What is Thriving in Bi-Vocational Ministry (TBVM)?

TBVM is a continuing education and peer mentoring program from Fall to Spring offered through the Iona Collaborative, a program of Seminary of the Southwest. The program supports new or recently ordained bi-vocational Priests and Deacons serving in various pastoral settings. TBVM facilitates the building of relationships with peers and more experienced clergy who serve as role models to guide participants through key leadership challenges at critical moments in their early ministerial careers. The primary goal of TBVM is to help clergy thrive in their pastoral settings and congregational leadership and, in doing so, to enhance the vitality of the congregations and communities they serve.

TBVM is part of the wider Thriving in Ministry Initiative generously funded by Lilly Endowment, Inc. All costs and expenses of participation in TBVM are paid by a grant to Seminary of the Southwest through this Initiative.

Past course offerings:

  • Asset Based Community Development
  • Biblical Studies: Teaching and Preaching in Lectionary Year C
  • Building Your Pastoral Care Toolbox
  • Christian Spirituality and Practice
  • Backstory Preaching

Program Components and Requirements

Applications open on January 17, 2022 for the TBVM program. Each person must complete the online Application form. Admission is first come, first served. Each course has a maximum of 10 participants and course applications close once the course is full. All courses are from August 2022 to May 2023.

Applicants will be notified by email regarding their application.

Participants will be contacted by their course facilitator with information regarding opening sessions and final course dates.

Who May Apply?

A TBVM applicant for the 2022-23 program year must be:

1. A new or recently ordained bi-vocational Priest or Deacon who has already been, or in 2022 will be assigned to serve in a pastoral ministry setting; 


2. A graduate from a local school of formation in a Diocese participating in the Iona Collaborative, or a bi-vocationally trained Episcopal priest or deacon from another school, or a graduate from the Bishop Kemper School for Ministry;


3. A person who will graduate in 2022 from one of the local schools of formation identified above and will be ordained to the Diaconate (Vocational or Transitional) during 2022 and assigned to serve in a pastoral ministry setting.

Thriving in Bi-Vocational Ministry 2022-23 Course Offerings ▼

2022-2023 Course Offerings coming soon!

Important Dates: TBVM Program Calendar 2022-2023

April 20, 2022: Applications Open

January 2023: In-person gathering at Camp Allen in Navasota, Texas (three day retreat – dates to be announced)