Ministerial Residency Program: Partners

Cairn

About the Ministerial Residency Program

Our church and world need competent ministers going into the future. At Saint John's School of Theology and Seminary, we prepare seminarians, deacons, and lay ecclesial ministers to serve in various ministry roles in the church and for the world. Within our pastoral degrees, students spend a couple of semesters working in parishes and organizations for their field education credits. They discern their vocations and develop their minsterial talents, reflect theologically on their experience, and receive feedback on their ministry work. However, we cannot do this alone. We need teaching parishes and partners. We have established the Ministerial Residency Program to expand our reach to support the formation of the ministers who will carry forward the mission of the church. We are looking for religious organizations, committed to pastoral excellence, to partner with us in meeting the needs of the church and the world.

This program was brought forth from a current Lilly Grant funded initiative: Economic Challenges Facing Future Ministers. One of the questions we have asked ourselves is how to lessen the burden of debt on our students so that they can follow their vocation and call to serve the Church as trained, professional ministers. Our answer was to combine our current field education model and expand it to a ministerial residency program. Our goal is to create partnerships between graduate students and parishes and organizations in order to place students in ministries for a semester or longer. This allows students to gain hands on experience and earn extra income to lessen their debt burden.

Our partners help Saint John's School of Theology and Seminary sustain ministry into future generations by being involved in the formation of the ministers, our students. Churches, religious organizations, and schools all have a stake in the future of our students.

How to Become a Partner

Sponsoring Students

Any church, not-for-profit organization, or school is able to partner with Saint John's School of Theology and Seminary to support students. We want these partnerships and placements for students to be successful for your organization and for our student's learning. Your parish or organization should take some time to discern what the needs of your community are and find a project or area of ministry a student could fill for a semester, or potentially longer. This way, we can match the gifts of our students with your community's needs. Go to the Supervisor Page to find out how to set up a position or contact the Director of Field Education and Ministerial Formation, Dr. Barbara Sutton ([email protected]) for more information. 

Identifying Your Community's Future Leaders

Call to vocation, for both ordained and lay leaders comes in various ways. One of the ways to help people within your own communities discern a call to ministry is to help them recognize the gifts they may have to serve. We have leaders and ministers within our midst who might not ever think about ministry as a vocation to follow, or think that they can follow this call. As our churches see a decline in ordained and religious vocations, it is important to call forward new ministers for the future. If you know somebody who would be a good minister and leader for your community, Saint John's School of Theology can be a place for formation and education to help train and form people into ministry. You can contact our admissions office to learn more about degree programs and opportunities for those you know who wish to pursue education and formation for ministry: [email protected].