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Commission on Ministry

Advisory Commission to the Bishop in encouraging and enabling opportunities for ministry


The Commission on Ministry (COM) exists in compliance with Title III, Canon 2 of the Canons and Constitutions as an advisory role to the bishop in the implementation of Title III. Our primary responsibilities are to encourage and enable present and future opportunities for the ministry of all the baptized, in the design and oversight of recruitment, discernment, formation for ministry and assisting in assessing individuals’ readiness for ministry.

Our Subcommittees have been formed to cover these areas articulated in specific Canons under Title III. These four subcommittees are Discernment, Ordination Process, Licensed Ministry, and Clergy Continuing Education, Orientation and Mentoring. Membership in these subcommittees is not limited to members of the Commission. The chairs of the subcommittees will be ex-officio members of the Commission, if not already elected or appointed members.

Beginning Well Class

Ordination Process

The ordination process in The Diocese of West Missouri consists of a series of stages that are mostly prescribed by the Title III canons of The Episcopal Church. The canon governing the ordination of deacons is Canon 6, while the canon governing the ordination of priests is Canon 8. The canons may be found here.

Individual Discernment

Aspirant meets with a spiritual director, sponsoring priest, and others for initial conversation. The rector/priest then agrees to form Congregational Discernment Committee (CDC).

Congregational Discernment

Aspirant meets with CDC for approximately six months to discern call for further ministry. The CDC provides a recommendation to vestry. The rector and vestry may nominate the aspirant who, upon acceptance of the nomination, becomes a nominee.


  • The nominee completes medical exam, psychological evaluation, and background check
  • Nominee meets with the bishop
  • The nominee is invited to a Next Steps Retreat with the COM, Standing Committee, and bishop
  • COM and Bishop give approval for further discernment. A COM mentor and liaison are assigned

Diocesan Discernment

  • Nominee explores ministry opportunities in a new congregation for at least six months; meets with new congregation DC to refine focus on further ministry direction
  • New congregation DC recommendation to COM
  • Steps to Postulancy Nominee is invited to a second Next Steps Retreat with the COM, Standing Committee, and Bishop
  • COM recommendation to Bishop
    • Bishop approves postulancy


  • Formal seminary formation begins. Students are expected to have completed a bachelor’s degree prior to beginning seminary
    • The Bishop Kemper School For Ministry (BKSM)
      • For deacon Postulants, BKSM offers a two-year curriculum. Details of the curriculum are on the BKSM website.
      • Postulants for the priesthood may attend one of the listed seminaries, or BKSM. For Postulants who expect to remain in Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, or Nebraska, and who expect their priestly ministries to be either part-time or unpaid, BKSM might make sense as it is designed specifically for students who will remain in the diocese while continuing to work at secular employment. The BKSM curriculum for future priests consists of 30 courses taken over three years. Details of the curriculum are on the BKSM website.
      • Postulants for the priesthood who expect to work full-time for the church should plan to attend one of the listed seminaries and enroll in the Master of Divinity program
    • Berkley Divinity School at Yale. New Haven, CT. (Residential)
    • Bexley-Seabury. Chicago, IL. (Hybrid)
    • Church Divinity School of the Pacific. Berkley, CA. (Hybrid)
    • Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest. Austin, TX (Residential)
    • The School of Theology, University of the South. Sewanee, TN (Residential)
    • Virginia Theological Seminary. Alexandria, VA (Residential)
  • The postulant continues with seminary education and formation
  • Discerner applies for candidacy

Candidacy Interview

  • The postulant meets with the Standing Committee
  • COM and Standing Committee make a recommendation to the bishop
  • The bishop approves candidacy


  • Candidate completes seminary and sits for canonical exams
  • Diocesan Board of Examining Chaplains makes a report to the COM and bishop

Final Recommendation

  • COM recommendation to Bishop
  • Candidate meets with the Standing Committee for consent to ordination
  • Bishop consents to ordination


  • Diaconal ordination – vocational diaconate or transitional diaconate
  • For those called to be a priest, priestly ordination no fewer than six months later

Additional Information Prior to Ordination

  • All candidates for ordination will complete Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)
  • All candidates will participate in field placement/internship


Ann Rainey COM cropped

Ann Rainey


Anne Kyle Profile

The Rev. Anne Meredith Kyle

Vocations Missioner


  • Ms. Kathy Alexander
  • The Ven. Bruce Bower
  • Dr. Vincent Clark
  • The Rev. John Coil
  • The Rev. Timothy Coppinger
  • The Rev. Adam James
  • The Rev. Rita Kendagor
  • The Rev. Karen Mann
  • Mrs. Shirley McCarty
  • The Rev. Joe Pierjok
  • Mr. Raja Reed
  • Ms. Meredith Seaton
  • Mrs. Paula Shepard
  • The Rev. Galen Snodgrass
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