What about Seminary?

A Seminary offers an advanced degree training for clergy. Advanced degree means that it is for people who have already completed four years of college, four years of high school, and eight years of grammar school.

It is the same with other professions like medicine, law, engineering, physics, chemistry and such. When one reaches the top of the heap with a PhD, you have twenty-some years of schooling behind you, not unlike the ancient Druids.

Like the other advanced programs, seminary provides an array of topics. Parts of what is being taught are resources, community, techniques, and different ways of thinking.

The Craft is acquiring an increasing number of formal seminaries beyond online and mail-order offerings. An important part of such schooling is the rubbing of shoulders with fellow students, learning by doing, and the opportunity to be close to some of the masters. More than one Wiccan has been known to enroll into a Christian seminary just for the formal training provided.

Study areas in mainstream seminary might be:

  • The Spiritual Journey - Everybody is on one. 
  • Sacred Texts - Some people have a single Book.
  • History of the Tradition - All groups have one.
  • Homiletics - Public speaking.
  • Theology - Goddesses, Gods and how they function.
  • Liturgics - How rituals work.
  • Prayer - Incantations and meditations
  • Morality & Ethics - Good for clergy as well as others.
  • Pastoral Care - Counseling techniques and nurturing.
  • Healthcare Ministry - The aged, the sick, the grieving.
  • Contemporary Society - The Muggle world.
  • Theory and Practice of Ministry - Everyone has an opinion here.
These are some of the things a "Reverend Doctor" likely will be familiar with. If you wish to share a platform with these sorts of people, the more studied you are, the more they will respect you. Look for alternative ways to explore these topics. Some mainstream religions have a tradition of "an educated clergy." They are reacting to the political appointment of second sons who in earlier times did not inherit the family property.

There are other topics worth considering, such as expectations of Pagans towards clergy. Conspicuously absent in seminary programs is much in the way of administrative or leadership training.

Following seminary, there are two other steps typically prescribed in mainstream denominations. There is Clinical Pastoral Education, also known as Chaplaincy. This may involve formal training and several months duty under supervision in a hospital emergency room. See VITAS. The idea is for you to experience what goes on there so it will not be your first time when you are on your own.

Second, there is typically a period of internship within a congregation and again under supervision.

Some of the seminaries of varying credentials out there are:

For those who consider themselves clergy, it is important to remain aware of related Florida Statutes regarding confidentiality:
  • 90.505  Privilege with respect to communications to clergy.
  • 39.204  Abrogation of privileged communications in cases involving child abuse, abandonment, or neglect.
Information about the various state laws may be obtained from your state, county and local municipalities or related websites. There are legal obligations, that vary by state, to warn and protect where children, the elderly, or the suicidal are involved. Three more websites below are additional resources but are not necessarily complete, comprehensive or current:

In mainstream denominations, there is a "discernment process" with frequent decision points along the road into ministry. Many more feel the urge to be clergy that belong in that position. The Elders feel obligated to weed out those they see as unsuited for the call.

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