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In addition to these three orders of clerics, some Eastern Catholic , or "Uniate", Churches have what are called "minor clerics". Members of institutes of consecrated life and societies of apostolic life are clerics only if they have received Holy Orders. Thus, unordained monks, friars , nuns , and religious brothers and sisters are not part of the clergy. The Code of Canon Law and the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches prescribe that every cleric must be enrolled or " incardinated " in a diocese or its equivalent an apostolic vicariate , territorial abbey , personal prelature , etc.

Current canon law prescribes that to be ordained a priest, an education is required of two years of philosophy and four of theology , including study of dogmatic and moral theology, the Holy Scriptures, and canon law have to be studied within a seminary or an ecclesiastical faculty at a university. Roman Catholicism mandates clerical celibacy for all clergy in the predominant Latin Rite , with the exception of deacons who do not intend to become priests.

Exceptions are sometimes admitted for ordination to transitional diaconate and priesthood on a case-by-case basis for married clergymen of other churches or communities who become Catholics, but ordination of married men to the episcopacy is excluded see personal ordinariate. Clerical marriage is not allowed and therefore, if those for whom in some particular Church celibacy is optional such as permanent deacons in the Latin Church wish to marry, they must do so before ordination. Eastern Catholic Churches either follow the same rules as the Latin Church or require celibacy only for bishops. Locally, unpaid and part-time priesthood holders lead the church; the worldwide church is supervised by full-time general authorities , some of whom receive modest living allowances.

All leaders in the church are called by revelation and the laying on of hands by one who holds authority. Jesus Christ stands at the head of the church and leads the church through revelation given to the President of the Church , the First Presidency , and Twelve Apostles , all of whom are recognized as prophets, seers, and revelators and have lifetime tenure. Below these men in the hierarchy are quorums of seventy , which are assigned geographically over the areas of the church.

Locally, the church is divided into stakes ; each stake has a president , who is assisted by two counselors and a high council. The stake is made up of several individual congregations, which are called " wards " or "branches. Local leaders serve in their positions until released by their supervising authorities. Generally, all worthy males age 12 and above receive the priesthood.

Youth age 12 to 18 are ordained to the Aaronic priesthood as deacons , teachers , or priests , which authorizes them to perform certain ordinances and sacraments. Adult males are ordained to the Melchizedek priesthood , as elders , seventies, high priests , or patriarchs in that priesthood, which is concerned with spiritual leadership of the church.

Although the term "clergy" is not typically used in the LDS Church, it would most appropriately apply to local bishops and stake presidents. Merely holding an office in the priesthood does not imply authority over other church members or agency to act on behalf of the entire church.

The Orthodox Church has three ranks of holy orders: bishop, priest, and deacon. These are the same offices identified in the New Testament and found in the Early Church , as testified by the writings of the Holy Fathers. Each of these ranks is ordained through the Sacred Mystery sacrament of the laying on of hands called cheirotonia by bishops.

Priests and deacons are ordained by their own diocesan bishop , while bishops are consecrated through the laying on of hands of at least three other bishops. Within each of these three ranks there are found a number of titles. Bishops may have the title of archbishop , metropolitan , and patriarch , all of which are considered honorifics. Among the Orthodox, all bishops are considered equal, though an individual may have a place of higher or lower honor, and each has his place within the order of precedence.

Priests also called presbyters may or may not have the title of archpriest , protopresbyter also called "protopriest", or "protopope" , hieromonk a monk who has been ordained to the priesthood archimandrite a senior hieromonk and hegumen abbot. Deacons may have the title of hierodeacon a monk who has been ordained to the deaconate , archdeacon or protodeacon. The lower clergy are not ordained through cheirotonia laying on of hands but through a blessing known as cheirothesia setting-aside.

These clerical ranks are subdeacon , reader and altar server also known as taper-bearer. Some churches have a separate service for the blessing of a cantor. Ordination of a bishop, priest, deacon or subdeacon must be conferred during the Divine Liturgy Eucharist —though in some churches it is permitted to ordain up through deacon during the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts —and no more than a single individual can be ordained to the same rank in any one service. Numerous members of the lower clergy may be ordained at the same service, and their blessing usually takes place during the Little Hours prior to Liturgy, or may take place as a separate service.

