Ordination Process

This page is designed to provide information and links that may be helpful to those who are discerning the call to ordained ministry in the Diocese of Milwaukee.

Discernment for ordination is the work of the church, a communal affair, not a solitary or small-group task, and in the Diocese of Milwaukee, this work is supported by the Commission on Ministry.

The mission of the Commission on Ministry is to support:

  • All baptized persons to discern and act on their calls to ministry, using the gifts given to them in service to God.
  • Congregations to actively recognize, affirm and enable their individual members to participate in making the Kingdom of God visible through works of compassion, justice and witness to the world.

The Commission on Ministry is appointed by the bishop to advise and assist him in all matters specified by the Canons of the General Convention as follows: 

  • Determining present and future needs for ministry in the diocese.
  • Recruiting and selecting persons for holy orders, and guiding and examining postulants and candidates for orders.
  • Providing for the guidance and pastoral care of clergy and lay persons who are in stipendiary and non-stipendiary positions accountable to the bishop.
  • Promoting the continuing education of the clergy and lay professionals employed by the Church.
  • Supporting the development, training, utilization and affirmation of the ministry of the laity in the world.
  • Submitting a report of the work done under its supervision during the preceding year to each convention. 

To Begin Discernment

If you are wanting to discern a call to Holy Orders, or if a priest in the diocese is aware of someone in their parish wanting to discern a call, please contact Commission on Ministry (COM) President, the Rev. Pippa Lindwright, to set up an appointment to discuss the process. The COM will be glad to provide training for parish ministry discernment committees either in person or through Zoom meetings.

Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee Manual for Discernment

Ordination Manual (revised October 2023)

Required Documents and Forms for Discernment

Authorization to Release Information to Diocese
Authorization to Release Information to Applicant
Behavior Screening Questionnaire
Life History Questionnaire
Medical Exam Form
Mental Health Exam Form
Nominee Personal Information Form

Discernment Weekend

The next Commission on Ministry Discernment Weekend will be held October 18-19, 2024, at Holy Wisdom Monastery, in Middleton, Wisconsin. 

Deacon Formation

Deacons in our diocese serving in an active ministry are to be found in our parishes, in a variety of organizations that do the work of the gospel, serving the marginalized, poor, and creation itself. They are catalysts, acting as the hands, feet, eyes and heart of Jesus in a world that very much in need of reminders that the Risen Christ is among us. 

To aid us in the renewal of this key ministry, we have fashioned a new diaconal formation process for the diocese. It takes a more individualized approach, accounting for the educational and ministerial backgrounds of candidates. It also allows for a formation process marked by flexibility and accommodation with individual schedules. There are special times when candidates come together for shared reflection and formation as well. 

Diaconate Formation Process (updated February 2023)


Below are links to organizations, books, and other resources to assist candidates in the ordination process.

Befriender Ministry: A Listening Presence
Community of Hope
Companions in Christ
Education for Ministry (EfM)
An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church
The Equipping Church by Sue Mallory
The Kergyma Program
Richard Giles
Stephen Ministry
When Members Are Missionaries/Member Mission
Wild Goose Worship Group
Milwaukee Spiritual Directors

Please contact the Rev. Pippa Lindwright, President of the Commission on Ministry, with any questions.