What is Thriving in Bi-Vocational Ministry (TBVM)?

TBVM is a yearlong continuing education program offered through the Iona Center at Seminary of the Southwest. The program supports new or recently ordained bi-vocational Priests and Deacons serving in various pastoral settings. TBVM facilitates the building of relationships with peers and more experienced clergy who serve as role models to guide participants through key leadership challenges at critical moments in their early ministerial careers. The primary goal of TBVM is to help clergy thrive in their pastoral settings and congregational leadership and, in doing so, to enhance the vitality of the congregations and communities they serve.

TBVM is part of the wider Thriving in Ministry Initiative generously funded by Lilly Endowment, Inc. All costs and expenses of participation in TBVM are paid by a grant to Seminary of the Southwest through this Initiative.

Thriving in Bi-Vocational Ministry 2021-22 Course Offerings ▼

1. Asset Based Community Development

THIS COURSE IS NOW FULL. PLEASE SELECT A DIFFERENT COURSE.

Using the principles of Asset Based Community Development (ABCD), participants learn techniques for identifying and cultivating the gifts of their unique local context and engage in experiments that build capacity within their congregations for transformative church-community partnerships. Theological reflection on these experiments supports participants as they integrate the results into a shared congregational vision for community engagement that reflects the reality that Christ is already at work in the world outside their sanctuaries.  This program is supported by the Called to Transformation curriculum developed by the Episcopal Church and Episcopal Relief and Development.  

Facilitator: The Reverend Nandra Perry, Ph.D; Assistant Director of the Iona Center at Seminary of the Southwest, Episcopal Priest.

Dates: Late August 2021-May 2022, Thursdays, 6-8pm CST

Program Commitment

  • Participate actively in a private Facebook cohort group
  • Have a working knowledge of  Zoom 
  • Have access to internet speed that supports video conferencing 
  • Attend opening retreat and bi-weekly classes
  • Spend 1-2 hours per week on reading and class preparation, some of which may overlap with your regular work in your congregation
  • Participate in one-hour meetings monthly with a mentor who is an experienced priest or deacon

2. Biblical Studies: Teaching and Preaching in Lectionary Year C

THIS COURSE IS NOW FULL. PLEASE SELECT A DIFFERENT COURSE.

Participants will form a peer learning community to read and reflect together on scriptural passages assigned for Year C in the Revised Common Lectionary. More specifically participants will: learn techniques for, and practice close reading of biblical texts; practice theological reflection to identify how particular scriptures shape daily living; use the peer learning community as a laboratory for presenting and evaluating imaginative preaching and teaching themes; explore the role of analogical imagination for linking biblical narratives with contemporary daily life experiences; learn and practice skills for creating significant learning experiences for congregants; practice designing and presenting biblical study courses; and build a preaching and teaching notebook for Lectionary Year C.

Facilitator: The Reverend John Lewis, D.Phil.; Episcopal Priest and Biblical Scholar, Director of the Iona Center and Lecturer in New Testament and Spirituality at Seminary of the Southwest

Dates: Late August 2021-May 2022; cohort meets bi-weekly, Thursdays, 3-5 pm CST

Program Commitments

  • Have a working knowledge of  Zoom 
  • Have access to internet speed that supports Zoom video conferencing 
  • Attend opening retreat and regularly attend bi-weekly cohort sessions
  • Spend 1-2 hours bi-weekly reading and reflecting on the scriptures assigned and preparing for active participation in the cohort sessions by building a preaching and teaching notebook 
  • Participate in one-hour meetings monthly with an assigned mentor who is an experienced priest or deacon

3. Building Your Pastoral Care Toolbox

THIS COURSE IS NOW FULL. PLEASE SELECT A DIFFERENT COURSE.

Participants learn effective methods of pastoral care that they can teach to members of their congregations who have gifts and desire to provide pastoral care. This cohort will explore together topics such as sacred listening, the role of prayer and the BCP in pastoral care, how to make effective referrals, pastoral crisis care, and a simple/ethical method for pastoral counseling. Participants will practice a method of theological reflection that is Anglican in its roots and allows a fulsome dialogue with the rich resources available in Scripture, Tradition, Reason, and Experience.

