CANDIDATES FOR HOLY ORDERS
THE ORDER OF LAY DEACONESS
POSTULANTS FOR THE OCR
CLERGY INCARDINATION

May God Bless you for your interest. As you are well aware, the Sacramental needs of the People of God can only be fulfilled by dedicated pastoral leaders. One of the greatest frustrations of any Bishop is when he receives a call requesting a Priest to help establish and to lead a new parish community and the Bishop has nobody to send. For the Original Province to grow and continue deepening its vocational mission, we wish to foster and encourage vocations to the clerical and religious life.

For those who are considering Religious Life we invite you to speak with us about assisting you in your decision making process. Our Bishops unconditionally embrace their responsibility to provide a format for the academic formation of our candidates for Orders. We will assist you in finding an appropriate academic formation program that will best prepare you for service to the People of God.

We know that vocations do not always necessarily mean service within the confines of a parish community. God has blessed many individuals with gifts which can be in a variety of pastoral assignments within chaplaincies which also brings the good news of the Gospel to many.

We also encourage all Deacons, Priests, and Religious who are considering a return to the clerical or religious life to speak with us about returning to active clerical or religious life within our Traditional Historic Anglican Jurisdiction. Given the times in which we live, it must be pointed out that the AIC Original Province does not consider God’s gift of a vocation as a hobby or an opportunity to “dress up” and play cleric or religious. We take our vocations seriously and seek to determine similar seriousness in our candidates.

Please contact the Metropolitan to discuss the matter of a possible vocation before submitting any paperwork. Due thought and prayer will precede agreement to any course of action since requirements vary based on individual need and circumstance.

The Anglican Independent Communion - Original Province is not a clerical or religious repository for dysfunctional individuals. Those men with serious impediments which would inhibit their ability to comport themselves in a Priestly fashion need not apply. Therfore individuals with the following serious issues will be disqualified:

  • A person who labors under some form of mental illness or other psychic defect due to which, after consultation with experts in the medical field, are judged incapable of carrying out ministerial duties.
  • A person who has committed the delict of apostasy, heresy, or schism within the Church.
  • A person who has committed voluntary homicide.
  • A person who has committed sexual assault.

CAMBRIDGE HALL THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

Cambridge Hall Theological Seminary is an institution of higher learning founded and sponsored by the Anglican Independent Communion - Original Province. This Seminary is committed to a Christian Catholic vision of reality and inculcates in the Seminarian a deep appreciation of the heritage of "MATER ORTHODOXA ECCLESIA ANGLICANA", a true sense of recognition of the Christian ethos and its principles, with a sensitive commitment to the needs and wants of others and self.

The divine and Apostolic intent in the intellectual and spiritual formation of the aspirant to the Priesthood in this Seminary is clearly enunciated in the Statement of Belief of the Original Province as well as in our Sarum liturgical expression.

The great Church Father, St. John Chrysostom, while still a layman, grappled with the meaning of the office of Priesthood. While he was avoiding ordination, he wrote his great work “On the Priesthood,” which has been a Christian classic ever since. From generation to generation, faithful Christians have been called to fulfil the office of ministerial presbyterate; they have done so with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, even if they have resisted the idea initially, as did St. John Chrysostom.

What then are the duties of a Priest in the Original Province? The Priest leads the entire congregation in its worship. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass or the Holy Communion is the common work of the entire Body of Christ, clergy and laity of all ranks. According to Chrysostom, the Priest is to lead the worship of the community and administer the Sacraments. To implement this in our world today, the Priest must realize that the Church is most herself when gathered together to praise, glorify, supplicate, and thank its Savior, Christ-God. The Rector has a great honor to lead this worship, and the responsibility to see that this worship proceeds meaningfully and as smoothly as possible.

Secondly, the Presbyter preaches the Gospel to those inside and outside the Church. The most obvious modern exercise of this function is the sermon. The sermon is an integral part of the liturgy of the Word. Religious Education is yet another way of conveying instruction. The parish bulletin and newsletter are other vehicles for this teaching office.

Thirdly, the Presbyter is to be a spirtual physician to God’s people, diagnosing and suggesting ways to heal their spiritual ailments. The Priest does this most frequently through counseling and Confession. The Priest’s eyes must always be open to spot problems and to promote meaningful solutions. Frequently, this is perhaps the most difficult job of the Priest, as the congregation must learn to trust this person before they can approach him with the secrets of their lives.

Fourth, the Priest is to govern the Church according to the Laws of God as His representative (Titus 1:7 ff). The Pastor must follow the Commandments of Christ, as expressed in the Holy Gospel, the greatest of which is Love.

All the facets of the Priestly vocation listed above are heavily dependent upon the personal spiritual life of the Priest for their development and credibility. Ordination plants the seeds of the Priesthood in the individual, who must cooperate with the Holy Spirit to enable growth.

The road to being a good Priest is that of being an even better Christian, by constantly growing closer to the Triune-God through prayer, the reception of the Sacraments, fasting, spiritual reading, and loving concern for others - both inside and outside the Church.

As each Seminary program is self-paced, the length of time required to complete it is highly dependent upon an individual’s capability and motivation. The depth of required study for any enrolled candidate will be determined, in part, by an individual’s relevant prior training and life experiences.

Our programs can take anywhere from 18 to 36 months to complete.

The Rector of Cambridge Hall Theological Seminary is at present the Archbishop Metropolitan. This Seminary has been established to provide guided studies and spiritual formation experiences to qualified applicants seeking preparation toward ordination as Deacons or Priests in the Original Province. The programs of study are implemented via a nontraditional training model which integrates independent study (correspondence and internet) with supervised seminars and relevant practica experiences.

Some courses require traditional classroom attendance.

The emphasis and energy of the Seminary training program are on the adequate preparation of Deacons and Priests for service in the parishes of the Original Province. Although Degrees and Certificates are conferred on successful graduates of the Seminary, it is our primary intent to prepare compassionate and well informed individuals for service to God’s people.

For further information, or to secure an application packet, please contact the office of the Archbishop by email or post.


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