We are as clay in the hands of the master potter, who forms us for ministry and gives us purpose. The School for Ministry forms lay leaders for ministry
The School for Ministry opens the door to a journey
Those who pass through this door must understand that the destination is not predetermined.
Openness and possibility are the marks of this journey, for the journey belongs to God.
Just what is the School for Ministry?
The NJ School for Ministry is a “school of local formation for ministry.” The School can prepare you either for licensed lay ministries, or for the vocational diaconate, or for ministry as a bi-vocational priest, or as a priest committed to serving under-resourced communities. The lay ministries “licensed under the Canons” include Lay Worship Leader, Lay Pastoral Care Leader, Lay Evangelist, Lay Preacher, Lay Catechist, Lay Eucharistic Visitor, and Lay Eucharistic Minister. In our School for Ministry, those preparing for ordination study side-by-side with those preparing for new or deeper lay ministries. We have discovered that there is an amazing richness in this shared journey of formation.
Formation through the School for Ministry includes academic work (online classes, spiritual formation, Gathering Weekends (in-person 2-day gatherings 3 times each year, and opportunities for practical ministry experiences. There are two tracks for online classes—one with online classes on Saturdays and one with classes on weekdays or evenings. Both tracks are academically, spiritually, and practically rigorous and engaging and can usually be completed in 3 years.
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If you were given the opportunity to discover who God wanted you to be, what would you do? Would you take it? It’s a scary question, but your curiosity may
We are sent, yes! All of us! By virtue of our baptism! But to whom? In what capacity? For what ministry? And how should we prepare? If you are asking these questions, you may want to explore the New Jersey School for Ministry. It is open to all – especially those seeking to be formed for new or renewed lay leadership, and those discerning possible calls to either the diaconate or to priestly ministry.
If you sense God moving you in new directions, you should begin by taking the next Episcopal Servant Ministries seminar. With a cohort of no more than 15 colleagues, you will consider “with new eyes” the mission of the church and how we work together as laity, deacons, priests, and bishops to transform our world by living and loving in the spirit and manner of Jesus. You will come away with fresh appreciation for the power of lay ministry and the equality of the orders of ministry. We hope you will also find greater clarity regarding your spiritual gifts and the needs of the Church. At the close of this 3-session seminar, a small cohort of new friends should be ready to support the next steps of your journey.
At the present time, all seminar sessions meet online. Dates and registration information for upcoming seminar sessions can be found in the FAQs.
Choosing the best instrument for your formation
Formation through the School for Ministry… what does it look like?
The School for Ministry is designed as a three-year program. Four academic sessions are offered each year. In each session, at least two courses are offered, each course meeting 8 times, in 2 ½ hour blocks. Classes are lively, as students and instructors are engaged with each other in real-time. We dig deeply into scripture. We explore church history and the way our church has evolved for the benefit of God’s mission. We study theology, ethics, and worship, and we examine the practice of ministry. We discuss a wide breadth of topics, from the ministry in a post-Christendom/pandemic-traumatized world, to stewardship of God’s creation, to the journey the Church is walking with our non-Episcopal Christian neighbors and with our non-Christian neighbors.