Clergy formation

Residency program

The Residency Program in the Diocese of Southern Ohio is an opportunity for all newly ordained persons or recently received clergy from Churches not in communion with The Episcopal Church to be supported and mentored in the first two years of ordained ministry or reception of their orders into this communion.

Resident deacons and priests are placed in a congregation or other ministry setting. They establish a Learning Covenant with supervisory expectations and enjoy the non-evaluative relationship with an assigned ordained mentor. Residents meet five times a year with other residents as a community of mutual support and reflection on the practical and theological aspects of ordained ministry.

Clergy in their first two years of ordained ministry are expected to participate in the diocesan residency program. The resident serves in a placement congregation determined in consultation with the Bishop’s Office and may or may not receive a stipend during the residency. No resident may serve as priest-in-charge of a congregation.

Clergy newly received from Churches not in communion with The Episcopal Church (see Canon III.10.1, 3 & 4) will be placed at the discretion of the bishop in the Residency Program or in the Holy Purpose, Healthy Priest (HP2) Program for clergy with new cures.

Clergy days

All active clergy are expected to attend clergy days in the Diocese of Southern Ohio. Two clergy days are generally scheduled per year, in the spring and fall. If you are unable to attend, direct communication with Bishop Breidenthal is required.

Find scheduled clergy days here.

Continuing Education/Professional Development

It is expected that clergy serving full-time in congregations or other communities of faith be granted two weeks leave (separate from vacation leave) for professional development. The cost of continuing education courses and programs usually are divided between the clergyperson, the congregation or other community of faith he or she serves, and the diocese.

  • 1. Areas related to the ministry of the theologian, entrepreneur and faith community organizer

    • Be/become aware of developments in Systematic Theology
    • Professional interests discovered in seminary or not covered in seminary
    • Ethics/Moral Theology
    • Sacramental Theology
    • Scripture

    2. Skills

    • Preaching
    • Teaching
    • Community organizing

    3. Inter-religious opportunities, especially with Jews and Muslims

    4. Development of ecclesiology and ongoing changes and challenges in the Church

    5.  Training in Spirituality and Spiritual Direction

    6.  Integrative theological and experiential study

  • Parochial (Parish) Priests

    For one-time programs: the lesser amount of 1/3 the cost of the program or $1,500.

    For multi-year advanced degree programs (assuming the degree program is offered by an accredited institution): the lesser amount of 1/3 the cost of the program or $2,500.
 A yearly maximum of $2,500 for any individual.

    Deacons

    Deacons are not compensated financially for their ministry in the diocese and there is a strong and explicit expectation that the congregations, programs or agencies the deacon is serving will provide the additional half of the cost of the program. Congregations are strongly encouraged to set aside funds to assist with the cost of a deacon’s sabbatical program and plans.

    For one-time programs: the lesser amount of 1/2 the cost of the program or $2,000.

    For multi-year advanced degree programs (assuming the degree program is offered by an accredited institution): the lesser amount of 1/2 the cost of the program or $3,000. 
A yearly maximum of $3,000 for any individual.

    Extraparochial Clergy and Lay Diocesan Staff

    Applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis up to a yearly maximum of $3,000 for any individual.

    Additional Information

    Transitional deacons and priests funded through the diocesan Residency Program are not eligible to apply for professional development funds.

    Priority will be given to those people who have not recently received professional development funds.
 Priority will also be given to programs with a direct and immediate impact on the ministry of the community of faith and/or the diocese. 10% of the awarded grant will be withheld pending completion of the evaluation form at the conclusion of the funded program. Funding of $300 for CREDO is available, which does not count against the annual limit.

    • Complete the one-time event application Clergy Professional Development – One-Time Event or the Clergy Professional Development – Multi-Year Application. You may submit it electronically.
    • Have your senior warden or supervisor complete the endorsement form Professional Development – Senior Warden Supervisor Endorsement and submit it electronically.
    • At the conclusion of the program, complete the evaluation form Professional Development – Evaluation.
    • Submit these forms electronically to Sherri Martin at smartin@diosohio.org. All clergy are expected to participate in professional development activities every year and to maintain a record of those activities.

    One Time Event Application

    Multi-year application
    Senior Warden/supervisor endorsement
    Evaluation form

Sabbaticals

Clergy sabbaticals are to be encouraged; one-third of the expense up to the designated limits according to funding guidelines noted below may be available for sabbaticals. The current diocesan policy regarding sabbatical leave is as follows:

Two weeks per year of service in the congregation for Sabbatical Leave are to be available after the third year, and cumulative through the sixth year. The clergyperson will be paid full salary and benefits while on sabbatical. Sabbatical arrangements shall be made in full consultation with the Vestry or Mission Council to insure benefits for the parish as well as for the clergyperson. Congregations and/or communities of faith are encouraged to contribute an amount equal to two weeks’ compensation to a designated sabbatical fund each year. The purpose of this fund is to allow the community of faith to obtain adequate clergy coverage during the sabbatical. Another fund to assist the clergy person’s sabbatical expenses may be established or combined with a budgeted professional development item in the annual budget.