Formation is not ‘a thing’ but many strands integrating into ongoing formational outcomes.
The formal intentional aspects of the formation program include the following:
- experience within ministry settings (field education)
- mentoring and supervisory relationships
- the academic programme
- the weekly community mission and ministry day
- week long formation intensives held three times annually
- other short courses
Every candidate has an individual program, designed for her or his formation in light of the UCA requirements and the candidate’s own growth and development.
From the moment she or he enters the program, each candidate is challenged to see and act in every situation from the perspective of being an ordained minister.
There are five overlapping areas of formation that are used to shape the program:
- Vibrant Spirituality
- Theological Wisdom
- Ministry Vision & Identity
- Relational Maturity
Formation is normally a three year program progressing through three stages:
- Foundation stage includes a broad scoping of the areas above, and each student’s awareness of what they bring and from where they are starting
- Intermediate stage focuses on content and skills as they are acquired, developed and consolidated, with the accompanying growth toward ministry identity.
- Advanced stage includes an expectation of readiness to lead, educate, and help others in their ministry (encompassing “Mission Discipleship and Leadership”), and so to ‘inspire the church to impact on the world’