The goal of Supervised Ministry at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School (CRCDS) is to implement the mission statement of the school through practical experience in congregations and institutions where ministry is an explicit part of the mission of the institution. The Mission Statement of the CRCDS declares:
At the center of the experience of Supervised Ministry are the practices of ministry and the person of the minister – the acts and patterns of ministry and the persons whose vocations are believed to embody ministry – understanding ministry as our response to God’s call. The contexts in which these practices are learned include a variety of interpersonal and institutional relationships in which the transformation of persons, church, and society occurs.
Persons and interpersonal relationships, as the most intimate context of ministry, are essential to the Supervised Ministry experience. Students learn the practices of ministry in the context of mentorship. Students’ experiences are guided by qualified supervisors who are approved by the faculty of CRCDS and by committees that represent various members of the congregation or institution in order to teach students a range of vantage points on ministry. Students’ ministry experiences are studied in relationship to the rest of the CRCDS theological curriculum in the Supervised Ministry class that includes the cohort of students taking Supervised Ministry, CRCDS faculty, Supervised Ministry supervisors, and special guests.
Site, understood as congregations, denominations, and agencies in which ministry is explicitly part of the mission, provides an institutional context for learning ministry. Students explore the practice of ministry as it occurs in a social ecology in which congregations and other institutions of ministry relate to the local community and region in which they minister. The multiracial, ecumenical, and multi-religious relationships that exist within the Rochester community provide a context for understanding the practice of ministry as it relates to communities and other institutions.
Society, understood as the larger environment in which the institutions of ministry reside, is also part of the Supervised Ministry experience. Students study the ministry of their congregations and institutions as that ministry is shaped by social, regional, and global changes that challenge the ministries of congregations and institutions. In the second semester of their class experience, students reflect on such issues as the impact of social relationships among urban, suburban, and rural ministries, the changing economy of the Rochester region, the fact that New York borders another country, Canada, as some of the many factors that shape the ministries of their particular congregations and institutions.
In so doing, students gain experience in the meaning and practice of ministry as it relates to practices of peace, service and justice.