Thursday, October 29, 2009

Excellence in Ministry- How is "Fellowship" like a Ph d?

The UUA's Board of Trustees is appointing a task force to study the issue of Ministerial (and RE and Musician) accrediting. This is a direct outcome of last December's Excellence in Ministry Summit, and I am glad to see the action.

Ours are not the only professions where we wonder if our preparation and credentialing is really working for us. Here in an article from Harvard Magazine on the requirements and credentialing of Humanities Ph. D students. The ministerial system is different. To our credit, we have evolved a system in which it is not only the practitioners who control credentialing, but those who are served by the professionals in question. But it raises questions we should be looking at.

1 comment:

OD/HR Min said...

Thanks for bringing this Harvard Magazine article to our attention. Reading the article and the comments, the two issues that seem most relevant for preparation and examining for UU ministry are the following: (1) What are the purposes of PhD programs? and (2) What is the relationship of these programs to the cultures in which they are embedded? The author and many of the commenters suggest that the insularity of academia and doctoral preparation and the desire for cheap labor lead to exploitation and irrelevance.

I am not suggesting that the processes for ministerial formation and development are as broken as those for doctorates in English. I am suggesting that we benefit from considering the issues raised by this article. Are we preparing candidates for the world they will face or are we preparing them for the world that existed when our systems were first developed?