The Anglican Church of Virginia


Preparing for Ordination

A Primer Outlining the Steps to Ordination
For men seeking Holy Orders in the Anglican Church of Virginia it is necessary that candidates be properly prepared
and possess qualities that demonstrate their dedication and love of Jesus Christ. Knowledge and experience are essential in
the process of education and preparation. Each man must determine within his own heart the Call of God and how he will
answer. The role of the Church is to affirm the man’s call as he presents himself to the Bishop. The process takes different
shapes as each man is unique and comes from varied backgrounds, educational preparation and experience.
The following describes briefly paths or tracks that lead to ordination. The details of the diploma programs are contained in
the catalog of the Seminary. Most important is that each candidate’s background will be evaluated and a curriculum will be
shaped to meet his special needs and objectives.
For Men Who Have a Baccalaureate Degree.
Men may seek ordination who have a variety of backgrounds and have attained various levels of education. Typically a man
will have earned a baccalaureate degree in the arts or sciences before beginning his preparation for ordination. This person
would normally seek to earn a Master’s requiring two or three years of graduate study. Some men may have completed
work in another seminary and wish to complete their studies at ASV. Credit may be transferred by approval of the Bishop.
For Men Who Have Not Earned a Baccalaureate Degree.
For the man who has not yet earned a degree the Seminary provides a program of studies leading to a baccalaureate. Some of
this course work may apply to a master’s.
For Men Who Desire to Become a Permanent Deacon.
The Anglican Church of Virginia encourages men who may not desire to prepare for the priesthood the opportunity to serve
as a “permanent” deacon. This man will be devoted to Christ and His body. This is a very important role in the service of
the church. Though he may or may not have an earned degree, he should have earned his high school diploma and have the
support and recommendations of his parish and Council of the Church.
A permanent deacon serves at the will of the Bishop and in service to the Bishop. His duties include assisting in holy
services, visiting the sick, teaching, caring for needs of the poor, visiting the imprisoned, ministry to the families and
individuals of the parish, working with youth, caring for the elderly, counseling and other assignments as directed by the
Defining the Paths to God’s Service
Track one: This is the most common path and leads to ordination into the priesthood. This man would have a baccalaureate
degree or higher. The candidate may be given credit for course work taken at other institutions of high learning if course
work for a baccalaureate degree has not been completed. For the person who desires to complete the baccalaureate degree at
ASV, admission requirements must be met. Past academic work and life experience will be evaluated and credit given or may
be transferred. The course of study will lead to a master’s or doctorate after having earned a baccalaureate diploma.
A man must qualify and be ordained a deacon before be being made a priest.
General Requirements for Ordination
·                     Approval of the Church Council and the Bishop.
·                     Have a baccalaureate degree or the equivalent and completion of Licentiate in Theology for ordination as a         
·                     Have an earned a Master’s or Doctor’s Diploma in Theology or Religious Studies at ASV for ordination into
the priesthood. Candidates completing studies for ordination at another seminary must meet the requirement for a priest as
described in the catalog of the Anglican Seminary of Virginia.
·                     Fulfill and meet the character and canonical qualifications for ordination.
·                     Complete pastoral training and clinical experience as described in the catalog of the Anglican Seminary of
·                     Successfully complete canonical examinations both oral and written.
Track two: This applies to ordination of a permanent deacon. In the case of a man who will not be preparing for the
priesthood and is 40 years of age or older.
General Requirements for Ordination:
·                     Approval of the Church Council and Bishop.
·                     Be at least forty years of age.
·                     Demonstrate satisfactory knowledge of subjects for the Licentiate in Theology.
·                     Display the ability to successfully perform the duties of a deacon.
·                     Qualify in character and areas of prayer and holiness to serve in the role of a permanent deacon.
Track three: This applies to men who have successfully completed an educational process in theological studies or a related
field and have earned an advanced degree or other advanced graduate work.
General Requirements for Ordination to the Priesthood:
·                     Approval of the Church Council and the Bishop.
·                     Have a baccalaureate degree/diploma and advanced studies.
·                     Have demonstrated the equivalent and or completion of Licentiate in Theology for ordination.