Facilitator: The Reverend David Scheider, M.Div, M.S, D.Min; Episcopal Priest, Retired Army Chaplain, and Marriage and Family Therapist.

Dates: Late August 2021-May 2022, Tuesdays, 6-8 pm CST. 

Program Commitments

  • Participate actively in 2 hour zoom classes (twice each month).
  • Spend about 1 hour per week on reading/class preparation
  • Recruit one congregant as your pastoral care partner. Ideally this person will be able to work with you on your pastoral care encounters and eventually coordinate pastoral care in your congregation.
  • Share with your congregation partner in one-hour meetings monthly to discuss the information learned in our sessions.

4. Christian Spirituality & Practice 

THIS COURSE IS NOW FULL. PLEASE SELECT A DIFFERENT COURSE.

This course builds a framework for individual spiritual vitality and growth. Through reading several Christian mystics and contemporary teachers, participants will explore core practices and deepen their own prayer lives.  This course will also explore strategies for teaching spiritual practices and deepening discipleship in a church setting. This learning community will create a common (and do-able!) rule of life that includes prayer, reflecting on scripture, and study. Integrating spiritual practices into daily and weekly routines will help equip participants to embrace their role as spiritual guides for their communities. 

Facilitator: Rebecca Hall, MSF, Director of Spiritual Formation for the Iona Center at Seminary of the Southwest, Spiritual Director

Dates: Late August 2021 – May 2022, Fridays, 1-3 pm CST

Program Commitments

  • Participate actively in a private Facebook cohort group
  • Have a working knowledge of  Zoom 
  • Have access to internet speed that supports video conferencing 
  • Attend opening retreat and bi-weekly classes
  • Spend about 1 hour per week on reading and class preparation
  • Spend time in daily prayer and study
  • Participate in one-hour meetings monthly with a mentor who is an experienced priest or deacon

5. Backstory Preaching 

Each participant will develop their preaching through the integration of craft, process, and spirituality. By the end of the program participants will: preach effective sermons with one clear message of Good News; practice sermon preparation as spiritual respite; have a sustainable sermon prep process for the long haul that fits their schedules; and be part of a community of preachers with whom to continue their development. Some successful graduates may be invited to be trained to become Backstory Preaching mentors. Participants will meet by videoconference in small groups, receive 1:1 mentoring, and have their sermons appraised by peers, mentors, and a listening group they assemble in their contexts.

Facilitator: The Rev. Lisa Cressman, DMin, and a team of mentors from Backstory Preaching (www.backstorypreaching.com)

Dates: August 16-May 30 

The schedule for all live sessions throughout the year is flexible and accommodates bivocational schedules.

Program Commitments 

  • August 16- September 30, Sermon Camp Intensive with eleven online hours (one hour daily the first week; one hour weekly for the remainder, plus video instruction, about one hour weekly). 
  • October 16, 10:00-3:00 CST: Orientation for the Mentorship
  • October-May: monthly, one-hour 1:1 session with your BsP preaching mentor; monthly, one-hour small group session; six, one-hour peer sermon appraisal sessions. Other resources and opportunities are optional.
  • Participate actively in an online cohort group
  • Competent and active participation in an online site and Zoom videoconferences, which includes having access to internet speed that supports video conferencing 
  • Participate in one-hour meetings monthly with a second, TBVM mentor who is an experienced priest or deacon

Who May Apply? ▼

A TBVM applicant for the 2021-22 program year must be:

1. A new or recently ordained bi-vocational Priest or Deacon who has already been, or in 2021 will be assigned to serve in a pastoral ministry setting; 

AND

2. A graduate from a local school of formation in a Diocese participating in the Iona Collaborative, or a graduate from the Iona School for Ministry or the Bishop Kemper School for Ministry; 

OR

3. A person who will graduate in 2021 from one of the local schools of formation identified above and will be ordained to the Diaconate (Vocational or Transitional) during 2021 and assigned to serve in a pastoral ministry setting.

What is the process for acceptance into TBVM? ▼

Each person must complete the online Application form. The deadline is April 16, 2021. Applicants will be notified by email regarding all admission decisions by April 23, 2021. Participants will be contacted by their course facilitator with information regarding opening sessions and final course dates.

Important Dates: TBVM Program Calendar 2021-22

April 16: Application Deadline

April 23: Notification of admission