In the Middle Ages, charles bridges christian ministry pdf and writing were almost exclusively the domain of the priestly class, and this is the reason for the close relationship of these words. Now, the clerical state is tied to reception of the diaconate. This is all in keeping with Eastern Orthodox concepts of clergy, which still include those who have not yet received, or do not plan to receive, the diaconate.
However, as Buddhism spread geographically over time – encountering different cultures, responding to new social, political, and physical environments – this single form of Buddhist monasticism diversified. This adaptation of form and roles of Buddhist monastic practice continued after the transmission to Japan. Japanese monks allowed to marry. As these varied styles of Buddhist monasticism are transmitted to Western cultures, still more new forms are being created. Southeast Asia died out during the 14th-15th Century AD. Tibet, the status and future of female Buddhist clergy in this tradition is sometimes disputed by strict adherents to the Theravadan style. The diversity of Buddhist traditions makes it difficult to generalize about Buddhist clergy.
Japanese diaspora serve a role very similar to Protestant ministers of the Christian tradition. Theravada tradition, prohibitions against monks working as laborers and farmers continue to be generally observed. Currently in North America, there are both celibate and non-celibate clergy in a variety of Buddhist traditions from around the world. In some cases they are forest dwelling monks of the Theravada tradition and in other cases they are married clergy of a Japanese Zen lineage and may work a secular job in addition to their role in the Buddhist community.
There is also a growing realization that traditional training in ritual and meditation as well as philosophy may not be sufficient to meet the needs and expectations of American lay people. Some communities have begun exploring the need for training in counseling skills as well. Along these lines, at least two fully accredited Master of Divinity programs are currently available: one at Naropa University in Boulder, CO and one at the University of the West in Rosemead, CA. Types of clerics are distinguished from offices, even when the latter are commonly or exclusively occupied by clerics. A Roman Catholic cardinal, for instance, is almost without exception a cleric, but a cardinal is not a type of cleric. An archbishop is not a distinct type of cleric, but is simply a bishop who occupies a particular position with special authority.
New clergy are ordained deacons. Those seeking to become priests are usually ordained priest after a year. Since the 1960s some Anglican churches have reinstituted the diaconate as a permanent, rather than transitional, order of ministry focused on ministry that bridges the church and the world, especially ministry to those on the margins of society. For a short period of history before the ordination of women as deacons, priests and bishops began within Anglicanism they could be “deaconesses”.