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Reimagining Contemporary Ministries

 

With the support of the Lilly Endowment’s Pathways for Tomorrow Initiative, the Faculty of Divinity at Trinity College has established this ‘living tradition’ project focusing on preparing creative pastoral leaders to meet the complex needs of the contemporary church and rapidly changing society. 


Models And Mentors for Creative Mission

FOCUSED ON TRAINING IN MISSIONAL MINISTRY, CHURCH PLANTING,
COMMUNITY ORGANIZING

To address the demand for new missional models of the church in a post-Christian, multifaith, and multicultural context, we are introducing ongoing and mentored missional experimentation for all students preparing for ministry.

This initiative will:

  • Provide students with opportunities of field education in missional church contexts (missional ‘labs’) in which experienced mentors will travel alongside the students, facilitating ongoing evaluation of these experiments while ensuring that creative visioning remains ongoing
  • Make available to current clergy and students workshops on innovative ministry by the mentors
  • Establish ‘teaching settings’ where innovative ministry is ongoing in which to base field placements and short-term apprenticeships
  • Provide a scholarship for a PhD student whose research will focus on one of the four initiatives of the project which will generate new Canadian-based analysis of contemporary missional-ministry

Spiritual Direction for Flexible Ministry

SPIRITUAL DIRECTORS TO SUPPORT STUDENTS UNDERTAKING FLEXIBLE MINISTRY

Given the need to better equip and support church leaders for confronting the challenges of innovative and flexible ministry, we are ensuring all our students have access to spiritual direction focused on preparing for ongoing innovative ministry.

This initiative will:

  • Identify credentialled spiritual directors who understand the challenges of the contemporary churches
  • Require all MDiv students preparing for church leadership to have a spiritual advisor to help them navigate the challenges of innovative ministry
  • Provide funding to cover the standard fee of such spiritual direction [link to info about spiritual direction reimbursement – coming soon]

Advisors and Partners for a Diverse Body

ESTABLISHING INDIGENOUS, AFRICAN CANADIAN, CHINESE CANADIAN,
AND ASIAN CANADIAN ADVISORS ON CAMPUS

To ensure the post-Christendom church moves beyond its past collusion with power and systemic injustice, we are working together with indigenous and Inuit people and other peoples of colour to reshape our faculty and curriculum.

Under this initiative, these advisors will function as ‘mentors in residence’ to:

  • Support minority students
  • Lead worship in the chapel on occasion
  • Offer one annual workshop and lead one annual retreat
  • Attend Divinity Council meeting to offer advice and critique of our programmes and processes

Expansive Formation for a Welcoming Church

DEVELOPING A NEW INTENTIONAL “INTRODUCTION TO CHRISTIANITY” CURRICULUM

To provide for a more effective and hospitable introduction to theological studies for people of all backgrounds, we are developing new forms of catechesis and discipleship for individuals preparing for church leadership.

This initiative will:

  • Support students who arrive without significant church background/familiarity
  • Provide a developed pre-seminary reading list with guided questions for all new students
  • Facilitate the development of new or revised introductory courses on the basics of Christianity (‘Christianity 101’), delivered ecumenically, but with attention to some denominational basics (Anglican and Orthodox)

 

This project is being funded through Lilly Endowment’s Pathways for Tomorrow Initiative, a three-phase initiative designed to help theological schools across the United States and Canada as they prioritise and respond to the most pressing challenges they face as they prepare pastoral leaders for Christian congregations both now and into the future. 

For more information, please contact: 

Geoffrey Ready, Project Director
Larkin 317 | (416) 978-2170 | geoffrey.ready@utoronto.ca