Women’s studies in Religion courses helped me discover how women are struggling for their rights. They try to overcome what life has been imposing on them. Learning how theologians have been abusing patriarchal culture and how some feminist women tried to face those issues led me to think about what is happening in my community. In this memoir paper, I will try to speak about gender unequal treatment in pastoral ordination.
Pastoral ordination is the formal recognition and commissioning of an individual to serve as a pastor or minister within a particular religious denomination or community. The process typically involves several stages of preparation, including theological education, practical ministry experience, and examination by a governing body or board of elders. In most Christian traditions, pastoral ordination involves laying on of hands by other ordained ministers or elders, which is a symbolic gesture that signifies the passing of authority and spiritual power to the newly ordained pastor.
This act is often accompanied by prayers, blessings, and the giving of a stole or other liturgical garment. The responsibilities of a pastor vary depending on the particular denomination or community they serve, but generally include leading worship services, preaching and teaching, providing pastoral care and counseling, administering sacraments or ordinances (such as baptism or communion), and serving as a spiritual leader and role model for the congregation. Overall, pastoral ordination is an important rite of passage for individuals called to ministry, and signifies their commitment to serving God and their community in a leadership capacity.
In many religious traditions, the process of pastoral ordination begins with a period of discernment and preparation, during which individuals are encouraged to explore their sense of calling to ministry and undergo training in theology, biblical studies, pastoral care, and other relevant areas of study. This may involve attending a seminary or divinity school, completing an internship or apprenticeship program, and engaging in other forms of spiritual formation and discipleship.
Once an individual has completed the necessary education and training, they may be considered for ordination by their denomination or community. This typically involves a formal evaluation process, during which the candidate’s character, spiritual maturity, theological understanding, and ministry skills are assessed by a board of elders or other governing body. If the candidate is found to meet the necessary qualifications, they may be approved for ordination and invited to participate in a formal ordination service.
` During the ordination service, the candidate is typically asked to make public vows or commitments to faithfully serve God and their community in the capacity of a pastor. They may also be asked to recite creeds or confessions of faith, and to affirm their belief in the authority of scripture and the teachings of their denomination. The laying on of hands by other ordained ministers or elders is a central aspect of the service, as it signifies the candidate’s receipt of spiritual authority and empowerment to serve as a pastor.
Following ordination, pastors are typically regarded as members of a professional clergy and are held to certain standards of conduct and ethics within their denomination or community. They may be subject to ongoing evaluation and supervision by a board of elders or other governing body, and may be required to undergo continuing education or training in order to maintain their standing as a pastor.
Overall, pastoral ordination is a significant milestone in the life of an individual called to ministry, and represents a formal recognition of their spiritual gifts, theological knowledge, and leadership potential. It is a solemn and joyous occasion for both the individual being ordained and their community of faith, and serves as a visible sign of their commitment to serve God and their community as a pastor.