In order to enhance its capacity to equip M. Div. students for lifelong pastoral and congregational ministry, Regent College focused on four specific areas: developing spiritual maturity of students; developing enhanced transition as the students move from the seminary to church communities; developing support structures for the newly placed graduate through first three years of ministry; and developing methods for faculty to keep abreast with the changing role of church ministry.
The college established the Marketplace Institute to enable students’ to reflect theologically on Christian life, values and faith amidst marketplace pressures, and to think theologically about societal work and societal vocations. A mentor in marketplace ministries regularly guided the students and enabled them to integrate their faith and work. An extensive larger mentoring program trained the mentors enabling them to engage in transformational mentoring relationships with students at a personal level.
The grant enabled the college to establish a permanent faculty position in pastoral theology. Support for recent graduates was provided through expanding access to the annual Pastors Conference and setting up an alumni/pastor discussion website, www.pastorcare.net which offered online resources.