The Path to the Diaconate

Deacons empower others to name, claim and engage the work God gives us all to do. They interpret to the Church the needs, concerns and hopes of the world. Through baptism, all Christians are called to make Christ’s redemptive love known through servant ministry. Deacons are ordained to exercise this ministry, particularly to the poor, the weak, the sick and the lonely. Deacons model servant ministry in their daily life and work, and are icons of servant ministry through their roles in worship. At all times, by their life and teaching, deacons are to show Christ’s people that in serving others they are serving Christ himself. 

Formation for the Diaconate

In the Diocese of Virginia, deacons are formed by the Deacons' School, a collaboration between our diocese and the Dioceses of Southern Virginia and Southwestern Virginia. Tuition information can be found here. The next class of the Deacons' School begins April 2020. 

More on the Vocational Diaconate

Applying for Postulancy

Before applying for postulancy, seekers in the Diocese of Virginia spend time in community discerning what God is calling them to and how they might best answer that call. Information on vocational discernment.

Once the seeker's parish discernment committee completes its work, the seeker may begin applying for postulancy with the support of his/her presenting priest. The presenting priest should email Ed Keithly and Vicky Bickel ( to request a contact from the Committee on the Diaconate. The contact will assist the seeker in applying for postulancy. 

Postulancy Interview Dates

Aspirants will be scheduled for an interview after the aspirant's contact to the Committee on the Diaconate affirms the aspirant is ready to go forward. 

  • Wed. Sept. 18, 2019 @ Trinity, Fredericksburg. Complete postulancy applications due Aug. 18. 
  • Wed. Oct. 9, 2019 @ Trinity, Fredericksburg. Complete postulancy applications due Sept. 9.

Dates and locations for the Deacons' School.

All students accepted as postulants for the vocational diaconate are automatically accepted to the Deacons' School; there isn't a separate application process. However, students must complete the Bible journalling project prior to the first retreat: Guidelines for the Bible journalling project. The next class of the Deacons' School begins April 2020. 

Postulancy Application Materials

Vestry Support Letters for Later Stages