PATHWAYS TO MINISTRY
There are 13 United Methodist seminaries forming, shaping, and training men and women for a variety of Christian ministries. These excellent schools provide the foundation for those who have responded to God’s call so that they might effectively live out their particular vocation. Two seminaries are located in Ohio.
Explore Calling is a site specifically for youth and young adults who are considering ministry. It has information about UM colleges and universities as well as how to get UM scholarships and loans to assist with education.
The Lewis Center for Church Leadership is a great site for how to resource and develop local church leadership. Helpful for annual conferences considering how to develop leaders in ministry.
The Fund for Theological Education offers resources particularly for young people who are entering ministry. Fellowships and scholarships are available as well as a host of helpful journals and articles to help people think about calling and what that means to them.
Is God Calling Me? by Jeff Iorg: writing to a student and young adult audience: "God is calling out a new generation of kingdom leaders who will accelerate the fulfillment of the Great Commission in this generation. My goal is to cut to the heart of the matter and give you tools to work through the call process."
Call Waiting - God's Invitation to Youth, by Kay Shurden and Larry L. McSwain. What is "call"? What is the relationship between my talents and interests and God's call on my life? What is the relationship between career and calling? "Call Waiting" is designed to help older youth consider critical questions, understand the nature of call, explore personal giftedness, and identify ways to walk in faithfulness to a unique and unfolding calling.
The Christian as a Minister (Sixth Edition, 2006) by the General Board of Higher Education. This resource is a about the call to ministry and the avenue The United Methodist Church offers to embody that call. It is based on the concept of servant ministry and servant leadership.
The Crisis of Younger Clergy, by Lovett H. Weems Jr. and Ann A. Michel. What many denominational and congregational leaders have suspected for a long time has now been proven: the numbers of persons under 35 graduating from seminary and entering ordained ministry in mainline churches have declined precipitously in recent years. What does this trend mean for you? If you’re a young pastor, it means that you’ll have to create different kinds of support networks than your predecessors have done. If you’re on the administrative board of a local congregation, it means that the kinds of pastors available to you, and the character of their pastorates, will be different to what you have been used to in the past.
Writing for local congregations and their leaders, but also for judicatory and denominational leaders, Lovett Weems and Ann Michel explain the groundbreaking studies they have undertaken into the crisis of younger clergy, and chart a path forward for both younger persons considering ordained ministry, and the congregations they would serve.
The Deacon Ministry Through Words of Faith and Acts of Love by Ben L. Hartley and Paul E. Van Buren. Publication of the Board of Higher Educaion and Ministries
A Deacon’s Heart, The New United Methodist Diaconate by Margaret Ann Crain and Jack L. Seymour. In volume offers insight and guidance regarding this new ministerial order both to those who are called into the diaconate, and those among whom they will minister. The book begins by locating the office of deacon within the larger United Methodist understanding the ministry of all God's people and of ordained ministers. Drawing on the stories of those whom God has called and ordained to the ministry of deacon, the authors portray the crucial link between the worship of the church and service to the world that is central to the office of deacon. The book concludes with answers to common questions asked by deacons and the churches in which their ministry takes place: Who pays for insurance? What about pensions? What responsibilities do deacons have to the congregations that hire them, and what to the conferences of which they are members?
All available at Cokesbury.
New and revised resources available from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry: New and revised books are:
The Bible and Methodist history are full of stories of people who answered the call. The Media Center has many of these stories.
In the DVD study Joshua: Be Strong and Courageous, author Todd Phillips uses American history to illuminate the story of Joshua in a way never before experienced. This four-part series will challenge everyone to be strong and courageous.
A Heart Set Free is a DVD story of Charles Wesley who is often overshadowed by his more famous older brother John. These founding fathers of Methodism traveled the same path, yet their lives and talents were often remarkably separate. This feature-length documentary follows Charles as a failed missionary to America, then back home, depressed and dejected until he encounters the mighty conversion in May 1738 that placed within him the desire to convert others with such intensity that, through his verse, we feel it today.
In more recent times, seminary students tell their stories and offer a glimpse of the work done by United Methodist seminaries. Answering the Call explains the function of the Ministerial Education Fund and encourages churches to support the fund.
The East Ohio Conference Office:
located in North Canton, OH,
near Akron-Canton Airport.
8800 Cleveland Ave. NW
North Canton, OH 44720
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