Two major gift programs, Pastoral Ministry and Christian Spirituality, have reached levels of funding sufficient for us to consider them endowed programs. Here is a look at how these endowments support the funded programs.
Quaker Pastoral Ministry and ESR
The pastoral ministry endowment funds critical work that helps insure that churches and meetings in the Quaker world and beyond have access to pastoral ministers who have the qualities, formal education and training, skills, and life experience to serve congregations and communities. With donors' help, we:
- Equip Pastoral Ministry students with a thorough grounding in Scripture, religious history, and other subjects that inform how they understand God, Christ and the Holy Spirit, so that they are faithful and capable interpreters of those stories through preaching, pastoral care and outreach.
- Emphasize spiritual maturity. Development of a rich life of the Spirit happens through theological reflection, studying and understanding the authoritative voices of one's faith tradition, and examination of one's own experience. Students integrate their discoveries into the fabric of their lives, and seek to articulate these experiences in ways that are understandable and relevant to others.
- Stress the formation of a ministerial identity, and help guide students toward avoiding messianic complexes while understanding their special role as an ambassador for God's work. This is rooted in the sense of self, and influences the values pastors seek to honor.
- Nurture students' relational skills so that they are good listeners and communicators, empathetic to the condition of others, moved toward empowering those around them, and sensitive to the challenges of a pluralistic world.
- Develop pastors as leaders. There is no universal leadership style among Friends, so pastors must understand how to exercise effective leadership in the context of the meetings in which they serve. Formal education in the dynamics, methods and skills of leadership is essential.
ESR offers a vibrant Spirituality emphasis for M.Div./M.Min. students, as well as a Spirituality Certificate. A growing range of classes, seminars and programming testifies to its importance to the school. An endowment will support:
- A greater variety of intensive classes that explore a broad range of relevant topics. These courses enhance the residential student experience and provide continuing education for ministers and chaplains.
- Stronger Spiritual Direction courses that provide supervisors and small groups for those students wishing to become competent in giving spiritual direction.
- Funding for prominent speakers for our annual Spirituality Gathering, as well as more extensive promotion.
- Pilgrimage courses that present matchless experiences for the participants as well as bring new energy back to ESR.
- Exposure of spirituality courses and events to those outside Quaker meetings and organizations.
We understand that friends of the school may be led to continue to support our work in Pastoral Ministry and Christian Spirituality. To discuss a gift to these programs contact Tom Decker at 800-432-1377.