Central Seminary's Mentoring Partnership is founded on the seminary's commitment to the local church and is designed to strengthen the relationship between its students and area pastors. This mentorship meets the needs of students to learn the ministry from first-hand practitioners in the church while simultaneously learning skills in the classroom.
- Pastoral Development: Develop our students to be better prepared and more effectively trained pastors and ministry personnel
- Church Assistance: Assist churches in developing and/or fulfilling a burden for training men for the ministry
- Seminary Recruitment: Create and promote another significant reason for students to choose Central Seminary
The Mentoring Partnership intends to bring pastors and students together in a mentoring relationship designed to enhance the student’s ministry potential while heightening ministry responsibility and accountability.
This seminary-coordinated, church-directed partnership will focus on the local church and especially on the pastor’s responsibility in discipling students for the ministry. This Mentoring Partnership sets a high standard for both pastors (with their churches) and students who desire to participate.
The many churches surrounding Central Seminary provide a unique setting for ministry training—setting Central Seminary apart from other similar seminaries. We appreciate the area pastors and churches and the critical part they play in training seminary students for the ministry. Their ministries provide an ideal laboratory for students.
The basic vocabulary for this Mentoring Partnership:
- A Burden on the part of pastors and churches for training men for the ministry. Participants recognize the necessity for both seminary-level education and local church ministry.
- A Conviction in the pastor for the need to invest himself in a ministry that will produce servants for the greater body of Christ. The pastor’s perspective must be: “What can I give to this student?” rather than “What can this student do for this church?”
- A Commitment the part of the pastor, church, and student. This mentorship should not be entered into lightly. The formal mentorship should last through the student’s years in seminary.
- The pastor must commit significant time and energy as he makes mentoring a priority in his weekly schedule.
- The church must be willing to commit the energies of the pastor to this endeavor as well as the resources of the church where possible.
- The student must commit to a pastor and church for ministry development while taking seminary classes
This Mentoring Partnership will be a recruitment tool, both for the seminary and area churches.
- We will produce printed material advertising the partnership, including churches that are willing to participate.
- Partnering pastors will be encouraged to visit colleges for recruiting, either with or without a seminary representative.
The seminary website will include a list of participating churches as well as information specific to the mentorship at each church.
Each church will provide a summary of its ministry as well as specific information such as ministry philosophy, church size, type of community, type of ministry, translation used, church affiliations, prospective housing, contact information, etc.
Pastor (and church) will make significant commitments to students in the Mentoring Partnership.
Pastors may want to limit the number of students participating at one time due to the level of commitment involved.
Participating pastors commit to:
- Actively direct the student’s service in the church. Ministry activity for the participating student will be planned and evaluated. This means more than just plugging him into a ministry need. As students develop, they should be offered preaching and teaching opportunities.
- Meet weekly with the student. The pastor’s time entails a significant portion of what makes this a mentorship. He must make mentoring a priority in his schedule, which means that he needs to make time by clearing room in an already busy week. Weekly meetings with the student offer opportunity for discipleship, evaluation, and planning. The following list suggests content for weekly discussions:
- Theological issues
- Ministry issues
- Sermon and service evaluation
- Current reading
- Help the student financially, if possible. This may include tuition, fees, books, and even housing. Financial help is not required for a church to participate.
- Assist the student through seminary. This means to help him get through in the shortest time with minimal debt. Work, family commitments, and finances often slow academic progress and such distractions keep men from entering the ministry.
- Take ownership of the mentoring. This should not be Central Seminary’s program but the church’s program.
- Mentor the student’s wife. Wives make or break men in ministry. Preparing the man for ministry means the wife must be encouraged and discipled at the same time as her husband.
- Screen potential students for mentoring. Churches will screen prospective students as to compatibility with their church. While Central Seminary will suggest some methods for screening, the process for selecting interns is the responsibility of the pastor and church.