If you have any specific questions we will answer them via direct mail or email.
1) What is the process for incardination?
The first step is to read about us in our website, ask questions, and then if you would like to be considered for incardination, download and complete the application.
Incardination is open only to:
A) Lectors and Acolytes in Minor Orders and Deacon, (18 years or older and open to females also)
B) Priests (1) and Bishops (2) ordained in the Catholic Orthodox tradition by a church with valid lines of Apostolic Succession.
C) You do not need to be an American Citizen to apply, but will need to speak with the Bishop in charge of your Province. 1.Married or un-married males. 2. Celibate ( married with ekonomia from the Patriarchal Council with the understanding that all future bishops consecrated will be celibate).
While our Patriarchal Council makes the final determination on each applicant, generally speaking we welcome clerics from most mainline (Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Anglican, Episcopal, Lutheran and independent Catholic (too numerable to list).
Obviously, conformity to reception of the sacraments of Baptism and Ordination administered in the traditional Catholic Faith manner, and faith compatibility to our Statements of Beliefs are significant criteria for acceptance into our clergy. The application which you may download or request to forward to you upon request should be thoroughly and thoughtfully completed. That application and the requested documentation will need to be submitted before the incardination decision is made. It is acceptable to send the application first and then supply the documentation as it is gathered.
2) What training (education) do I need to be incardinated?
Our review of your education as related to ministry should show a strong correlation to our ordination requirements as presented in our Seminary Catalog available on our website underSeminary
Significant deficits will be identified by the Incardination Committee and the applicant and the Presiding Bishop will develop a plan for making up the deficits. This may be done through seminary course work or through directed reading. The amount and depth of ministry experience is also factored into this decision and can substitute for specific course content.
Clerics from mainline churches enjoy the presumption of having appropriate and sufficient education and experiences related to ministry. However, since the educational background is so varied, we review transcripts and ministry experience carefully. The Holy Byzantine Catholic Orthodox Church is strongly committed to having ministers who are well prepared to present and live the message of Jesus and His Holy Church.
3) Is there full time paid ministry available?
No. All of our clergy (deacons, priests and bishops) support themselves through their regular employment and give without monetary compensation their time and talents to the church and to their congregations. Truly, we have a tent-maker ministry in the spirit of the apostle Paul and the early Christian disciples. The only exception is if a parish counsel requests the clerics to be in the parish full time and are willing to pay a full time salary, the same is for the bishop if the diocese requests and is willing to pay him a full time salary this is also acceptable.. 4) Are there expenses involved in being incardinated in your church?
No fee or charge is ever paid for Incardination or for ordination! There are, however, some expenses that are passed on to the applicant.
This is the current total list:
A. There is an application fee of $50.00. That covers printing, mailing, psychologist review, and follow-up telephone conversations. It is non-refundable.
B. As part of the application process, the applicant is required to visit in person with the Presiding Bishop or other clergy more proximate to the applicant’s home city. Travel expenses related to that visit are the responsibility of the applicant.
C. If deficits in education need to be made up through seminary course work, all course-work is paid for by the candidate directly to the seminary program provider (either our own seminary program or a mutually agreed upon program).
We award course-work credit toward ordination for ministry related course-work in other institutions and for ministry related job and life experiences. There is no charge for transfer and experiential credit.
D. For ordination: There is never a charge for Incardination or ordination. Our Church Law does require that Reception (Incardination) of Clergy and Ordinations ordinarily take place at our annual Synod/Retreat.
E. Currently our clergy are required to be licence by the church, please see LICENSURE.
If someone is unable to make the requested donation, he/she simply talks to the Patriarchal Council to make adjustments.
F. Deacons, priests, and bishops are expected to purchase their own vestments and altar appointments needed in their ministry. The offerings of the congregation are used by the pastor for the operational expenses of the parish or ministry. If parish sponsors a candidate, the cleric does not need to purchase their own vestments and altar appointments needed in their ministry.
G. Our Church Law requires that all clerics attend and participate every year in our Church Synod/Retreat wherever it is held. The travel costs and registration fee are the annual responsibility of the cleric. 5. How long does it take to be incardinated?
Each candidate is led through the process in an individualized and personal manner. When the application process is complete, the Presiding Bishop presents the application with his/her recommendation to the House of Bishops who then send their recommendation to Patriarchal Council. So, the “how long?” time-line varies.
I hope this information helps you as you look at the possibility of serving in The Holy Byzantine Catholic Orthodox Church as our clergy. I want to be totally upfront with you as you look at us and I promise I will be.