Formation programs wrap up year with graduation

A ceremony honoring graduates of two diocesan Ministry Formation programs was held at Christ Chapel at the Procter Center on May 17. Group mentors awarded fourteen individuals finishing the four-year Education for Ministry program their certificates of completion during Eucharist.

Education for Ministry, or EfM, is a program of theological education for lay people offered by extension from the School of Theology of the University of the South, Sewanee, Tenn. EfM originated in the mid- 1970s as an extension course based on seminary curriculum for lay people who wanted further theological training but did not feel called to the ordained ministry. EfM is now a worldwide network with over 9,000 graduates and 7,500 students enrolled.

The program is offered in the local congregation and led by a mentor (lay or clergy) who is trained by the School of Theology to facilitate the seminar group. Meeting weekly for nine months of the year, over a four-year period, the student experiences readings in Scripture, Church History and contemporary issues. By working together on lessons, theological reflection and regular prayer, the seminar group becomes a small Christian community, which supports and encourages its members in their ministries. It becomes a safe and loving place to explore beliefs and to try out new ministries. There are no tests or papers to write, so there are no college credits offered, but the student does receive 18 Continuing Education Units per year completed.

Four individuals completing the diocese’s School for the Diaconal Formation program were also recognized during the May 17 Eucharist. The School For Diaconal Formation (SDF) consists of a two-and-ahalf-year curriculum of courses, spiritual formation and practical experience designed for women and men who have been accepted as postulants for the diaconate. Seminary professors, as well as lay and clergy members of the diocese, comprise the school’s faculty. The Diocese of Southern Ohio offers the School for Diaconal Formation for postulants from the dioceses of Southern Ohio, Ohio, Pittsburgh and Lexington.

In addition to receiving their certificates at graduation, the two Southern Ohio graduates were ordained by Bishop Thomas E. Breidenthal to the Sacred Order of Deacons on June 7 at Christ Church Cathedral.


Education for Ministry graduates

Kathy Mank
Tammy Robertson
Mentor: Hawley Todd, Grace Church, College Hill

Judith Jean Kidd Held
Roberta Wilkinson Clark
Mentors: Lisa Palchick and Deb Parker, St. Patrick’s, Dublin

Douglas Pittsenbarger
Angela Wallenbrock
Mentors: Susan Jones and Lissa Barker, St. Patrick’s, Dublin

Doug Carr
Christine Osborne-Hurdley
Michael Parker
Barbara Parker
Mentor: Kathy Heim, St. John’s, Lancaster

Barry Cramer
Mary Hawn
Mentor: Eric Schryver, St. George’s, Dayton

Karen Kendall-Sperry
Bill Fairweather
Mentors: The Revs. Cricket Park and Stephen Smith, St. Patrick’s, Dublin

School for Diaconal Formation graduates

Carolyn C. Cogar
William Frederick Sangrey
Diocese of Southern Ohio

John Mark Feuerstein
Laurita Ann Stebler
Diocese of Pittsburgh

Individual photos from the gallery may be downloaded at