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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


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