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Ministry Training Programs Vary In Requirements
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There are many programs that train an individual to become a minister. Some are extensive, while others are brief. The first step to selecting the appropriate program is dependent on what capacity you intend to minister. For instance, there is the minister of a particular denomination, such as United Methodist minister. First off, you need a bachelor's degree. You will then take some preliminary steps to declare your candidacy and once your candidacy has been approved, you would go to seminary which takes about three full years of study to complete a ministry degree online. There is then a probation period under which you would serve and the final step is the approval of the conference committee on candidacy.
There is also the role of priest, which is typically connected with Catholicism and the Episcopalian church. To become a Catholic priest, a bachelor's degree is standard, completion of a seminary program is also required, which takes about four years. The candidate must be a male Catholic and have a sense of calling to the priesthood, and celibacy is required. At the conclusion of seminary training or other guided preparation for the priesthood, a candidate is generally ordained, which is sometimes called receiving the sacrament of holy orders.
Another alternative would be to become an independent minister, who forms his or her own community or belongs to a group of churches that are not connected with a recognized denomination. The requirements for an independent minister vary according to the particular church with which he or she is affiliated. In some cases, the minister may not have any formal preparation. In other cases, the minister may make the determination concerning how much training is needed, anywhere from a certificate to a Master of Divinity or a Doctor of Ministry. If this is the approach, the candidate for ministry might want to find a learning institution that does not require the adherence to a specific belief system or interpretation of scripture, since their beliefs may differ from a traditional course of theological studies.
The last option would be a celebrant or efficient that conducts at weddings, funerals, and other rites of passage. There is a growing need for celebrants today, as more and more individuals choose not to belong to a particular faith community but would seek out a celebrant if getting married or happens to have a death in the family. This process does not require training. Many celebrants just begin conducting these services because they were asked, while others prefer to have formal training so that they are prepared for any situation that might come up, know what they are doing, and acquire a measure of credibility. This kind of minister training program is somewhat limited but can be found with a Google search, there are even celebrant training programs that are conducted completely online.
As one can see, there is training to become a minister in any capacity. It is merely a matter of deciding how one can best be of service.
Jean Conley is author of two books, workshop presenter & MTh in Contemporary Christianity. He is also an Instructor/Life Coach of Ministry Degree Online.And Director/Founder of Celebrant Minister Training program.
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