Anglican Episcopal Community of Learning

The Anglican Episcopal Community of Learning (AECL) at Boston University School of Theology (STH) is a collaboration with the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts and other dioceses, churches, and organizations that wish to partner with the School or include the Boston University School of Theology as an approved school for ministerial preparation in the Episcopal or worldwide Anglican tradition. Its mission is to form a community of students, faculty, and staff dedicated to nurturing and preparing Episcopalians and Anglicans for future leadership and service in and through the church. The AECL seeks to nurture the next generation of leaders in both Anglican and ecumenical traditions of Christianity and provide them with curricular and co-curricular opportunities to ground their academic, spiritual, ecclesial, professional, and social-global growth.

The AECL was initiated and developed in communication with Episcopal leaders seeking to serve the needs of their students preparing for ordination and lay leadership. The collaboration began with the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts and others in Provinces I and II; however, the collaborations continue to grow geographically, as does communication through Episcopal events, publications, and websites.


The School of Theology curriculum enables students to cultivate proficiency in each canonical area and in their integration, as required by the Episcopal Church and assessed through the General Ordination Exam (The Holy Scriptures, History of the Christian Church, Christian Theology, Worship, Practice of Ministry, and Christian Ethics and Moral Theology). In addition, STH offers specialized courses for Episcopal students, and students may cross-register for courses through the Boston Theological Interreligious Consortium.

Some of the STH courses with particular relevance to Anglican and Episcopal Studies are:

  • STH TA 811 Book of Common Prayer
  • STH TH 804 Christianity in England from Wycliffe to the Wesleys
  • STH TH 811 History of the Episcopal Church
  • STH TC 819 The Sacraments: Rites and Theologies
  • STH TC 833 Sung Faith
  • STH TC 858 Dismantling White Privilege
  • STH TC 862 The Liturgical Year
  • STH TC 868 Worship in the Anglican and Wesleyan Traditions
  • STH TH 826 The Reformations

All MDiv students require a mid-degree review at STH, and this is customized for Episcopal students pursuing ordination so students can complete the required certification by demonstrating their academic record in the subjects required by the Canons and by receiving a faculty evaluation of their pastoral gifts.

Opportunities for Communal Formation

Co-curricular opportunities for communal formation in which Anglican and Episcopal students participate and often take leadership, sharing their traditions with others in the ecumenical community. Specific opportunities include:

  • An Anglican and Episcopal student group
  • Anglican and Episcopal liturgy and daily office (see below)
  • Episcopal/Anglican student-led worship services in chapel (together with regular Anglican and Episcopal preachers in chapel)
  • Study cohorts for those students preparing for General Ordination Exam.
  • Support and guidance for those in the stage of postulancy pursuing holy orders.
  • Opportunities for learning and discussion with other Anglican and Episcopal students in the Boston area as well as those in diocesan training programs, internships, and other continuing education programs

Contextual Education

Contextual education opportunities in Episcopal and Anglican parishes and sites of ministry, coordinated by the STH Office of Contextual Education.

Missiological, Ministerial, other areas of Research

Opportunities for missiological, ministerial, and other areas of research in Episcopal and Anglican traditions, especially in our research Centers, such as the Center for Global Christianity and Mission and the Center for Practical Theology.

Spiritual Formation

Spiritual formation offerings, coordinated and led by AECL Mentor, the Rev. Dr. Elise Feyerherm. These include the Daily Office on each weekday, offering through the week celebrations of morning prayer, noonday prayer, evening prayer, and Eucharist.


Formational Mentor: The Rev. Dr. Elise Feyerherm is the Formational Mentor who leads the AECL and supports the students and their leadership, both inside the AECL and in the School of Theology and Episcopal Church. She also serves as Priest of St. Paul Episcopal Church In Brookline, MA.

Support Mentors: The following persons serve as Support Mentors in varying roles that contribute to the lives and vocations of Episcopal and Anglican students as they seek to grow spiritually, professionally, and academically.

  • The Rev. Dr. Karen Coleman, Episcopal Chaplain, Boston University
  • The Rev. Dr. Carl Daw, Retired Lecturer in Hymnology, Curator of the Hymnological Collections, Boston University School of Theology
  • The Rev. Dr. Edith W. Dolnikowski, Canon for Ordained Vocations, The Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts
  • The Rev. Dr. Libby Gibson, Chaplain for Academic Formation, The Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts
  • Dr. Nicolette Manglos-Weber, Assistant Professor of Religion and Society, Boston University School of Theology
  • The Rev. Dr. James M. Weiss, Associate Professor, Department of Theology, Boston College

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