Copyright (c) 2007 North Central Ministry Development Center
- What can I reasonably expect as an outcome from my visit?
- We try to tailor our programs to meet your specific expectations and needs. Therefore the outcomes vary depending upon your goals. For these purposes, we use our experience, prescribed advanced writer practices, as well as the achievements of colleagues in this field, thus improving the papers as much as possible. Typical outcomes could include:
Clarifying and reaffirming your professional competencies and effectiveness
deepening your awareness of the ways in which your styles of ministry are shaped by your gifts, interests values, faith commitments, and life experiences
Enhancing your insight on issues related to current work difficulties, emotional strain, family relationships, and/or financial stress
Evaluating options for staying in or moving from a current position
tackling developmental challenges such as beginning a new ministry, mid-life questions, or retirement planning
- Can you help me renew my sense of call?
- Although this is not an area that we usually address directly, often pastors and church professionals who work with us will feel reaffirmed in their gifts and skills for the vocation of ministry. If you are questioning your sense of call, our in-depth process allows you time and space for self-reflection, and we try to offer insight and guidance for your exploration.
- Are services confidential?
- Yes. Any information shared with outside parties is subject to your written consent. However, if you are required to complete an assessment as part of a denominational referral or candidacy process, our Center is obligated to provide a report to your committee upon a signed release from you. Any information shared during the program becomes subject to counselor evaluation and comment.
- What is the cost? How do I pay for services?
- Why psychological tests? What about inventories that measure my spiritual gifts.
- Our work with you focuses on a number of areas including:
Journey of faith and vocation
experience of call to ministry
strengths and limitations
patterns of motivation and interest
preferred styles of leadership
emotional and psychological well-being
family and relationship history, with emphasis on how they might influence your ministy
Using psychological and vocational tests helps to focus our work with you and helps you identify strengths as well as "points of vulnerability" in the spirit that such awareness may reinforce your capacity for healthy and effective leadership. This information can be used in conjunction with your understanding of your spiritual gifts through inventories or your own experiences.
- Isn't NCMDC only for people in trouble? Psychological problems?
- Our services are designed from a "growth-oriented" or developmental perspective and therefore, we tend to think more in terms of strengths and potential vulnerabilities rather than in more pathological terms. Although all of us on staff have been trained in psychology, we use our knowledge to help expand upon the strengths you already have. Our interview process and our evaluations are approached from this perspective. We especially enjoy working with individuals who want a program designed to enhance their growth and development without any external requirements.
- Does the staff know what a pastor's life is like?
- Yes. Our staff members include a United Methodist pastor, an ELCA pastor, and spouse of a United Methodist pastor. All of us are also licensed psychologists and we try to bring a sense of integration between the psychological and the spiritual realms of life.
- Why do I need a "candidate assessment"?
- The candidacy process is important to the guidance and support of those discerning the call to professional ministry. We provide information to your denomination's candidacy committee that helps them to understand your strengths and offers them some ideas about developmental goals for the future. You will also receive a copy of our report, and our hope is that this summary of your history, your gifts, skills, and possible areas of vulnerability will prove useful to your future planning as well.
- I want specific recommendations about how to be more effective in ministry.
- Great! That is often one of the outcomes of our programs. After exploring a variety of information and reviewing relevant parts of your ministry and your life in general, we often will work together on some specific recommendations that you can take with you. We also offer ongoing pastoral coaching, which provides a helpful structure for working on specific goals to enhance your ministry. If you want more information about pastoral coaching, check out the coaching page on this web site.