COMMISSION ON MINISTRY
Moving toward Holy Orders involves experiencing and exploring these four types of call to vocation:
- General Call: All Christians are called, by nature of their baptism, to ministry and service.
- Interior/Secret Call: A deepening internal sense of being called to ministry.
- Providential Call: Presence and development of gifts, talents, and experiences to carry out God’s call to vocation.
- Ecclesiastical Call: The Church’s affirmation of a call to Holy Orders.
Relationships, faith formation, giving, mission and outreach, participation in liturgy and sacrament, and ongoing discernment are all rooted in the parish or local faith community. And yet, other communities within the wider Church are both helpful and necessary for deeper discernment. This discernment process addresses all aspects. The Commission on Ministry offers programs and support to anyone exploring a call to Holy Orders.
EXPLORING BAPTISMAL MINISTRY (EBM)
People interested in learning more about and exploring lay (Canon 4: Of Licensed Ministries) ministry, are encouraged to enroll in Exploring Baptismal Ministry (EBM). This one-year program begins in September and ends in June. Participants in EBM work with a peer cohort and mentor team that includes a lay person, priest, deacon, and a lay committee from their home parish. Applications for EBM are received through July 1. Current cost: $800
NOMINATION FOR HOLY ORDERS
Near the end of the EBM discernment year, the parish may nominate their participant (in writing) for ordination to the Diaconate or Priesthood. Discerning Ordained Vocation (DOV) begins after nomination by rectors and vestries, application, EBM completion, psychological and physical exams, background checks, and interviews with the Bishop and the Commission on Ministry.
DISCERNING ORDAINED VOCATION (DOV)
Those discerning whether to accept their parish nomination, enter Discerning Ordained Vocation (DOV). DOV, which meets from September through January, includes an assigned parish internship. People in DOV work with a peer cohort, a mentor team that includes a lay person, priest, deacon, and a lay committee from their internship parish. Application for Postulancy and Postulancy interviews with the Commission on Ministry and the Bishop complete this phase. DOV applications are due by July 1. Current cost: $1,800 due by September 1.
SUPPORT FOR THOSE IN DISCERNMENT
The Commission expects that those nominated for DOV will receive financial support from their home parishes. In addition, The Commission on Ministry requires all in discernment to work with a spiritual director and recommends all, especially POV nominees, participate in Education for Ministry (EfM). Note: The Canons of the Church require clergy to retire at age 72, so having at least two years of active service after ordination is optimal.
- EBM Application [PDF]
- DOV Application [PDF]
- Read: Listening Hearts: Discerning Call in Community (Morehouse Publishing, 20th Anniversary Edition). Available from St. Bede’s Books at the Diocesan Center. Phone: 410-243-1727
- Education for Ministry (EfM)
- The Continuing Education Committee of the Diocese of Maryland provides grants to be used to further education for the Christian ministry of the laity and clergy of the Diocese. Read these Grant Guidelines to learn more, then download the Grant Application Form.
- Diocesan Grants for Ministry are available to create new ministries or expand existing ministries in the areas of: Congregational development, ministry of the laity, ordained ministry, social and outreach ministry.