So I am frustrated.
I attended my denominational school, for both my undergrad and the beginning of my seminary education. During my years there I received a distinct calling to bear the good news to what many would consider to be unbearable places, and I have followed that call from Chicago to Spokane to Portland and now to Los Angeles.
Having recently completed my Masters of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary, I began to investigate the process of being ordained in the denomination I call my home. At this stage, based on the emails I have so far received, it seems that what I assumed would be an opportunity open to me is in fact not.
Here’s the deal: to be ordained, a minister must be EMPLOYED for at least twenty hours a week of paid pastoral work. Never mind the twenty or thirty or forty plus hours you may actually give. What matters here is a paycheck.
So for those of us who have chosen to serve in churches and communities where paid staff positions are few and far between (many urban and ethnic congregations do not pay their pastors), we remain on the margins of our denomination.
Unfortunate. Disappointing. Exclusive.