Continuing Education for Chaplains, Lay Leaders, Ministers, and Activists
Over the past two years I have been working toward developing a program in Ministry and Spirituality at Pacific Lutheran University, where I teach. My core convictions have been that:
- Ministry formation must be available to more than pastors;
- Congregations are increasingly looking to leadership outside of traditional pastoral roles for essential leadership functions;
- Traditional seminary tracks are beyond the reach of a wide range of people who are gifted and called to the work of ministry;
- Ministry formation is most useful when it occurs alongside one’s embedded ministry context, wherever and whatever that might be;
- Many people are interested in ministry formation who are not formally affiliated with a denomination but who view their work as being spiritually informed;
- Congregational leaders, chaplains, and activists are in a rapidly changing environment. Training received years ago may not address current needs;
- Courses in ministry formation must be designed and developed through iterative and intentional acts of listening to embedded ministers, churches, and organizations engaged in the work of service, rather than being imposed from the top down.
- So, the vision of these ministry programs is to provide flexible and accessible courses modeled on a Continuing Education format.
These convictions resulted in a survey that was distributed to an ecumenical group of denominational leaders in the Pacific Northwest, embedded ministers, chaplains, and many interested in taking courses in ministry and spirituality.
The results of the survey showed a strong interest in learning more about practical tools for serving others in ministry, and, secondly, towards a spirituality that can support and sustain ministry.
I will offer two courses through online, synchronous, video conferencing in the inaugural year:
Leadership in Ministry: Formation for Action (Saturdays 9-10:30am PST, January 22, 29, February 5, 12, 19, 26)
Spiritually Sustaining Practices for Ministry and Service: Self-Care for Chaplains, Activists, Lay Leaders and Ministers (Saturdays 9-10:30am PST, March 5, 12, 19)
More information and registration can be found on Pacific Lutheran University’s Continuing Education page.
If you are interested in honing skills for ministry in an interactive environment that is open to a broad range of theologies and backgrounds, and if you are committed to reflecting on your own experiences and listening to the experiences of others, then you may be well-suited for these courses.
I’d love to see you there!