Ministry Licensing for Women
As a registered religious corporation, Anam Cara Connections (ACC) is able to grant ministry licenses to qualified spiritual seekers. The curriculum is not what you will find in seminary, yet the studies are well beyond the piece of paper anyone could get off the Internet. ACC has designed a program similar to that followed by Kathleen in 1993. One of her goals for ACC was to be able to offer such a path to ministry for qualified women candidates. In Kathleen’s own words:
“After my first year of ministry studies, the school closed its doors leaving me and others in the lurch. One of our teachers got creative and started his own ministry mentoring program, similar in style, he said, to the ministry of theologian C.S. Lewis.
Over the next two years my beloved mentor drew out of me the essence of what would be my ministry, as opposed to filling me with information that would have made me a member of the cookie cutter clergy. This mentor advised me on more classes that I should take, books to read, events to attend, ceremonies to study, all in pursuit of my unique path toward ministry licensing. That happened in 1996, after a lifetime of spiritual pursuits and three years of focused studies.”
Kathleen has opened the door for this path to ministry licensing for women, and already some have heard the call and are moving forward. The process, in brief:
Year 1 Candidate participates in and completes the nine-month Anam Cara Journey program with Kathleen as her mentor.
Year 2 Candidate participates in active service to the community through Anam Cara Connections. This may include leading the Prayer Ministry team, assisting Kathleen or another minister in the programs they offer, offering classes or workshops, writing for the E-newsletter, etc.
Other studies that fulfill the requirement for Year 2 might include completing a two-year Spiritual Direction Program, certification as an Enneagram leader, or certificate of training granted by SoulCollage®
Year 3 Candidate participates in private mentoring with Rev. Debbie Taylor, a licensed Unity minister (http://www.blueacorn.org/), who serves on the team at Unity Village that licenses ministers there. The candidate compensates Rev. Debbie directly, for a mutually agreed-upon sum. Every three months Kathleen meets with Rev. Debbie and the candidate to check in on the candidate’s progress.
After one year, the three will decide if it is the right timing for licensing, or if additional mentoring is recommended. If it is determined that the time is right, then Kathleen will present the candidate to the ACC Core Council. The Council will interview the candidate and decide together whether to pursue licensing at that time. When it is time, the candidate will work closely with Kathleen on development of the ceremony script.
All newly licensed ministers are encouraged to continue mentoring with Rev. Debbie or Kathleen, or another spiritual leader of their choice.
Meet our First Licensed Minister!
After serving in leadership of the ACC prayer ministry, Rev. Liah took on the role of Rev. Kathleen’s assistant for ACC’s First Friday Forum, providing a reading each month, many of which she wrote specifically for the evening. As a licensed minister she has continued to provide poetry for the ACC emails, has written and performed ceremonies for women, based on the Celtic triple spiral, and has also led spiritual women’s groups.