COMMISSION ON MINISTRY
The Commission on Ministry is a fifteen member committee comprised of laity, deacons and priests appointed by the Bishop and confirmed by Diocesan Convention that offers programs and support to anyone exploring a call to either to a lay vocation or Holy Orders. The Commission does this by supporting the ongoing discernment of gifts and call in the local faith community as well as through discernment programs at the diocesan level.
All baptized people are called to ministry. The Commission on Ministry is currently exploring a manual for those exploring the religious life as well as lay vocations in addition to worship ministries.
EXPLORING BAPTISMAL MINISTRY (EBM)
The first year of diocesan level discernment is Exploring Baptismal Ministry. People interested in learning more about and exploring lay and ordained ministry, are encouraged to enroll in Exploring Baptismal Ministry (EBM). This one-year program begins in September and ends in April. 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, background checks, and interviews with the Canon for Discernment 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 August through February, 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 June 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. 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.
- A Manual for the Diaconate and a Manual for the Priesthood can be found online here.
- Listening Hearts: Discerning Call in Community (Morehouse Publishing, 20th Anniversary Edition) is recommended reading for all those discerning a call from God. Available from St. Bede’s Books at our Diocesan Center. Phone: 410-243-1727
- 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 our 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.