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Theological Education
Survey - 1999
Narrative

The following is in response to General Convention's mandate "to study the needs and trends of theological education for all four orders within the church, including issues of recruitment, training, deployment, evaluation and continuing education..." A survey collecting data for 2002 will be sent again to the bishops and the Chairs of COM by the Office for Ministry Development in the fall of 2002 in preparation for General Convention.

| Analysis of Data | | Diocesan Schools or Programs |

The question was asked of dioceses to indicate whether they presently ordain deacons under Title III, Canon 6, or if they contemplate ordaining deacons, or if they do not contemplate ordaining deacons. There were seventy-six (76) direct responses. Six (6) dioceses who responded do not contemplate ordaining deacons under Title III, Canon 6. Sixty-one (61) presently ordain deacons, and nine (9) more are contemplating ordaining deacons under Title III, Canon 6.4(b).

Of those ordaining or contemplating ordination of deacons the theological training requirements are (or would be) as follows. The majority (56%) use a diocesan training program. Other programs include seminary training without a degree (15%); a seminary degree (11%); and reading for orders (14%). The remaining (4%) include a "combination of the above;" an M.A. in theology in conjunction with a diocesan training program; and a program under development by the local Commission on Ministry which will incorporate some seminary course-work along with studies at local universities and colleges. Some dioceses indicated the use of more than one type of education.


The same type of question as above was asked about deacons but under Title III, Canon 9 "Local Ordinations." This question generated eighty-one (81) direct responses. The majority of respondents (56%) or forty-five (45) dioceses do not contemplate ordaining "local" deacons. The next largest group of respondents (27%) or twenty-two (22) dioceses are contemplating ordaining "local" deacons; while (17%) or fourteen (14) dioceses presently ordain them.
For the thirty-six (36) dioceses ordaining or contemplating ordination of "local" deacons the theological training requirements follows the pattern set forth for deacons under Canon 6. The majority (61%) use a diocesan training program. Reading for orders is the next most employed method of training at (22%) of dioceses. Seminary training without a degree is used by (8%) of the dioceses and (6%) expect a seminary degree. The "other" diocese reporting has not yet developed their program.


The focus of the next question shifted to "Local Ordinations" under Title III, Canon 9, for priests. Seventy-two (72) dioceses directly responded to this question. The primary difference, in this case, is that the majority of respondents thirty-three dioceses (46%) presently ordain "local" priests. Those not contemplating "local" ordination of priests is twenty-three dioceses (32%). The remaining sixteen (16) or (22%) are contemplating ordination of "local" priests.

The pattern for theological training requirements continues for "local" priests. The majority (55%) utilize a diocesan training program. Reading for orders is next with (22%); followed by seminary training without a degree (10%); and a seminary degree (6%). The "other" (6%) include development of an education program deemed "adaptable;" a program with Bexley Hall Seminary in a local training school setting; the assignment of a diocesan examining chaplain as a "tutor," and the General Ordination Exam (G.O.E.). Some dioceses used more than one type of education.

When asked if one's diocese ordained a Title III, Canon 7, priest in 1999, eighty (80) dioceses responded. Those that said "yes" numbered sixty-two (62), with the remaining eighteen (18) responding "no."

When asked how the ordinands met the requirements for theological education the responses are not delineated by diocese but by the actual number of ordinands in the particular program. The majority of ordinands, one hundred seventeen (117) or (70%), attended an accredited Episcopal seminary for three (3) years. Twelve (12) ordinands or (7%) attended an accredited non-Episcopal seminary for three years. A like number, twelve (12) ordinands or (7%) attended an accredited non-Episcopal seminary for three (3) years AND attended an accredited Episcopal seminary for at least one (1) year. Five (5) ordinands or (3%) received training from a diocesan school or program. A like number, five (5) ordinands or (3%) received training from a diocesan school or program AND attended an accredited Episcopal seminary for one (1) or more years. None were reported as having read for orders. The remaining sixteen (16), of the one hundred sixty-seven (167) persons ordained priest in 1999, received "other" theological training. "Other" is broken down as follows: Nine (9) attended Sewanee's six-week summer program which led to a degree of Master of Sacred Theology; two (2) attended an accredited non-Episcopal seminary for one (1) year and an accredited Episcopal seminary for two (2) years; two (2) attended an accredited non-Episcopal seminary for three (3) years and cross-registered for several courses at an Episcopal seminary; one (1) received an M.Div. from Vancouver School of Theology, which consisted of attending in residence for two (2) years along with course-work by extension; one (1) attended a non-Episcopal seminary, but did not graduate and is not technically a priest; and one (1) read for orders AND attended an accredited Episcopal seminary for one (1) or more years.