The blessing of readers and taper-bearers is usually combined into a single service. Subdeacons are ordained during the Little Hours, but the ceremonies surrounding his blessing continue through the Divine Liturgy, specifically during the Great Entrance. Bishops are usually drawn from the ranks of the archimandrites, and are required to be celibate; however, a non-monastic priest may be ordained to the episcopate if he no longer lives with his wife following Canon XII of the Quinisext Council of Trullo [21] In contemporary usage such a non-monastic priest is usually tonsured to the monastic state, and then elevated to archimandrite, at some point prior to his consecration to the episcopacy.

Although not a formal or canonical prerequisite, at present bishops are often required to have earned a university degree, typically but not necessarily in theology. Orthodox priests, deacons, and subdeacons must be either married or celibate preferably monastic prior to ordination, but may not marry after ordination.

Re marriage of clergy following divorce or widowhood is forbidden. Married clergy are considered as best-suited to staff parishes, as a priest with a family is thought better qualified to counsel his flock. Clergy in Protestantism fill a wide variety of roles and functions. In many denominations , such as Methodism , Presbyterianism , and Lutheranism , the roles of clergy are similar to Roman Catholic or Anglican clergy, in that they hold an ordained pastoral or priestly office, administer the sacraments, proclaim the word, lead a local church or parish, and so forth.

The Baptist tradition only recognizes two ordained positions in the church as being the elders pastors and deacons as outlined in the third chapter of I Timothy [1Tim 3] in the Bible. The Presbyterian Church U. Teaching elders are seminary trained and ordained as a presbyter and set aside on behalf of the whole denomination to the ministry of Word and Sacrament.

Ordinarily, teaching elders are installed by a presbytery as pastor of a congregation. Ruling elders, after receiving training, may be commissioned by a presbytery to serve as a pastor of a congregation, as well as preach and administer sacraments. The process of being designated as a member of the Protestant clergy, as well as that of being assigned to a particular office, varies with the denomination or faith group.

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Some Protestant denominations, such as Methodism , Presbyterianism , and Lutheranism , are hierarchical in nature; and ordination and assignment to individual pastorates or other ministries are made by the parent denominations. In other traditions, such as the Baptist and other Congregational groups, local churches are free to hire and often ordain their own clergy, although the parent denominations typically maintain lists of suitable candidates seeking appointment to local church ministries and encourage local churches to consider these individuals when filling available positions.

Some Protestant denominations require that candidates for ordination be "licensed" to the ministry for a period of time typically one to three years prior to being ordained. This period typically is spent performing the duties of ministry under the guidance, supervision, and evaluation of a more senior, ordained minister.

In some denominations, however, licensure is a permanent, rather than a transitional state for ministers assigned to certain specialized ministries, such as music ministry or youth ministry. Many Protestant denominations reject the idea that the clergy are a separate category of people, but rather stress the priesthood of all believers. Based on this theological approach, most Protestants do not have a sacrament of ordination like the pre- Reformation churches. Protestant ordination, therefore, can be viewed more as a public statement by the ordaining body that an individual possesses the theological knowledge, moral fitness, and practical skills required for service in that faith group's ministry.

Some Lutheran churches form an exception to this rule, as the Lutheran Book of Concord allows ordination to be received as a sacrament.

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Some Protestant denominations dislike the word clergy and do not use it of their own leaders. Often they refer to their leaders as pastors or ministers , titles that, if used, sometimes apply to the person only as long as he or she holds a particular office. Sir George Fleming, 2nd Baronet , British churchman. Charles Wesley Leffingwell , Episcopal priest. The Reverend Hans G. Ridderstedt , Assistant Vicar at Stockholm Cathedral. Islam , like Judaism , has no clergy in the sacerdotal sense; there is no institution resembling the Christian priesthood. Islamic religious leaders do not "serve as intermediaries between mankind and God", [26] have "process of ordination", [27] nor "sacramental functions".

The title mullah a Persian variation of the Arabic maula , "master" , commonly translated "cleric" in the West and thought to be analogous to "priest" or "rabbi", is a title of address for any educated or respected figure, not even necessarily though frequently religious. The title sheikh "elder" is used similarly. The nearest analogue among Sunni Muslims to the parish priest or pastor, or to the "pulpit rabbi " of a synagogue, is called the imam khatib. This compound title is merely a common combination of two elementary offices: leader imam of the congregational prayer, which in most mosques is performed at the times of all daily prayers; and preacher khatib of the sermon or khutba of the obligatory congregational prayer at midday every Friday.

Although either duty can be performed by anyone who is regarded as qualified by the congregation, at most well-established mosques imam khatib is a permanent part-time or full-time position. He may be elected by the local community, or appointed by an outside authority — e. There is no ordination as such; the only requirement for appointment as an imam khatib is recognition as someone of sufficient learning and virtue to perform both duties on a regular basis, and to instruct the congregation in the basics of Islam.

