The Iona School for Ministry provides the training required by the Diocese of Texas for persons to become bi-Vocational Priests and Deacons. It has a rigorous curriculum of academic, practicaland liturgical instruction. In addition, the Iona School is open to Lay Professionals who are interested in augmenting their theological studies. The school has welcomed students from the Diocese of West Texas, the Diocese of Oklahoma, the Diocese of Nebraska and the Diocese of Wyoming.
In the last several years, the Church has been faced with the growing need for clergy leadership in small congregations with unique challenges and circumstances. Studies indicate that most congregations with 30 to 75 average Sunday worship at-tendance are struggling to afford the services of a full time priest. Many of these small congregations have depended on supply clergy for worship, but have been left with no clerical oversight of the congregation.
The Rt. Rev. Don Wimberly, 8th Bishop of Texas, set a course of action during his episcopate to address these challenges. It was his vision to establish an internal diocesan school to train persons for the priesthood and diaconate who would serve small congregations for no monetary reward.
The establishment of the Iona School for Ministry, in concert with the Bi-Vocational Priesthood Committee and the Committee for the Diaconate of the Commission on Ministry, has successfully addressed this challenge.
A three-year program of preparation for the priesthood and diaconate was developed providing comprehensive training for persons who have qualified for enrollment.
Priests & Deacons — Within the Diocese of Texas
Iona School only accepts applicants who have completed the prescribed discernment process and have met the requirements set by the Diocesan Commission on Ministry (COM). The COM has empowered two sub-committees, the Bi-Vocational Priesthood Committee and the Committee for the Diaconate, to oversee the discernment process and development of their respective candidates. An applicant can enroll in the Iona School only upon the recommendation of their respective committee and receiving the approval of the Executive for Ministry.
To obtain an application packet for the Priesthood or the Diaco-nate tracks, contact Ana Gonzales May, 512.478.0580.
Priests & Deacons — Outside the Diocese of Texas
Iona School only accepts applicants who have completed the prescribed discernment process and have met the requirements set by their home diocese. A letter of recommendation stating such from the Diocesan Bishop or Canon to the Ordinary must be submitted to the Executive Director of Iona School no later than July 31. Acceptance is also contingent on the approval of the Executive for Ministry for the Diocese of Texas.
To be considered for the Lay Professionals track a letter of recommendation from the church rector must be submitted to the Executive Director of Iona School no later than July 31. Acceptance to the Iona School for Ministry is contingent upon receipt of a letter, application packet and approval of the Executive Director and Dean of Academics for the Iona School for Ministry.
Applicants for the lay professionals track must be active in their church, currently engaged, preferably on staff, in their respective ministry. To obtain an application contact Julie Heath, 713.353.2125.
“When seminary was not an option, due to my full-time job, God found a way for me to answer His call. The Iona School prepared me well for the work I do ministering to alcoholics and addicts in recovery. I’ll be forever grateful for the doors Iona School opened for me.”
THE REV. BILL WIGMORE, IONA SCHOOL CLASS OF 2005