Mentored Ministry lies at the heart of the philosophy of theological education at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary—Jacksonville. A clear understanding of this pedagogical strategy is essential before a thorough explanation of the program itself. The following section will provide the rationale for this effective approach to theological education and formation.
The Jacksonville programs are designed to address the needs of students who are actively engaged in ministry. They may be full-time pastors, bi-vocational pastors or non-ordained staff with limited theological training, or they may be serving as interns as part of their theological studies at the seminary. Students will have access to quality, contextualized theological education and hands-on training for parish ministry, without leaving their employment or ministry for the duration of their studies. Therefore, mentored ministry and qualified mentors are crucial to the success of the Jacksonville program.
Mentors may want to go beyond the formal structures which have been designed for the program since they have an intense interest in preparing candidates for ministry. This section will review areas where there may have been difficulties or where the advice of a mentor would have been helpful.