The road to mentorship
Petra College choose to work with partners, rather than work alone. The process has three stages:
Forming the partnership
When a denomination or organisation, on national level, apply for a training partnership with Petra College for training, a partnership is formed in which the College undertakes to train their leaders in children’s ministry according to a mutual agreement based on the training strategy and criteria of Petra College.
The equipping phase of the partnership starts when the Children’s Ministry Foundations Course is presented to selected leaders already established in children’s ministry. For this purpose, the partner should select a core group of leaders in children’s ministry according to criteria agreed upon as part of the terms of the partnership. It is important that these candidates have already proved themselves with a definite calling and gifts for children’s ministry, teaching and leadership, and with an aptness for leadership skills.
The executive leadership together with Petra College lecturers will eventually select one or two leaders from this group to do the Children’s Ministry Mentorship Course at the college. This will equip them to train other adults in children’s ministry, plan and strategise the ministry and manage it effectively.
Furthermore, it is important that these leaders, selected to be equipped as mentors, should also have approved influence in the ministry and enjoy acceptance among the executive leadership of the partner, since they will have to work shoulder-to-shoulder with them in future. It is advisable that they should in future be appointed by the partner to serve on national level in official roles within the personnel structure of the partner.
The Children’s Ministry Foundations Course can also be done through correspondence or residentially at Petra College’s satellite campus. Students are then selected to do the Children’s Ministry Mentorship Course, which equips them to train other adults in children’s ministry, do the planning for his/her ministry, and manage it effectively.
After completion of the Children’s Ministry Mentorship Course, the leaders who have been trained, have to arrange training opportunities in their own areas, where they present the Children’s Ministry Foundations Course. Lecturers from Petra College are available to help with the training, evaluate and guide them through the process, equipping leaders in churches and mission organisations to become mentors in children’s ministry. Petra College is still available to advise these leaders, but they are able to continue independently of the College and equip others in children’s ministry. The College is thus free to get involved in other areas, where effective children’s ministry is not yet practised.