In their report to the General Assembly, The Board of Ministry made special mention of those students who had graduated this year by saying, “The Board congratulates all those who have completed their studies and have been or are preparing for licence to enter ministry including Rev. Andrew Robertson who was recognised as a candidate towards the end of his studies at Edinburgh Theological Seminary (ETS)”.
The Board were also “delighted” to see ten men coming to the end of their studies this year. One of these students, Mr Garry Brotherson, who was formerly a curate and trainee minister in the Church of England, has been given consent by the Board and his Presbytery to be treated as a Probationer seeking admission to the ministry with that status. This will be discussed during a private meeting at the General Assembly.
The Board informed the General Assembly in 2016 that it intended to pilot a Candidate Assessment Day to provide a more rigorous assessment of ministry candidates and their capabilities. A successful pilot was held in Edinburgh on Saturday 6th August 2016 when five candidates or enquirers participated in a number of individual and group tasks and in-depth interviews. Candidates were assessed in areas such as Mental Resilience, Leadership Skills, World View, Spiritual Discipline, Theological Views, and matters of Personality and Character. In the light of the successful pilot, the Board recommended that future candidates should be required to participate in and satisfy the requirements of a Candidate Assessment Day. An Assessment Day is now being planned for June 2017.
The report also highlighted the close connection between the board and the seminary, “The Board is committed to working collaboratively with ETS with whom we enjoy excellent relationships”. In reiterating the Board’s aim to ensure that the “training needs of the church are being met effectively”, they said that their main desire was that leadership skills and preaching skills were “well developed” by the time candidates completed their training.
Applications have been welcomed from those wishing to take part in a Ministry Apprenticeship Program and Post-Graduate Studies. The Board said they can “advise individuals and congregations interested in organising an apprenticeship and can also point to other sources of funding”.
Applications have been made available on the Free Church website.
Source: Free Church of Scotland