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Bishop’s Institute For
Ministry & Leadership

Our Mission

The Bishop’s Institute for Ministry and Leadership was established in 2015 in the Episcopal Diocese of Florida to provide educational opportunities for laity and clergy by providing:

  • Academic preparation and formation for individuals seeking ordination to the vocational Diaconate or to the Local Priesthood in the Diocese of Florida;
  • Licensed Lay Ministry courses for lay leaders in our parishes seeking the Bishop’s License in specific areas of ministry, e.g. Worship Leader, Catechist, Pastoral Care, Evangelist and Preacher.
  • A variety of seminars in theology and spirituality and retreats designed to encourage all Christians who desire to grow in knowledge of their faith and mature in their discipleship and
  • Continuing education workshops and seminars for clergy and lay leaders to strengthen competencies in ministry and leadership.


Licensed Lay Ministry courses for lay leaders in our parishes seeking the Bishop’s License in specific areas of ministry

Licensed Lay Pastoral Care Minister Course
Starting on March 25, 2023, The Bishop’s Institute for Ministry and Leadership is holding a 10 month course from March – December that will include one monthly in-person session on Saturday’s at the Diocesan Office at 325 North Market Street, Jacksonville, 32202 in the Milam Room.

In addition to monthly attendance and active participation in class sessions, the course will focus on best practices of Christian pastoral care, outside reading, and a willingness to compose write ups of pastoral care encounters in which participants are invited to reflect upon what occurred and draw insight from these reflections. Registration includes the necessary recommendation and endorsement of your Rector or Vicar.

Cost for the Course
The cost per student is $400 for the course. The cost includes student worksheets, handouts, additional printing, tutors’ honorariums and expenses, lunches and any other costs to the Bishop’s Institute.

The overall fee may be made in up to four installments, i.e., with a down payment of $50 by March 1, 2023, with registration and the remainder by October 1, 2023. NB Prospective students may ask their Rector or Vicar for their respective church to sponsor them for the course or part of it.

Limited scholarships are available. Please inquire by email to the Rev. Canon Douglas Dupree:

Meet the Tutor for the Course
The course designer and lead tutor is Laura Magevney, JD, M.Div. (Vanderbilt University). Laura has a heart for the ministry of presence and affirms the radical hospitality of Jesus who invites everyone to his table. Laura completed a CPE (Clinical Pastoral Care) Residency prior to ordination, serving as a chaplain resident at Wolfson Children’s Hospital and later a chaplain at Baptist MD Anderson in Jacksonville. As a lay person, Laura served for over a decade as the Director of Christian Formation at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Jacksonville, working with adults, children, and youth.

Register for the Course
If you are interested in registering for the course, please reach out to Mrs. Sue Engemann: for an application.

Once you’ve completed the application form, please return it to Mrs. Engemann by email attachment or by mail to: Mrs. Sue Engemann, Episcopal Diocese of Florida, 325 N. Market Street, Jacksonville, Fl 32202.

Please note: All applications for the course should be received by Mrs. Engemann by March 1 for enrollment in the course.

If you have further questions about the course, please do not hesitate to contact either Mrs. Engemann: or the Rev. Canon Douglas Dupree: You may also call (904)325-1328.

To view the required reading, course work and syllabus, click here.

Bishop’s Institute: Foundations Course

For the first time, the Bishop’s Institute for Ministry and Leadership is organizing a Foundations Course, an introductory curriculum that puts participants on a path to lay ministry licensure. This course will be of benefit to those who are currently engaged in lay ministry and leadership in their church or mission and also to those seeking to discern a call to new opportunities for ministry. It will also serve as an entry level or ‘gateway’ course for those deciding to train for Licensed Lay Ministry in a specific area, such as Licensed Worship Leader, Catechist, Lay Preacher, Lay Pastoral Minister or Evangelist. To learn more about the course, click here.

The class sessions will take place on Sept. 17, 2022 – May  20, 2023  on Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. in the Diocesan office: 325 N Market St, Jacksonville, Florida 32202. For those who are unable to attend in person, the session will also be available via Zoom. If you are interested in joining virtually, please email A zoom link will be emailed to you prior to the session.

This course is $350. Limited payment plans are available. Watch-ahead video lessons, reading materials and writing assignments will be published ahead of each session – registrants will be emailed when material becomes available. It is highly encouraged participants review this material before each session, as the session will primarily feature dialogue on this content.

If you are interested, please click here to register. If you have any questions, please contact Douglas Dupree at

More Information on Licensed Lay Ministry Courses

What is a Licensed Lay Leader (LLM)?

The canons of the Episcopal Church allow the Bishop of a Diocese to license lay persons to specific ministries that they may exercise in their parish under the direction of their priest or in churches or missions that do not have a resident priest.

The Episcopal Church canon that provides the initiative for our Licensed Lay Leader courses is:

Title III: Ministry
Canon 4: Of Licensed Ministries (excerpts)

Sec. 1 (a) A confirmed communicant in good standing or, in extraordinary circumstances, subject to guide- lines established by the Bishop, a communicant in good standing, may be licensed by the Ecclesiastical Authority to serve as Pastoral Leader, Worship Leader, Preacher, Eucharistic Minister, Eucharistic Visitor, Evangelist, or Catechist. Requirements and guidelines for the selection, training, continuing education, and deployment of such persons, and the duration of licenses shall be established by the Bishop in consultation with the Commission on Ministry.

