The dream of establishing a diocesan School for Ministry is rapidly coming to fruition. In the Advent edition of Faith Matters, the Rev. Al Pruitt, chair of the School for Ministry Task Force, gave an introduction of this new initiative, citing the school as being a "diocesan response to the need of congregations for ordained ministry." The school is in keeping with, and touches upon, each of our three bonds of mission: discipleship, discernment, and development. With gratitude, we announce that the Rev. Dr. Joy Blaylock will head the School for Ministry as Dean/Canon for Discipleship.
The Rev. Dr. Joy Harrell Blaylock currently serves as priest-in-charge at Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, Mobile, AL. She is wife to Roy and mother to Gabriel, age eleven. Joy received her B.A. in Psychology from the University of South Alabama; an M.A. in Theology at Spring Hill College; a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology at The Catholic University of America. She attended Lutheran Southern Seminary in Columbia, SC, and was ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America in 2010. Joy served as pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church from 2010-2016 and interim pastor at Forest Hill United Methodist in 2016. On May 1, Joy will be received into The Episcopal Church as a priest.
Joy’s professional career includes: serving as administrator in the Biblical Studies Department during graduate study and then as assistant dean in the School of Religious Studies, Catholic University of America. Joy has taught as an adjunct professor of Theology at The Catholic University of America and Spring Hill College from 2004-2016.
In prayerfully accepting the position of Dean/Canon for Discipleship, Joy offers this thought: “It is my hope that we will embrace the multifaceted challenges facing the church with courage and raw honesty. As we prepare men and women for ministry, we do so with high expectations of traditional academic rigor balanced with the dynamism of practical and authentic spiritual formation. We lift up the bonds of community and pray that the fruits of this work will be faithful and practical for many entities in our diocese and the needs of the ever-changing world around us."
The School for Ministry will have its home in the rectory on the campus of St. Agatha's Episcopal Church in DeFuniak Springs and is slated to open to students in the Fall of 2017.