What is this handbook?
Welcome! Westminster Theological Seminary is committed to helping its students pursue God’s purpose for their lives, both personally and professionally. To that end, the Center for Theological Writing has created two career placement handbooks that place a strong emphasis upon the relational aspects of the process within the larger covenant community. This specific handbook has been designed for guidance in finding full-time ministry positions. Information on finding non-ordained positions may be found in the Career Placement Handbook for Non-Ordained Ministry.
How should I use this handbook?
This handbook is meant to be used in conjunction with other resources given to you during your time at Westminster. In particular, materials from Orientation to Ministerial Formation (PT 111), Seminar in Leadership (PT 332), Preparing for Licensure and Ordination (PT 243), and other Westminster classes and seminars will be useful to you as you go through this material. If you do not have access to these materials, contact Dr. Timothy Witmer or refer to the copies available in the Student Resource Room and Tutoring Center (A413).
To get the most use out of the information and resources presented here, begin thinking about pursuing ordained ministry as early as possible. Building vital relationships with people, both at Westminster, in the church, and in other professional capacities, does not happen overnight; it is a process that will take time. Starting this process early in your Westminster career will help to maximize your ministerial experiences before graduation, as well as your relational contacts.
How is this handbook organized?
This handbook is organized chronologically, according to the steps one would normally take, from start to finish, when seeking an ordained position. However, no matter where you are in your job hunt, you can easily find information suited to your situation.
How does this handbook fit into the scheme of Westminster career placement?
This book is a good place to start thinking about your future after Westminster, and it is vital that you use it as a guide to the other resources Westminster has to offer. Make sure to keep in contact with key individuals who are named here to help you find God’s will for your life and ministry. Use the resources and tools given to you in each of the PT courses you take, particularly the ones mentioned above. Keep in mind that the Center for Theological Writing is another important resource that can help you by providing personal consultation on your resume and cover letter writing. Finally, don’t forget to consult with friends and spiritual mentors.
Key Figures at Westminster to Contact
What does it mean to look for ordained ministry as a Christian?
In any endeavor, it is vital to keep Christ in the foreground and to remember the reason you are seeking employment. This is especially true for those seeking ordained positions. Focusing upon Christ throughout this process will remind you of God’s sovereignty and the reasons you felt called to ordained ministry in the first place. When you are confident that the Lord has a plan for your life and that things will work out in the end for his glory, the job hunting process becomes less daunting and more worshipful.
Another integral aspect of pursuing Christian ministry is the covenant community. It takes humility to rely on others and on God in finding a job. Yet part of God’s calling for all Christians is covenant fellowship. Take this opportunity to embrace your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and to allow them to assist you. Be sure to keep your eyes open for opportunities to help them out as well.