As the second book in the Explorations in Theological Field Education series,Empower is a toolkit for mentors working with beginning ministers. Chapters from ministry practitioners and field education program directors offer lessons gained through hundreds of hours of mentoring experience. Seasoned practitioners reveal how to do the work of mentoring in ways that are “fitting” to the particular needs of students with whom they have worked. This volume, then, is not a cookbook or a manual. It is itself a mentoring guide to those who wish to deepen and expand the craft of mentoring. Its goal is to meet ministry mentors in their journey towards skillful mentoring, and to provide guidance and support to help them hone their craft.
After reading this resource from cover to cover, one will discover that it is wisely named Empower. Editors’ Senior and Floding are empowering others by thoughtfully amassing a complete roster of authors who are uniquely qualified to pour collective wisdom into the art and practice of supervising students in ministry contexts. In doing so, they provide a ministry formation resource like none other. . . our authors provide practical resources that empower others for personal development and, equally important, public ministry. . . . This literary effort is applauded for the expansive reach of its exhaustive catalogue alone, and will be an incredible companion and ready guide for those mentoring in the ministry trenches. . . best of all, in keeping with Peter Block’s philosophy for the best kind of learning, each chapter ends with thoughtful questions for one to reflect upon as a ministry supervisor. These questions unlock the door to numerous conversations that will undoubtedly impact one’s ministry formation for years to come. We may want to assume the student is the one who will be transformed though such questions and conversations, but my hunch is that it is the supervisor who will be changed by the deep wells of wisdom that await them. As a theological educator charged with training dozens of supervisors each year, I can assure you that this text will be an essential resource for years to come!
This volume provides an overview of many facets of theological field education. It is an invaluable and must-have resource for field educators and anyone involved in mentoring.
Floding and Senior have curated a remarkable resource that catalyzes the very awakening to one’s own wisdom that good mentoring provides. Reading this book felt like conversing with trustworthy colleagues who can weave together theoretical depth with rich experiences rendered in loving detail. Insights from this cloud of witnesses have already borne fruit in my work with supervisor-mentors
Those of us with the joy-filled vocation of cultivating creative and compassionate site mentors for our students in theological field education have yearned for this book—one that offers a variety of perspectives revealing the complexity of mentoring seminarians into authentic, ethical, and passionate religious leadership for such a time as this.