Monday, September 06, 2010

The continuing education of a pastor

Although many pastors don't have one, the Master of Divinity (MDiv) is considered the standard education for a pastor. The specifics of this 3-year degree vary from school to school but includes Bible, church history, theology and preaching. There are many variables in applied theology (pastoral work, missions, counseling, denominational issues, etc.) classes.

It is accepted that an MDiv will not give you everything you need to be a pastor. Too much is needed.

Continuing education is essential for pastors who want to improve their ability to serve in a complex profession. Motivational leadership speeches and reading books are not enough. Pastors need certificate granting courses that will expand their knowledge and fill in the gaps in their formal education.

I have recently enrolled in a UIC online course on grant writing. It is designed to help my church attract funding for community ministries. Having majored in Psychology in college and Pastoral work in seminary, I feel I need to improve my business skills to effectively lead my church.

In the past I have taken graduate courses in human resources and management and pursued certificate programs in public relations and emotional intelligence.

I encourage all pastors to continue to grow in their core competencies first but stretch a little bit with computer, language, business or other practical areas.

“Wise men store up knowledge...” Proverbs 10:14

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