When asked if one's diocese ordained a Title III, Canon 10, priest in 1999, seventy-one (71) dioceses responded. Those that said "no" numbered sixty-four (64), with the remaining seven (7) responding "yes."

When asked how the ordinands met the requirements for theological education the responses are not delineated by diocese but by the actual number of ordinands in the particular program. There were ten (10) persons ordained under this Canon. The majority, four (4) or (40%) received "other" training. Three (3) or (30%) received training from a diocesan school AND attended an accredited Episcopal seminary for at least one (1) year. Two (2) or (20%) attended an accredited Episcopal seminary for less than three (3) years; while one (1) or (10%) attended an accredited Episcopal seminary for at least three (3) years.


The next question pursued data on the kind of theological education those ordained under Title III, Canon 10, had before being received into the Episcopal Church. There were thirty-nine (39) responses. The majority (26%) earned an M.Div. or the equivalent in another seminary plus one (1) year of Anglican Studies in an Episcopal seminary. Next, the response was M.Div. at (23%); and (10%) stated "at least one (1) year of Episcopal seminary." Some dioceses (8%) either indicated that they had not ordained under this Canon, have not ordained anyone recently, or had not yet established a standard for their theological education requirements. A diocese that had not ordained under this Canon, stated that it would expect an M.Div. from an accredited seminary. Another diocese has had no requests since revamping its process for ordination. And yet another diocese had no established standard but was in conversation presently with someone who has an M.Div. from another denominational seminary and a D.Min. from Sewanee. Some dioceses (8%) made, or would make, their decision on a case by case basis taking into account the amount and nature of theological background which would have to be assessed. The remaining (25%) of dioceses had very individual responses which encompass such ideas as existing advanced degree work, further study focusing on Anglican theology and polity, evaluation by diocesan examining chaplains, the G.O.E.s, tutoring by local clergy, some time spent at an Episcopal seminary, and the need for our seminaries to offer "Anglicanization" programs during shorter summer sessions.


The determination of the theological education requirements for Title III, Canon 10, ordinands is made on a case by case basis in a majority of cases (36%). A consultation between the bishop and C.O.M. is the method in (24%) of those who responded. In (12%) of the dioceses reporting a recommendation by the C.O.M. is what determines the ordinands theological education requirements. The remaining (28%) vary somewhat amongst the dioceses. The primary source for guidance in outlining the requirements are the Canons themselves, the bishop, the C.O.M., diocesan examining chaplains, and the Standing Committee.


When asked if one's diocese received a Title III, Canon 11, priest in 1999, seventy-four (74) dioceses responded. Those that said "no" numbered sixty-four (64), with the remaining ten (10) responding "yes."

When asked how the persons met the requirements for theological education the responses are not delineated by diocese but by the actual number of clergy in the particular program. There were thirteen (13) clergy received in 1999. Those who received training from a diocesan school or program AND attended an accredited Episcopal seminary for at least one (1) year numbered five (5) or (38%). Four (4) or (31%) attended an accredited Episcopal seminary for less than three (3) years; and four (4) or (31%) received training from a diocesan school or program.


