As part of the LCANZ’s commitment to pastors and the communities they serve, the General Church Board (GCB) has approved a policy designed to strengthen the church’s support in the formation and equipping of pastoral ministry candidates.
To be overseen by the Church Worker Support (CWS) Manager on behalf of the Office of the Bishop, the initiative involves candidates for the office of the ministry taking part in a comprehensive psychological assessment. It has the backing of the Pastoral Studies Stream at Australian Lutheran College.
CWS Manager Dr Chris Materne said the move was designed to improve care for those wanting to serve in pastoral ministry and increase their understanding of their own mental health. Dr Materne added that the Psychological Assessment of Candidates for the Office of Ministry Policy would also ultimately benefit congregations, other calling bodies and the wider church.
‘I believe the outcome of this policy will be beneficial for the candidates for the office of ministry and to the church in the longer term, as we strive to improve our understanding of, and support for, psychological health and wellbeing across the church’, she said.
The objectives of the policy include understanding and supporting the psychological wellbeing of candidates for pastoral ministry, ordinands and pastors; improving the church’s capacity to identify suitable candidates for ordained ministry; providing better support to calling bodies; improving the church’s ability to support people with diverse mental health needs; and increasing awareness of mental health and wellbeing needs more broadly.
You can read the full policy at www.lca.org.au/policies/