The purpose of the Pastoral Development Ministry Team is:
- to keep God’s call before the church as a whole, and to provide a deeper biblical and theological understanding of ministry in the church.
- to nurture and care for ordained ministers and probationers, and to provide resources and events to improve their pastoral ministry.
The office of Minister as defined by the Constitution of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church (2.61):
The office of minister of word and sacrament is unique in the life of the church as to responsibility and usefulness. God calls persons and sets them apart for this ministry. The persons who fill this office should be sound in their faith, exemplary in their conduct and competent to perform the duties of their ministry. Persons who become ministers of word and sacrament are due such respect as belongs to their office, but are not by virtue of their office, more holy or righteous or holy than other Christians. They share in the vocation that belongs to all Christians – to be witnesses to the gospel in word and deed. They differ from other Christians only with regard to the office to which they are called, which is their station in life.
The Vision of the Pastoral Development Ministry Team is:
to be the most influential ministry in the global Cumberland Presbyterian Church regarding God’s call and the nurture, education and continuing spiritual growth of those whom God has called.
Ways of carrying out our vision:
- Keep the call to ministry before Cumberland Presbyterians, especially young men and women, by working closely with Bethel University, Memphis Theological Seminary, the Program of Alternate Studies, the Cumberland Presbyterian Youth Conference (CPYC), other church camps, and the other ministry teams of the Ministry Council in ways that enhance the recruitment, training and nurture of ministers.
- Advocate for women in pastoral ministry and raise the level of consciousness about this issue within local churches.
- Raise the level of giving from within and beyond the denomination to support the work of the PDMT.
- Establish and maintain a working relationship with presbyterial clergy care committees by: providing one-on-one consultation and resources, including some financial assistance for counseling, to clergy who are undergoing personal or family crises; and providing information, guidance, and support in the area of clergy misconduct.
- Establish and maintain a working relationship with presbyterial committees on the ministry by: helping to uphold standards for ordination; encouraging probationers along their journey toward ordination; and tracking the status of probationers and granting exceptions from seminary education.
- Recognize calls, ordinations, and retirements through gifts or other appropriate means.
- Plan and coordinate the annual Ministers Conference.
- Promote continuing education opportunities and other professional development activities.
- Communicate regularly with minister to share information that would enhance pastoral development, as well as, give personal support form ministers and their families, and coordinate with the Communications Ministry Team Leader to convey that information.
- Coordinate with Leadership Referral Services in offering support and assistance to ministers who are seeking relocation.
- Oversee the process for recommending clergy for endorsement to the Association of Professional Chaplains.