About the SSFM

We are a learning community forming lay and ordained leadership for the church of today and the future.

Download the course catalog here.

Why do we do what we do?

The Stevenson School for Ministry believes that discernment is deeply important for spiritual growth. Through discernment, we explore the range of vocations (diakonia, priesthood, lay ministry) in which we as the Body of Christ can engage.  Discernment helps us learn to articulate the places where God is active in our lives through a process of listening, reflecting, and responding in circles of community.  And, actively engaging in discernment helps us to identify our gifts for ministry while discovering new learning opportunities to serve God and our neighbor.

The Stevenson School for Ministry is dedicated to the lifelong learning and discernment processes of all Episcopalians in the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania and beyond.  We seek to make theological education available to all, because we believe it to be essential to furthering the mission and ministry of the Church. 

 

A Typical SSFM Course

Each 10-week course is developed and taught by one or more of our excellent faculty. Fall and Spring terms begin and end with weekend-long residential retreats where all current students and faculty gather in community to have the first session of their classes in person.  These retreats also feature a special theme and keynote speaker. Sharing meals, worship, and learning sessions in person during these weekends allows students to engage in a piece of education that is essential to theological growth: building community.  Between the retreats, students use Moodle, an online learning platform, to access online video lectures, read and post assignments, and participate in weekly course discussions. This hybrid face-to-face and online learning environment makes a theological education possible for those who need flexibility in their schedules due to careers, families, and more.

 

Spiritual, Intellectual, and Pastoral Formation

Our courses use a threefold approach to leadership development.  Students in our diaconate, lay, and priesthood programs can expect to grow in the following qualities of leadership:

  1. Spiritual Formation
    • Well-developed faith and an established relationship to Jesus Christ
    • A regular routine of daily personal and communal prayer
    • An established pattern of ongoing spiritual renewal
  2. Intellectual Formation
    • Communicate a knowledge of faith and church tradition
    • Courses offered for competency in all canonical exam areas
  3. Pastoral and Mission Formation
    • Practical theology to serve and develop congregational leadership
    • Gathering new insights on how to minister to and with others that includes accountability and evaluation to continue to be formed
    • Congregational and missional development skills