by Chris Hockman
Has it really been 16 months already? That’s the amount of time I’ve been happily serving as your first-ever Intern Minister. Thanks, UUFP for making it such an affirming, confidence-building and joyful growing experience. Some folks have been asking about where I am in my process of becoming a minister and how long I will be with you before moving on. In case you’re curious, here’s the scoop!
Becoming a minister is a process that involves two parallel tracks.
The Education Track
As you may have guessed this track has to do with school, which for most ministerial candidates means going to seminary to get a graduate degree, most often a Master of Divinity.
Where I Am: I’m just one semester away from receiving my degree from Meadville Lombard Theological School with graduation scheduled for May 15, 2016.
The Credentialing Track
This track involves working through the Unitarian Universalist Association’s credentialing process. A key step is being cleared by the UUA’s Ministerial Fellowship Committee (MFC), which makes the decision on ministerial candidates becoming actual ministers. For this process, every ministerial candidate provides the MFC with lots of written materials including internship evaluations, essays, transcripts, recommendation letters, a career assessment, all sorts of biographical data and statements regarding competencies in 16 different areas. Altogether this usually amounts to more than 100 pages of material. The process culminates in an in-person, one-hour interview with committee members (all of whom have read the 100 pages) at UUA headquarters in Boston. The interview includes a chalice lighting, preaching for 10 minutes and answering questions from the committee members. After the interview, candidates find out if they will be admitted into preliminary fellowship as ministers, or if they still have more preparation to do.
Where I am: I visited the MFC on December 5th and got the all-clear to become a minister, pending my graduation and satisfactory completion of my internship at UUFP. I have also been cleared to enter the search process to find a congregation to serve.
Next Stop: Ordination
My last official day at UUFP will be May 13, 2016, but I plan to be around a little longer than that. As you may know, Unitarian Universalist ministers are ordained by congregations that know them. Plans are underway for mine. SAVE THE DATE: Saturday June 11, 2016 at 4:00 pm! I would be thrilled if you can come. More details to follow.
Thanks again, UUFP, for supporting me in all of these efforts, as well as your continued support during these last months. I look forward to being with you all in the home stretch!