What are your plans — related both to academics and to candidacy — as you progress toward consecration?
I am currently about to start my second semester in the Master of Arts in Diaconal Ministry program at Wartburg Seminary. I plan to extend this two-and-a-half year program out over three years, and additionally include a year-long chaplain residency or other internship experience so that I will graduate in May of 2015 (at the same time as my husband, currently an MDiv student at Wartburg). In addition to meeting the requirements for my degree program, I plan to take classes that support my speciality in grief and loss.
I am planning to do a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education this summer at Gundersen Lutheran in La Crosse, WI, and recognize that that experience will be part of my discernment process in what additional field work I do as I prepare for specialized ministry within the Diaconal Ministry roster. Discernment within and after the CPE experience as well as additional conversations with church leadership will help me decide on a chaplain residency or another type of internship experience in addition to specific Diaconal Ministry field work requirements.
As I continue to prepare for candidacy and beyond I plan to begin creating a ministry portfolio containing items describing and reflecting the my ministry work. I will share items from that portfolio as I talk to those involved in my candidacy process as well as those I may be seeking to work with or for after approval.
**Disclaimer? — please remember that I am sharing these as first response answers to questions to my Diaconal Ministry Formation Event and not as polished, researched essays. Although I welcome responses, please do keep this in mind when you respond (as well as the fact that my current schedule limits how often I can reply to comments) **