Coppage-Gordon is the adult formation arm of the diocese, working to form leaders of all orders and all corners of the diocese, including those training for ordained ministry.
The Academy for Vocational Leadership is a local three-year program of preparation leading to the diaconate or the priesthood.
The Academy is a collaboration with the Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan and is based on the Iona Collaborative, a local formation curriculum developed by the Seminary of the Southwest in conjunction with the Iona School for Ministry of the Diocese of Texas.
The next class will begin in the fall of 2021. The program begins with a weekend retreat in August.
In order to begin this program, an applicant must receive the endorsement of the clergy and vestry of the applicant’s home parish. In addition, the applicant must have begun the ordination process with the Commission on Ministry and reached Nominee status prior to beginning the Academy.
When in-person instruction is possible, class weekends are held once a month from September through June at the Colombiere Retreat and Conference Center in Clarkston, MI.
The cost of the program is $4,000/year which covers tuition, overnight accommodations, and meals for each of the 10 sessions, as well as the August retreat. In addition, the cost of required textbooks will range from $100-175 per year. The Diocese of Eastern Michigan will provide a scholarship of $1,000 for each student from this diocese. Financial support from the student’s home parish is an expectation. Students are urged to approach their home parish for any needed financial support.
Dates for 2021-2022
August 13-15 (Annual Retreat)
The application includes three parts:
Please send all of the forms to:
The Rev. Dr. Valerie Fargo
Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan
924 N. Niagara Street
Saginaw, MI 48602
The Saturday Series includes the academic portion of the Academy for Vocational Leadership and is open to all interested students. Subjects have included Holy Scripture, Church History, and Theology and Ethics. Lectures are offered via video by professors from the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, TX and the discussions are facilitated by local mentors from the participating dioceses. You may attend individual sessions or an entire series.
For the 2020-21 academic year, the following classes will be offered:
The Year of the Bible is a survey course which covers the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament thematically. This series offers a great foundation for anyone who wants to learn more about Holy Scripture and is also required for those seeking to become licensed lay preachers.
Sept 12: Introduction to Biblical Studies – Register on/before 9/4
Oct 10: The Pentateuch – Register on/before 10/1
Nov 7: Deuteronomic History – Register on/before 10/31
Dec 5: Prophetic Literature – Register on/before 11/28
Jan 16: Psalms and Wisdom Literature – Register on/before 1/9
Feb 13: Hellenistic and Roman Periods – Register on/before 2/6
Mar 13: Gospel of Mark – Register on/before 3/6
Apr 10: Gospels of Matthew and Luke/Acts – Register on/before 4/3
May 8: Gospel of John/The Apostle Paul – Register on/before 5/1
June 5: Paul and Pauline Literature – Register on/before 5/29
Cost: $60 for each session or the entire series for $600.
Those seeking licensure for preaching are required to take the Year of the Bible and Homiletics sequentially over two years or together in one year. For more information about licensing, click here.
Oct 10: Session 1
Nov 7: Session 2
Dec 5: Session 3
Jan 16: Session 4
Feb 13: Session 5
Mar 13: Session 6
Cost: Entire series for $200.
Register for a series by September 4th. Register for individual class sessions at least 10 days in advance.
Times: Bible and Ethics take place on Saturdays from 9:30 – 3:30pm. Homiletics takes place from 7-9pm.
Location: All sessions will be held online until further notice.
For any questions or for additional information, please contact the Rev. Dr. Valerie Fargo, Director of the Coppage-Gordon School for Ministry at email@example.com, by phone at the diocese (989-752-6020) or at home (989-708-7460).
WORSHIP LEADER TRAINING
According to the Canons of the Episcopal Church, a Worship Leader is a lay person who regularly leads public worship. In the Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan worship leaders are often charged with more than leading Morning or Evening Prayer. They often plan services as well. Therefore, some exposure to church history, the church year and symbols, church polity, scripture, and music is included in the workshop.
Cost is minimal, covering materials and lunches. Specific dates, time, and sites will be announced 4-6 weeks prior to the offering of the workshop.
At the conclusion of the workshop each participant will be given a copy of the worship leader examination to be completed and sent in. Each person to be licensed is also required by diocesan policy to take the Safeguarding God’s People training offered through the Diocese and undergo a criminal background check.
Occasionally, more advanced and specific worship leader trainings will be offered.
Training to become a licensed preacher in the Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan consists of two components:
Those who wish to become licensed preachers begin their preparation with the monthly Saturday classes in Holy Scripture offered at the Academy for Vocational Leadership. This survey of the Old and New Testaments consists of ten five-hour sessions, September through June, at the Colombiere Retreat Center in Clarkston. The cost is $600 ($60 per session), which includes lunch. Additional costs include textbooks and mileage to and from Colombiere.
Either following completion of this class or concurrently, individuals take the Homiletics Class offered at the Academy. This class consists of six two-hour sessions, October through March, at the Colombiere Retreat Center, in the evening of the same day as the Holy Scripture classes. Participants learn about, discuss, and practice preaching, and they prepare and deliver sermons at the Academy and at their home congregation. The tuition for the Preaching Practicum is $200 per student. Additional costs include textbooks and mileage to and from the class site.
After successful completion of both the Holy Scripture and Homiletics classes, Safeguarding training and a background check are required. Following completion of all requirements, the diocesan office will issue a preaching license.
Visit the Saturday Series page for specific dates for the upcoming school year.
If you would like to talk about these classes, please contact the Rev. Dr. Valerie Fargo at firstname.lastname@example.org or 989-708-7460.
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