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 developing, 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. Ian Burch, to set up an appointment to discuss the process for 2020. 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

Complete Manual of Resources for Discerning a Call to Ministry Lay and Ordained

To download only the section of the manual that is needed for your discernment process, see below. 

Manuals for Discernment for Lay Ministry and Professional Chaplaincy

Discerning a Call to Lay Ministry for All Baptized Persons

Discerning a Call to Lay Professional Chaplains

Discerning a Call for Ordained Professional Chaplains

Manuals for Discernment for Holy Orders

Discerning a Call for Vocational Diaconate

Discerning a Call for Priesthood

Discerning a Call for Priesthood for Previously Ordained Clergy in Historic Succession

Discerning a Call for Priesthood for Previously Ordained Clergy Not in Historic Succession

Manuals for Parish Ministry Discernment Committees

PMDC Manual for Lay Professional Chaplaincy

PMDC Manual for Holy Orders

Manuals for the Commission on Ministry

COM Manual for Ministry Discernment Weekend

COM Manual for Candidacy and Ordination Interviews

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


Spiritual Directors for Lay People and Clergy

Resources for Congregational Discernment

Please contact the Rev. Ian Burch, President of the Commission on Ministry, with any questions.