Explorer’s Retreat

The Explorer’s Retreat is held once a year and provides an overview of the discernment and ordination processes as well as plenty of time for conversation about the diaconate and the priesthood. Everyone who wishes to begin a formal exploration of a possible call to ordained ministry is required to attend. Those exploring calls to new directions in ministry are also welcome to attend. In 2017, the Explorer’s Retreat will be held the morning of Saturday, February 4th through lunch on Sunday, February 5th at the Procter Center. The registration form is available here.


Considerations prior to attending the Explorer’s Retreat
  • Explorers should have been in serious and regular conversation with their clergy person about their call for an extended period of time (in the neighborhood of a year). Both the clergy person and the explorer should have done some deep thinking about the explorer’s vocation prior to Explorers’ Day as this day assumes that intentional vocational discernment has already begun.
  • Only those who have been confirmed or received in the Episcopal Church and have been active members of the Episcopal Church for at least two years should attend the Explorers’ Retreat.

What we’re looking for in ordained leaders
The traits the Commission on Ministry and Bishop Thomas E. Breidenthal are looking for in ordained leadership include:

Theologian:  Someone who can make connections between faith and life
  • Can make connections between Scripture and our lives
  • Can make connections between liturgy and mission
  • Can make connections between theology and contemporary society
Entrepreneur: Someone who sees possibilities and takes risks
  • Can see possibilitiesin unlikely places and is willing to take risks to make those possibilities realities
  • Can take one’s onw mistakes and redeem them
  • Can approach problem-solving creatively and with tenacity    
Faith Community Organizer: Someone who galvanizes communities to take action
  • Can create communities for ministry
  • Can see a need and empowers others to meet that need
  • Can make creative use of human and material resources
It is critical that the person have a lively faith and a growing understanding of how she or he may be called to priestly or diaconal ministry as a theologian, entrepreneur and faith community organizer.Click to hear the Keynote address by Bishop Breidenthal at Explorers’ Day, February 23, 2012.

Age Limit
The age limit for people entering the discernment process for priesthood in the Diocese of Southern Ohio is 57; you must be no older than 57 at the time you attend the Explorers’ Retreat. This age limit allows for a total of five years between Explorers’ Day and possible ordination, then ten years of ministry before the canonically mandated retirement age of 72. Exceptions will be made in rare instances for those discerning ordination to the priesthood and only for clear missional purposes.There is no age limit for application to discern for the diaconate.

If you have questions about the discernment process in the Diocese of Southern Ohio, please contact the Rev. Canon Lynn Carter-Edmands, Canon for Formation & Transitions. Ann Sabo is also available for ordination process questions at 800.582.1712.