By Jihyun Oh, MDiv ’06
We now call ourselves the “Forever Young Urban Pastors” group. We used to be the Young Urban Pastors group. And when I was invited to join the group in 2009 for the gathering in Seattle, I was still in my mid-30’s, and (especially) by PC(USA) standards, was still considered a young adult.
The invitation to be part of this covenant community came at a key time in my life. I was at the end of my first call. While my work as an Associate Pastor of a congregation had reaffirmed a deep sense of call to ministry within me, it had also been difficult. Halfway through the 2-year call, I had realized that moving to a new city expecting to have the support for ministry that I needed through emails and phones calls had been a bad assumption. It had been a bit of a perfect storm – the circumstances within my call, the circumstances within my own life, my bad assumptions about what I needed as a support system while in ministry – and there were days when I wondered whether I was losing my mind. In response to this, I had been actively trying to build a web of support for myself when I ran across a friend in an airport. After hearing of my plight, he asked whether I would be interested in being a part of this group. Continue reading On the “Forever Young Urban Pastors” and coming to the Table
By Holly J. Inglis, D. Ed. Min. ‘12
Do you have a set of bookends in your office or study? I’m not talking about the metal brackets you find in libraries. I’m talking about real bookends, made of wood or rock or other sturdy substances. I have a set of bookends made from large pieces of quartz that belonged to my husband’s grandfather, who passed them down to my father-in-law, who passed them on to us. They are packed away with most of my office and books because at the end of August, I took a new call, which involved moving – a major move of 1500 miles across the country.
Despite a deep sense of call and continual reassurance from God through the voices of others that this was the right place, it was nevertheless traumatic. We moved into temporary housing, put all our stuff in storage, and tried to find our way in a new place and a new culture. Eventually, we purchased a house and moved in … sort of. Most of our possessions are still in boxes as we’re remodeling the house. Continue reading Bookends
By Adam Walker Cleaveland
The idea for this pastoral identity blog post came while having lunch with my good friend Tony Hoshaw, as we were discussing what it means to be a pastor today and what that looked like, specifically, for me. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say about pastoral identity. It’s hard to think about pastoral identity when you’re making decisions to leave your current call, without having the next gig lined up. It’s hard to think about pastoral identity when your pastoral identity is being challenged and questioned by some. Honestly, I was at a loss. Continue reading On Pastoral Identity: A Theology of Jeans
By Rev. Karim Currey (DMin ’18), Pastor of Solid Rock AMEZ in Decatur, GA
Some people want a DMin to be called Doctor, and when they are asked to articulate their theology, they crumble. Then there are others when you hear them speak and read their writings, it is evident they have a brilliant mind. It is those people from whom you inquire into what kind of education they possess. After your inquiry, you see they have a Doctorate in Ministry from Columbia Theological Seminary.
Continue reading DMin Degree: Growing Pastors as Effective Leaders
By Israel Galindo, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning
A new friend shared that she was learning a lot from her reading in The Hidden Lives of Congregations. She said she was especially challenged by the the concepts about pastoral leadership addressed in the book: (1) the function of leadership is influence, (2) the importance of the leader as resident theologian, and (3) it takes at least 5 years for the pastoral leader to get to a place of influence that does not derive from his or her position. Continue reading Pastoral Leaders as Resident Theologians