For persons who may feel a call to the diaconate, the process of exploring that call begins with a conversation between the individual and their parish leaders. The parish priest and vestry support the individual throughout the discernment process by contributing to the expenses of the process and formation, supporting the individual in prayer, and helping guide the individual’s exploration. At various times, they are also expected to formally affirm their belief in the individual’s call.

Process for Becoming a Deacon

Workshop Day on the Diaconate

Once a person has been in conversation with their parish priest and in that conversation it becomes clear that the individual may be called to ordained ministry, the next step is to attend a Workshop Day on the Diaconate.

The Workshop Day on the Diaconate is held in the fall every other year. The next Workshop Day will be in the fall of 2024.

Each Aspirant–a person who feels called to this ministry–attends the Workshop Day on the Diaconate with their sponsoring priest and a lay person from their congregation who may serve on the local discernment committee. During the workshop, attendees learn about the ministry of deacons, the ordination process, and the formation requirements. They also hear from the leadership of the Commission on Ministry, the Standing Committee, the Archdeacon, and the Bishop. All attendees will have an opportunity to meet in small groups with those who have been through the process or supported others through the process.

After attending the Workshop Day, an aspirant may choose to submit the paperwork to formally enter the process.


To enter the ordination process in The Episcopal Church a person must be a confirmed communicant in good standing. In other words, a confirmed member who prays, works, and gives to the church. It is expected that this person has been actively doing so for at least a year following their confirmation or reception into The Episcopal Church.

Only after an Aspirant attends the Workshop Day on the Diaconate may they enter the process by submitting an application form and being nominated by their parish leadership.

More detailed information about the process may be found in The Steps to Being Ordained a Deacon (en Español).

Application to the Diaconal Discernment Process
Aplicación para el Proceso de Discernimiento Diaconal

The Formation of Deacons - Deacons School

The formation of deacons is done within a cohort and includes both online programs and in-person gatherings. Learn more about the formation process here.