Once a man is accepted into the program, he enters the discernment phase as an aspirant and begins the orientation sessions. The orientation includes a retreat for the candidates and their wives, if married. The formation and preparation of candidates for the diaconate in the Diocese of Arlington takes place over a period of four years.

    The candidates must be available two weekends each month for these classes which are held on Saturdays. Tuition is paid for by the diocese. The candidates are responsible for purchasing any required books or supplies for the classes.

    The program consists of spiritual, theological and pastoral formation.

    Catholic Diocese of Arlington

    1. Spiritual Formation consists in opportunities designed to help the candidate understand himself and his potential for spiritual growth. It seeks to provide motivation, inspiration and information so that he can deepen his prayer and integrate his study, daily life and family life. A life of prayer and a life of service come together in the person of the candidate.
    2. Theological Formation seeks to provide adequate theological training for effective ministers of the Gospel. The deacon, therefore, would have enough knowledge of theology to be competent and comfortable in his specific ministry. Required courses would include sacred scripture, dogmatic theology, moral theology, homiletics, liturgical-sacramental theology, canon law and church history.
    3. Pastoral Formation serves to assist the candidate by providing field experience under mentoring supervision. The formation aids the candidate in acquiring ministerial skills and pastoral sensitivity. It seeks to infuse the actual context of ministry with theological awareness. It helps him to test out his capabilities and interests, his strengths and deepen faith and to strengthen commitment to service through the integration of the spiritual, theological and pastoral aspects of his formation.

    For More Information, Contact:

    Rev. Thomas Ferguson
    Episcopal Vicar for Faith Formation
    Diaconate Formation Program
    200 N. Glebe Rd. Suite 914
    Arlington, VA. 22203
    Tel: 703-841-2563
    Fax: 703-524-5028

    Catholic Diocese of Arlington