Friday, July 08, 2011

pioneer training: well Dave Male said …

We had a great day as a Uniting College staff team yesterday sharing notes on Pioneer training with Dave Male. I suggested a number of questions to get the conversation rolling

  • What should be dropped from training to avoid priest+plus?
  • Should our candidate formation panels (meet 3 x a year with candidate to review training) be separate for pioneers, or mixed?
  • What to do with folk who see pioneer training as “exciting” and want what they see as the juicy bits – church starting, ministry – but show less interest in the core topics like Bible, theology etc?
  • Can we train both lay pioneers and ordinand pioneers in same processes, or are they unique?

Here are some note that I wrote as the conversation proceeded. Some are what Dave said, others emerged in the to and fro of conversation.

“Pioneers need Greek.”

“You can’t create pioneers. But you can domesticate them.”

“Folk should leave college even more excited by their charism than when they arrive.”

“There is no such thing as a generalist in ministry. People are on a spectrum. The task of the church is to help people discern this. The task of training places is to then provide a tailored learning.”

“The goal is not to create a pioneer college but a mixed economy training in which all training is through a mission lens, and within which pioneers find space to explore their questions.”

I left feeling that we at Uniting College are further ahead in some areas (particularly the commitment to do all training through a mission lens and our thinking on how to train both lay and ordained pioneers, not just ordained). But a bit further behind in others (particularly clear discernment/selection processes and the need to establish a cohort experience). (Although, 6 months into intentional, 3 year, training of pioneers, as our second semester starts, we now have 5 folk in the pioneer stream, so almost enough to have a viable cohort.)

We also talked briefly at the end about establishing a formal network between places that are actually training pioneers.

Posted by steve at 10:44 AM

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