Application for Postulancy

Deadline for Submission of Completed Postulancy Application: Holy Cross Day, September 14

Aspirants Retreat: November 18-20, 2020, Huston Camp & Conference Center, Gold Bar, WA

When the aspirant has completed the diocesan Phase 2 discernment process, and the aspirant's vestry has nominated the aspirant for postulancy and submitted that form to the Office of the Bishop, the aspirant becomes a nominee for postulancy. The nominee may submit an application for postulancy. The application deadline is September 14, Holy Cross Day. This application is based on Episcopal Church Canons and material developed by the Diocese of Olympia to give a clear sense of the aspirant, their work, and call to ministry. It is only necessary to submit the applications, letters, and other material listed in this section. Do not submit any other material. If you do it will not be part of your file; neither the Commission on Ministry nor the bishop will read it.

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 deadling 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.

A letter of acceptance of the congregation/community of faith’s nomination and a request to be admitted to postulancy. This letter should be addressed to the bishop, should include a brief statement of what leads you to respond to the congregation’s nomination to postulancy. It must conclude with the following sentence: “I, (your name), in accordance with Canon III.6.3 or III.8.3b (choose the relevant one), accept my nomination to the (diaconate/priesthood) as put forth by (congregation/community of faith name) and humbly request to be admitted to postulancy.” This letter should be no more than one page in length.

A completed application to either the vocational diaconate or the priesthood. The nominee's answers to each of the supplemental questions should be no more than 500 words or two double-spaced pages using 12-point Times New Roman font. Answers not meetings these guidelines will be returned for editing.


A summary of your learnings and discoveries during the discernment process. This should be no more than 500 words, or two double-spaced pages using 12-point Times New Roman font. Answers not meetings these guidelines will be returned for editing.


Financial Disclosure Forms. There are two of these: the Financial Information and Worksheet and the Financial Assessment (if married, your spouse should also fill one out). Please fill these out to the best your ability and accurately.

Official transcripts from your post-secondary education. This includes the nominee's undergraduate and graduate work regardless of whether or not they have completed their degree work. Official transcripts are available from your college or university’s registrar’s office and usually come in a sealed envelope with a stamp or signature from the registrar across the seal and/or on the transcript itself. It is your responsibility to ensure all transcripts are submitted on or before the deadline.

A statement of financial support from your congregation. This indicates the financial support of the nominee's congregation of the expenses associated with postulancy. This statement should also include a copy of your congregation’s budget to demonstrate that a line item has been allocated to support you.


A letter of support from the nominee's clergy/leader exercising oversight. Please note this is a separate letter from the vestry/bishop’s committee letter. There is no limit to the length of the letter.

A letter of support from the nominee’s vestry/bishop’s committee. In accordance with Canon III.8.3a this must be signed be two-thirds of the vestry/bishop’s committee and signed by the clergy/leader exercising oversight.


A letter of support from the nominee’s discernment community. This letter should identify the members of the discernment group and be signed by them. There is no limit to the length of the letter.

Next Steps: When all materials, and letters have been received, the Secretary for Vocations will confirm that your application is complete. Bishop Rickel will review submitted applications and will invite the strongest applicants to the Aspirants Retreat at Huston Camp & Conference Center, Gold Bar. The number of aspirants attending will be limited to five for the priesthood, with the number for the diaconate remaining uncapped. It is also at Bishop Rickel’s discretion to invite any combination of aspirants (for example, four deacons, one priest). The Aspirants Retreat will include group exercises, and an intensive interview with the Commission on Ministry (COM). After the nominees depart, the Commission on Ministry will meet and discern each nominee’s call based on the application, experiences, and the interview. The COM will then submit the findings of their own discernment/discussion to Bishop Rickel, but will not make a recommendation as to whether the nominee should be admitted to postulancy. Admission to postulancy is granted solely by Bishop Rickel, and nominees will be notified formally in writing.


Additional Note

The Bishop may, at his sole discretion, invite nominees to a spring meeting (usually in May) of the Commission on Ministry for consideration of their postulancy application. The deadline for submitting the completed postulancy application for the spring meeting is Ash Wednesday. The same details noted above apply for this cycle.


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