Career Assessment Programs for People Considering Ministry

A career assessment—which in actuality is a more comprehensive personal, emotional, and psychological evaluation than the name implies—is required for all persons at centers accredited by the Ministry Development Council (MDC). It is recommended that aspirants complete a career assessment as early in the process as possible. Participants in career assessment programs will be asked to provide personal and biographical information and take a series of standardized tests. Individual programs take approximately two days; group programs typically are held over the course of three days. In either type of program, you can expect a minimum of four hours of career counseling plus a one hour consultation with a psychologist. Both options cover the same materials in a slightly different format.

Most centers also offer the option of a couple’s interview and welcome the participation of a spouse or partner. While not required, this option offers an important opportunity for a spousal pair to examine together what one partner’s pursuit of a ministry career portends for both partners. Whether through a group, individual or couples program, we hope you will benefit from the opportunity for extensive evaluation of personal strengths, motivation, areas of needed growth, and potential for success in the ministry by staff members who are experienced in working with aspirants, candidates and clergy. The career assessment program is more than evaluative: it is educational and developmental.

Some people feel caught off-guard by the amount of preparation required and the degree of self-disclosure expected in these programs. Others feel caught off-guard by the lead-time required. For example, the counseling center may need several months’ lead-time, plus an additional month to produce its written summary report. We encourage you to talk with the career center and/or the Ministerial Credentialing Director to gain a thorough understanding of what is involved. The results of the assessment will be confidential. A written report will be released to the Ministerial Credentialing Office and the Ministerial Fellowship Committee only upon your written release. If you have questions about your unreleased report, you may request a confidential consultation with the Ministerial Credentialing Director. If you think the report is inaccurate, follow up with the counselor who wrote your report before you sign the report. Typically, counselors are only willing to make factual corrections. If you have released the report, the Ministerial Credentialing Director (MDC) may call the counselors for clarification or additional consultation. The MDC centers adhere to the highest standards of professional practice when dealing with issues of confidentiality.

We recommend you make use of the career center reports by sharing the results with advisors, mentors, CPE and internship supervisors, and anyone else who is in a position to give you additional feedback about the suitability of your vocational goals. It is in your best interest to check out possible areas of concern or "growing edges" by engaging in honest conversation with people who know you well.

Fees vary from center to center. It is your responsibility to make appointments and pay all fees. Please be very careful that you thoroughly understand the center's cancellation policy. In most cases, if you cancel after the deadline, you will be responsible for paying for the program anyway. We realize the fees for career assessment programs are high but feel the value of the experience outweighs the expense. The Program Assistance Grant has been set aside to help you offset the costs of the career assessment process.(See below) Please consider approaching your congregation for financial assistance in meeting career center fees.

Program Assistance Grant (PAG)

Aspirants with financial need may apply for a $1000 Program Assistance Grant to offset the costs related to the career assessment. More information can be found in the Requirements for Fellowship Booklet.

Approved Career Assessment Centers can be found in the Requirements for Fellowship Appendix.