·                     Have an earned a Master’s or Doctor’s Degree in Theology or Religious Studies.
·                     Fulfill and meet the character and canonical qualifications for ordination.
·                     Complete pastoral training and clinical experience as described in the catalog of the Anglican Seminary of
·                     Successfully complete canonical examinations both oral and written.
·                     Be first ordained a deacon.
Candidates completing studies at another seminary must meet the requirements on an equivalency basis as described in the
catalog of the Anglican Seminary of Virginia.
Licentiate in Theology (L.Th.)
The Licentiate in Theology is required by all candidates for ordination as a deacon in the Anglican Church of
Thirty-six hours of credit is required for the Licentiate in Theology  (L.Th.) including Pastoral Care History and Practicum
course work. This requirement consists of 225 hours of clinical experience. Other courses may be taken, electives as needed
to cover areas of competence for the Licentiate in Theology (L.Th.) as the student and Bishop deem beneficial.
Core courses for L.Th.
·                     Introduction to Scripture
·                     Old Testament
·                     Pastoral Care History and Practice
·                     English Composition
·                     New Testament
·                     History of the Bible
·                     History of Christianity
·                     History Documents
·                     Sacramental Theology
·                     History of the Church of England and Anglicanism in the USA
·                     Anglican Thought and Philosophy
·                     Systematic Theology
·                     Anglican Music Studies and Appreciation
·                     Sermon Composition and Preaching
Postulant Application Requirements
Each postulant will request an interview with the Bishop which is the first requirement.  The postulant and the Bishop will
discuss the postulant’s Call and meaning of ministry.  Postulant’s Declaration of Intent Form will be signed before the
application process continues.
The following information and records are required to be submitted by postulants to the Council on Holy Orders for review.
This file when complete is mailed to the Bishop, Attention: Council on Holy Orders.  These materials accompanied by the
Student Application constitutes the application process.
Please submit only when all requirements are
1        Curriculum Vitae with personal history of baptism, confirmation and work
2        List of college courses and transcripts from institutions attended. If postulant has not attended a college include
secondary education history. Include honors or awards.
3        History of work in the Church and parishes. Please be detailed. i.e. number of hours devoted to various ministries,
home visitations to sick, Sunday schools taught in, or started.
4        Autobiography.
5        A 750 word theme on your call.
6        Information relative to mental health history, counseling received, physical health, medications taken in the past or
presently. Statement from physician as to present health
7        Copies of types of information to be enclosed in a file, Marriages licenses, adoption papers, past ports, annulment
papers (if any), divorce legal papers (if any), birth certificates, (yours and wife if married), statement from your wife on
your calling if applicable. Baptism and Confirmation certificates are essential as well.  If the postulant has been ordained
previously these documents are to be included.
8        Record of military service, status and copy of discharge
9        Statement that postulant has or has not every been arrested and if so
10    Consent statement allowing criminal and credit check.
11    Four Letters of Reference from Parishioners of home parish.
12    Letter requesting acceptance as Student in to seminary.
13    Endorsement by home parish vestry.
14    Statement in letter to Council of willingness if required to take a psychological examination relative to fitness for
15    A notarized statement listing items in file that information is complete, accurate and true.
The catalog lists all courses and degrees and diploma requirements. Catalog information on tutorial instructions and tuition
should be read carefully and discussed with the Bishop.
Getting Started
The Seminary catalog has detailed information relative to diploma courses and the academic opportunities available.
Information as to tuition and instructional supervisor fees is explained in the catalog. For those who live distances too far to
take classes on the grounds at Front Royal arrangements should be considered to identify learned priests or bishops who
may serve a supervisor.
A combination of distance learning and residential classes at Front Royal is available for those who are unable to meet on a
regular basis as the Seminary. The Bishop encourages all interested men to contact him to discuss questions they may have
concerning this vital subject. You may all or e-mail to set up a conference. Tel. 1.540.635.5521 or e-mail
A final word — Those who hear God calling are encouraged to pray and read the Scriptures. If God has called, He has
chosen you and your responsibility now is to place your hand to the plow.