Bishop Price has announced a new partnership that will allow individuals seeking to become deacons in the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh to participate in clergy training currently offered jointly by the Dioceses of Ohio and Southern Ohio. "Theirs is an excellent program and I am very pleased that our diocese will now be a partner with them in our deacon formation program," said Bishop Price.

The chair of the diocesan Commission on Ministry, the Rev. Lou Hays, said that individuals approved by the bishop for pursuing ordination to the diaconate must be prepared academically and spiritually prior to being ordained. "It made much more sense, both economically and substantively, to join with our two neighboring dioceses rather than starting a separate program in Pittsburgh," Hays added.

Ohio and Southern Ohio's School for Diaconal Ministry is a three-year curriculum of courses and spiritual formation that meets one weekend a month, ten months each year. Half of the classes are held at Procter Camp and Conference Center near London, Ohio, and half at the Lutheran Camp Mowana near Mansfield, Ohio. Successful completion is required prior to students taking canonical examinations. The Canons of the Episcopal Church specify the following required areas of preparation for ordination to the diaconate: academic studies, including Holy Scripture, theology, and the tradition of the Church; Diakonia and the diaconate; human awareness and understanding; spiritual development and discipline; and practical training and experience.

More information about deacon formation and the overall discernment and ordination process in the Diocese of Pittsburgh may be found in "Discerning and Responding to a Call to Holy Orders" on the diocesan web site.

Individuals seeking ordination to the priesthood pursue a separate formation program that usually requires attendance at an Episcopal seminary or other accredited institution approved by the bishop.

Please contact the Rev. Lou Hays with questions at 412-531-7153 x11 or lou@stpaulspgh.org.