Continuing Bishops meet to discuss Clergy Education Plan

December 10, 2014 by Jonathan Foggin

Bishops from four jurisdictions met in Athens to discuss clergy educataion.  Pictured (L to R) are Bishop Chad Jones (APA), Archbishop Mark Haverland (ACC), Archbishop Brian Marsh (ACA), Bishop James Hiles (ACA) and Bishop Craig Botterill (TAC-C).

Bishops from four Continuing Anglican jurisdictions met in Athens, Georgia last week to discuss the issue of clergy education and training. 

Called by Archbishop Brian Marsh of the Anglican Church in America, the meeting included representatives from the Anglican Catholic Church, the Anglican Province in America, and the Diocese of the Holy Cross.  Additional meetings were held the same day on the west coast and included the Anglican Province of Christ the King.

Discussions in Athens began with a summary of how each jurisdiction was training clergy and whether a unified standard could be achieved.  It was generally agreed that postulants should have an AB from an accredited university and be enaged in studies for a Masters in Theology, Religion, or a related field.  A major issue of concern was ensuring that those being trained in secular universities had a thorough grounding in the history, ethos, and spirituality of classical Anglicanism. 

One method of addressing this issue, which received general support, was the establishment of Anglican "houses of study" at select institutions.  There, postulants would live under the supervision of a resident priest, praying the office and receiving instruction on the Anglican way, but also take university courses in pursuit of a degree.  It was generally agreed that also that these houses of study should be associated with a local continuing church, so postulants could gain experience and assist in in parish life.

Though no immediate action on houses of study was taken, the bishops did agree to work towards regularization of standards across jurisdictions.  A committee, under the direction of Bishop Craig Botterill of the TAC in Canada, was established and charged with comparing standards from each jurisdiction and creating a report which would lay the foundation for establishing a common house of studies.  It was agreed that the bishops would meet again to discuss the report later in 2015.

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