The Archbishop’s Committee on Ministry was formed in 2009 on recommendation to the Diocesan Synod, and tasked with the development of a curriculum for training of Locally-Trained Priests and Deacons to function within the Diocese. The Kootenay School of Ministry (KSM) was established, and The Rev. Canon Dr. William Harrison was appointed its first Principal. The curriculum comprises nine core courses and six optional courses. Completion of the nine core courses leads to a Certificate, which may contribute to ordination as a Locally Trained Priest or Deacon. The courses are open to anyone and most are available for either credit or audit.
The first course was offered in 2010, with an average of three courses offered per calendar year. From 2010 to 2017, KSM has held intensive three-day courses (21 contact hours) in eight different parishes in four of the five regions of the Diocese. KSM courses have been taught by 16 different instructors from across Canada, involving a total of 82 students taking courses for either credit or audit.
In 2014, Principal Harrison moved away from the Diocese of Kootenay, and The Rev. Canon Dr. Neil Elliot held the position of Principal from 2014-2016. Currently, Archbishop John Privett is the Acting Principal.
KSM courses owe their success in large part to the generosity of the church venues, caterers, and billet hosts. Their contributions have kept the tuition costs as affordable as possible.
At the present cost structure, a face-to-face course needs a minimum of 10 credit students in order to break even. Our class numbers have been declining, therefore KSM has been on sabbatical for the year 2018 in order to regroup and consider other options, such as joining with other interested dioceses in offering a common program, and perhaps becoming accredited with a college or university.
In late 2017, KSM held an experimental course by videoconference using the Zoom platform, and will be hosting another Zoom course in May 2018.
In 2013, a new program was developed for the training of Licensed Lay Ministers (LLM). Currently, the Diocese of Kootenay has over 60 LLMs without whom many of our churches could not function. Once they have taken the appropriate course modules, they may lead morning and evening prayer; lead services with Reserved Sacrament in hospitals, nursing and care homes, and home communions; preach; and practise the laying-on of hands and anointing of sick or distressed persons. In 2015, we designed a special medallion for LLMs to wear.