Psychological Assessment of Candidates for Clergy Careers by whitecheese

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									                       Chapter 8

  Psychological Assessment of
Candidates for Clergy Careers
BOM HANDBOOK                                  Psychological Assessment of Candidates for Clergy Careers

Psychological Assessment of Candidates
for Clergy Careers
Guidelines for Assessment

The Task: Selection and Nurture
Selecting clergy from among the applicants for entry or re-entry into the ordained
ministries of The United Methodist Church is a highly significant, frequently
joyful, sometimes agonizing, but regularly necessary task of conference Boards
and district Committees on Ordained Ministry. Psychological evaluation in the
ministerial selection process provides valuable and relevant information in a
written report to assist those who make decisions about applicants for clergy
careers. This chapter will be of particular interest to conference Boards and
district Committees on Ordained Ministry, candidacy mentors, ministerial
assessment specialists, and the applicants themselves.

The Purpose
The chapter was written with particular reference to one aspect of the selection
process, namely, the focused professional psychological assessment (including
testing, clinical interviewing of the applicant, and the submission of a written
psychological report to authorized persons on the BOM or dCOM.) This process
is referred to herein as the ministerial assessment process.

The Scope
The assessment of candidates includes instances such as:
    persons applying for admission as candidates for licensed or ordained ministry
    interdenominational or conference transfers with either probationary or full
    membership status
    disability leave and/or reinstatement, particularly when the rationale given is
    emotional disability
Other instances of psychological assessment include, but are not be limited to,
pastors who are self and/or administrator-referred for evaluation. Such evaluations
follow similar administrative and clinical procedural patterns, with minor

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BOM HANDBOOK                                  Psychological Assessment of Candidates for Clergy Careers

Reader's Guide
Certain sections of the chapter will be of more interest to some readers than to
others. For example, the BOM chairperson will benefit from a review of the entire
chapter but will be especially interested in Part Three, pages 16-23. It includes the
section on structuring a committee on psychological assessment at the conference
board level which can service the needs of both the conference board and the
district committee. The person who is chosen to chair the BOM committee on
psychological assessment will want to read the instructions pertinent to his/her
functions in that same section.
The dCOM chair will be most interested in Part Two, Section IV, pages 10-13; he
or she will benefit from a review of all of Part Two, pages 7-16.
The candidacy mentor will need to review Part One, Sections I and III, pages 4-7;
and Part Four, Section V, page 26.
The ministerial assessment specialist will need to read the entire chapter.
Applicants may be particularly interested in looking at a description of some of
the procedures for which he or she has specific initiatory responsibility in Part
Two, Section IV, and Part Four, and Section V on confidentiality, pages 10-13,

This material was originally written at the request of the North Central
Jurisdictional workshop on "Standards, Interviewing, and Testing," held May 10-
20, 1975, and the "Task Force on Manuals," June 1975. It was reviewed for the
1980 Board of Ordained Ministry Handbook under the direction of Robert
Kohler, director, DOM, and was subsequently revised for the 1984-1988 UMC
BOM Handbook under the mandate of the Advisory Committee on Psychological
Assessment of the Committee on Conference Relations, Division of Ordained
Ministry, United Methodist General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.
A revision for the 2000-2004 UMC Board of Ordained Ministry Handbook was
necessary due to refinements in the candidacy assessment process and changes
mandated by actions taken at General Conference 2000.
At the direction of the Division of Ordained Ministry, this revision incorporates
changes relevant to the 2004 General Conference.

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     BOM HANDBOOK                                  Psychological Assessment of Candidates for Clergy Careers

                                       Part One
     Psychological Assessment in the Context of
     Selection and Nurture Decisions
I.         Psychological Assessment
     Psychological assessment is viewed as servant to the needs of conference Boards
     and district Committees of Ordained Ministry as they make selection and nurture
     decisions. It is one of several decision support structures available.
     Psychological assessment results are seen as consultation to individuals and
     interview committees who work with candidates in the screening and nurture
     process. Boards and district Committees of Ordained Ministry through their
     interview committees and in plenary sessions make final decisions about
     candidates on criteria that are theological, ecclesiological, and psychological. The
     ministerial assessment specialist provides consultation on the psychological
     dimensions of the application, as indicated in Section III of the following
     material. (see next page)
     Psychological reports are required for use in the selection of the dCOM and BOM
     decision-making procedures in the application process.

     II.         Psychological Assessment Programs
     To be of maximum benefit to BOMs and dCOMs, programs must be designed to
     address the kind of questions which boards and committees must deal with in
     interviewing candidates. Therefore, a psychological assessment program should
     yield the following:
           Assessment results should provide BOMs and dCOMs with appropriate and
           needed information for screening (selection) decisions.
           Psychological test results should provide BOMs and dCOMs, with
           information pertinent to appropriate nurture decisions.
           Psychological assessment should provide a clergy career candidate with
           information pertinent to decisions about personal and professional preparation
           with particular focus on experiences which can further develop areas of
           strength or which can correct and/or remedy problem areas.
           Psychological assessment should provide a clergy career candidate with
           needed information pertinent to the maintenance of maximum psychological
           health in professional ministry and relate to specific areas of potential
           problems with concrete suggestions about how to handle them.
           Psychological assessment consultants may be called upon by BOMs, dCOMs,
           and clergy career candidates, where necessary, in finding appropriate
           resources for dealing with problems which surface in the review process.

