Bexley Seabury Hires Hailey McKeefry Delmas as Director of Deacons Formation Collaborative

Bexley Seabury Seminary
Posted Feb 27, 2023

The Ven. Hailey McKeefry Delmas

Bexley Seabury has hired the Ven. Hailey McKeefry Delmas, Archdeacon of the Diocese of California, as the first Director of the Deacons Formation Collaborative (DFC). Born out of partnership among dioceses across the Episcopal Church, the DFC saw a need for an affordable, accessible, adaptable, and scalable online process to prepare individuals for diaconal ministry in accordance with the Canons of the Church. Bexley Seabury Seminary, known to many as the “Seminary Beyond Walls,” added the Deacons Formation Collaborative as part of its continuing effort to forge paths to comprehensive theological education for all four orders of ministry.

“I am thrilled to see our seminary broaden its commitment to providing the Episcopal Church with first-class theological education and formation by creating a program that expressly addresses equipping deacons,” said the Rev. Dr. Micah Jackson, Bexley Seabury’s president. “By bringing diaconal formation to the church-wide level, we are better able to work with dioceses across the church so they no longer have the challenge of sustaining a stand-alone program.”

The DFC is preparing to launch a mentor-assessed option for diaconal formation this Fall. The holistic process combines a deacon-focused approach to curriculum developed over forty years by the School for Deacons in the Diocese of California with a mentor-assessed, distributive learning process in development at Bexley Seabury to enable learners to progress at their own pace to prepare and demonstrate their proficiency in the Association for Episcopal Deacons (AED) competencies, typically finishing within two years. A three-member mentor team, which includes academic, denominational, and vocational mentors, guides a student to prepare for ministry in their unique context.

McKeefry brings a unique set of skills to lead the DFC. Ordained a deacon in 1999 and educated at the Mercer School of Theology in Long Island, she also serves part-time as the Director of the Diocese of California’s School for Deacons and is a long time writer, technologist, and educator.   “We are excited to welcome Hailey to Bexley Seabury. Her skills and experience as a vocational deacon uniquely position her to help launch and grow the DFC,” said Dr. Julie Lytle, Bexley Seabury’s Director of Distributive and Lifelong Learning Initiatives. “We had many dioceses lamenting they had people who felt called to diaconal ministry but did not have the capacity to prepare them.  We recognized we can serve the church better by working together to fill this gap by creating a platform for comprehensive formation using a deacon-centered lens in partnership with many dioceses.”

Please join Bexley Seabury in celebrating this new development and stay tuned for more exciting news. Bexley Seabury Seminary, known as “the seminary beyond walls” is a low-residency and context-based education and formation model for people pursuing MDiv and DMin degrees, as well as a Diploma in Anglican Studies. Furthermore, with its more recent launch of Pathways for Baptismal Living, those who are interested in continuing education, licensure certification, and other courses have access to a flexible and affordable approach to learning. Its mission is to educate, form, and inspire the Body of Christ to blaze new pathways for prophetic and pastoral service in response to God’s call. Its innovative and accessible solutions for equipping people in all four orders of ministry appeals to leaders who recognize the need for new and creative solutions to equip and prepare our next generations of Jesus followers in more equitable and effective ways.