to be involved in a servant ministry to take the Gospel into the world. Usually they do not receive a stipend (salary).
People who have been identified from local congregations and affirmed by the church to assist in the sacramental life of the congregation.
People who are seeking full-time stipendiary work in the life of the Church.
The Early Stages
The first step is to discuss your calling with your parish priest and to explore your understanding of ministry, both lay and ordained. This is a time of prayer and discernment. People seeking ordination in the Anglican church need to be baptized, communicant and confirmed in the Anglican Church for at least 3 years. Active involvement in an Anglican parish for at least those years is essential. You will then need to make an appointment with the Bishop. He/she will talk more with you about your sense of call, about ordination, the various forms that ordained ministry can take and the requirements for each. After this meeting, if you are to proceed, you will ask your parish for a letter of Recommendation to the Discernment process. This letter must be returned to the office by December 31 of each year.
Following this, you will be asked to do some writing about yourself, your spiritual history, and your sense of call. As well, you will be asked to undergo a Police Services background check and psychological testing. Having been assured by the results then we can proceed. You will then attend a Vocations Conference
This conference takes place in the late summer and is a three day event. You will explore issues related to vocations and the variety of ordained ministries in the Diocese of Nova Scotia & Prince Edward Island. The conference will assist you in looking at what you perceive to be your call to ordained ministry. Personal discernment is necessary throughout the entire process.
After this Conference, if you are proceeding, you will then be asked for a letter of commendation from your parish. If the parish commends you, the Bishop will consider sending you to the ACPO Conference (Advisory Committee on Postulants for Ordination) in the spring. Upon referral by the Bishop, you will attend an ACPO Conference.
Stipendiary Ordained Ministry: This ACPO is an annual event in the Ecclesiastical Province of Canada. This is a weekend conference during which time you will have interviews with clergy, lay people and a person who is skilled in psychological evaluation. During this event, you will be testing your call with the wider church community of the Ecclesiastical Province of Canada (Dioceses from Montreal east). Before you leave the conference, their recommendation to the Bishop on your status as a Postulant will be shared with you. A Postulant is someone formally in a particular educational process moving toward ordination.
Non Stipendiary Ordained Ministry: This ACPO is an annual event within the Diocese of Nova Scotia & Prince Edward Island. Those candidates discerning a call to be a Non-Stipendiary Priest or a Deacon will be involved in a weekend event during which they will have interviews with clergy and lay people and someone skilled in psychological evaluation. At the end of the event you will be told the recommendation of the assessors. The Bishop will receive and consider the recommendations of ACPO and make a declaration on your status as a Postulant.
Those seeking full time stipendiary Priesthood would normally enter an accredited theological school to obtain a Master of Divinity. The official school for our Diocese is the Atlantic School of Theology in Halifax. While at the theological school, the individual will be part of the Anglican Formation Programme. Those seeking Non- Stipendiary Ordained ministry, either priesthood or diaconate, would become part of one of the educational programmes designated by the Diocese, and part of the ongoing Formation Programme.
Pre Ordination Assessment
At the end of your formal education there will be a Diocesan assessment of your readiness for ordained ministry. Upon recommendation for ordination and availability of an appointment you will be ordained deacon.
Year of Mentoring
During your first year of ordained ministry you will be in a parish and involved in the Mentoring of the Newly Ordained Programme. During this year you will meet regularly with a priest or deacon mentor, as well as a supervisor, to reflect on your new experience in parish work and your transition to the role of an ordained person.
Ordination to the Office of a Priest
For those seeking ordination as a Priest, the Bishop receives the final recommendations from all those involved to this point. The Bishop then makes a decision about the suitability and timing of ordination to the Office of a Priest.
The House of Bishops guidelines state "Admission as a Postulant does not imply any guarantee or promise of ordination."
Please see also:
Prepared by the Postulancy Committee of The Diocese of Nova Scotia & Prince Edward Island
1340 Cathedral Lane, Halifax, NS B3H 2Z1
(902) 420-0717 | [email protected] (e-mail)