Student Skills and Capacities that Are Further Cultivated

Students cultivate skills and capacities they have acquired earlier in the M.Div. program and they also acquire skills they will nurture throughout a lifetime of learning. These include:

  • the art of presiding in a liturgical context, shaping worship experiences with creativity and wonder so that participants feel warmly invited into the mystery of God’s power and presence;
  • the art of preaching with clarity, conviction and enthusiasm;
  • the ability to teach and to encourage the educational process for all ages;
  • the ability to assess the well-being of community contexts for ministry and to promote well-being in those contexts—by embodying sound self-care;
  • the ability to know and implement sound principles of pastoral ethics and pastoral care;
  • the ability to enact sound principles of administration and conflict management;
  • knowledge and expertise in mission and stewardship;
  • the ability to embody spirituality that leads others to encounter divine love in their faith and life. For Christians this means to embody Christ through a ministry of healing love and table-fellowship;
  • the ability to practice mutuality (shared power) by relating to the mentor, other colleagues in ministry, and lay ministers with integrity and grace;
  • an understanding of the relational aspects of ministry and the ability to support active laity in the community of faith, as well as in the community.


"It took me ages to prepare my first sermon, and I felt a great deal of weight attached to the idea of “preaching,” proclaiming in public the wonders and challenges of God and faith. However, attached to this weight is the celestial lightness of the Spirit. The impossible union of weight and lightness is one of the many elements that make the act of crafting the sermon, a gift."

Kana Sundblad

M.Div. student, on crafting her first sermon