Don’t let the title put you off. At Pastor Church Resources, we know many pastors have had a difficult year; the last thing many want right now is another obligation on their time or another reminder that finding balance in ministry is elusive.
So instead, think of this as an early invitation and an opportunity to freshen things up.
Every CRCNA pastor and ministry leader (employed for over 20 hrs/week) is eligible and welcome to apply for a Continuing Education grant. You are free to propose a wide variety of opportunities to be funded (though we’d like your church to be supportive). If approved, Pastor Church Resources will provide $750 towards your expenses.
Wouldn’t it be nice to take some time for your learning and growth over the winter? To set yourself up for that possibility a season from now, consider applying soon. (The next application deadline is November 1, though applying in advance is encouraged).
Here’s an example of the kind of rich learning you can access at no personal cost: a Bible Overview course at Calvin Theological Seminary, relevant for many and approved for commissioned pastors (read more here). Other examples abound.
As you consider opportunities, remember that ongoing pastoral formation is key to a flourishing pastor. Preparing for ministry is never a one-time event, and ministry is never static. Instead, pastors are constantly being formed for the ministry that God has called them into at the time. Some of the learning comes simply through lived experience, but it also honors one’s calling to discern intentionally how to grow as a unique person serving in a unique and changing ministry context.
If you have been in ministry for a while and want to briefly step away and step into some focused learning, Continuing Education is for you. If you are a new pastor to the CRC and want to sharpen your understanding in a particular area, Continuing Education is for you. If you are a bivocational pastor looking to carve out some time to gain new expertise, Continuing Education is for you. If it has been a year or two since your last learning opportunity, Continuing Education is for you. If you have never heard of Continuing Education, or haven’t gotten around to asking your church about it, Continuing Education is for you.