Note that the details of Temple hierarchy and business likely varied from realm to realm and over time. Temple issues were worked out in regional councils and there was no overarching authority. The following descriptions were primarily of the time and places of The Curse of Chalion and Paladin of Souls.
lay dedicat: A lay person who pledged him/herself to a particular task on the behalf of a holy order, but had not entered in to the full disciplines and training of that order. Lay dedicats might serve in the military orders (Son's Order, Daughter's Order) as soldier-brothers, or perform various non-military functions in the service of their god.
dedicat: The lowest or beginning level of members of a holy order, also used for those who had not taken their final vows. Dedicats had made a higher level of commitment than lay dedicats.
- dedicat-commander: A lay dedicat or dedicat serving as an officer in a military order.
- lord dedicat: A lord dedicat might be either a lay dedicat or fully in an order, but in any case had special administrative responsibilities for the task at hand. Lord dedicats were drawn from the nobility.
acolyte: An intermediate rank of members of a holy order, above a dedicat and below a divine. An acolyte was directly employed by and served the temple, either in their current capacity, or on the way to being a divine. Examples were senior theology students, or persons of middle responsibilities who did not plan further training.
divine: The highest rank of members of a holy order; almost always entailed advanced schooling. A divine was expected to be a preacher and a teacher, as well as assuming other tasks in holy service, most commonly of supervision of a temple on the local level. Smaller or more rural temples often made do with leaders of lesser training and rank. Divines were addressed with the title Learned. A divine who taught other divines would be addressed as Most Learned.
archdivine: The person with highest and central administrative responsibility for a region of the Temple, including all the orders operating therein; in Chalion, there was one for each province, and their seat was normally in the provincial capital. Compare to divine.
Saints were outside of the temple hierarchy:
saint: In Quintarian and Quadrene theology, a saint was a living soul who gave the gift of their soul (the control thereof) to their god, thereby allowing the god to act in the world. Saints had a second sight that allowed them to see a glow on other saints but not on themselves. The person ceased to be a saint when the god’s presence was withdrawn, and they ceased to glow.
A petty saint was one whose ability to channel their god is very limited.
Behind the scenes
The author took great care to make all of these roles gender-neutral.