Saturday, April 10, 2021

Reforming Appalachia: Proposed Instructions for Creating an Individualized Under-Care Plan

 A Proposed Draft for Consideration

Congratulations for coming under the care of the New River Presbytery. What lies ahead of you can be daunting, but the New River Presbytery will guide your progress and growth toward licensure and ordination. By now you have been informed of the Presbytery’s expectations for candidates under care and are ready to create your Individualized Under-Care Plan (IUCP). You will create this plan with the help and approval of your mentor, your session, and the Candidates and Credentials Committee.  Please present to your mentor a first draft in the form of a grammatically and mechanically correct paper. Write informally and in the first person. Keep the headings, use complete sentences,  and provide answers in a narrative format without repeating the questions. Consult your mentor for guidance as you write your plan. The IUCP you create will lay out a path that welcomes input from the Presbytery while maintaining your liberty and agency.  It will help you think through all that lies ahead of you and help the presbytery know how to support your ministry aspirations. Your mentor will submit your IUCP to the C&C Committee. You are the future of the New River Presbytery. We need you.  We want to help you in whatever way we can.  

  1. Guidance

    1. What church are you a member of?  How long? 

    2. Identify and describe your relationship to your mentor. 

    3. How will you meet with your mentor and how often?

    4. What are your expectations for your mentor? 

  2. Education

    1. What college and graduate education have you received so far?

    2. What courses of theological studies have you completed so far?

    3. Where course of theological studies do you want to pursue? What degree do you want to earn? Institution? Traditional or non-traditional? Be as specific as possible. Describe any plan Bs. What is your timeframe for completion?  

    4. Without revealing financial information that you wish to keep private, please describe how you will pay for your education. What financial difficulties do you think you will face? What will be the greatest obstacles to completing your educational goals?

  3. Ministry Engagement/Internship

    1. Describe your ministry experience so far.  List churches, programs, activities, preaching/teaching, etc. 

    2. What kinds of ministry do you have little or no experience with?

    3. What are your ministerial strengths and weaknesses? Fears? 

    4. What ministry opportunities are currently available to you? 

    5.  With what frequency would you be available to fill pulpits as assigned throughout presbtyery?

    6.  How interested would you be in starting a bible study or small group or other “congregation gathering” activity from scratch in an unreached area or community near you? Can you identify such a community? How would you go about it if assigned to do so? 

    7. Recognizing the dearth of existing calls within the presbytery, what ideas do you have for cultivating calls to which you might be ordained?

  4. Licensure

    1. What are your opinions of getting licensed early in your Under-Care Program?

    2. What are your opinions of accepting the direction of the presbytery during your licentiate ministry?

    3. Do you already have specific ministry roles or positions to which you would like to be commissioned by the presbytery as a licenitate?  Please describe.

    4. Please describe your degree of readiness/unreadiness to complete each of the following: 

      1. Statement of Christian experience and inward call to preach the Gospel in written form and/or orally before the Presbytery

      2. Written and/or oral examinations for basic knowledge of Biblical doctrine (WCF&C), Bible content, Book of Church Order. 

      3. Provide written sermon on an assigned passage of Scripture embodying both explanation and application, and present sermon or exhortation before Presbytery or before a committee of Presbytery.

    5. By when do you think you would like to be ready to complete the licensure process?

    6. What fears/concerns do you have about being licensed?

  5. Ordination

    1. Please review with your mentor the Uniform Curriculum Guidelines of the PCA. What minimum portion of your academic program must be completed to cover the Uniform Curriculum Guidelines. Please list the courses in your pogram that you think might cover this, short of completing the degree. 

    2. Keeping in mind the requirement that you must complete an internship and a course of theological studies (not a degree) that covers these guidelines, estimate by when you might be ready to complete the ordination process.

Thank you for completing the first draft of your IUCP. Your mentor and the presbytery will work will to finalize your plan to ensure it will be practical and adequate. It will be approved by the Candidates & Credentials committee, and reviewed and modified as needed to encourage and guide your progress. 

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