Friday, December 26, 2008


The purpose of this blog is to explore the examining process for Unitarian Universalist (UU) ministry. It will also stray into the areas of training and education for the ministry and definitions of ministry.

Examining procedures vary widely in their validity and reliability. The validity of an examination is a measure of the degree to which it does what it's intended to do. The reliability is the consistency. To be effective and just, an examination must be both valid and reliable. In this context, the word "examination" is used very broadly, including such examinations as reviews of applications and other written submissions, oral exams and interviews, written examinations, and performance tests (e.g., typing tests).

Another critical aspect of examining is transparency. The competencies (knowledges, skills, abilities, and other characteristics) covered by the examination should be public information.

Secrecy is also a characteristic of examining. Examination questions and rating scales are nonpublic information.

Finally, to the extent possible, examinations should be reasonable. There is a tendency to "kitchen sink" competencies so that candidates may believe that they have to be everything to everybody. This risk is particularly strong in ministry and other helping professions.

This blog will focus on the process of examining for ministry, including how to identify the competencies, how to describe the competencies, how to develop rating criteria, how to develop interview questions, how to interview, and how to evaluate. Others may contribute their ideas about the content specific to the UU ministry that should be included in these processes.

1 comment:

  1. This is a much needed blog! I am looking forward to its development.