congratulations to the class of 2017!
In 2013, the Diocese of Hawai'i developed the formation program, Waiolaihui'ia ("gathering of the waters"), for canonically resident communicants who have been recommended for further discernment and formation toward ordination to Holy Orders. Students who are accepted into Waiolaihui'ia are required to attend 10 weekends per year for a total of three years. Weekends begin on Friday afternoon and conclude on Sunday afternoon.
The Academic Program
The course of study emphasizes academic lectures (video) from the Iona Initiative of the Seminary of the Southwest (Diocese of Texas). The academic course focuses on a general area each year:
Year One: Biblical Studies
Year Two: Church History
Year Three: Theology and Ethics
In years one and two, exams are given each Saturday after the academic section. In year three, exams take the form of essays to be written after the weekend session. Typically these are due before the next weekend session.
The demands of the program are rigorous and while sessions are once a month, students should expect to fulfill reading assignments and essay assignments in between meeting times. Student work is evaluated using measurements of "does not/meets/exceeds expectations." All exams and related evaluations are filed in the Bishop's office and are available to the Bishop, Commission of Ministry and Standing Committee.
The Practicum Program
In addition, students participate in practicums which cover pastoral care, liturgy, outreach ministries, preaching, spirituality and spiritual development, systems theory, and topics regarding the unique setting of the Diocese of Hawai'i. Practicums are led by local clergy (active and retired) in the diocese.
Pastoral Care Education
In 2018 the program will make available Pastoral Care education for Waiolaihui'ia students. While this training is similar to traditional Clinical Pastoral Education, it allows more flexibility to accommodate the schedules of bi-vocational students. Students will have 100 contact hours at a local site and they will choose from a broad range of settings in which to practice pastoral care. Settings may be in a nursing home, hospice care, prison, retirement home, or other appropriate site. The instructor for weekly seminars is The Rev. Sarah Knowles Sweeney, Director of Pastoral Care education at The Seminary of the Southwest. Weekly sessions will be conducted via Zoom technology allowing the Instructor to be present virtually. The instructor will be physically present for the first and last sessions of the course. The 2018 course begins on February 9 and concludes on June 16. Cost for this course: $1000.00; Scholarships are available.
Each weekend session includes Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer and Compline. Eucharist is celebrated on Sunday mornings. Students will preach during Morning Prayer or Evening Prayer, according to a rota, and will receive constructive feedback from their instructors and peers.
Weekend sessions are held at St. Anthony's Retreat Center. Students from other islands will stay overnight at the retreat center on these weekends. Oahu students may opt to stay overnight at the retreat house, space permitting. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are prepared by the retreat center and served in the dining room.
Applying to Waiolaihui'ia
In order to apply, individuals should have the following:
-- completed "Introduction to Formation" year (see below)
-- Bachelors degree (or the equivalent),
-- be a Postulant in the Diocese of Hawai'i
-- proficiency in English, writing and speaking, at college level
-- completed psychological evaluation (on file at the Diocesan office)
Acceptance into Waiolaihui'ia confirms the student's commitment to ongoing discernment as they continue to understand God's call. Ordination is not guaranteed upon acceptance to or completion of the program however, students should expect to graduate the program with a stronger understanding of their unique ministry and the direction they will pursue in fulfillment of their call.
Cost is $2,000 per year to the students; the sponsoring congregation is expected to bear some of this cost.
The Application to Waiolaihuiia can be found HERE.
Note: Those nominated for ordination to the Priesthood may consider attending a residential seminary. Anyone considering, or nominated for, ordination to the Priesthood must consult with Bishop Robert Fitzpatrick before making a decision regarding formation training.
Introduction to Formation Year
This year of study is required for all individuals in discernment for Holy Orders. Sessions take place on Saturday (10 months a year) from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at St. Anthony's Retreat Center on Oahu. Participants will learn about the Book of Common Prayer, the Sacraments of the Episcopal Church, Basics of The Bible, Basic Church History and Anglican theology. Personal reflection and developing an individual Rule of Life will be foundational to participation in this year. Involvement in the "Introduction to Formation" year is by invitation only; participating in this year does not guarantee admission into Waiolaihui'ia. Cost for this year of study is $1000.
For more information: contact The Rev. Diana Akiyama, Dean.
To be posted.
Past graduating classes
In October 2015, during the Opening Eucharist for the 47th Annual Meeting of Convention, the first four graduates of the Waiolaihui'ia program were ordained to the Transitional Diaconate in St. Alban's Chapel at 'Iolani School. All four were ordained to the Priesthood in 2016 and currently serve in parishes around the Diocese. They are: Phyllis Mahi Beimes, Malcolm Keleawe Hee, Paul Nahoa Lucas and John Hau'oli Tomoso. Of special note is that all four are of native Hawaiian ancestry, and Beimes is the first woman of Hawaiian ancestry to be ordained in The Episcopal Church.