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The Ordination Process

The Holy Scriptures and ancient Christian writers make it clear that from the apostles’ time, there have been different ministries within the Church. In particular, since the time of the New Testament, three distinct orders of ordained ministers have been characteristic of Christ’s holy catholic Church. First, there is the order of bishops who carry on the apostolic work of leading, supervising, and uniting the Church. Secondly, associated with them are the presbyters, or ordained elders, in subsequent times generally known as priests. Together with the bishops, they take part in the governance of the Church, in the carrying out of its missionary and pastoral work, and in the preaching of the Word of God and administering his holy Sacraments. Thirdly, there are deacons who assist bishops and priests in all of this work. It is also a special responsibility of deacons to minister in Christ’s name to the poor, the sick, the suffering, and the helpless. …

-Preface to the Ordination Rites
Book of Common Prayer, p. 510

 

In the Diocese of Arkansas, a person interested in ordination as a deacon or a priest should begin conversations with the priest in charge of that person’s local congregation. The person and the priest would then meet with the bishop, who would then approve the formation of a discernment committee to ascertain the validity of the person’s call.

Individuals are discerned to be called to ordination by the bishop (taking into account the recommendation of the Commission on Ministry), the congregation from which they come, and the Standing Committee, in addition to their personal discernment that they are called to ordination.

The following documents detail the ordination process for the orders of deacon and priest.

Ordination to the Priesthood in the Diocese of Arkansas (Canon III.8)
- Download Process Information, Timeline, and Checklist.
- Download Discernment Committee Guidelines.
- Download Corresponding Forms.

Ordination to the Diaconate in the Diocese of Arkansas (Canon III.6)
- Download Process Information, Timeline, and Checklist.
- Download Discernment Committee Guidelines.
- Download Corresponding Forms.