Track 2: Vocational Consultation Program
The Vocational Consultation program can be a very important event for clergy—the chance to spend time thinking about life and career. Midwest Ministry Development provides a setting where clergy can engage in self-reflection without distractions with the assistance of personality and interest inventories, plus the active guidance of a career counselor. The 2½ day Vocational Consultation program will allow time for input, reflection, and integration. It also provides an opportunity to meet with a clinical psychologist for exploration of mental, emotional or personality factors that may negatively impact ministry for the purpose of mitigating these factors in the future.
The reasons for clergy seeking involvement in the Vocational Consultation program are multiple and varied This program is often utilized by clergy who recognize their need of a “tune up” of some kind. They may be giving consideration to the search for a new call or they may wish to maximize their gifts in their current placement but need guidance in gaining new perspective and exploring untapped interests and talents. They may be concerned about the potential for burnout and seek guidance in ways to avoid it.
The Vocational Consultation program focuses on specific problems and concerns that affect ministry. Extended time is spent processing critical issues from the client’s current experience, and future possibilities in relation to career and life direction. Data from inventories are reviewed to foster greater self-awareness of needs and resources. Strengths and weaknesses will be explored, and the client will be assisted in developing an action plan for both personal and professional development.
Clergy spouses are strongly encouraged to participate in the Vocational Consultation program with their partner. Benefits of spousal participation include:
1. gaining a more complete picture when two views are combined.
2. mutual participation in decision-making and goal setting.
3. option to take one or more inventories at an additional nominal fee.
The focus, however, is on the clergy person registered for this program.
When the stresses of ministry have caused significant pressures on the relationship or family resulting in tension, or a partner is also considering work or career options and desires equal opportunity to explore vocational and personality factors to assist with decision making, the couple is encouraged to engage in a 3-day process that allows for the spouse to complete inventories and have time for reflection as well.
In some instances, a denominational executive or committee may recommend the program and require a summary prepared by Midwest. Typically, no written report is prepared unless required by a third party. A more extensive report may be prepared for an additional fee.