Exercise Your Mind
The Anglican Church of Canada Continuing Education Plan (CEP)
Whether it is sharpening a skill or scholarly pursuit for professional development – you can exercise your mind with the help of the Church’s Continuing Education Plan.
Since it began in 1971, the Continuing Education Plan (CEP) has given hundreds of clergy and lay employees the opportunity to develop their skills and enrich their working lives.
Who may participate
All paid clergy automatically have a CEP account opened on their behalf on their first day of employment with a participating diocese/employer. Lay employees of the Church or other participating organizations may have an account opened in the plan, with their employer’s approval, on the first day of any month.
A healthy inquiring mind contributes to your personal well-being and, by extension, to the well-being of your parish/employer and the Church as a whole.
How it works
When you participate in the plan, a CEP account is set up in your name. Benefits accumulate in your account at an annual rate which your employer contributes on your behalf. The assessments to sustain the fund are $900 per year effective January 1, 2021.
The plan pays you a bonus each time you use your account. The bonus is normally set at 5% of the total cost of your educational expenditure. However, for 2023, to help with the catch-up from the COVID shutdowns, that bonus is set to 10%.
Use of benefits
As long as the expenditure confers a benefit to your employer, you may use your CEP account to cover up to 75% of the cost of:
- any continuing education program or course of study
- books or other materials and equipment
- computer hardware or software
The plan is designed to promote lifelong learning among clergy and lay professional. How to use it, is up to you.
Applications for benefits are available for download, from your diocesan office, or the Pension Office.
Once you have been in the plan for at least five years, depending on the policy of your diocese/employer, you may apply for full-time study leave. Resources permitting, you may be granted up to $5,000 in order to complete eight or more weeks of consecutive study.
Applications for sabbatical grants are available from your diocesan office/employer or the Pension Office. You will be asked to provide the following information:
- Study goals
- How work will be supervised
- How work will be evaluated
- Pertinence to future employment in the Church
From time to time, special grants may be authorized to reduce disparity of opportunity for employees living in remote areas. Special grants may also be made to participating dioceses/employers for educational events and retraining.
Disparity of opportunity
If you wish to apply for a special grant on the basis of disparity, you must first use any funds available in your CEP account. You must also take full advantage of local educational resources and funding. Your length of participation in the CEP will be taken into account when determining the amount of your grant.
Special event grants enable dioceses and participating organizations to mount educational events such as staff development days and special seminars for employees. Applications should be sent to the Pension Office and should include a description of the events, the budget and how costs are to be shared.
CEP account holders who are experiencing a career crisis and wish for retraining may ask the Bishop/Director to apply for a retraining grant on their behalf. These grants are limited to $2,000 and are available only to those with at least five years of participation in the CEP.
A statement is sent to you each year showing contributions and withdrawals from your CEP account.
If you leave the plan
If you retire or leave the employment of the participating diocese/employer, you are no longer eligible to claim under the plan. If you continue to offer your services to the participating diocese/employer after your retirement, you may continue to access these funds for continuing education, as long as it is of benefit to your employer.
In the event of your return to work with a participating employer within 12 months of ceasing participation, your account will be reactivated at the level it was upon leaving. After 12 months, a return to work will result in a new account being established.
The Pension Committee is responsible for the administration of the Continuing Education Plan (CANON XII).
For information, please call the Pension Office at(416) 960-2484/ toll free 1-800-265-1070, or write to:The Pension Office Corporation
625 Church Street, Suite 401
Toronto, Ontario M4Y 2G1