Application Procedure

Specific requirements for women seeking a vocation as a Deaconess in the REC are delineated in Canon 22 of the REC Constitution and Canons. Further information is available in the Handbook for the Order of Deaconesses.  An overview of the recommended process is as follows, although each candidate should follow the process outlined within her diocese.

Candidacy Process Overview

A woman who is a communicant member of a parish in the Reformed Episcopal Church and who has attained the age of twenty-three, who desires reception as Candidate for the office of Deaconess shall submit to the Bishop of the Diocese or Missionary Diocese the following:

  • A formal application for Candidacy submitted to the Bishop Ordinary of the Diocese (Application Form [updated September 2020] PDF)
  • A letter of recommendation from the Rector or Minister in Charge of the parish she attends, to include a declaration that she is a communicant of the Church in good standing
  • Letters of recommendation from two women communicants of the parish
  • Evidence that she is a graduate of a four-year institution of higher learning. Any Candidate who does not meet this requirement shall have attained the age of thirty-five years, and must provide evidence to the Board of Examining Chaplains that she possesses the intellectual ability to enter with advantage upon a course of study preparatory to being Set Apart
  • Upon acceptance as a Candidate, the following requirements must be met before the Candidate may be Set Apart:
  • An eighteen-month Candidacy period that includes a nine-month internship under the supervision of a presbyter
  • Formal or informal training in Bible and theology (see Deaconess Studies options offered by the REC)
  • Quarterly reporting to and supervision by the Bishop to which the application was made
  • Successful completion of the Deaconess examination used in the Candidate’s diocese
Dss. Cynthia Longueville
Dss. Cynthia Longueville, Diocese of Mid-America