Ministerial Department

Ernest Furness

Highlights of Objectives Achieved 2008-2011

1. The department continues to gather and provide resources for all SECC’s clergy.

  • An effort is made to find contemporary material that would benefit both pastor and congregation.

2. Education remains a high priority.

  • Pastors serving SECC congregations are expected to have an accredited master’s degree in some field of religious studies. The Master of Divinity is the preferred degree.
  • The department works with those pastors who need to complete their basic degree. In addition, 10 pastors are supported in their pursuit of the Doctor of Ministry degree.

3. Opportunities for personal growth continue to be supported.

  • Sabbaticals are available for a pastor’s personal renewal and professional growth.
  • The Journey, a directed process emphasizing personal spiritual development, is also available.
  • In difficult times, SECC provides for anonymous counseling to assist pastors facing personal or ministry issues.
  • In addition, the department supports a clergy spouse program and a mentor for women in ministry.

Prospective Achievements That Will Be Fulfilled 2011-2013

1. Continue to emphasize the importance of clergy continuing education. Provide a more comprehensive policy and encourage greater participation.

2. In recent years, strident positions taken by a very few individuals have made us realize the need for guidelines on making the church a safe place for both clergy and congregants.

3. The Ministerial Department has become involved in the orientation process for new pastors. This necessities the development of materials that would assist pastors in their transition.

4. We recognize the need to provide our clergy regular training in the area of boundaries. This will result in the development of a functional program addressing this area.