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.
Starting in 2010, KSM offered an average of three courses 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 was appointed Principal from 2014-2016. From 2016-2018 Archbishop John Privett was the Acting Principal, and he has been succeeded by The Rev. Dr. Stuart Brown who is now Principal of KSM.
KSM face-to-face courses owed their success in large part to the generosity of the church venues, caterers, and billet hosts. Their contributions kept the tuition costs as affordable as possible.
At the present cost structure, a face-to-face course requires a minimum of 10 credit students in order to break even. Our class numbers have been declining, therefore KSM took 2018 as a sabbatical year in order to regroup and consider its options, such as joining with other interested dioceses in offering a common program, and perhaps becoming accredited with a college or university. These conversations are ongoing.
In the past two years, KSM has offered four courses using the Zoom videoconferencing platform. These courses have been well-received and so KSM has decided to offer more courses online.