Preparation for ministry involves much more than academics. It requires spiritual growth and development of self-awareness and pastoral identity. It also includes maintaining personal and fiscal health, developing support networks, and others. New Castle Presbytery is committed to facilitate an environment for the holistic preparation and development of each inquirer/candidate under our care. The resources below should assist with beginning that work.
Clouds of Care Sheet
The Clouds of Care Sheet was developed to guide pre-consultation conversations between liaisons and their candidates/inquirers covering the breadth of areas of what the CPMM believes is holistic preparation for ministry. This provides an idea of the type of questions that liaisons might ask as they check in with students.
Resources for Spiritual Direction/Counseling/Coaching
The CPMM hopes those under its care take advantage of opportunities for intentional personal growth and encourage work early in the preparation process with spiritual directors, counselors, and professional coaches. Contact the NCP, your liaison, or the CPMM chair for more information.
Physical Health Resources
Caring for one’s body is important for setting future pastors up for healthy careers in the church. Students should make this self-care a priority. Should an inquirer/candidate desire conversations in this area, please speak to your liaison. Seminary students may be eligible for health insurance through the Board of Pensions.
Inquirers/candidates can quickly realize that seminary may place a financial burden on an individual or family. Understanding all the resources available to students can help to minimize complications from debt after seminary. Home congregations are also encouraged to offer financial support within the means of the congregation.
Scholarships and Grants: Several scholarships and grants are available for qualified students entering or currently in seminary. Students are encouraged to research aid opportunities beyond this list:
- The Presbyterian Mission Agency
- The Fund for Theological Education
- Omaha Presbyterian Seminary Foundation: The Apollos Program
- Synod of the Mid-Atlantic Seminary Scholarship
Students who graduate with any educational indebtedness are strongly encouraged to attend a “fiscal fitness workshop” sponsored by the Board of Pensions or other similar event. Events are often offered on PC(USA) seminary campuses each winter/spring. Contact your seminary or the presbytery for more information.