The 2009 Assembly of the CBWC instructed the Ministerial Credentials Committee (which collaborates with Assembly in standardizing the structures under which ministers function in their work) to establish continuing education patterns for credentialed clergy in the CBWC. This has been the work of three groups; the Executive Staff of the CBWC, Carey Centre and informal feedback from the constituency affected. What follows, after a brief introduction, is the result of their on-going work and the continued collaborative journey ahead of us.
The CBWC presents an interesting set of contrasts when it comes to educational standards. We have a very strong presence in the world of publishing, both popular and academic work. Bruce Milne, Mark Buchanan, Jonathan Wilson, Darrell Johnson, and Stan Grenz form the very influential core of over 20 authors. There also are seemingly countless articles, commentaries and blogs. So as a family of churches we have been known and have celebrated the “prophets in our midst”. We have not always encouraged patterns of study and reflection with each other. Study and contemplation were the things we borrowed from others and failed to make them authentically our own. The interest from our Assembly, (and Jan Paasuke, our President), and the new initiatives at Carey Centre (in the Master of Divinity and the Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation plus excellent new William Carey Institute initiatives) have placed a fresh emphasis on learning. There also has been an attempt to create strong patterns in teaching at Assembly and the Banff Pastors’ and Spouses’ Conference.
Having been encouraged in these many areas, we have not yet created a significant culture of continuing education. In order to enable skills, access resources, personally, intellectually and spiritually grow, we need to facilitate continuing education with each other. Here is the beginning structure that flows from the 2009 Assembly.
Beginning in 2011, all presently credentialed ministers in the CBWC will complete 30 continuing education hours per year. The parlance of graduate continuing education is that every ten hours of lectures, reading and reflection represent one continuing education unit. Therefore, 30 hours represents three continuing education units, or C.E.U.’s per year. Over the course of five years, credential ministers in the CBWC will take 15 C.E.U.’s to fulfil their commitment to standards set by the 2009 gathering of churches at Assembly.
This commitment is intended to encourage and resource each of us towards personal growth, which affects both our personal and ministerial relationships. The 30 C.E.U.’s can include courses, selected readings, degree programs and many other possibilities.
These continuing education studies can be fulfilled in at least four ways.
- An appropriate Carey Institute seminar/course approved by Myrna Sears, Carey Institute Director.
- Participation in a variety of approved
- Degree or accredit courses
- Conferences with reading, reflection and a brief description of the lecture intentions and content
- Other gatherings
- Reading from the book list concentrations (2-3 values) in prescribed areas with a 250-word reflection on the concentration. The list of these concentrations will be available by March 1st.
- Create your own prescribed list of books/reflections to be worked out with your Regional Minister
The Carey continuing education program is part of a broader set of options but is ready to go should you wish to start now. A list of reading concentrations and a format for how to engage them will be available March 1st. A comprehensive communication of all these options will be available in the coming weeks. Please address your Carey questions to Myrna Sears and after March 1st your other questions to your Regional Minister.