A Mentoring program for the ministerial intern supervisors in the territory of Southern Asia-Pacific Division of Seventh-day Adventist
Annually a great number of ministerial interns enter into pastoral responsibilities without the benefits of relevant training, ministerial support, and enriching mentoring program. Looking at the challenges that the ministerial internship program of Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD) is facing, the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist Church recognizes a need and has come up with the solution through a field-based program in educating and equipping the beginning pastors. However, in practice, this program tends to be neglected due to some factors. The main purpose of this study is to develop a field-based mentoring program relevant to the specific context of SSD territory. To achieve this goal, an evaluation of the current ministerial internship program through a quantitative research design was done. A survey was conducted to 221 pastors throughout SSD. The population sample were Seventh-day Adventist pastors in various areas of SSD territory. Due to the vast distribution of the pastors, convenient sampling was taken as the representative for the general population. The study found various strengths as well as challenges in the current ministerial program. Among the strengths of the program is the opportunity to acquire experiential knowledge as a practical link to the theoretical knowledge they learned in the seminary. On the other hand, several challenges were found such as lack of structur~, detached field-based experience, and loose mentoring components. This study also found out that there is a need to establish a curriculum-based program integrated with biblical and mentoring principles. Based on the findings and recommendations, a field-based ministerial internship mentoring program (MIMP) was developed. The MIMP program is founded on the biblical concept of mentoring from both the Old and New Testaments. The 9 mentoring principles were also taken as governing principles in the implementation of the program. The MIMP follows a program structure, training schedule for mentor-pastors, and implementing strategies. The program followed the basic template: rationale of the program, objectives, biblical and theoretical basis, structure, training format, sustainability, and evaluation. The program incorporates all the significant findings of the study in the form of the MIMP.