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Posted: 8/11/2007 7:41:27 PM EDT
I worked a shift yesterday with an EMT who was..... interesting..... We ended up talking about religion/politics/economics, you name it. He sounded confused more than anything.

He told me that he was a 'lay minister' several years ago before he went into EMS- dabbling in Jehovah's Witness and several other protestant religions. In all seriousness, I asked him exactly what a 'lay minister' is- is it one of those things where you pay the $20 to register yourself as a minister of your own church and all of the sudden you're a 'minister?' (pretty common in NV here- it allows them to do more weddings on the Strip ) He said it just meant that he'd never gone to any seminary or been formally trained.

He then told me that he left Christianity and isn't really much of anything now- just kind of leans toward an "eastern/Buddhist/Tao kind of theology" mostly due to his wife's being Wiccan.


So my question is this: What kind of formal training or schooling do different religions require in order to be considered ministers/preachers/priests/etc? Where do you receive it? Does it really make a difference in how you are viewed in your church/religion?

Just a curiosity thing more than anything....
Link Posted: 8/11/2007 9:06:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Bed_Head:
I asked him exactly what a 'lay minister' is- is it one of those things where you pay the $20 to register yourself as a minister of your own church and all of the sudden you're a 'minister?'

Well, for the Catholic Church, there is the ordained ministry and the laity. Since I'm not a Catholic priest, I would be considered laity. There really is no "lay minister." I graduated from an orthodox Catholic university with a Bachelor of Arts in Theology with a concentration in Religious Education. I did this in preparation for a career in church ministry. Many involved in church ministry do not have such a formal education in the Catholic faith. I was involved in ministry (youth ministry and catechesis), but I was not a "lay minister."
<snip>


So my question is this: What kind of formal training or schooling do different religions require in order to be considered ministers/preachers/priests/etc? Where do you receive it? Does it really make a difference in how you are viewed in your church/religion?

Well, after going through about 4-6 years of seminary, a man is ordained a priest, usually with a Masters degree level of education. Catholics believe that the Sacrament of Holy Orders leaves an indelible (permanent) mark on a man's soul. He is actually changed by the sacrament, so he should definitely be viewed differently from the laity. The office of priest requires a certain amount of respect.
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 11:43:33 AM EDT
Answers will vary greatly on this one. Different denominations/fellowships have different expectations and within those groups, different congregations have different expectations.

I am a preaching minister. I have a B.A., M.A. and M.Div. all in Biblical Studies. The Youth Minister at the Church I just left has no college experience. Another friend who is up for ordination in the Presbyterian church has a B.A. in Art and a MDiv in ministry.
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 12:04:46 PM EDT
pretty sure there is a church where you can send them the money, and they make you an ordained minister, legal to perform marriages and stuff.

I know 2 guys who did that.

both members here


txl
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 1:30:50 PM EDT
OST to learn about others.
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 5:49:26 AM EDT
I go to a non demoninational Christian church, and the Elders / pastors can train younger people with the right qualities for preaching and etc. I'm not sure about the legalities of doing weddings though.

I wonder if your friend was a christian when he married a wiccan. He does sound confused.
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 6:00:22 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/14/2007 6:08:23 AM EDT by Bed_Head]

Originally Posted By JJREA:
I go to a non demoninational Christian church, and the Elders / pastors can train younger people with the right qualities for preaching and etc. I'm not sure about the legalities of doing weddings though.

I wonder if your friend was a christian when he married a wiccan. He does sound confused.

Funny, that's the exact term my husband used too. It's my understanding he was Christian until his first wife left him, then left the belief. He did go on to tell me some very personal and crazy things that he went through when he was a kid/young adult, and although he came across very nonchalant when he talked about them, I won't presume to share them here. Let's just say that I think he needs some serious therapy.


FWIW, I did ask him how one just stops believing in Christ- if he felt he never truly believed in the first place or what (and I wasn't attacking, and he knew it). He said that he just came to the conclusion that he didn't believe there was a God out there who was capable of emotion- anger, wrath, love, etc that humans have the ability to feel. He said that he believed that any god out there (he called whatever god he believe in "It") transcend human intellect and feeling. He said that he doesn't believe that "It" is that vested in us that "It" would personally send prophets or scripture or the Redeemer down to us to lead us along His path of righteousness.


At least I *think* that's what my partner was telling me he believes. Like you said, he sounded confused like he didn't really know what he believed....

But anyway, it got me wondering how he was able to become a 'lay minister' anyway, with his own ministry and no real education or significant prior membership in or understanding of the religion he was preaching....
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 6:27:01 AM EDT
Hebrews chapter 5 is extremely clear on this matter.

See verse 4.

A B.S. or a Maters or PHD are not required to represent God. Aren't those degrees bestowed by man, NOT God?

Uncle-Al
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 5:16:09 PM EDT
A Jehovah's Witness becomes an ordained minister at their baptism. But prior to baptism, a thorough bible study takes place and they join our theocratic ministry school. Then after baptism, we are still in the theocratic ministry school and we never graduate from it. we continue studying God's word forever.

we are 'ordained' by Jehovah God and meet His requirements.

take care
kellie
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 7:50:22 PM EDT
This and many other spiritual discussions remind me of the difference between liberals and conservatives when it comes to the US Constitution. One group believes that we should live according to what the Founding Fathers set up 250 years ago and others want to see the Constitution as a living document that has to change with the times.

The Bible records the plan of God for training and ordaining ministers IMHO and should be followed believing that God created it right the first time and it did not need to evolve. Others, think that what men added to the Word since the Bible was written has improved the way that ministers should be trained and ordained.

In the Bible, men were discipled by other men of God one on one. Moses trained Joshua, Elijah trained Elisha, Jesus trained the 12, Barnabus trained Paul, Paul trained Timothy etc. God alone chose when a man was ready and He spoke through others by Prophesy and hands were laid upon the new leader and they were sent out by the Holy Spirit to di what they were separated and called to do.

Today, we have seminaries where a professor trains hundreds at a time and they are ordained by a denomination and sent by that denomination where they want him to go.

I am a conservative with both the Constitution and the Bible. I think that the Founding Fathers meant that the militia were all citizens and that they should all be able to keep and bear arms. I, also, was discipled by the man of God who the Lord chose for that task and I went with him and learned at his side one on one for 7 years until the Spirit spoke and hands were laid on me and I was sent out to serve as a minister of the Lord. No seminary or denominations or Nation Guard for me.
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