The title hafiz lit. A scholar with a specialty in fiqh or jurisprudence is known as a faqih. A qadi is a judge in an Islamic court. A mufti is a scholar who has completed an advanced course of study which qualifies him to issue judicial opinions or fatawah. In modern Shia Islam , scholars play a more prominent role in the daily lives of Muslims than in Sunni Islam; and there is a hierarchy of higher titles of scholastic authority, such as Ayatollah. Of broader importance has been the role of the mujtahid , a cleric of superior knowledge who has the authority to perform ijtihad independent judgment.

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The spiritual guidance function known in many Christian denominations as "pastoral care" is fulfilled for many Muslims by a murshid "guide" , a master of the spiritual sciences and disciplines known as tasawuf or Sufism. Sufi guides are commonly styled Shaikh in both speaking and writing; in North Africa they are sometimes called marabouts. They are traditionally appointed by their predecessors, in an unbroken teaching lineage reaching back to Muhammad.

The lineal succession of guides bears a superficial similarity to Christian ordination and apostolic succession, or to Buddhist dharma transmission; but a Sufi guide is regarded primarily as a specialized teacher and Islam denies the existence of an earthly hierarchy among believers. Muslims who wish to learn Sufism dedicate themselves to a murshid 's guidance by taking an oath called a bai'ah.

The aspirant is then known as a murid "disciple" or "follower". A murid who takes on special disciplines under the guide's instruction, ranging from an intensive spiritual retreat to voluntary poverty and homelessness, is sometimes known as a dervish. Al-Ghazali and Rumi are two notable examples.

The highest office an Ahmadi can hold is that of Khalifatu l-Masih. Such a person may appoint amirs who manage regional areas. Rabbinic Judaism does not have clergy as such, although according to the Torah there is a tribe of priests known as the Kohanim who were leaders of the religion up to the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem in 70 AD when most Sadducees were wiped out; each member of the tribe, a Kohen had priestly duties, many of which centered around the sacrificial duties, atonement and blessings of the Israelite nation.

Today, Jewish Kohanim know their status by family tradition, and still offer the priestly blessing during certain services in the synagogue and perform the Pidyon haben redemption of the first-born son ceremony. Since the time of the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem, the religious leaders of Judaism have often been rabbis , who are technically scholars in Jewish law empowered to act as judges in a rabbinical court. All types of Judaism except Orthodox Judaism allow women as well as men to be ordained as rabbis and cantors.

The rabbi is not an occupation found in the Torah; the first time this word is mentioned is in the Mishnah. The modern form of the rabbi developed in the Talmudic era. Rabbis are given authority to make interpretations of Jewish law and custom.


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Traditionally, a man obtains one of three levels of Semicha rabbinic ordination after the completion of an arduous learning program in Torah, Tanakh Hebrew Bible , Mishnah and Talmud, Midrash , Jewish ethics and lore, the codes of Jewish law and responsa , theology and philosophy. Since the early medieval era an additional communal role, the Hazzan cantor has existed as well.

Cantors have sometimes been the only functionaries of a synagogue, empowered to undertake religio-civil functions like witnessing marriages. Cantors do provide leadership of actual services, primarily because of their training and expertise in the music and prayer rituals pertaining to them, rather than because of any spiritual or "sacramental" distinction between them and the laity.

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Cantors as much as rabbis have been recognized by civil authorities in the United States as clergy for legal purposes, mostly for awarding education degrees and their ability to perform weddings, and certify births and deaths. Additionally, Jewish authorities license mohels , people specially trained by experts in Jewish law and usually also by medical professionals to perform the ritual of circumcision. They are appropriately called mohelot pl.

In many places, mohels are also licensed by civil authorities, as circumcision is technically a surgical procedure. Kohanim, who must avoid contact with dead human body parts such as the removed foreskin for ritual purity, cannot act as mohels, [ citation needed ] but some mohels are also either rabbis or cantors. Another licensed cleric in Judaism is the shochet , who are trained and licensed by religious authorities for kosher slaughter according to ritual law. A Kohen may be a shochet. Most shochetim are ordained rabbis. Then there is the mashgiach. A mashgiach is someone who supervises the kashrut status of a kosher establishment.

The mashgiach must know the Torah laws of kashrut , and how they apply in the environment he is supervising. Obviously, this can vary.

