All Christian believers are called to discipleship, to hearing and doing the Word of God, to collaborating with God in creating a world of justice and compassion.
Within that general call to all Christians, some are called to specific leadership roles within the Church. The process of figuring out if God is calling you to ministry and if so, what kind of ministry, is called “discernment.” Discernment requires thoughtful prayer, self-reflection, and ongoing conversation.
Some students come to CCS as laypeople or ordained ministers looking for new skills to enliven their work and life. Others come to CCS having discerned a call to diaconal ministry.
Discerning the Call
Talk to your local congregation, Presbytery, or Conference about the processes available to help you think about questions like: What stream of ministry am I called to? Ordained? Diaconal? Lay Ministry?
Some parts of the church ask you to work with a discernment committee over the course of a year or so, other parts of the church have review boards that operate on a Conference level or organize discernment events. The United Church of Canada’s website has some useful information on discernment.
Talk to your diocesan bishop. Every diocese, in consultation with the national House of Bishops, will have its own guidelines and timelines for candidates. You will want to think about whether you feel called to ordination as a priest or as a deacon.
Many dioceses will have information about ordination prerequisites on their websites (for example, the Diocese of Toronto and especially their page on ordination to the diaconate).