Membership in the Order of St. Patrick

There is no cost to join or maintain a membership in the Order of St. Patrick. Below you will find information for those who are exploring a call to monastic life (Novitiates) as well as information about full membership within the Order upon successful completion of the Novitiate.

Novitiates: Those Interested in Exploring a Call to the Monastic Vocation

Novitiate Membership – Novitiate Membership is the first level of membership within the Order, and requires a minimum of one (1) year to complete. The Novitiate Experience is a time of discovery, examen, and reflection. It is designed to provide a basic level of familiarization with the process of Christian Spiritual Formation (Purgation, Illumination, and Union). Novitiates are under no obligation to move into full membership in the Order. The Novitiate Experience is intentionally designed to help the Novitiate to explore the call to a secularly cloistered monastic life. Novitiates will live into the Rule for Life of the Order under the guidance of the Dean of the Novitiate Experience. Each Novitiate will work together with an experienced member of the Order serving in the capacity of an Anam Cara (soul friend), appointed by the Dean of Spiritual Direction for the Order.

Novitiate members may be clergy or laity. Novitiates are expected to attend the Allhallowtide (Autumn) retreat annually during the novitiate and will meet with their spiritual mentor at least monthly (either in person or via telephone) for the duration of the novitiate.

Full Membership within the Order

Lay Membership – Lay Membership is available to Christian laity who seek to live a life committed to spiritual growth, Christian contemplation, and missional service within their respective Christian community. Lay members have equal access to spiritual retreats and training and are expected to serve in a leadership capacity within their respective parish. Upon graduating from the Novitiate, Lay members of the Order have the right to add the “OSP” designation to their signature and may wear the signet ring of the Order to symbolize their membership within the Order and as a reminder of their charge to bring light into the darkness as God has gifted them.

In order to qualify for Lay Membership within the Order, the candidate must:

  1. Have completed the novitiate under the direction of an appointed spiritual mentor.
  2. Be willing to make a commitment to serve in a leadership capacity within their local congregation in a way that promotes spiritual growth.

Clergy Membership – Clergy membership is available to clergy after completing the novitiate. Clergy members have equal access to spiritual retreats and training and are expected to offer opportunities for spiritual growth training annually within their respective parish. Upon graduating from the Novitiate, Clergy members of the Order have the right to add the “OSP” designation to their signature and may wear the signet ring of the Order to symbolize their membership within the Order and as a reminder of their charge to bring light into the darkness as God has gifted them. Clergy members are authorized to wear the tartan stole of the Order.

In order to qualify for Clergy Membership within the Order, the candidate must:

  1. Be ordained by a recognized Christian denomination.
  2. Have completed the novitiate under the direction of an appointed spiritual mentor (anam cara).
  3. Elders/Presbyters: Possess a Master of Divinity Degree from an institution recognized by the Association of Theological Schools or similar accrediting body.
  4. Deacons: Possess a Master’s degree that fulfills the requirements for ordination within your denomination. Your degree must be from an institution recognized by the Association of Theological Schools or similar accrediting body.
  5. Licensed Local Pastors (UMC): Must be appointed by the cabinet of your respective Annual Conference. And: Must be enrolled in or have completed the Course of Study. – or – Must be enrolled in or have completed a Master of Divinity Degree from an institution recognized by the Association of Theological Schools or similar accrediting body.
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