The determination of the theological education requirements for Title III, Canon 11, clergy is made by the C.O.M. in conjunction with others in a majority of dioceses (43%). The consultation is either with the bishop, the examining chaplains, or the Standing Committee and the bishop. In (15%) of the dioceses the determination is made on a case by case basis. Use of oral and written exams under the direction of the diocesan examining chaplains is used in (12%) of the dioceses; while another (12%) of dioceses require one (1) year of Anglican Studies. The remaining (18%) of dioceses list a variety of programs. The C.O.M. is still the leader in the design of study programs, in many cases they are done locally, either in a diocesan school or with a local mentor or tutor.


When asked if one's diocese received a Title III, Canon 12, priest in 1999, sixty-seven (67) dioceses responded. Those that said "no" numbered fifty-three (53), with the remaining fourteen (14) responding "yes."

When asked how the persons met the requirements for theological education the responses are not delineated by diocese but by the actual number of clergy in the particular program. There were nine (14) clergy received in 1999. One (1) received training from a diocesan school or program. Three (3) received training from a diocesan school or program AND attended an accredited Episcopal seminary for at least one (1) year. Three (3) or (21%) attended an accredited Episcopal seminary for less than three (3) years; and seven (7) or (50%) received other training. Of the seven (7) receiving other training: one (1) read and studied under the supervision of the Bishop, and wrote essays for the Examining Chaplains; one (1) received local clergy training; two (2) met the requirements for theological education set by the Church of South India; the remaining three (3) consisted of two (2) received from the Church of England and one (1) received from the Church of Ireland. Each of these three (3) had a seminary degree and parish experience. They were tutored in American Church history, Polity and Law, along with reviews of diocesan history and policies.


There were twenty-four (24) responses to the question of who makes the determination of the theological education requirements for Title III, Canon 12, clergy. The decision is made by the C.O.M. and the bishop in 17% of the receptions. The C.O.M. provides direction on a case by case basis in 12% of the receptions. In 8% of the receptions they are considered on a case by case basis, including "not only assessment of prior theological education and experience, but also the grasp of written and spoken English." Those who had not encountered such a circumstance numbered 12%, but the indication was that using a mentor and directed readings for at least a year prior to reception along with two (2) years of Continuing Education and a mentor after reception; or a review of their theological education and then require one or more years at an Episcopal seminary. In 12% of the receptions the determination is made by the Examining Chaplains; and 12% utilize diocesan programs. In 8% the requirement for reception is an M.Div; C.P.E and M.Div; evidence of effective ministry; or specific courses relative to the Episcopal Church. The remaining 19% had varied responses consisting of: "Internship in an Episcopal Church, a diocesan program and one (1) or two (2) semesters at an accredited Episcopal Seminary;" "In consultation with bishop, chair of C.O.M. and Executive for Ministry Development;" "by the bishop;" "by the bishop, Standing Committee, and C.O.M."


When asked what kind of theological education is believed to be necessary in order to be received by the Episcopal Church under Title III, Canon 12, there were twenty-six (26) responses. One (1) year of Anglican Studies was the answer given by 31% of the respondents. In 19% of the responses the answer was to consider them on a case by case basis, which would either depend on the candidate; the church they come from, the determination of the C.O.M.; "but most often should include American Church History, Contemporary Society, etc." Having an M.Div. from an Anglican Seminary, plus two (2) years full-time at an Episcopal Seminary; an M.Div., or equivalent, plus one (1) year of Anglican Studies; or M.Div. or equivalent, giving consideration to the significant cultural implications, was the response of 15%. Having "as complete an education from an Episcopal Seminary" or "acceptable completion of studies in an acceptable Anglican seminary, was the response of 8%. The remaining 27% offered a variety of statements: "Polity and lines of authority seem most difficult to get accustomed to - perhaps we could do more with that;" "Sufficient study, by seminary courses, guided reading and mentoring by diocesan school, in order to pass the G.O.E.'s;" "Not sure - probably M.Div. and a period of "mentorship" with a seasoned priest;" "Areas where they have differed from E.C.U.S.A. or are deficient;" "Knowledge of material and personal spiritual development;" "We have a diocesan theological education program led by the dean of our Anglican Academy;" "Polity, liturgy, pastoral care, sometimes history."


The Rev. Howard Maltby
Theological Education Task Force
Standing Commission on Ministry Development



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