This book presents a rich collection of key texts from the Fathers and early councils setting out what was expected in moral and educational terms from aspirants to the clergy in the early Christian centuries. Hitherto students of the early church have had to search for this material in a variety of different publications. Here they will find it translated and discussed in a comprehensive manner. While the latest historical scholarship has been taken into account, the book's main focus is on the spiritual rather than the social role of the clergy. It is the author's deepest wish that those aspiring to the Christian priesthood might find here an accurate and vivid account of the virtuous life that should always be their goal.