Acceptance into the ministerial program as a trainee and approval as a candidate are both required for the completion of a Theology or Pastoral Care major.
Students may apply to the ministerial program for trainee status in the first semester of their sophomore year. These applications will be considered during that semester and announced by the start of the second semester, provided the following checklist is completed.
To qualify for ministerial trainee status, a student must have:
1. Successfully completed 40 hours of academic credit by the time of the trainee induction service, including:
- English Composition I, II
- Introduction to Public Speaking
- Life and Teachings of Jesus
- Adventist Heritage
- Introduction to Ministry
- Biblical Hebrew I or New Testament Greek I
2. An overall grade point average of at least 2.50 and a grade point average of 2.50 in all religion classes (including biblical languages) completed at the time of application.
3. Completed at least two semesters in residence at SAU.
4. A record of regular attendance at required activities of the SAU School of Religion.
5. Completed the 16PF Test within six months prior to application.
6. Completed the Jackson Vocational Interest Survey (JVIS).
7. Successfully completed the SAU School of Religion Test of Elementary Biblical Knowledge.
8. Successfully completed the SAU School of Religion Test of Elementary Doctrinal Knowledge or RELT 255 Christian Beliefs.
9. Submitted four recommendations on provided forms, including at least one from each of the following:
- A church pastor.
- A church officer.
- An employer OR work supervisor OR supervisor of volunteer ministries.
10. Completed a prescribed semi-structured interview with his or her adviser.
11. Developed and submited a typewritten ministry experience portfolio, including the following:
- A statement of call (similar, though not necessarily identical, to the one written for RELP 150 Introduction to Ministry).
- Description of church and ministry activity.
- Description of any volunteer or employment experience in any setting.
- A statement of personal goals and values.
- A growth plan based on self-evaluation, the results of standardized tests, and the interview with the adviser.
12. Approval by the School of Religion Faculty Committee based on the following factors:
- Evaluation of the ministry experience portfolio.
- Consideration of written recommendations and the recommendation of the adviser.
- Consideration of academic performance.
- Consideration of standardized test results.
- Consideration of the student’s reputation in the university, church, and community.
- Deadline for applications for admission as trainees is December 1, and applications will be considered by the faculty in December. This will allow time for evaluation and additional consultation with students, if necessary.
Trainees will be officially inducted into the program at the time of the annual Trainee Induction Weekend in January.