Application for Candidacy

Deadline for Submission of Completed Candidacy Application: Nativity of St. John the Baptist, June 24

Candidacy Day: August 8, 2020

Candidacy is the final canonical phase of formation before ordination. The time frame from nomination to ordination must be at least 18 months.

This application is based on The Episcopal Church canons and material developed by the Diocese of Olympia.

The nominee gathers the following documents, listed below, and mails them together (that is, as a package) to Diocese of Olympia, Attn: Vocations, 1551 Tenth Ave E, Seattle, WA 98102. If those writing letters of support prefer to send their documents directly, they may do so to the same address.

It is the responsibility of the nominee to ensure that all materials are complete and arrive on or before the deadline for submitting completed applications. Incomplete or late submissions will not be considered. Neither the Secretary for Vocations nor the Commission on Ministry is responsible for application materials that are lost or arrive late in the mail. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you submit this package of material through certified or registered mail.

All letters should be addressed to the Bishop.

Application for Candidacy.


Letter from applicant addressing issues raised at postulancy. Please refer to the letter from the Bishop admitting you to postulancy. This letter should address any issues or concerns that were raised in that letter or in subsequent communications with the Bishop.

A letter of support from the nominee’s vestry/bishop’s committee. In accordance with Title III, Canon 6, Sec. 4 (a) (2) /  Title III, Canon 8, Sec. 4 (a) (2), this must be signed be two-thirds of the vestry/bishop’s committee and signed by the clergy exercising oversight.


Report from seminary or similar program. The seminary should prepare an evaluative report of your progress and make a recommendation concerning your ordination.

CPE Supervisor’s Report.

CPE Personal Reflection. Please include the dates and location of your training at the top of your reflection.

Field Education Supervisor's Report.

Field Education Personal Reflection. Please include the dates and location of your training at the top of your reflection.

Ember Letters. Each Postulant or Candidate for ordination shall communicate with the Bishop by letter, four times a year, in the Ember Weeks, reflecting on their academic experience and personal and spiritual development. More information and submission instructions may be found here.

Background Checks, Exams, and Training (within 36-months prior to ordination):

  • Oxford Background Check: Done by Office of the Bishop once made a candidate. Check with the Secretary for Vocations for status. (You are responsible for the full payment of your background check. Background checks typically cost between $300-$600 depending on your education and work history.)


  • Medical Exam: This is simply a comprehensive physical exam that can be conducted by your primary care provider. The primary care provider of your choice should complete the Church Pension Fund (CPF) form and send it to the Secretary for Vocations.​ (You are responsible for the full payment of your medical exam. Your medical exam should, hopefully, be covered by your medical insurance.)


  • Psychological Exam: After being named to postulancy, you will be asked to complete a comprehensive psychological examination. You will be asked to complete forms, the Behavioral History Questionnaire (BHQ), and the Life History Questionnaire (LHQ), provided by the CPF, undergo testing, and meet with a psychologist designated by the diocese. The results of this examination are confidential and are only read by the bishop. (For the initial psych exam, the diocese will pay for one-third of the cost. You and your congregation are responsible for the remaining two-thirds. The current average cost is estimated to be $1500-$1800.)
    • Contact Heather McDonald, Psy.D., Samaritan Center of Puget Sound,, to schedule your exam.

    • Behavior Screening Questionnaire (BSQ)

    • Life History Questionnaire (LHQ): This questionnaire was designed by the Church Pension Fund, and asks a series of detailed questions about your personal life, including family history and relationships, alcohol and drug use, and sexual activity. This exam is confidential, and is seen only by the psychologist. It is not delivered, nor seen by anyone on diocesan staff.


  • Canonical Competency: The exam process will depend on Order and prior training. You should be in touch with the Secretary for Vocations to complete Competency Exams.


  • Financial Planning: Financial Planning appointments can be made by contacting Ardeth Hollo at or 206-295-1202. (The diocese will pay for one-half of the cost and you are responsible for the remaining half. The cost for the review ranges from $250-$350.)

  • Safe Church Training: Certificates of completion of Safe Church training (Children & People) are required for all being ordained in the Diocese of Olympia. In-person trainings are listed here. Alternatively, the trainings may be taken online here.


  • Intercultural Development Inventory: More information will be available soon.


  • Title IV Training: Title IV training is offered just once in the spring. Postulants will be notified when that is scheduled. We have been doing this jointly with the Diocese of Spokane, Eastern Oregon, and Oregon.


Next Steps

When all materials, and letters have been received, the Secretary for Vocations will confirm with the applicant for candidacy that their application is complete. Bishop Rickel will review completed applications submitted on or before the deadline and will invite the strongest applicants to the meet with the Commission on Ministry. The applicant for candidacy will engage a series of interviews with the Commission on Ministry (COM). After the applicant departs, the Commission on Ministry will meet and discern each applicant’s call based on the application, experiences, and the interview. The COM will then submit their recommendations regarding each applicant for candidacy to Bishop Rickel. Admission to candidacy is granted solely by Bishop Rickel, and all applicants will be notified formally in writing.


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