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Clergy Continuing Education

Clergy Continuing Education Guidelines

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The Three Competency Areas for Continuing Education for Clergy
in the Diocese of Southeast Florida include:

  • Ecclesiastical
  • Professional
  • Personal

Continuing Education Hours (CEH):

The standard for one CEH is approximately one contact hour between the instructor and clergy person in a structured learning situation in one of the three areas of competency.

Number of Continuing Education Hours Required Per Annual Cycle:

  • 24 CEHes per annual cycle for full-time stipendiary clergy serving diocesan congregations or institutions, including Interim clergy.
  • 12 hours per year for all other clergy exercising ordained ministry within the diocese.
  • Clergy who are canonically resident but not living in the Diocese will be exempt from this requirement.
  • Clergy who are retired and not actively engaged in ordained ministry are encouraged but not required to obtain CEHes.

Units earned in excess of the 24 CEH annual cycle requirement may not roll over for credit in the next annual cycle but will be noted in the annual report in which they were earned.

Annual Cycle:

The annual cycle for accounting purposes will be January 1 - December 31.

Accounting for CEHes:

All qualifying clergy will be required to submit an Annual CEH Credit Submission Report postmarked no later than January 15 for the previous accounting year.

It is necessary to submit supporting documentation for attendance from continuing education facilitators. We recommend submission of documentation throughout the year. CEH certificates may be submitted throughout the year to Brenda Rasmus at the North Palm Beach office: 8895 N, Military Trail, Suite 205C, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410.

Exemption from the CEH Requirement:

There may be situations when a clergy person is unable to complete the annual requirement. It is necessary to request an exemption by letter addressed to the Diocesan Bishop for his consideration explaining the circumstances.

Clergy new to the Diocese will be exempt for the calendar year in which they arrive.

Continuing Education Grants:

The Diocese of Southeast Florida has money available annually for financial assistance to clergy seeking continuing education. The grants are made available starting with the diocesan fiscal year on January 1st of each year until the budgeted allotment is depleted. Applications may be found online, or obtained by calling the diocesan office in Miami at 305-373-0881.

General Grant Guidelines:

  • Sabbatical Fund Guidelines: The parish and the clergy person each contribute $30 per month (for a total of $360 each per year) over six (6) years to the diocesan Sabbatical Fund Account. At the end of the six-year period the Diocese will contribute $900 to the account. Sabbaticals may not be used as "terminal leave". If a clergy leaves his/her cure within 12 months of the Sabbatical leave the parish portion should be refunded to the parish on a pro rata basis.
  • Matching Fund: The Diocese matches whatever the parish matches up to the amount of $300 per year until funds are depleted.
  • Grant Fund: The Diocese will grant up to $350 per grant per year until the funds are depleted.

Workshops, seminars, conferences and courses will be offered annually by the diocese to assist clergy in obtaining required CEHes.

The following is a short list of current opportunities for continuing education for clergy offered in the Diocese of Southeast Florida:

  • Clergy Conference
  • Clergy Retreat
  • Wardens' and Treasurer's Conference
  • Spiritual Formation offerings
  • Christian Formation Conferences
  • Bishop's Spring conference
  • Duncan Center programs
  • Nehemiah Process

Examples of Continuing Education opportunities may include, but are not limited to, the following:


  • Biblical studies
  • Dr. of Ministry programs through accredited institutions
  • Courses offered by seminaries and colleges such as Languages, Church History, Arts etc.
  • Pop culture, ministry, worship and theology
  • Medical ethics and theology
  • New paradigms of science and religion
  • Contemporary theological landscape, overview of contemporary works
  • Academic courses offered through a variety of schools that benefit ordained ministry
  • Changing Styles and Paradigms of ministry
  • Leadership Development
  • Growing Healthy churches
  • Evangelism in the 21st Century
  • Ministry in Small Churches
  • New Member Ministry


  • All aspects of congregational development including diocesan conferences/workshops that have been accredited and noted for CEUs
  • Homiletics - preaching
  • Leadership skills training
  • Evangelism & New Member Ministry
  • Creating a Small Group Ministry
  • Ministry to Men
  • Dealing with conflict
  • Reconciliation skills training
  • Staff management, team building
  • Parish administration
  • How to develop one's own sense of values, mission, vision, and planning
  • Stewardship, fund-raising training
  • Family Systems Training
  • Leading change
  • Dealing with expectations, projections, pathology
  • Building healthy relationships with vestries/parishioners


Coursework that assists with:

  • Self-knowledge
  • Personal financial management
  • Mind, body, health awareness
  • Clergy wellness programs
  • Personal Spiritual Development
  • Addiction and Stress Management
  • Clergy boundary issues with friends, parishioners
  • Maintaining balance in life and work

National Offerings may include:

  • Fresh Start
  • Start Up- Start Over
  • Upward Bound

Other Venues for Learning:

  • Video Conferences
  • Internet
  • Structured Electronically delivered courses
  • Satellite down link courses


Continuing Education is defined as any task or learning experience that further prepares the clergy person and enhances his/her skills for Ministry.

After six years of preparatory work and two resolutions, the 74th General Convention that met in August of 2003, adopted a total revision of Title III which includes the following:

Title III: Canon 7, sec. 5. The Bishop and Commission shall require and provide for the continuing education of Deacons and keep a record of such education

Title III:Canon 9, sec. 1. The Bishop and Commission shall require and provide for the continuing education of Priests and keep a record of such education

In response to General Convention The Diocese of Southeast Florida has designed guidelines for the continuing education of clergy in our diocese.

With the growing complexities of congregational leadership and congregational administration, ministry has become not only a vocation, but also a profession.

This program is designed to:

  • Improve and enhance your skills for ministry
  • Continue educational and spiritual growth throughout your career
  • Facilitate the process of lifelong learning

Requirements for Canonically Resident full time stipendiary clergy serving diocesan congregations or institutions including Interim clergy:

  • 24 CEUs (continuing education units) per annual cycle

Requirements for all other clergy exercising ordained ministry within the diocese:

  • 12 CEUs (continuing education units) per cycle

Requirements for Canonically Resident clergy not living or working in the Diocese:

  • Exempt