For 3 to 5 years, students will pursue reading and course work, deep and significant conversation with a plurality of peers, intense personal reflection, and original scholarship.
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Leaving congregational ministry after twenty three years led to two "Aha!" moments and an important reminder.
Four things that are essential to an effective mentoring relationship: knowledge, character, identity and perseverance.
What I want to underline, however, is the need for everyone to advocate and act for the well-being of the pastor. Failure to take this seriously can result in spiritually unhealthy pastors AND spiritually unhealthy congregations.
Even the best seminary degree represents little more than a priming of the pump for a lifetime of abiding learning. The wise church knows this and provides pastors with rich and ongoing opportunities to be led by the Spirit.