Sunday, December 6, 2009

Do the Right Thing

For the December meeting of the Ministerial Fellowshipping Committee (MFC), I was one of the two liaisons to candidates. After all this time thinking and writing about the MFC and ministerial examining, it's been fascinating to observe the process from the inside. I'm going to do some posting based on what I've learned and inferred.

This first post is on observations and recommendations made by a Centers for Ministry (CFMs), Regional Subcommittees on Candidacy (RSCCs), Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) supervisors, and intern supervisors and committees. I have been critical of some of these recommendations and of actions based upon them for the following reasons:
  • "Requirements" are sometimes masked as "recommendations," especially by CFMs;
  • Some recommendations are vaguely written and difficult to interpret; and
  • The risks that aspirants and candidates will be penalized because of differing interpretations of these recommendations.
While I will say more about this issue in the future, I want to remind aspirants and candidates:
  • Do not ignore recommendations--no matter how tentative or vague--that appear in the material that you'll be submitting to the RSCC and/or MFC;
  • Either follow the recommendation, implement a solid substitute, or provide strong evidence that it's groundless; and
  • Unless the recommendation is clear and it's clear how to address it, seek guidance from several trusted mentors on interpretation and implementation.
I'm reminded of a colleague who received a 3 (come back and see us again) from the MFC and was unsure how to interpret and implement the recommendations. She sought help from a senior minister and developed and implemented a plan. When she returned to the MFC for her 2nd interview, she received a 1.

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