Formerly Career And Personal Counseling Service
Guiding and nurturing ministerial candidates, church professionals, and individuals from a number of denominations through the process of career and life planning.
DID YOU KNOW…
Ministry Development Services (MDS) is an ecumenical service whose mission is to strengthen,
care and nurture the growth of ministry leadership, church professionals, congregations, and lay
individuals through the process of career and life planning. Based in Charlotte and serving the greater
Carolinas region, Ministry Development Services has provided vocational counseling and assessment
programs in congregational leadership, conflict resolution, boundaries and self-care since 1965.
HOW CAN WE HELP YOU…
Programs that Ministry Development Services offer include, but are not limited to the
Ministerial Assessment (Candidate/Inquirer Psychological Assessment Program)
This program is designed to emphasize the ministerial candidate’s strengths and vulnerabilities. Our qualified and tenured counselors address and expand upon the candidate’s realism of their call to ministry. We identify how the candidate’s skills, abilities and interests are beneficial to their calling, and we make recommendations for improvement for the purposes of support, awareness and growth. The purpose is to cultivate a foundation for a healthy, high-functioning ministry. Our reports help the Committees that make the decisions on whether or not they feel the individual is ready for this commitment.
Clergy Assessment (Intensive Assessment Program)
The above-referenced program is designed to limit the need for intensive evaluation. However, when an intensive program is warranted, MDS provides this resource to those in need. An intensive assessment program is offered to church judicatories referring clergy who are in the midst of crises, including misconduct, personality or behavioral changes, professional breakdown and/ or relationship difficulties or conflict. The goal of this program is to focus on critical areas of concern noted by the judicatory and provide suggestions as to corrective measures, including treatment options, rehabilitation, placement indicators, outplacement or a combination of these measures.
Congregational Care (including church staff and leadership)
MDS provides professional consultation programs, conflict resolution and training to congregations of all denominations in order to foster and maintain a healthy congregation. We assist church staff with personnel issues, help with team building and the crafting and revision of staff roles and expectations. As for church leadership, MDS provides leadership development opportunities, as well as, assistance with developing improved communication and conflict resolution skills.
Lay Client Support
We counsel lay adults who are seeking meaningful vocational guidance, as well as college and high school students exploring educational, vocational or ministerial direction. This program helps to identify personality strengths, preferences, occupational interests, skills and abilities while also taking into consideration the personal qualities, aspirations and values of the individual. This data is used to assist individuals with making well-informed and strategic decisions as to possible future careers.
Consulting Services and Workshops for Clergy and Church Professionals
The first five years of an ordained clergy person’s career is filled with numerous stressors, uncertainties and, oftentimes, feelings of being overwhelmed with the responsibility of balancing the needs of a congregation with the needs of a family at home. We offer professional development workshops and consulting services to both the clergy and church professionals, as well as their families at home. Topics include conflict management, professional ethics, self-care health and wellness, mid-career discernment, preparation for retirement, parsonage financials, and many other areas of need.
Youth Faith Informed Vocational Discernment Initiative
Ministry Development Services reaches out to middle school, high school and college-aged students of all religions to establish a campus initiative that will help students in identifying their unique, God-given gifts. Our qualified counselors assist in identifying these students’ gifts by leveraging a variety of in-depth inventories and instruments coupled with intimate conversation. We then work very intentionally in supporting the student while they first discern whether or not they have a true calling from God and then, guiding the student onto the right track. We will work with all middle school, high school and college-aged students throughout North Carolina and South Carolina region.
When a student knows they have a true calling, we introduce them to the individuals who are best able to assist them in further developing their call within ordained ministry. When an individual does not experience a true calling but wants to know how they can both explore and utilize their gift of ministry and leadership through the vocation of their choice, MDS supports and nurtures them through this process as well. By undertaking a deliberate journey of discernment, affirmation and intentional direction, we assist individuals in determining their direction and method of impact. This type of exploration creates a sacred space wherin young adults may be in meaningful fellowship and worship. Our practical workshops allow for further discernment as individuals consider whether or not God’s call on their life is to be within ordained ministry or, if not, how they can still use their innate gifts and skills in ministry through their chosen vocation. It is the position of Ministry Development Services that without this direction, young adults may not have a full understanding of their gifts and how they can be best applied for maximum impact on their communities and beyond. Furthermore, we feel that the church is the building block of civilized society and, without programs such as ours, the church will be weakened as more and more ministry and clergy positions go unfilled.
Ministry Development Services offers workshops, seminars and other educational opportunities to support our clergy community. These workshops are structured to address stressors, issues, and concerns that are often experienced by clergy and their families. It is our desire to nurture, strengthen and to cultivate a foundation for a healthy functioning ministry. These workshops are conservatively priced to be sensitive to individual family finances. Attendance to these workshops and seminars will also help in meeting your recommended continued education credits.