Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Teaching Church?
Churches play an essential role in the preparation of new ministers. No school can do the job by itself. To be successful, ministers need the knowledge, experience, skills, and encouragement that they can only acquire in a local church. A teaching church, as the Center uses the term, is one that affirms that teaching new ministers is part of its mission and joins with McAfee in developing the institutional structure to support new McAfee graduates as they make the transition into ministry. This structure will include a Minister Support Committee within the church, a peer support group of fellow ministers, a mentor/coach to counsel monthly with the new minister, and an established curriculum to guide the new minister and congregation as the transition process takes place.
The McAfee School of Theology was given a generous grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc. to fund and study twenty-seven, two-year pastoral residencies over a five-year period. Based on the success of this program, the Lilly Endowment in 2010 awarded McAfee a new grant to open the Center for Teaching Churches. Through this process we have learned the value of the partnership between local churches and the School of Theology in the formation of congregational ministers. The Center will build on this foundation to strengthen and enrich McAfee’s partner churches.
What are the benefits to recent McAfee graduates?
- McAfee will partner with the church to identify and train a Minister Support Committee within each congregation. This committee will serve as a place for theological reflection and professional feedback. Each graduate will receive monthly consultation with a ministry coach. These coaches will be persons who are already effective ministers and who have been formally trained to coach new ministers through the transition.
- Participation in conferences and programs hosted by the Center.
- The Center will help identify an existing peer group for the new minister or help form one if one is not already available in his or her area.
What are the benefits to the Teaching Churches?
- The above list of benefits to those transitioning into congregational ministry will help ensure a satisfying start for the newly hired minister. Churches will participate in conferences and programs hosted by McAfee that engage Teaching Churches with other Teaching Churches to strengthen all of our participating congregations.
- McAfee faculty members are available to teach and preach in the Teaching Churches.
- The Center will pay their honorarium, and the church will just be responsible for transportation and hosting.
What does it cost?
- It is a free service to all Sustaining Churches of the McAfee School of Theology. Sustaining Churches are those churches that support McAfee in their annual budget. While many of our Sustaining Churches are giving much more, a $1,000 per year gift will add your church to this growing list of Sustaining Churches that are supporting McAfee’s mission.
- While the grant from The Lilly Endowment, Inc. is funding the Center for the first five years, we are currently working to endow the Center for Teaching Churches.
Contact Diane Frazier at 678-547-6470 with questions you may have.