The discernment and selection process, itself, can require several months, depending on the speed with which the applicant can supply the necessary information, complete the required evaluations, and be available for interviews.
The time required for training depends a great deal on the background of the applicant. An individual who comes to the process with no formal education in theology and ministry may require three years or more to complete the curriculum for the priesthood and somewhat less time to prepare for the vocational diaconate. On the other hand, a person who already has a degree in religion or theology, or whose life experiences have included preparation for ordained ministry, may complete the training in a matter of months.
Many independent Catholic jurisdictions ordain clergy with little or no formal preparation. In contrast, CACINA believes that men and women who are to serve as pastoral leaders of the Church must be thoroughly educated and trained to perform their duties. Therefore, the educational program required by CACINA is approximately equal in depth and complexity to that required by the Roman Catholic Church and the mainstream Protestant denominations.
The training program is designed for self-study and completion at home under the guidance and direction of a mentor appointed by the Church. Candidates may be required to attend hands-on training sessions held during each annual General Assembly of the Church. At the conclusion of the training, each candidate must pass a comprehensive examination prior to final approval for ordination
By the end of 2008, the entire training program will be available in a computer-assisted format and will become, essentially, a paperless process.