Competency-based assessment for ministerial authorization in the United Church of Christ : a model for implementation
Nora Driver Foust
Knowledge is readily available today with Google and other search engines designed to answer any question. However, the integration of knowledge into understanding and competency is not as straightforward. To address the challenge of integration of knowledge and competency for ministerial authorization, this project follows Richard Osmer’s four tasks of practical theology and looks at the United Church of Christ’s (UCC) Marks of Faithful and Effective Authorized Ministers alongside principles of competency-based assessment. The project presents a working model for UCC Committees on Ministry across the denomination for implementation of the new Manual on Ministry (MOM). The new MOM embraces a single form of authorized ministry and the use of the competency-based Marks with all ministerial candidates, seminarians, and those on alternative paths to authorization. Alongside a model for UCC Committees on Ministry, this project opens doors to further change in the UCC’s process and points to possible implementation of competency-based assessment programs in other denominations. This project opens with a glossary and the state of the field in Chapter 1 leading to the research question on how the UCC might move to embrace the Marks and develop an implementation strategy for using them in a true competency-based approach. Chapter 2 includes a literature review. Chapter 3 offers a glimpse at how the education world uses competency-based assessment and offers five principles for how their use might be carried over into the assessment work of UCC Committees on Ministry. Chapter 4 presents the model for how one UCC Conference implemented this use and Chapter 5 draws conclusions and points readers forward to possible application of a competency-based assessment model in their own setting.