The Diploma in Episcopacy is offered only to those who are bishop-designates or bishop-elects (candidates who have been appointed to become consecrated bishops within the WFICC). The only courses offered in both programs are Women in Church Leadership (TH 505/ EP 703) and TH 504/EP 701: History, Polity & Ethics of the WFICC. The core courses are the required courses conducted only for people who are bishop-designates or bishop-elects (a person who has been appointed to become a consecrated bishop). These are scheduled on an as needed basis as bishop-designates and bishop-elects are selected. Each course in the Diploma of Episcopacy program is $450.00. In order to register for a course, please email Rt. Rev. Dr. Kristen Caldwell at ohbishopwficc@gmail.com.

Course Descriptions

TH 504/EP 701: History, Polity & Ethics of the WFICC
EP 702: Biblical and Historical Perspectives on the Episcopacy
EP 703: Bishop Symbols, Attire & Overseeing in the WFICC
EP 704: Women in Church Leadership: Emphasis on Women Bishops
EP 705: Canon Law Seminar and Practicum

TH 504/EP 701 History, Polity & Ethics of the WFICC: This course is designed to introduce members of the WFICC to its history, missional purpose, and its basic church polity. Members will become acquainted with the places, times and critical events that led up to the formation of the Worldwide Fellowship of Independent Christian Churches. The course will also explore the WFICC’s mission/ theology, organizational structure and church polity which is both similar and different from denominations and outline expected ethics for ordained ministers of the WFICC.

EP 702 Biblical and Historical Perspectives on the Episcopacy: This course is designed to acquaint bishop-designates and bishop-elects to the biblical and historical foundations for the episcopacy. An analysis of various biblical texts will be explored in conjunction with its meaning for the work of bishop in the 21st century. The course will also acquaint bishop-designates and bishop-elects to the larger conversation between Catholics and Protestants regarding views on apostolic succession. Furthermore, there will be a short history of bishops presented that includes samples of ordination rites used for men and women holding episcopal jurisdictions in Europe throughout the Early Middle Ages.

EP 703 Bishop Symbols, Attire and Overseeing in the WFICC: This course is two-fold in which it is designed to specifically prepare bishops to work meaningfully within the context of the Worldwide Fellowship of Independent Christian Churches. The first section is to teach bishops the practical individual tasks they need to accomplish to prepare for the episcopacy. The second section is designed to give bishops practical guidance and information that they need as they work within the church polity of the WFICC as it relates to clergy, churches and various ministries in their diocese.

TH 505/ EP 704 Women in Church Leadership: Emphasis on Women Bishops: This course is composed of three segments focusing on women in church history, a biblical theology of women in church leadership and a sociological and psychological analysis of women clergy in the 21st century. The first segment will explore women in the early church as it transitioned to an institution in the third century, the women abbesses who held ecclesial jurisdictions throughout Europe, and the hundreds of women evangelists who preached in the United States between 1750-1850. The second segment will explore the biblical foundations for women in church leadership, discussing key differences in Bible translations, and current polemical theologies that have arisen on this topic (creation order theology, role, and the ontological subordination of the Trinity). Lastly, from a psycho-social lens church and denominational patterns will be explored as it relates to women clergy in conjunction with the implications of the results of a survey of 75 women clergy representing 18 denominations.

EP 705 Canon Law Seminar and Practicum: This course is taught by the Archbishop and is designed to be an arena of field study in which both theories of canon law will be explored and discussed as it relates to their own praxis of overseeing. The focus however is more practical than theoretical, in which case studies and experiences of bishops will be brought to the table for discussion. This course uses a group process learning style so that bishops can engage freely regarding their experiences in order to receive constructive feedback from the group, stimuli for creativity and guidance from their primary field advisor.