Course offerings

To date some thirty-six lay persons have been Licensed by Bishop Howard to serve as Lay Worship Leaders and Catechists in their parishes under the direction of their priest. They completed a twelve-month course taught on two campuses — in Jacksonville and Hawthorne in preparation for their License.

A twelve-month course is currently in progress to prepare lay men and women to be licensed in Pastoral Care ministry. There are some eighteen candidates from churches across the Diocese currently enrolled.

The Bishop’s Institute is planning to offer the Lay Worship Leader and Catechists courses again in the coming year in addition to the course in Pastoral Care. Courses for lay Evangelist and Preacher are also in the planning stage.

Who are the LLM courses designed for?

The courses are designed for those who feel they are being called to serve their church in a specific ministry and desire to be equipped for that ministry. In some cases the person’s rector or vicar may recognize that person’s gifts and initiate encouraging them in accepting and preparing for it. Others may already be exercising a specific lay ministry and see the course as simply an enhancement of their experience and skills.

Two basic requirements for everyone enrolling in a LLM course are:

  • The endorsement by the applicant’s Rector, Vicar or Priest-in-Charge. The endorsing clergy person affirms that the applicant is an adult in good standing in the parish and that he or she endorses the applicant for this ministry.
  • A licensed lay minister must complete and comply with the guidelines for the Safeguarding God’s People and Safeguarding God’s children programs.

Further inquiries

If you would like further information about the Bishop’s Institute Licensed Lay Ministry courses and/or you would like to be informed personally of proposed offerings please contact Mrs. Sue Engemann at the Diocesan Office: 904-356-1328 or


The vocational Diaconate and local Priesthood in the Diocese of Florida: Academic preparation and formation

Vocational Diaconate

The academic component in the formation of vocational Deacons in the Diocese of Florida is entrusted to the Institute’s Deacons School. The Deacons School is a fourteen-month course that meets once a month on a Saturday at Camp Weed. The modules, taught by tutors drawn from our Diocesan clergy cover spiritual discipline; practical training and experience; the theology of the diaconate; Holy Scriptures; church history; Anglican theology and pastoral care.

Local Priesthood

Those accepted to study for ordination to the local Priesthood in the Diocese are enrolled in the Deacons School and receive the same basic academic formation as those preparing for the vocational Diaconate. On successful completion of the Deacons School, local Priest candidates complete six further modules in the theology and practice of ordained ministry as specifically appropriate to their preparation for the priesthood.

Further information

The academic courses designed for both vocational Deacons and local Priests operate within the overall discernment and formation process for those accepted by the Bishop with the recommendation of the Diocesan Commission on Ministry to prepare for ordination. For details on the overall discernment process for the vocational Diaconate or the local Priesthood in the Diocese please contact Mrs Leigh Phillips in the Diocesan Office and she will gladly send you a booklet Journey of Discernment by return email.

Dietirch Bonhoeffer: A Weekend with Earl Palmer – Video Lectures

The distinguished author, preacher and scholar Earl Palmer presented this series of lectures over the course of the weekend of September 23-25, 2016. Videos of each session as well as the sermon at the Holy Eucharist can be viewed via the following links:

Session 1

Session 2

Session 3

Session 4


C.S. Lewis Weekend Audio Links

The distinguished author, preacher and C.S. Lewis scholar Earl Palmer presented a series of four lectures over the course of the weekend of September 18-20, 2015. For those who want to review the series, The Bishop’s Institute offers these audio links.

C.S. Lewis, His Friends, His Journey Toward Faith

C.S. Lewis in a Time of War

C.S. Lewis: The Mere Christian Who Helped Us Believe

Stories of the Marvelous: C.S. Lewis, The Storyteller

Books Online

St. John’s Cathedral Bookstore & Gift Shop now offers online shopping through This means you can order any book online and support our bookstore ministry instead of Amazon!

Here are the steps to start shopping with us:

  • Create an account on
  • Then click “find a bookstore,” and you will see us on the map.
  • Select “support this shop” under our name.

Shopping on Bookshop is quick and easy:

  • Browse the book and gift categories listed on our Bookshop page, and purchase items shipped directly to you.
  • Here is the link for all reviewed and recommended books from the Bishop’s Institute:
  • Enjoy one-stop shopping for calendars and church supplies.
  • You also can purchase other books not listed on our store by using the search feature at the top of our page.
  • E-books and audiobooks are available on
  • Gift wrapping is available for a modest charge.
  • The bookstore is happy to order and ship books for you if that is more convenient. Just email, or call the store for assistance.
  • We already have been asked by groups and churches in our diocese to create a customized book links on Bookshop for their formation classes–let us create one for you to distribute to your class or book club!

Here is the link to shop our page

St John’s Cathedral Bookstore & Gift Shop
221 East Church Street
Jacksonville, FL 32202
Store: (904) 356-5507, ext. 152
Find us on Facebook @jaxcathedral books

Preachers on Preaching Video Series: Hosted by the Rev. Joe Gibbes