Broadly speaking, formation is that which shapes who we are and how we view the world.  In the Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania, we take the formation of our clergy and laity seriously and our strategic plan reflects that.  We work to continuously offer opportunities and provide resources for formation.  

Current offerings can be found below and on our Upcoming Events page.

Institute for Ministry

The Northwestern Pennsylvania Institute for Ministry Education is a collaborative ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania and the Northwestern Pennsylvania Synod of the ELCA.  It was established in 2008 to encourage and enable partnerships to provide the resources necessary to prepare persons for ministry.

Preparation is provided for:

  • Persons seeking commissioning, consecration, or ordination;
  • Persons seeking licensed or authorized ministries;
  • Persons to be equipped for various ministries in congregations and communities;
  • Persons interested in deeper theological studies; and
  • Ordained and rostered leaders who desire significant Continuing Education opportunities.

For more information on the Institute, please contact Vanessa Butler by phone (814.456.4203) or email (

2019 Course Offerings

Costs and course requirements for satisfactory completion are determined by the level of participation.  Any person interested in deeper theological and biblical studies may take the course for $50.00.  For those taking the course for full credit as required for ordination or Continuing Education, the cost is $600.00.  All students are responsible for purchasing the texts and other materials required.  For those in the ordination process, courses can also be taken at Gettysburg Lutheran Seminary as part of their Certificate in Theological Studies program.

Course Offerings TBA.

Continuing Education Gatherings for Licensed Worship Leaders and Preachers

These Institute courses are designed to be Continuing Education opportunities for lay licensed Worship Leaders and Preachers.  They are offered at no cost.  To register, email Pastor Sandra Jones at Upon registration, information about resources and advanced reading assignments will be shared with each participant.

Typical course agenda:

9:30 AM - Gathering for coffee and conversation

10:00 AM - Session begins

12:00 PM - Lunch (Bring your own lunch or visit a local food vendor)

2:00-3:00 PM - Closing (depending on the needs and wishes of the group)

Upcoming Class:


Other Offerings

Watch here for upcoming classes. 

Training Courses

Below are course dates for required training per diocesan policies.

Safeguarding God's Children and People

Safe Church is now easy to do online and is valid for three years. Register with the diocesan office, and then finish the short modules assigned to you on your own time. Each module, shorter and more specific than our current face-to-face classes, is intensely interactive in nature, has study guides to print out that will enable you to really cement your learning, and has a quiz at the end to ensure that you’ve absorbed the main points. Once you’ve registered the first time, you don’t need to do so to refresh your learning in future years, or take new or different modules. The diocese can see which modules you’ve done and when, and so it is more convenient than ever. And it’s free!

Please contact Michael Brown with any questions.

For in-person trainings, there are approximately 30 available slots at each training and they will be filled on a first come, first serve basis.  Unless noted, lunch is bring your own brown bag.


No training scheduled at this time.

Title IV

No training scheduled at this time. 


Individual and Group Study

The resources below are online resources for individual and group study.

  • Daily Devotions (audio) for every day use

  • Audio Daily Devotions for the daily office based on the Book of Common Prayer. Devotions for Morning, Noon, Early Evening and the Close of the Day.

  • Daily Devotions for Individuals and Families

    Morning Prayer Rite I pp.37-60, Morning Prayer Rite II pp 75-102

    Noonday Prayer pp 103-107, Evening Prayer Rite I pp 61-74,

    Evening Prayer Rite II pp 115-126, Prayers and Thanksgivings pp 810-841

  • The same readings as in the Book of Common Prayer. This is a 2 year cycle for daily scripture reading. This electronic monthly calendar is a very convenient way to tap through to the readings assigned for any given day.

  • Saints old and new. The church calendar honors many individuals and groups. Some represent fairly recent stories while others go back to the beginning of Christianity. A short bio is provided, scripture readings are selected to match the accomplishments of the honorees and special prayers based on honorees are offered as well. These are inspiring stories.

  • A list of readings, collects for Sundays and weekday holy days

  • The church follows the 3-year Revised Common Lectionary for Sunday readings. These lesson plans follow that rotation, concentrating on the Gospel Reading and offer opening and closing prayers, a reminder about the liturgical season, questions for discussion and is offered in three versions - child, young adult and adult. Occasionally there is an intergenerational version as well.

  • Sermons submitted by clergy and judged the best. These sermons follow the Revised Common Lectionary and can be used to reflect upon those readings.

  • From the folks at Sermons that Work. This study previews the readings for upcoming Sundays and offers commentary and poses questions for consideration of each reading. They invite readers to post comments and as the Sunday approaches those comments can enrich your Bible Study.

  • An Anglican resource from the Anglican Church of Canada. The background to the Sunday Readings, the actual readings themselves with introductions to the readings, and introductions to the books, with commentary.

  • Morning, Noon and Evening Prayers from the Church of England.

  • Search four different versions of the bible by verse or phrase.

  • Based on the Gospel Reading - Sunday Lectionary (RCL).

  • Based on the 2nd Lesson - Sunday Lectionary (RCL).

  • 4-fold Method of Bible Study: devotional, historical, literary and Lutheran theological reading.

  • Commentaries and preaching resources.


    The electronic resources below have costs associated.

  • Guiding the Conversation DVD - Group Study

    The ELCA offers a terrific resource for facilitators to be inclusive and flexible while still offering direction in group studies. The Synod and Diocesan offices may have copies to loan. It is also available for purchase at Augsburg Fortress Guiding the Conversation DVD: Leading in Faith Price: $29.99

  • Select Learning provides access to quality theological learning experiences for personal, congregational and professional learning. Using outstanding seminary and college instructors and ministry practitioners, Select Learning combines high quality DVD-based video courses, customized study materials, proven textbooks,and online learning to create effective and flexible theological exploration opportunities. Select Learning is a life long learning partner of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

  • With a religious publishing heritage dating back to 1918 and headquartered today in New York City, CPI is an official publisher of worship materials and resources for The Episcopal Church, plus a multi-faceted publisher and supplier to the broader ecumenical marketplace. Our book publishing imprints include Church Publishing, Morehouse Publishing, and Seabury Books. Morehouse Education Resources produce lectionary-based curriculum, faith formation programs, plus e-publishing resources and services.