Mentoring For Ministry Application
The Mentoring for Ministry project seeks to create a more vital and healthy clergy in the Church of the Nazarene through a mentor-led, peer group program specifically targeted to address the challenges faced by new clergy. The program will be directed by the Center for Pastoral Leadership (CPL) whose goal is to support and encourage men and women clergy in ways that will enable them to flourish in a holistic way throughout the duration of their career (vocationally, educationally, emotionally, spiritually, relationally).
The pilot cohort will meet twice yearly on the NTS campus for a week long retreat session (4-5 days) that will include an educational component, spiritual formation, mentoring, fellowship and more. Participants will be invited to attend up to a total of 6 retreats over the course of 3 years. Lifelong learning credit will be available for each retreat.
Specific goals of the program include:
· Longevity in ministry – more pastors staying longer at their pastorates and in the pastorate.
· Skill building in all aspects of practical ministry.
· Safe places for theological and doctrinal questions to be asked and concerns to be expressed.
· Participants establishing a rhythm of Sabbath-keeping, rest and retreat.
· Participants experiencing growth and health in a wide range of areas: mentally, emotionally, spiritually, relationally, vocationally, intellectually and more.
· Vital connections established between clergy generations (mentors/mentees) which, in turn, will engender more understanding and collaboration among the Church’s entire clergy corps.
· Participating clergy creating an enduring support network over the course of their entire ministry.
· Creating healthier pastors (and families) who are flourishing in ministry and in life (higher vocational satisfaction and life balance).
· Healthier churches (more unity within the congregation, positive impact and engagement with surrounding communities, increased attendance and giving, members growing in their faith and commitments to the church.)
· Healthier communities where our clergy serve (the church as a catalyst for new collaborations which foster unity, understanding and meet real needs.)
The Mentoring for Ministry Program is open to pastors who:
· Are currently serving in a senior pastor or staff role (including bi-vocational)
· Are in their first years of ministry (5 years or thereabouts)
· Pursuing ordination/ordained
· Pursuing (or have completed) graduate theological studies/degree
Funding for the first pilot cohort retreat (Fall 2017) will be fully covered. The second/Spring Retreat will be partially funded (50%). All other retreats must be funded by the participant, his/her sponsoring church, sponsoring district, and other supporters. Fundraising guidance will be provided by NTS.
2017-2018 Mentoring for Ministry Application
Please share a current resume with us that includes your personal and church contact information (Name, Address, City, State, Zip, E-mail and Phone/mobile), your ministry and professional experience, your educational background and also your personal references and their contact information. (See guidelines for references below).
Essay Questions (Please limit your response to 500 words per question)
1. Why do you want to participate in this program and how do you envision it benefitting you?
2. How do you understand your leadership role both inside and outside of your congregation/ministerial setting?
3. What issues do you see as most crucial for the church and pastoral leaders to address in this cultural moment and how are you currently involved in these issues?
4. Describe a Christian leader who exemplifies for you the best of pastoral leadership.
5. Describe the congregation and community in which you serve.
5B. Describe your relationship with that congregation and community.
6. What led you into pastoral ministry?
7. What do you bring to the Mentoring for Ministry program?
8. What are the greatest areas of growth and challenge for you at present?
9. Please share about your current spiritual practices and health.
Guidelines for Letters of Recommendation
The NTS CPL office will need to receive 3 Letters of Recommendation based on the categories outlined below. You are responsible to identify and send a copy of these guidelines to each recommender.
a. A leader in your congregation (senior or staff pastor, board chair, lay leader) should confirm that the congregation you are currently serving agrees to and will support your participation in this three-year program. Also, at a minimum, this leader should address your areas of strengths, leadership capability, spiritual and relational maturity, as well as areas for development and growth.
b. A regional leader (mission area coordinator, district or general superintendent) should verify that you are in good standing with your denomination. She or he should also comment upon your capacity for leadership in the next two to three decades of Christian ministry, as well as the other characteristics described above: strengths, spiritual and relational maturity, as well as areas for development and growth.
c. A third person (seminary professor, pastoral colleague, mentor, former employer) who is in a position to provide evidence of and comment upon your potential for leadership (as well as the other characteristics described above). This third letter of recommendation should be from someone who knows you well and can elaborate upon what would make you an excellent candidate.
Suggestions for those writing Letters of Recommendation
As you prepare your recommendation, please keep in mind that we are looking for younger pastors who have developed some confidence, optimism, and security in a pastoral role, and have high potential for leadership in the Church throughout the entire arc of their career. Applicants should be in their first years of ministry, in the ordination track, actively pursuing (or completed) graduate level theological studies and currently serving in a full time or bi-vocational pastoral role.