Monday, January 12, 2015

Further in the ministry

After five years in the ministry, the clergy starts to wonder how else can he serve better? One option that comes to mind is furthering our knowledge and go to post-graduate studies. But what post-graduate studies? Here are some options you can consider:

1. Doctor of Ministry

The D. Min program is usually a professional degree that furthers the ministerial reflection of the clergy in practical ministry. This usually takes two to four years including the thesis writing.

2. Doctor of Theology

This is a relatively new academic degree different from the Ph.D. Yet it also focuses heavily on rigorous research and study. This may take four to five years.

3. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

The traditional academic degree in post graduate studies for most clergy is a PhD in Religion. However, new fields of focus have emerged including Old Testament, New Testament, Biblical History among others. This usually takes four to five years with strict requirements in research and study.

So, how would you like to proceed?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Four Common Ministry Areas to go for the Clergy-to-be

Five years after graduation from seminary, where am I now? It is exciting to be a clergy in my denomination because we get to be "sent" to different church locations. Not only that, we might be "sent" beyond the four walls of the church building. I will share four possible ministry areas for clergy-to-be after they graduate from seminary.

Here they are:

1. Church appointment

The most common venue for pastoral ministry is in the local church. A pastor get's appointed to lead a congregation. It may be a small or large congregation. It is interesting to ask the clergy-to-be what would be their goal in their church appointment? Is it to grow the membership of the church or to deepen the faith of the congregation. (I will write on this topic in another post.)

2.  Hospital.

Many clergy-to-be become chaplains in hospital. As a medical doctor, I know to well that the hospital is the darkest, saddest, hopeless place for any person. This is precisely the reason that ministry is very important in the hospital - to shine the light of hope Jesus brings to the broken world. Chaplains pursuing this may need to have CPE residency. The compassionate and loving clergy-to-be shines in this area .

3. Mission Field

Or the community. No, I am not talking about church planting. I am talking about reaching to the margins of the community and providing their need. The pastor usually becomes affiliated with faith-based or non-government organizations that focuses on certain needs. This could be community organization, child literacy, orphanages, home for the homeless and other ministry works. World Vision is one example doing this work. The adventurous and outgoing clergy-to-be will enjoy one's time here.

4. Academe

Many would end up teaching in seminaries or religion in colleges and universities. But this also includes religion teachers in high schools and small colleges where forming the mind and heart of the youth is a great ministry. If a clergy to be is inclined to do scholarly research and work, there is always a place for that .

Where did I end up after 5 years?

Well, I basically went to all of the four areas in my five years. I'm waiting where the ministry will lead me next. When that happens, I will add another area of ministry. This is an exciting time to be a clergy.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Last Entry

The last entry in the journey of a clergy-to-be is when one becomes a full pledged elder. That happened to me last July 2011. Months before the scheduled annual conference, I submitted my letter of application to the Board of Ordained Ministry. I have already finished my theological papers years ago and so I was just patiently waiting for the Board to affirm my calling. This year is the year when I satisfy all the requirements set forth by the Book of Discipline. If the Board finds me fit and able to perform the duties and responsibilities of an elder then they would affirm my calling to be a set-apart as a servant-leader in the United Methodist Church.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

On the Way

After I graduated from seminary, I went into residency training as a family and community physician. This is to further prepare myself into the ministry as a missionary doctor. One of the activities I have regularly done, at the prodding of my co-workers is the weekly Bible Study in our office. They use to have a Bible study and they wanted me to revive it. I follow the Lectionary for the following Sunday as the basis of our discussion and reflection.

The Bible study is a mixture of failure and successes. Of course, it is always difficult to have a religious activity inserted in a very secular and busy workplace. But we manage to have very productive discussions that bless us every week. However, there are times when we have to postpone because of several reasons. But we are now on our second year of Bible Study. I pray that this little activity in the Ospital ng Maynila be a blessing to the all the people in the place.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Graduating from Seminary

Last May 9, 2009 was my graduation from Seminary.

Of course the Divinity School had their own graduation ceremony. The next day was the University Graduation with Oprah as the speaker. i am tempted to talk about many stuff here. But I would like to note a few of the most important memories that I cherish.

