At the Iona Collaborative, we believe spiritual formation is for everyone. Our core mission is to support the vocations of locally formed priests, deacons, and lay ministers through high-quality video curricula and zoom-based continuing education. Resourcing 34 U.S. dioceses and global partners in Latin America, the Iona Collaborative is a learning community of educators committed to helping local leaders and small congregations thrive. We are proud to extend the Seminary of the Southwest’s mission to be a seminary for the whole Church, forming disciples of every order who are committed to their communities, grounded in the Anglican tradition, and prepared to lead a changing Church into a changing world.
Clergy and Lay Minister Training Curriculum (Certificate Programs): With over 450 hours of graduate-level curriculum in our catalog, we resource diocesan schools forming priests, deacons, and licensed lay leaders. Modeled on the course of study in a residential seminary, our clergy and lay minister training curriculum is designed to prepare students for ordination or lay licensure, with extensive offerings in the following subject areas:
- Church History
- Theology and Ethics
- Anglican Studies
- Liturgy and Music
- Spiritual Practices
- Pastoral Ministry and Offices
- Theory and Practice of Ministry
- Congregational Life and Leadership
True to its name, the Iona Collaborative places a high value on collaboration. We do not mandate a set curriculum. Instead, we partner with dioceses to adapt our materials to support their particular formational needs. Our goal is to empower diocesan schools to design certificate programs that are challenging, contextually sensitive, and practically focused on preparing people for ministry. To that end, we also provide technical support, pedagogical training, and a robust suite of assessment tools that help Iona Deans and instructors stay up to date on best practices in both adult and theological education.
Thriving in Bi-Vocational Ministry: Funded by a $1 Million grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc, our Thriving in Bi-Vocational Ministry (TBVM) Program supports newly ordained, locally trained clergy with the practical training and mentoring they need to thrive in their ministry contexts. Our Zoom-based, 9-month learning communities are focused on the topics new clergy consistently report as areas of concern for them in their first years of ministry: pastoral care, preaching, asset based community development, spiritual formation, and congregational leadership. A regular menu of options in these broad subject areas allows participants to build skills and confidence over time, while also building a network of colleagues from across the Church.
Thriving Bi-Vocational Congregations: Funded by a $1 Million grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc, our Thriving Bi-Vocational Congregations (TBVC) Program offers Zoom-based group spiritual direction to churches led by bi-vocational, non-stipendiary, and part time ministers of any order, as well as ministers serving more than one call. In this three-year program, small churches learn spiritual practices to help them survive and thrive in our rapidly changing cultural landscape. Through individual and group discernment and supported by a spiritual director, they test and refine their communal callings to worship, formation, and community engagement. Throughout their participation in the program, congregations in our TBVC cohorts can also participate in monthly conversations on topics of special relevance to small churches. In Year Three, they can apply for logistical support or training in areas they have discerned are key to their ministry.
The Episcopal Church Map of Iona Collaborative Member Dioceses
Iona Collaborative Around the World
Below is an interactive map showing the Iona Collaborative Participating Episcopal Dioceses. Click on each bubble to view individual dioceses websites.
Membership in the Iona Collaborative is through annual diocesan subscription. A graduated fee structure enables dioceses to participate in our community at a variety of levels with no charge to individuals or congregations.
Pricing information coming soon!
Video Message from Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry on the Iona Collaborative
History of the Iona Collaborative
In 563 St. Columba and his colleagues founded a monastery on the island of Iona off the west coast of Scotland. For centuries the monastery at Iona served as the primary center of literacy and learning in the region and was the missionary base for spreading Christianity among the people of the northern regions of what is now called Great Britain and into continental Europe.
Seminary of the Southwest builds on this heritage of the Iona Monastery. As a residential center of literacy and learning for over 65 years, Seminary of the Southwest has a strong legacy of forming people for the service of Christ in lay or ordained ministry within the church and the larger society.
Founded in 2012 as the Iona Initiative, the Iona Collaborative was incorporated into the Seminary in 2017. Through the Iona Collaborative, Seminary of the Southwest seeks to expand the scope and depth of its mission by providing local and long-distance, high-quality, resources for theological education, spiritual and pastoral care training, formation for discipleship, vocational discernment, and missional activity in service to the world.