Monday, January 04, 2010

Ordination Paper: What is It?

The ordination paper is a three-part paper dealing with the person's theological perspective and grasp of the historic Christian faith; understanding of the history, theological roots, polity and practice of the United Church of Christ; and the person's faith pilgrimage and understanding of ministry. It is written by me (the candidate) and presented to a committee made up of folks from my local congregation. They will all read it and ask and critique it. This is to determine my abilities; reasons for seeking ordained ministry; educational and theological attainments; knowledge of the history, polity and practices of the United Church of Christ; growth in Christian faith and experience; personal qualities; and preparation and fitness for the call I am seeking.

If the committee is satisfied that the person meets the requirements for ordination, it recommends the person to the association.
once again the three parts i will be post will be on:
1. My understanding and theological location in the historic Christian faith. (talking about my "doctrines" of God, Christ, Humanity, Church.. etc... you know all the ologies: Christology, Eccesiology, etc.)
2. My understanding and location within the United Church of Christ. (grasp of polity, history, and vision for my denom).
3. My own personal history and experience (faith journey).
I'll be looking for your help just as i did on my Statement on Ministry which lead to the drastic re-write. It is my goal to have this done by the end of this month. Thank you in advance for your help!!


Al said...

Good luck on the pencil-biting!

I expect the whole process will ultimately be as beneficial for you as doing your Statement on Ministry was. It will force you to set some things into concrete (at least momentarily) which usually forces a person to think.

Blessings, godspeed, and the goodwill of your congregation!

Anglican Boy said...

Count us in! It was fun helping you on your statement so I would assume it will be just as fun on this. If not more so because we get to see what you actually think!

Sabio Lantz said...

An Inquisition

This sounds horrible. This is a thought-police trial. If they wanted to know what your "to do" dreams were -- how to care for people, how to organize people and facilitate communication. Then I would applaud. But they want to see how you think and then "critique it"? Gee, this is a set up for you to lie -- lie to them and to yourself.

This is homogenization. This process will subconsciously push you to explore and emphasize the sides of your self which will make the Inquisition panel smile. Sure, you will be Luke and push the edge, but the pressure will be on you to muster together the orthodox sides of your thoughts.

Doing this publicly will also amount to a public execution of the other sides of yourself. Sure, they will resurrect, but they won't forget about how you silenced them to please this crowd.

At least that is what I envision. I'd love to hear that I am wrong. If anyone could prove me wrong, you could !

Boz said...

will you publish the ordination paper on this blog?

Luke said...


in some places, yeah, it becomes a thought police trial, i can see that and have heard it. i have no intention of being dishonest in the least. plus it is a good exercise to see how i put stuff together. i can articulate it contextually but do i have a working model as a whole? i think i do, i just need to take the time to articulate it.

i'll be hope'n you'll call me out on anything that sounds like "selling out."


it'll be on here.. yeah. feel free to check it out.

Jacquie said...

That picture says it all baby! I will post my real thoughts in an e-mail (probably not until friday)... but this is an amazing way to do the process and I hope you let your committee know of this approach at some point in time. Just cool! Totally you, totally emergent and totally wonderful (yet still-- the picture-- too true!!!)

Jacquie said...

One more thought (I always do this-- I post my thoughts - read the others-- then go back to write again-- sorry!)
Sabio is right on some points. It does push us somewhat toward Hemogenization. But our denomination is more open than most to variant theological traditions. And ordination is (amongst many many things) becoming part of a particular tradition. If you can't fit somewhere within it- to some degree- you probably shouldn't pursue ordination, but rather, another form of ministry. You Luke will fit just fine. And so- you can be very open and all will be well.
This raises some interesting thoughts for me though about what we do when we do not fit in the puzzle, yet still want to be in often does that happen? and how many people who are pursuing ordination are willing to lie and breach their own ethics to get ordained..... hmmmm.... ordination... what is it and why do we do it? Still wrestling with that part of my own ordination paper (and probably will till I die).