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Iona WNC Program

Iona WNC is a part of the Iona Collaborative, a consortium of dozens of Episcopal dioceses seeking to expand availability to a rigorous but accessible theological education. The Iona program offers a local, residential training program to meet the particular needs of vocational deacons and bi-vocational priests, for whom the disruption and costs of a seminary education might be prohibitive.

Learn more about our program and meet some of it's members in the video!

Iona WNC is operated under the direction of our bishop, The Rt. Rev. José McLoughlin, our two academic deans, and a diocesan steering committee, in cooperation with the Seminary of the Southwest, where the core faculty continually refine and expand the instructional materials.

Participants in Iona WNC will have completed the discernment process in the Diocese of Western North Carolina and will be approved by the Commission on Ministry and the Bishop for acceptance. All admitted students must be committed to, and capable of, sustaining a three year program of rigorous theological education and ministerial 

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formation. The program runs ten months per year, with two months off in the summer. The monthly residential weekends run from Friday evening through Sunday lunch. Residential weekends are held at one of our beautiful diocesan conference centers. Each weekend will include an introduction to the breadth of spiritual practices, discussion and integration of the assigned academic material, leadership development and education, and a 

deep immersion into the richness and diversity of Episcopal liturgical tradition and practice. In between residential weekends, students will view the Iona video modules, complete assigned readings and prepare for the fuller immersion into the material through faculty presentations, and discussions on the implications for the practice of ministry with guest experts and mentors from the diocese. In consultation with the Bishop, participants will be placed in an approved field education setting during the second and third years of the program. At the conclusion of the three years, participants will have satisfied the canonical academic requirements for ordination in the Episcopal Church. Graduates receive a Certificate of Theological Education from the Seminary of the Southwest.

For more information, please contact:


Sam Faeth and Pam Bright, deans of Iona WNC

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Iona WNC Graduation Ceremony

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Anita Ware graduates Iona WNC


Iona WNC Matriculation Ceremony

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