Theological School Program to Improve the Quality of Congregational Ministry - Colgate Rochester Divinity School

Project Number: 
Start Date: 
Mon, 11/30/1998
End Date: 
Fri, 12/31/2004

Bexley Hall Seminary established two complementary programs to enhance its capacity for preparing candidates for congregational ministry: "Total Common Ministry" and "Bexley on the Road". The Total Common Ministry (TCM) program focused on training lay congregants from the six parishes of the Allegany County Episcopal Ministry located in the southern part of the New York state. The TCM program began with approximately thirty persons in the Fall of 1998; the training aimed for preparing lay candidate for effective ministry within the Allegany County Episcopal Ministry and to further develop a pilot program for similar training elsewhere in the Diocese of Rochester. The group met twice per month for half-day sessions; these sessions were geared towards spiritual and ministerial formation in a group setting, and discernment of suitability for ministry, and were led by the director and a faculty member of Bexley Hall Seminary. Besides Allegany County, the TCM program was also implemented in the Dioceses of West Virginia and Central New York.

The Bexley on the Road program provided educational and ministerial opportunities for laity and clergy within their ministerial contexts. Bexley Hall faculty visited select locations and offered preaching conferences, retreats, leadership programs for musicians serving small congregations, and general discourses on spirituality as well as Anglican interpretations of central Christian doctrines.

As a result of these programs, several lay congregants were trained and a few ordained in diaconal ministry in the Dioceses of Rochester, West Virginia and Central New York.