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Thursday, February 7, 2013

2/7/2013

I've spent about three hours Monday, Tuesday, and yesterday with faculty and congregational leaders working on the Ministry Resident Program (MRP). This work with a curriculum committee and the MRP Board has been among the most creative work I have have been a part of.

Christ Church, Alexandria, had developed a highly successful, two-year, mentoring program for developing ordained leadership for the church. Some six years ago they were interested in how VTS might partner with them to further such a program. The conversation developed. A non-profit organization was formed, and we began to work together to develop and implement a two-year Ministry Resident Program with six congregations. In the MRP students will complete her or his M.Div. degree while serving a one-year residence in one of the six parishes and continuing for a year following graduation. This first cohort will begin the MRP this summer. A second cohort will begin next summer.

This week congregational leaders and faculty members have been hard at work in designing modules for the residence. These modules address such matters such as pastoral care, education and formation, congregational leaderships, cross-cultural ministry, as well as worship and preaching.

This model of experiential education moves back and forth between experience and reflection, learning and continued practice in ministry, all within a learning community of residents, lay and ordained leadership, faculty members, and others with critical knowledge and skills. This model is collaborative and integrative. We hope it will provide leaders who are continual learners, who continue to grow in their vocations because they are shared vocations with the people of God. We expect to learn a lot that will help us in developing programs for education and formation. Already there are learnings, and we have just begun this three-year pilot project.

Timothy F. Sedgwick, Ph.D.
Vice President for Academic Affairs
The Clinton S. Quin Professor of Christian Ethics