My father came for my graduation. It was his first time at Duke. I wish my mom was also able to come but she was sick thus she could not travel.

I had gained so many friends during my stint here at Duke. These friends knew that I was going back home and maybe this was our last day to see each other physically. So I was thrilled when they wanted to capture our friendship with photo-ops after the grad ceremony.

My family here in the US also came in full force. My Uncles and Aunties and cousins and distant relatives came all the way from Virginia just to join me in my celebration. I was so touched by their show of support.

I just had some regrets for not being able to have taken good pictures with my dad, my friends, my family and even with myself. I just forgot all about that with my emotions so high during that day.

But the most thing that I remember that day was the anxiety of moving forward in the ministry. I was supposed to have learned all the necessary tools that I need theologically and mentally. I am a graduate of the seminary and I am supposed to have completed the requirements for the ministry. Tools that I will need. But did I have all the necessary things that I need to survive and be efficient in the ministry? Graduating from seminary is not a guarantee of anything. But I know that God is and will be with me. That is the best tool that I know in my heart will get me ready. This is the speech that Oprah did not give to us during graduation. But I learned this from seminary and more.

So, thank you all. I pray that many will help me as I continue my journey as a clergy-to-be.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Araw ng Kalayaan 09

Ginagalang ko na Dr. Jose,

Ngayon po ay araw ng paggunita ng kalayaan ng bansa nating minamahal mula sa mga kamay ng mga mananakop na banyaga. Ngunit ang kalayaang inyong hinahangad at pinagbuwisan ng buhay ay hindi pa rin lubos na tinatamasa. Ang bayan po natin ay bihag pa rin ng malubhang karamdaman na sumisira sa kalusugan ng ating bayan. Bilang isang doktor, inyo pong nakita ang kanser ng lipunan na sumisira sa ating lipunan upang maging tunay na malaya. Isang kanser na unti-unting na ngumingitngit sa katawan ng bayan upang sirain at gawing bulok ang kanyang laman. Ikinalulungkot ko pong sabihin na ang kanser na inyong pilit na pinagaling at pinagbuwisan ng buhay ay bumabalik at lalong lumalala. Higit pa rito, ang kanser ay nag-ibang anyo ngunit siya pa ring dahilan nang karamdaman ng ating bayan. Ang kanser po ng lipunan ngayon ay hindi lamang tagos hanggang buto kundi pati kaluluwa. Ang karamdaman ng lipunan ay nagmumula sa isang maling moralidad na nananahan sa karamihan ng mamamayan. Ang mga lider ng lipunan ay hindi na maaasahan. Mangilan-ngilan na lamang ang tuwid ang katayuan. Karamihan ay baluktot ang kanilang pamamaraan. Ang higit pa dito ay ang moralidad din ng taong bayan. Tila ba kami ay nasanay na sa baluktot at maling moralidad na bumabalot sa ating bayan na amin na itong pinababayaan. Ang hindi namin pakikialam at ang kawalan ng kagustuhan na labanan ang sakit at sirang moralidad ng bayan ang lalo pang nagpapakalat sa kanser ng lipunan. Dahil po dito ay hindi pa rin ganap na malaya ang ating bayan. Kailangan po naming ipagpatuloy ang paglaban sa kanser ng lipunan bago maging malubha ang kanyang karamdaman. Kailangan pa po naming ituloy ang inyong sinimulan upang ang ating bayan ay maging tunay na malaya sa kanser ng lipunan.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Jesus has bobo...

It's Holy Week. And we are trying to tell our 2 years old daughter what it is all about. Her mother told her about how Jesus came in a parade on Palm Sunday but that later some "not good" people took him and put him in "timeout." It becomes tricky because she gets "timeout" when she does something not nice to make us upset, but Jesus did not do anything "not nice." It confuses her how Jesus got "timeout." Then the "not good" people hurt Jesus and put him in the cross. With a sad look in her face, she replied, "Oh, Jesus has bobo."
Now, it's only Good Friday. We still have to tell her the story of Jesus's death and resurrection on Easter. That will be a challenge...