Collaborative Members

The Iona Collaborative is a cooperative project directed by Seminary of the Southwest and currently including twenty-nine Episcopal Dioceses. We provide high-quality, graduate-level, digitized curriculum to local diocesan educational programs for use in the formation of priests, deacons, licensed lay leaders, and faithful disciples.

Iona Collaborative provides each participating diocese with significant flexibility for how to organize teaching and formation. Local mentors and teachers use Iona’s engaging videos and other mixed media tools in a variety of ways to stimulate rich conversation and opportunities for learning when Iona students gather in their diocesan settings. Plans are currently being implemented to enhance this curriculum with ongoing additions and supplements that offer the most up-to-date scholarship and pedagogy in theological education.

To learn more about Iona Collaborative contact:

The Rev. John Lewis, D.Phil.
Director of the Iona Center
Seminary of the Southwest
512-439-0398 (o)
210-621-8287 (c)
john.lewis@ssw.edu


Mission:

To provide high quality resources for theological education at the local level.

Core Values:

  • Educational Excellence
  • Local Adaptability
  • Collaboration
  • Visionary Leadership
  • Community
  • Transformation

Iona Collaborative’s structure for clergy education and formation promotes community-building in several important ways. As students meet together regularly in the their local settings, they establish deep and lasting collegial relationships that continue after their ordination and placement in the diocese.

Iona Collaborative also invites diocesan leaders, deans, and mentors to gather annually to share local expertise and experience, review best practices, get updates on new teaching material from faculty members at Seminary of the Southwest, explore new technologies, and build bridges among dioceses across the Episcopal Church.

Curriculum

The Iona Collaborative clergy training curriculum is a rigorous, yet accessible educational program designed specifically for those who will be ordained as priests and deacons, as well as those who are studying for canonical lay licensure. The curriculum has been designed to train people in a wide variety of subjects. Most of the courses taught in the curriculum mirror similar courses in residential seminaries. They require students to read, study, and reflect extensively in the six canonical areas of concentration in which a candidate for ordination must be examined and show proficiency. The curriculum may be tailored differently to meet the local needs of formation of priests and deacons. The curriculum is easily adaptable for a variety of local diocesan teaching schedules and formats (including in-person and videoconference sessions). It covers intensively the following major areas of focus:

  • Bible
  • Church History
  • Theology and Ethics
  • Anglican Studies
  • Homiletics
  • Liturgy and Music
  • Spiritual Practices
  • Pastoral Ministry and Offices
  • Theory and Practice of Ministry
  • Congregational Life and Leadership
  • Multicultural Engagement

Benefits of Membership

  • Training Priests, Deacons, and Congregational Lay Leaders: A clergy and congregational lay leader training curriculum that remains available to graduates as long as a diocese remains part of the Collaborative:
    • 450+ hours of graduate-level theological education (75% created by seminary faculty) focused on training people for ordination as priests, deacons, and congregation lay leaders.
    • New curricular additions:
      • Called to Transformation, a program for Asset-Based Community Development training in congregations created by Episcopal Relief & Development and The Episcopal Church; curriculum includes seminary-led training for local diocesan facilitators
      • New and extensive homiletics curriculum of 42 teaching videos, including a Facilitator’s Guide and Learner’s Workbook, created in partnership with the Episcopal Preaching Foundation  
  • New Spanish language courses are in the planning stages in partnership with TEC’s Latino/Hispanic Ministries group 
    • Certificate in Theological Studies (3) or Certificate in Diaconal Studies (2) require a certain portion of the student’s course work include study in the core Iona Collaborative courses of Bible, History, and Theology/Ethics. 
  • Educating Congregations and Lay Leaders: Online video collection for all diocesan congregations and individuals, currently providing 65 short videos with discussion questions in the following areas: Biblical Studies; Spirituality; Church Leadership; Prayer; Anglicanism and Worship; The Abundant Life 
  • Receiving Continuing Education: Thriving in Bi-Vocational Ministry continuing education program, offering yearlong hybrid online courses in Spiritual Formation and Practices, Congregational Leadership, and Preaching at no cost to participants or dioceses
  • Accessing Library Resources: Access for students, facilitators, and Iona Collaborative graduates to all electronic seminary library resources, including:
    • Seeker, the Booher Library’s EBSCO Discovery Service, a one-stop searchbox that provides access to all available resources in the Booher Library, including print books, journals, and audio-visual materials, but also all our available electronic journals, ebooks, and databases.
    • Publication Finder, a comprehensive listing of every online journal title available through our subscription Databases and the cataloged print journals available in the Booher Library.
    • Libguides: librarian generated web pages created to help our community find information about resources, perform various tasks, and do research.
  • Attending the Preaching Excellence Program: Six Iona Collaborative students per year are nominated for participation in the Preaching Excellence Program sponsored by the Episcopal Preaching Foundation 
  • Receiving Faculty Visits: Upon request and subject to scheduling, a seminary faculty member will provide the Diocese with an Iona Collaborative teaching program or clergy day offering
  • Collaborating for Best Practices: Diocesan representatives participate in an active, collaborative, nationwide community of leaders involved in local clergy formation 
    • Monthly meetings for learning and sharing best practices 
    • Annual Meeting of leaders to share in the fruit of creative work of pedagogical developments, student evaluations, new curricular developments, as well as engagement with other leaders about best practices involved in local clergy formation  
  • Training Local Facilitators:
  • Local diocesan school Facilitator training sessions 
  • Shared student assessment strategies from the seminary and partner dioceses
  • Qualifying for Grants: Iona Collaborative students and facilitators qualify for grants from the Episcopal Evangelism Society
  • Participating in Webinars with Faculty: Future planning includes instructor webinars for students and facilitators 