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In many instances, the mashgiach is a rabbi. This helps, since rabbinical students learn the laws of kosher as part of their syllabus. However, not every mashgiach is a rabbi, and not every rabbi is qualified to be a mashgiach. In contemporary Orthodox Judaism, women are forbidden from becoming rabbis or cantors in the Orthodox world primarily because this would affect many aspects of communal observances and practices. Training is often focused on Jewish law, and some Orthodox Yeshivas forbid secular education.

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In Hasidic Judaism , generally understood as a branch of Orthodox Judaism, there are dynastic spiritual leaders known as Rebbes , often translated in English as "Grand Rabbi". The office of Rebbe is generally a hereditary one, may also be passed from Rebbe to student, or recognized by a congregation conferring a sort of coronation to their new Rebbe. Although one does not need to be an ordained Rabbi to be a Rebbe, most Rebbes today are ordained Rabbis.

Since one does not need to be an ordained rabbi to be a Rebbe, at some points in history there were female Rebbes as well, particularly the Maiden of Ludmir. In Conservative Judaism , both men and women are ordained as rabbis and cantors. Conservative Judaism differs with Orthodoxy in that it sees Jewish Law as binding but also as subject to many interpretations, including more liberal interpretations.

Academic requirements for becoming a rabbi are rigorous. First earn a bachelor's degree before entering rabbinical school. Studies are mandated in pastoral care and psychology, the historical development of Judaism and most importantly the academic study of Bible, Talmud and rabbinic literature , philosophy and theology, liturgy, Jewish history, and Hebrew literature of all periods.

Reconstructionist Judaism and Reform Judaism do not maintain the traditional requirements for study as rooted in Jewish Law and traditionalist text. Both men and women may be rabbis or cantors. The rabbinical seminaries of these movements hold that one must first earn a bachelor's degree before entering the rabbinate. In addition studies are mandated in pastoral care and psychology, the historical development of Judaism; and academic biblical criticism.

Emphasis is placed not on Jewish law, but rather on sociology, modern Jewish philosophy, Theology and Pastoral Care. Sikh clergy consists of five Jathedars , one each from five takhts or sacred seats. Historically traditional or pagan religions typically combine religious authority and political power. What this means is that the sacred king or queen is therefore seen to combine both kingship and priesthood within his or her person, even though he or she is often aided by an actual high priest or priestess see, for example, the Maya priesthood. When the functions of political ruler and religious leader are combined in this way, deification could be seen to be the next logical stage of his or her social advancement within his or her native environment, as is found in the case of the Egyptian Pharaohs.

The Vedic priesthood of India is an early instance of a structured body of clergy organized as a separate and hereditary caste, one that occupied the highest social rung of its nation. A modern example of this phenomenon the priestly monarchs of the Yoruba holy city of Ile-Ife in Nigeria , whose reigning Onis have performed ritual ceremonies for centuries for the sustenance of the entire planet and its people. In recent years, studies have suggested that American clergy in certain Protestant , Evangelical and Jewish traditions are more at risk than the general population of obesity, hypertension and depression.

Their life expectancies have fallen in recent years and in the last decade their use of antidepressants has risen. It is unclear whether similar symptoms affect American Muslim clerics, although an anecdotal comment by one American imam suggested that leaders of mosques may also share these problems.

One exception to the findings of these studies is the case of American Catholic priests, who are required by canon law to take a spiritual retreat each year, and four weeks of vacation. Buy the book. Search the site:. Kevin and Kay Marie Brennfleck help readers develop a theologically sound understanding of calling while providing practical tools and an innovative, intriguing process for discerning your "God-sized" calling: Complete six assessments to identify key "puzzle pieces" of your unique design including your most-enjoyed skills, core values, personality traits, preferred roles, spiritual gifts and compelling interests.

Your Life Calling Map will be an important tool for clarifying your God-given design and discovering your calling within your work, home, church, community and the world at large. Enlarge your vision of what you can do. Most people have dreams for their lives that are too small, limited by lack of vision, fear, and everyday concerns. God calls us to undertake tasks and roles we cannot accomplish on our own so that we can see his power at work. Utilizing strategies for brainstorming, "dreaming big," and investigating possibilities will help you expand your vision of what God is calling you to do in the world.

Learn how to make good decisions within God's will for your life. Your calling doesn't "just happen" without your participation. Partnering with God to live your calling requires making decisions. Learning to make good decisions about life choices is an essential part of spiritual maturity. Consider emotional, psychological, spiritual and lifestyle issues that can get you stuck as you seek to find and fulfill your mission in life.

You can assess if any of these "calling blockers" are hindering you in discerning or living your calling.


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