Aspirants should begin applying for postulancy at the end of the formal discernment process, with the
recommendation of their presenting priest. It may be appropriate for seekers to begin writing their Personal
History and Reflections (PHR) during discernment, as the PHR needs to be written 4+ months before the
postulancy interview. However, it is imperative that discernment is not rushed in order to make postulancy
Please note that the canon’s office must be in possession of the entire application at least four weeks in
advance of the interviews. This includes psychological and marital evaluations.
Timing the psych and marital evals: Aspirants are asked to provide a copy of the PHR (item #2) to the
psychological and marital evaluators in advance of an appointment. Psych and marital evals can take 60 days
Path to the Postulancy Interview
psych eval clinic prior to evaluation. It takes most working adults several months to complete the
evaluation, which should be sent to the diocesan offices directly: The Episcopal Diocese of
Virginia, 110 West Franklin St. Richmond, VA 23220.
piece is ready, or all together as one application.
Please send regular updates via email to
to let her know when to expect the
application, due four weeks before the interview. The aspirant may also want to CC their committee
Copies: Aspirants must keep copies of all documents in their own file.
approved psychological evaluation clinics. Contact
with any questions.
about the content and length to their committee contact.
Timing: Should be completed before psychological evaluation and initial meeting with
contact person (separately) before the writing is complete. How long an aspirant takes to
write the PHR depends on the time they can devote to it, but most find this takes a few
months to write.
Contact review: The aspirant’s committee contact will provide feedback on the PHR before
. All other pieces of the application can go
directly to Vicky.
for a list of approved clinics. This list cannot be found online.
on whether a marital evaluation is required. The aspirant should request his/her own
cost estimate from the eval clinic. See note on timing of psych eval and PHR above.
Copy of marital evaluation, if applicable
as the committee contact is assigned.
The letter can be addressed to Bp. Johnston and sent to
the applicant’s preparation and involve itself in the applicant’s preparation for ordination.
We recommend that the Vestry consider/sign this letter at their meeting 2-3 months
Review PHR: The committee contact will review the aspirant’s PHR and offer feedback before it is
submitted—aspirants should send the contact person a copy before the first meeting. However, the
aspirant and presenting priest should reach out to the contact person once assigned to find a time to
meet after the PHR is complete.
on the Diaconate must confirm that the aspirant is ready to interview for postulancy. Applicants
should be in regular contact with their contact person.
guidance. While the contact reviews the PHR, aspirants should send updates and questions on the
other pieces of the application to Vicky Bickel or Ed Keithly. The aspirant, not the committee
contact, is responsible for providing updates to the diocesan office.
Aspirants should be aware of seminary application deadlines and apply when appropriate in order to avoid
being delayed for a year or lose out on scholarship/grant money—aspirants expecting to interview for
postulancy in March should be especially sensitive to this. Aspirants should not begin seminary during
discernment or aspirancy, but it is appropriate to apply for seminary before interviewing with the
Committee on Priesthood and/or the Bishop.
An aspirant may not commit to a seminary before having a conversation with the canon’s office and/or the
bishop about where he/she will attend.
In general, aspirants who will interview for priesthood in the fall should wait until they are accepted as
postulants before applying to seminary, but those applying for postulancy in March should apply to
seminary and for postulancy concurrently. Examples:
seminary in fall 2017 should apply to seminary concurrently with her postulancy application.
An aspirant interviewing with the Committee on Priesthood in November 2017 and hoping to begin
What might go in the recommendation letter from the presenting priest:
Aspirant’s place in the church community now, what ministries she/he takes part in.
What the priest sees as the aspirant’s gifts and how the aspirant is suited to the priesthood or the
The priest doesn’t necessarily need to probe the aspirant to find out about these things, but
talk about how the aspirant dealt with those things.
Anything that makes the aspirant’s journey unique.
Growing edges of the aspirant. The assumption is that the presenting priest is fully supportive of the
the parish are putting the aspirant forward for postulancy.