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NAD Pastors believe that they are proficient in Core Competencies.
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By Dave Gemmell

In a May 2014 NAD Ministerial survey of pastors, 89% taking the survey rated their pastoral competencies as either proficient, highly proficient, or expert. Only 11% rated their competencies as either beginner or inadequate. This survey is part of a much larger survey conducted by NAD Ministerial and the NAD Office of Assessment as part of the Pathways to Effective Ministry Initiative.

In this same survey the pastors had strong confidence in their personal characteristics with 98% of the pastors stating that their lives gave some evidence, strong evidence, or compelling evidence of the named characteristics. Only 2% said that their lives gave no evidence or evidence to the contrary. Personal characteristics include: “senses call from God, passion for God, loyal to the church, humble, courageous, stands firm for principles, open to counsel, discerning, honest, takes initiative, impartial, disciplined in health, faithful to family, untarnished reputation, sacrificial spirit, and emotionally mature”.

This data will be presented to a summit on Pathways to Effective Ministry to be held September 6-9, 2014. The team includes select pastors, administrators, ministerial secretaries, and educators. Dan Jackson writes:
 
“It is my dream that together we can design a complete pastoral development pathway from call through retirement.  This summit will bring together many of the most influential forces in the development journey with the purpose of defining and coordinating the development process so that every pastor will have optimal opportunities to excel in the core competencies of ministry.”
 
More results of this survey will be released in future installments in Best Practices. These will include ratings of pastoral competencies by administrators, ministerial secretaries, and church elders. The survey will also explore how core competencies are currently being inculcated in the four learning mileposts of the pastoral development journey: 1) Undergraduate Degree 2) Master of Divinity 3) Internship and 4) Continuing Education.  The survey seeks to discover if there are any redundancies in the teaching of the core competencies, and if there are any core competencies that are neglected in the pathway of learning.
 
The current draft of core competencies was arrived at inductively by a survey of conference presidents, college and seminary professors, ministerial directors, and pastors and elders. All were invited to suggest up to seven competencies they considered basic for an effective church pastor. Seven categories were arrived at inductively from stakeholder input and further refined as a team of reviewers carefully analyzed over two thousand suggestions.  Categories include Leadership, Worship, Discipleship, Management, Relational Skills, and Scholarship. All of these competencies are built on the foundation of Character.