Friday, July 17, 2009

I'd like to jump through the hoop a little early...

For those of you who don't speak United Methodist, I apologize in advance... but I have a frustration to share...

The UM Book of Discpline says that a certified candidate for ministry may be commissioned at the halfway point in their seminary studies. So when I realized that I would hit that point after fall semester 2009, I entertained the thought of applying for commissioning. In asking a few questions about how that would all pan out, here is a portion of the email that I received from an intentionally nameless someone who serves on the District Committee on Ministry...

"While the Book of Discipline allows persons to be commissioned prior to graduation from Seminary, West Ohio has held that since the superviesed years don't start until you graduate, there is no good reason to be commissioned while still in seminary. Once commissioned, the supervised years begin and to try to do that while being a pastor and completing your education would be a bit much."

Like going to school and doing field ed is too much? We meet at least once every two weeks with our supervisor, doing ministry and completing a whole lot of other stuff for our school work.

Like going to school and working in a church without field ed requirements is too much? Anyone who works in a church in
any capacity will tell you that being in school and working in a church is not easy. But we do it anyway, because it is what we are called and
of doing.

Plus, like a lot of other conferences recognize... if you are commissioned before you graduate school your Board of Ordained Ministry can say, "Hey, Anna, we think you are doing great ministry, but would really like to see you have more experience in counseling. Why don't you take another counseling class before you graduate." Instead of saying, "Hm... you lack some classwork... why didn't you take XYZ class while you were in seminary. We're going to wait to ordain you for another year while you get some continuing ed in that area."



Kristen Wall-Love said...

Anna, I agree with you on many points here. Like people who are full-time students doing field ed/are full time pastors isn't "too much?" Yeah. I see why they might want to "protect" a candidate from being in over his/her head, but at the same time that should be the candidate's decision, not theirs. Peace.

Diane said...

I can understand your frustration, but just the same, **at least you're certified**! My conference has been a bear to deal with just in the certification process... but hopefully I'll be certified by the halfway point of seminary.

Good luck with commissioning!

Learning as I go said...

Hm, I'm definitely not going to be a pastor- but I had a few professors tell me I couldn't take two field placements at the same time (two different schools- two sets of lesson plans- two sets of kids, etc) and I got a 4.0. I had a professor tell me that it wasn't suggested but for me, it would be okay. PERSONALLY I would think the same for you... but I'm sure my decision does not count ;)