NWC Presbytery Commissioned Pastor Development Process


What to do When the Box Doesn’t Fit: A New/Old Way of Training Pastoral Leadership. An Age-Old Technique, In Context and Designed for the Individual

In 880 BCE, Homer introduced the concept of mentoring.  According to Homer, before Odysseus left for Troy, he gave his son to Mentor, whom he charged with the care and education of the boy.  Mentor has come to mean one who undertakes the training and care of another and this method has been practiced for millennia as a way to prepare men and women for practice in many different fields, including the ministry.

Jesus called his disciples to follow him.  They spent their days observing, listening and then practicing to be the next group of spiritual teachers and mentors.  As Presbyterians, we have an army of well trained Ministers of Word and Sacrament who are capable of leading those who for one reason or another do not fit into the traditional academic model of seminary preparation.  For many who are called into the ministry, the age-old model of mentor/mentee makes the most sense as it allows them to stay in their ministry context, meet family and work responsibilities and learn in a rich environment as they  learn from an experienced Minister of Word and Sacrament.

Student, mentor and a representative from the Commission on Ministry (COM) oversee the design of each candidate’s development plan. These teams consider 10 essential competencies from pastoral care to polity, missional thinking to character and call.  What skills does the student bring to the program and which are felt to need strengthening in order to lead a congregation?  The candidate and mentor then begin to work toward competence in each of the areas identified for further training.


Commissioned Pastor Overview

Commissioned Pastor Process Sample Plan

For more information please contact Janice Smith, Pastoral Associate for Village and Rural Ministries.