Continuing Education is a program for ministers. It aims to encourage excellence in ministry practice through reflection on practice, theological study, growth in knowledge, and nurturing of the spirit. Courses provide a framework for understanding change in the life of congregations, developing skills for navigating transitions, and building capacity to implement this knowledge in ministry practice.
Ministry agents in the Uniting Church are given a minimum of 14 days of continuing education leave per year. This time is meant to include preparation and contact learning time. This is a minimum amount, with ongoing planned reading programmes and other enrichment like spiritual disciplines being integrated into a ministry agent’s regular duties. Those in part-time ministries would have their time for continuing education on a pro-rata basis.
Port Phillip East Presbytery encourages each person serving in ministry to be intentional about their ongoing professional development and learning. This could be recorded in a learning agreement.
The Presbytery is able to provide advocacy for ministry agents to gain time and support for their continuing education studies.
The Presbytery works with the VicTas Synod to provide opportunities for refreshers with regard to professional conduct, ethics, prevention of sexual misconduct, training in cross-cultural awareness and Aboriginal spirituality. We run regular workshops on a range of ministry topics, suitable for people in ordained and lay ministries.
People who have been recently ordained or commissioned are provided with extra support. The Synod of Victoria/Tasmania provides an Orientation to Ministry Program for ministers in their first three years following ordination.
Fran Barber, Coordinator of Continuing Education for the Synod, provides useful advice around options for study and learning as well as access to scholarships.
See the UCA Assembly policy on continuing education, Seeking a Heart of Wisdom
Download the sample Continuing Education Plan template provided by equipping Leaders for Mission, Synod of Victoria & Tasmania.