Formation of Deacons in Scotland
The formation process normally begins with an enquiry through the applicant's parish priest to the Diocesan Diaconate Vocations Director, giving brief personal and family details and the reason for the application.  The Director may make a pre-arranged visit to the enquirer's home to further discuss the permanent diaconate with the individual (and with his wife and family if he is married).

On completion of the administrative and application process the enquirer may be selected to begin a period of formal discernment lasting about a year, and during this time he will attend several residential weekends (at two of which he will be accompanied by his wife, if applicable).  As the formal discernment period ends, the enquirer and his wife will undergo a suitability interview conducted by the diocesan bishop and his diaconate formation team. If successful, the enquirer will begin a formal course of studies in September.


Scotland has a well established training course for those aspiring to the Permanent Diaconate.  The course primarily includes doctrinal, pastoral and spiritual formation over a period of four years.   This consists a six day long residential summer school and residential weekends of lectures (Friday evening to Sunday) at Kinnoull Monastery, Perth, and an end-of-year exam.  In addition there is a commitment to 15 - 20 hours home study per week and completion of written assignments under the guidance of a tutor; plus spiritual direction on a regular basis.  Furthermore, the candidate is expected to participate fully in the liturgical and parish life of his local parish.

There is a team who will support the student (and, if applicable, his wife and family). This includes the parish priest, diocesan diaconate vocations director, spiritual director, director of studies, personal tutor, and mentor.  There will be an annual student appraisal and interview to monitor progress throughout the course and if found to be suitable, the student will be ordained by his Bishop to take his place with other clergy of the diocese.  There will be opportunities for continued personal development and formation after ordination.

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In recent years several deacons, with the support of their Bishops, have chosen to continue their formal study for a year after ordination in order to complete the degree of BD (Ecclesial Service). Those who have participated in the diaconal training period, even those who ultimately were not ordained, generally agree that it has been a great stimulus in both their spiritual and sacramental lives.