The Diaconate in the Diocese of New Jersey: Application Procedures


  1. Speak with your rector/vicar about your sense of call to the diaconate (Title III, Canon 4, Section 2a).
  2. You or your rector/vicar contacts the Venerable Lynn Johnson, Archdeacon for discernment, at 521.7600
  3. You and your rector/vicar read Being a Deacon Today: Exploring a Distinctive Ministry in the Church and in the World by Rosalind Brown and discuss your call in light of the material presented.
  4. If your rector/vicar feels you are called to the diaconate, a Parish Committee on Ministry for the Diaconate is formed. You will meet with this committee for four to six months.
  5. If the Parish Committee on Ministry discerns a call to the diaconate, the Chair contacts The Ven. Lynn Johnson for an application form.
  6. Complete the application which can be obtained by emailing Canon Constance White at Diocesan House.
  7. Applications should be sent with the application fee listed on the application. No less than one-half of this fee should be paid by the nominee’s sponsoring congregation. Please make the check payable to the ‘Diocese of New Jersey’ and write ‘The School for Deacons application fee’ on it. If it is determined that the nominee does not have a call to the diaconate before the psychological examination is administered, this fee is refundable.
  8. You will be contacted for separate interviews with the Archdeacon in charge of discernment, the Venerable Lynn Johnson and one of the other archdeacons: The Venerable Peter Cornell or the Venerable Denise Cavaliere.
  9. If at any point in the process your application is postponed or rejected, you will be informed of the reason for the decision.
  10. After careful review of your application and the two interviews, the Archdeacons will give their recommendations to the Bishop.
  11. If the decision is to move forward, you will be asked to make an appointment for your psychological evaluation. When that is received by Bishop Stokes, you will then meet with the bishop. He will then decide whether your application will be postponed, rejected, or accepted.
  12. If the Bishop decides you should continue in the application process, you will be requested:
  13. To have a complete physical examination by your family physician at your expense.
  14. To have an Oxford Document Check, criminal background check, motor vehicles check, sex offender registry check, and a credit check at the expense of the diocese. It may take as long as six weeks for these results to be returned. Only the Bishop will receive them.
  15. After reviewing all of the information and recommendations, the Bishop will decide if you are to continue in the application process.
  16. If the decision is that you are to continue, the diocesan Committee on the Diaconate (COD) will interview you. The COD will also interview your rector/vicar and the Chair of your Parish Committee on Ministry for the Diaconate.
  17. The diocesan Committee on the Diaconate will then make a recommendation to the Bishop.
  18. The Bishop will make the final decision concerning your acceptance into The School for Deacons.
  19. If you are accepted into the program, the Bishop will notify you and the diocesan Committee on the Diaconate.
  20. The most recent class in The School for Deacons began in September 2016. The Reverend Canon Linda L. Moeller, Director of The School for Deacons, will send members complete information about the program and a reading list, along with additional forms to be completed and returned.
  21. Acceptance into The School for Deacons does not guarantee ordination to the diaconate. Postulancy, candidacy, and ordination interviews will be held (in that order) with both the Committee on the Diaconate, the Standing Committee and the Bishop at appropriate times during the program. You will be notified each step of the way if you are to continue in the process towards ordination.
  22. Following each interview above, the diocesan Committee on the Diaconate will make a recommendation to the Bishop.
  23. The Bishop will then make the final decision regarding your continuance in the program and regarding ordination.