A Ministry Support Committee is established in every teaching site (congregation or other service organization) where a student minister serves. The MSC meets at least once a month beginning in September with the student for goal setting, support, reflection, evaluation, and mutual learning.
Organization of the Ministry Support Committee
- The committee includes, in addition to the student, 4 – 7 adults chosen from the site, but not professional staff or members of their families, not spouses or other members of the student’s family, and not high-school-age youth. The Site Supervisor is not a member and does not meet regularly with the MSC, although one meeting might be helpful to get started.
- Youth are not included in MSC membership to prevent their having to take responsibility for difficult situations that may emerge in the work. Feedback from youth should intentionally be solicited by MSC members to gain insight on their perspectives of the student and the student’s ministry.
- Committee members are selected by the Site Supervisor and/or congregational leadership.
- If possible the MSC membership should represent the diversity of age and gender evident in the population of the site. Persons should be chosen who represent those programs at the site for which the student has responsibility.
- MSC members are recognized by official action of the site’s appropriate board.
- A chairperson is selected whose responsibility it is to guide the meetings and coordinate the agenda in conversation with the student.
- Persons selected to serve on the MSC are carefully chosen for their maturity and concern. Service on the committee requires:
- understanding this responsibility as contributing to the ministry of the Church
- capacity to offer the student honest affirmation and criticism in a timely and direct way
- willingness to invest time in the student, and, when appropriate, to observe the student in action in order to make an informed report
- commitment to attending the late summer Supervised Ministry Orientation held at CTS
- familiarity with the Supervised Ministry Handbook, especially the objectives of Supervised Ministry
- commitment to active participation in monthly MSC meetings
- sensitivity to and support of the student’s vulnerability in the evaluation process
- trustworthiness, openness, unconditional acceptance of others, responsiveness, interest in one’s own learning and personal growth
Responsibilities of the MSC
- The MSC provides support for and feedback to the student minister in service of the student’s learning and growth. Mutual trust, acceptance, honesty, sensitivity, and confidentiality are critical to this growth.
- Formal reports of the substance of meetings are not made to the site’s board, though reporting that the committee meets regularly is appropriate. Information agreed upon in advance by the student and the committee may also be appropriately shared. The MSC is a confidential committee, not a secret committee.
- All participants are encouraged to speak directly with one another about issues between them, as appropriate, rather than speak about others in their absence. Care for the well-being of everyone is essential.
- The MSC is not a functional program committee. The MSC exists to provide feedback to the student for his/her growth in ministry.
- Two written reports of the student by the committee are submitted to the seminary’s Supervised Ministry Office: one at mid-year, the other at the end of the year.
- The reports submitted by the MSC and Site Supervisor are read by the student’s Supervised Ministry Supervisor and by the Supervised Ministry staff. The reports reflect part of the student’s grade.
Be sure to read the following policies at the end of the Supervised Ministry Handbook (Available from the Supervised Ministry office): The Supervised Ministry Policy, Guidelines for Working Through Conflict in Supervised Ministry and CTS Policy on Sexual Harassment.
Ministry Support Committee report for Basic Students – Fall + Spring PDF
Ministry Support Committee report for Advanced Students - Fall + Spring PDF