The Academy for Vocational Leadership

The Academy for Vocational Leadership is a three-year program of preparation leading to the diaconate or the priesthood. In order to begin this program, an applicant must have begun the formal process toward ordination with the Commission on Ministry.

The Academy is a joint program of the Dioceses of Eastern Michigan, Michigan and Western Michigan and is based on the Iona Collaborative, a local formation curriculum developed by the Seminary of the Southwest in conjunction with the Iona School for Ministry of the Diocese of Texas.


Each year the program begins with a weekend retreat in August. Class weekends are held once a month from September through June at the Colombiere Retreat and Conference Center in Clarkston. Each weekend begins on Friday at 5:30 pm and concludes on Sunday at 3:00 pm.


The cost of the program is $3,800 per year which covers tuition and overnight accommodations for two nights and six meals for the August retreat and each of the ten sessions. In addition, the costĀ of required textbooks will range from $150 – 200 per year. Students and their home parishes are expected to contribute to the cost of the Academy, and the dioceses also provide some scholarship assistance.



5:30 Dinner
7:00 Spirituality Class
8:45 Compline


8:00 Breakfast
8:45 Morning Prayer
9:15 Academic Class
12:00 Lunch
1:00 Academic Class
3:30 Free Time
5:30 Dinner
6:15 Evening Prayer
7:00 Practical Class


8:00 Breakfast
8:45 Eucharist
10:00 Practical Class
12:00 Lunch
1:00 Practical Class
3:00 Depart


Academic year 2019-2020

Fall Semester
Sept 13-15, 2019
Oct 11-13, 2019
Nov 15-17, 2019
Dec 6-8, 2019
Jan 17-19, 2020

Spring Semester
Feb 14-16, 2020
Mar 13-15, 2020
Apr 17-19, 2020
May 15-17, 2020
Jun 5-7, 2020 (Graduation June 6th)

Academic Year 2020-2021:

Retreat: August 7-9

September 11-13

October 9-11

November 6-8

December 4-6

January 15-17

February 12-14

March 12-14

April 9-11

May 7-9

June 4-6


Contact The Rev. Dr. Valerie Fargo, Diocese of Eastern Michigan, at or The Rev. Vicki Hesse at