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Growing in Strength and Number

Would you like to learn more about Christian faith or strengthen understanding of the Episcopal Church? Do you long for deeper engagement with holy scripture? Are you hungering to learn with others? The diocesan School for Ministry may be for you.

The school will soon begin its seventh year. Year by year, the School for Ministry grows in strength and number as it lives more fully into the vision of a local school for formation and theological training.

While the School for Ministry primarily draws students discerning a call to ordained ministry, this community of learning includes all adult learners, particularly those who are hungry to learn about Biblical study, church history, Christian spirituality, ethics, pastoral care and liturgics, to name a few.

Classes meet for twelve weeks each semester on Saturdays at the Episcopal Church Center in Ocean Beach. Our chaplain, the Rev. Pam Rieger, leads Morning Prayer at 7:30 a.m. every Saturday. Check the class schedule here.

To date, the School for Ministry has prepared over 15 people for diaconal and priestly ministry in our diocese and beyond.

Some seminarians who discern vocations to priesthood go away to residential seminaries. That will always be an option. Even so, the School for Ministry offers excellent formation for future deacons and bi-vocational priests whose ability to relocate elsewhere for two or three years is limited.

Instructors who have expertise in a certain area teach each course. The flipped classroom approach means that students complete course reading and assignments during the week and classroom time is devoted to mutual learning.

How much study is required? Usually four hours of weekly preparation per class. Faculty meet students where they are while engaging the entire class in meaningful study. For those on the ordination track, a robust program of field education offers supervised practice of ministry in different contexts.

Now that we have welcomed a new diocesan bishop, the Rt. Rev. Susan Brown Snook, I and other diocesan leaders welcome her vision for how the School for Ministry can best support local formation for both those discerning diaconal or priestly vocations and for members of our geographically large diocese who are hungry to learn more and enhance their practice of ministry.

To that end, we will explore technology to offer remote teaching and learning. We will also explore possibilities for partnership with accredited seminaries, so that some of the needs that cannot be met by the School for Ministry might be met in partnership.

If you are interested in registering for this semester, visit us online.

Please hold the School for Ministry in prayer as we begin classes on Saturday, August 31.

Gracious God, source of blessing and giver of all good gifts: Thank you for those who encourage discernment and learning in this diocese. Bless the faculty, students and staff who begin a new season of learning in the School for Ministry. May this center of theological learning continue to thrive, and may the fruits of learning bear fruit in ministries of students past and present who offer themselves to your service. This we pray in your holy Name. Amen.

SFM YouTube Playlist: To hear from students and teachers about the school, watch these videos.


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Category: #Communications, #Sundays, #Worship & Formation

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