1. The following are considered to be general prerequisites for any person desiring to be considered for Postulancy for Holy Orders in the Anglican Church of Canada:
    1. Confirmation, Reception or status as a Communicant in the Anglican Communion at least three years prior to application for consideration as a Postulant.
    2. Regular participation in the life and worship of a parish or recognized worshipping community of the Anglican Church of Canada.
  2. Every person desiring to be admitted as a Postulant for Holy Orders who has satisfied the above prerequisites is expected to consult with his/her immediate pastor, sharing with him/her the basis for such a desire; and to seek the guidance and counsel of the pastor.
  3. If the pastor of a person seeking to be admitted as a Postulant for Holy Orders is satisfied that the individual is worthy of commendation for consideration as a possible Postulant, the pastor will meet with and seek the considered opinion of four lay persons in the parish (normally the Wardens and two other persons) regarding the suitability of the person for further consideration.
  4. If the pastor and the lay persons are satisfied that the individual is a person suitable for consideration as a Postulant, they shall send to the Bishop a letter of commendation, giving information in the following areas:
    1. The length of time the individual has been known by the referees, and a description of their association with the individual.
    2. A description of the role the individual has played in the life of the parish or congregation.
    3. The particular gifts and characteristics the individual possesses which make him/her particularly suited for the ordained ministry.
    4. Any limitations or concerns of which they are aware which might hinder the individual in the exercise of ordained ministry.
    5. Whether the referees would be prepared to accept the individual for service as an ordained person in the parish or congregation which the referees attend, given proper preparation for ordained ministry.
    6. Any further advice or counsel the referees wish to share with the Bishop.
  5. The Bishop may, at this point, or at any subsequent time, seek the commendation of another parish to which an applicant may be referred by the Bishop.
  6. An applicant thus commended by a parish or congregation will be interviewed by the Bishop, and if the Bishop considers the individual to be suitable for further consideration, the applicant is referred to the Diocesan Postulants Committee or Examining Chaplains.
  7. The Postulants Committee/Examining Chaplains will take responsibility for administering diocesan requirements for postulancy, such as psychological assessment, further interviews, or gathering of references.
  8. If, in the opinion of the Postulants Committee/Examining Chaplains the applicant is suitable, he/she is commended to the Bishop for referral to ACPO.
  9. If the Bishop accepts the commendation of the Postulants Committee/Examining Chaplains, he/she refers the applicant to ACPO. Such referral is normally to be made before an applicant enters Theological College. At the very latest, such referral is to be made not later than the end of the first academic year. It is the responsibility of the applicant to seek postulancy in sufficient time to make such a referral possible.
  10. The Bishop or designated person receives the ACPO assessment and recommendations and meets with the prospective Postulant within one month of the ACPO Conference if possible, and continues to monitor the follow-through of any prescriptive material in the report. The report is also shared with the appropriate Theological College or training program.
  11. At the Bishop’s discretion, the applicant may be admitted as a Postulant. Admission as a Postulant does not imply any quarantee or promise of ordination.
  12. The usual academic requirements for Ordination are a Bachelor’s degree plus a degree or diploma program of studies in a Theological College recognized by the Anglican Church of Canada.
  13. The Bishop or his/her designate will give counsel and direction regarding appropriate College(s) or training programs, and the curriculum to be undertaken.
  14. If an applicant has entered a Theological College, it is essential that the applicant seek commendation to his/her Bishop within the first semester of study.
  15. During the process of theological education and spiritual formation, regular communication will be maintained between the Theological College and the Bishop regarding the Postulant’s academic, personal and spiritual life and growth in competency. This may include written reports (authorized by the Postulant), visits to the College by the Bishop, and/or conferences involving faculty persons, the Bishop and the Postulant.
  16. The Postulant’s Committee/Examining Chaplains will meet with the Postulant at least once per year during the postulancy period, and administer any special diocesan requirements, such as canonical examinations, at appropriate times.
  17. The normal period of postulancy is three years, with a minimum period of two years. During this period, the Postulant is expected to be in written or personal communication with his/her Bishop at least two times a year regarding his/her personal, spiritual and intellectual pilgrimage.
  18. After successful completion of the prescribed program of Theological Education, and upon recommendation of the faculty of the Theological College or training program, the Postulants Committee/Examining Chaplain may commend the Postulant to the Bishop for ordination to the Diaconate if the Postulant has satisfied all diocesan requirements, and is considered to be an appropriate candidate for ordination.
  19. Upon receiving such commendation, the Bishop may, at his/her discretion proceed to ordination, if there is a designated and specified ministry to which the person is to be appointed.

The above Guidelines were approved by the House of Bishop of the Anglican Church of Canada on November 4, 1986.

Commended by the General Synod Committee on Ministry in November 1986.