Explorers’ Retreat

The Explorers’ Retreat provides an overview of the discernment and ordination processes as well as plenty of time for conversation about the diaconate and the priesthood. Everyone who desires to begin a formal exploration of a possible call to ordained ministry is required to attend. The Explorers’ Retreat is held at the Procter Center in late January or early February each year.

Considerations Prior to Attending the Explorers’ Retreat

  • Explorers should have been in serious and regular conversation with their clergy person about their call for an extended period of time (in the neighborhood of a year). Both the clergy person and the explorer should have done some deep thinking about the explorer’s vocation prior to Explorers’ Day as this day assumes that intentional vocational discernment has already begun.
  • Only those who have been confirmed or received in the Episcopal Church and have been active members of the Episcopal Church for at least two years should attend the Explorers’ Retreat.

What We’re Looking For in Ordained Leaders

The traits the Commission on Ministry and Bishop Thomas E. Breidenthal are looking for in ordained leadership include:

Theologian: Someone who can make connections between faith and life
  • Can make connections between Scripture and our lives
  • Can make connections between liturgy and mission
  • Can make connections between theology and contemporary society
Entrepreneur: Someone who sees possibilities and takes risks
  • Can see possibilitiesin unlikely places and is willing to take risks to make those possibilities realities
  • Can take one’s own mistakes and redeem them
  • Can approach problem-solving creatively and with tenacity
Faith Community Organizer: Someone who galvanizes communities to take action
  • Can create communities for ministry
  • Can see a need and empowers others to meet that need
  • Can make creative use of human and material resources

It is critical that the person have a lively faith and a growing understanding of how she or he may be called to priestly or diaconal ministry as a theologian, entrepreneur and faith community organizer.

Click here to hear the keynote address by Bishop Breidenthal at Explorers’ Day, February 2012.

Age limit

The age limit for people entering the discernment process in the Diocese of Southern Ohio is 57 for those discerning for the priesthood; you must be no older than 57 at the time you attend the Explorers’ Retreat. This age limit allows for a total of five years between Explorers’ Retreat and possible ordination, then ten years of ministry before the canonically mandated retirement age of 72. Exceptions will be made in rare instances and only for clear missional purposes.

There is no age limit for people discerning for the diaconate. However, the bishop will not ordain persons once they have reached the canonically mandated retirement age of 72.

Next retreat

The next Explorers’ Retreat is scheduled for January 31-February 1, 2020 at Procter Center. Registration is now open and will end January 17, 2020.

Click here to register