Fact Sheet

Iona Collaborative Fact Sheet for Academic Year 2020-21

Mission: 

To provide high-quality resources for theological education at the local level

Core Values

  • Educational Excellence
  • Local Adaptability
  • Collaboration
  • Visionary Leadership 
  • Community 
  • Transformation

Participating Dioceses (2020):                                                    29

Inaugural academic year:                                                            2012-13 (7 founding Dioceses) 

Students enrolled for academic year 2020-21:                         205

Certificates in Theological Studies to date:                              137

Certificates in CPE/Pastoral Care Education to date:              49

Thriving in Bi-Vocational Ministry students 2019-21:              81

Annual Membership: Dioceses pay one annual membership fee to participate in all aspects of the Iona Collaborative program. The annual fee includes access to a robust three-year curriculum used to train students for ordination, lay licensing, and lay leadership, as well as access to an expanding congregational video collection for Christian formation in congregations and individuals. Post-ordination, locally formed priests and deacons may participate at no cost in the seminary’s Thriving in Bi-Vocational Ministry continuing education program that currently offers yearlong cohorts in Spiritual Formation and Practices, Preaching, and Congregational Leadership, as well as providing experienced mentors (see iona.ssw.edu/thriving-in-bi-vocational-ministry-project/). The online list of Benefits of Membership in Iona Collaborative sets out many more advantages to participation. Annual fees vary from $5,000 – $10,000 per year, based on numerous factors, including the size and maturity of the local formation program and participation in multi-diocese partnerships for local formation programs. 

The clergy training curriculum includes teaching in these areas of canonical responsibility: Bible, Church History, Theology and Ethics, Anglican Studies, Homiletics, Liturgy and Music, Pastoral Ministry and Offices, Spiritual Practices, Theory and Practice of Ministry, Congregational Life and Leadership, and Multicultural Engagement. 

Major new curricular additions for 2020-21: (1) Called to Transformation asset-based community development program for congregations created by Episcopal Relief & Development and The Episcopal Church (training for use by seminary staff); and (2) 42 new homiletics videos, Learner’s Workbook, and Facilitator’s Guide created in partnership with the Episcopal Preaching Foundation. 

For further information:

The Rev. John Lewis, D.Phil., Director of the Iona Center at Seminary of the Southwest 

E-mail: john.lewis@ssw.edu   

Phone: 210-621-8287  

Faculty

The faculty of Iona Collaborative includes most members of the teaching staff at Seminary of the Southwest, as well as highly experienced teachers and leaders from neighboring dioceses, who in many cases are also ordained and academically-credentialed. The faculty of the Iona Collaborative includes (in alphabetical order) such instructors as:

Dr. Scott Bader-Saye
Academic Dean & Helen and Everett H. Jones Professor of Christian Ethics and Moral Theology
Seminary of the Southwest

Dr. Anthony Baker
Clinton S. Quin Professor of Systematic Theology
Seminary of the Southwest

Dr. Steven Bishop
Associate Professor of Old Testament
Seminary of the Southwest

The Rev. Mark Crawford, Ph.D.
Dean for Priest Formation
Iona School for Ministry, Diocese of Texas

The Rev. Mary Lenn Dixon, Ph.D.
Dean, Diaconal and Lay Formation
Iona School for Ministry, Diocese of Texas

The Rt. Rev. Andy Doyle
Ninth Bishop of Texas
Diocese of Texas

The Rt. Rev. Jeff Fisher
Bishop Suffragan
Diocese of Texas

The Rev. Micah Jackson, Ph.D.
Bishop John Elbridge Hines Associate Professor of Preaching,
Seminary of the Southwest

The Rev. Nathan Jennings, Ph.D.
J. Milton Richardson Associate Professor of Liturgics and Anglican Studies, and Director of Community Worship
Seminary of the Southwest

The Rev. Daniel Joslyn-Siemiatkoski, Ph.D.
Duncalf-Villavaso Professor of Church History
Seminary of the Southwest

The Very Rev. Cynthia Briggs Kittredge, Th.D.
Dean & President, Professor of New Testament
Seminary of the Southwest

The Rev. John Lewis, D.Phil.
Director of Formational Outreach
Seminary of the Southwest

The Rev. Jane Patterson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of New Testament, Director of Community Care
Seminary of the Southwest

Ms. Denise Trevino-Gomez
Missioner for Intercultural Development
Diocese of Texas