The Study and Training for Effective Pastoral Ministry (STEP) program looks to grow in 2012 with the formation of two new cohorts of students simultaneously in Philadelphia, Pa. and Lancaster, Pa. for the fall semester.
“Starting two cohorts of STEP students in one year signals another adventure for us,” remarked Mark R. Wenger, STEP program director. “We are very pleased to see how STEP is addressing the urgent need for basic high-quality pastoral training of those in congregational leadership.”
Designed for adult learners in part-time study, the STEP program focuses on ministry practice, coupled with assignments and teaching by experienced pastors, to form the basis for a lively learning community.
Each of the three years of STEP yields 10 undergraduate credits at Eastern Mennonite University (EMU). Classes meet on Saturdays, once a month, with students coming from Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and Ohio.
STEP will hold its sixth annual graduation on May 12 for a cohort of students completing the three-year, part-time program.
The STEP pastoral training program emerged in 2004 in response to the need to provide more flexible, non-traditional Anabaptist ministry preparation. The program first expanded from its Lancaster, Pa. base in 2010 by working together with Anabaptist congregations in Philadelphia.
STEP is jointly owned by EMU and Lancaster Mennonite Conference.