The formation program of diaconal candidates rests on four pillars: theological, human, spiritual, and pastoral
St. Mark's College provides the theological formation for those studying for the permanent diaconate in the Archdiocese of Vancouver. Candidates are placed in one of two streams, graduate diploma and non-graduate diploma, based on their previous education.
In 2012, the first group of diaconal candidates started academic studies at St. Mark’s, which the Archbishop asked to partner with the Archdiocese to provide an “intensive theological formation that prepares the candidates for ministry and will also nourish their spiritual life.”
Human, Spiritual and Pastoral formation
Human formation refers to the development of skills that help candidates relate to and work with the diverse people of God.
Spiritual formation consists of retreats, study days, spiritual direction, and commitment to the public prayer of the Church, the Liturgy of the Hours.
Pastoral formation brings together all components into supervised fieldwork that targets the needs of the candidate: homiletics, catechesis, liturgical ministry, work in social service agencies, hospital and prison visits, guidance of parish groups, volunteers and movements. Formation takes place on evenings and weekends.