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III. Areas to Be Addressed During the Ministerial Assessment

Mental Health and Personality Functioning

    Reality testing—the candidate's capacity for understanding and relating to
    socially defined, as well as personally defined reality, or alternatively, the
    extent to which a candidate is able to experience the consensual or operational
    view of reality in interpersonal encounters, and does or does not use fantasy as
    a way of resolving problems.

    The nature, extent, and effectiveness of the candidate's defenses against
    internal threats (anxiety)—defenses are necessary and adaptive if they are
    effective, efficient, and flexible. The issue for a given candidate would be
    whether his or her defenses are adequate in terms of dealing sufficiently with
    anxiety to free the person for self-acceptance and for healthy relationships;
    whether the defenses are flexible in contrast to rigid; whether they are energy
    efficient or not, and whether the candidate can lower or put aside defenses
    when appropriate in order to relate intimately with others.
    The nature and extent of interpersonal striving—some persons
    characteristically feel no pain even when they realistically should. Instead of
    accepting and dealing with their own emotional pain, they act in ways that
    cause distress, and even suffering, to those around them. This inadequate way
    of dealing with anxiety is unreflective, causes others distress or suffering, and
    does not motivate the person for needed personal change.
    Emotional problems that will result in physiological damage—of particular
    concern is the candidate's ways of utilizing somatization as a defense
    (conversion of a mental state such as depression or anxiety into physical
    systems) and the consequences that such patterns will have for him or her in
    terms of physical symptoms.
    Affective disorders—the behavior and attitudes of some are largely
    determined by unstable moods or overwhelming floods of emotion which tend
    to blot out external social reality. Such disorders may take the form of
    euphoria or expansiveness, leading candidates to present themselves as
    supermen/women which results in burnout. Alternatively, the disorder may
    take the form of depression and apathy not based on the person's situation at
    the moment but on chronic internal factors which result in chronic
    underachievement, not to mention significant psychological distress.
    Cognitive disorders—the thought processes may be disordered so that goal-
    directed thinking is not dependable, and sometimes not possible, or thinking
    may be either too abstract or too concrete and hence may result in problems of
    goal directed and stable behavior, as well the loss of good judgment or
    common sense in decision making.
    Identity problems—those identity problems that are developmental should be
    sorted out from those that are pathological. Appropriate intervention should be

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BOM HANDBOOK                                  Psychological Assessment of Candidates for Clergy Careers

    provided, as indicated. Another version of identity problems is the premature
    adoption of role behavior which substitutes for a solidly and congruently
    established and functional personal identity, i.e., ego foreclosure.

Mental Health Issues and the Role Requirements of Professional Ministry
In psychological assessment for clergy career candidates, the question must
always be asked: What implications does this candidate's personality profile
(along the dimensions mentioned in the preceding points) have for both personal
and professional functioning in the role of clergy person?
For example, a person may be in good mental health but also may be emotionally
insensitive to the feelings, needs, and opinions of others. A person with a low
level of interpersonal sensitivity might make a good engineer. Whether a person
with such traits would have the capacity for effective pastoral functioning in
professional ministry constitutes a serious question. Any characteristic or
combination of traits that have a negative impact on professional ministry would
seriously jeopardize the potential for effectiveness.
Insensitivity, or the lack of capacity for empathy would be at the top of the list of
undesirable traits, whether or not the individual has an adequate or better level of
mental health. When such a situation exists, the question is, what, if anything, can
the candidate do so as to correct a characteristic or set of traits which would be
detrimental to the development of effectiveness in professional ministry? Can he
or she develop role-taking skills and skills in active listening to a satisfactory
degree? To put the matter another way, what is the fit of the applicant's
personality structure and style with the requirements for effective professional
A second example has to do with the applicant's ability to relate to others in an
effective manner. As F. Thomas Trotter, former General Secretary of GBHEM,
notes, United Methodist clergy and laity alike place very high value on
interpersonal leadership and expectations in ministry and that the "interpersonal
pastoral model" draws a very high valuation from United Methodists. Others
direct our attention to the need for an interpersonal and leadership style that
results in the ability to enable and empower all Christians for their ministry in the
world. Clearly, good mental health and a capacity to take and to fill social
(professional) roles are not, in and of themselves, sufficient qualifications for the
development of effectiveness in ordained ministry.
A further question relates to the candidate's unconscious as well as conscious
motivations for entrance into ministry. At times the selection of a clergy career
has behind it a psychodynamic function (wish) that such a choice will comprise a
means of resolving psychodynamic or systemic (family) issues that are not likely
to be resolved via increased maturation and life experience. A major question in
such circumstances is: Will this strategy work? If not, what will happen to the
sense of calling at the point when the candidate becomes clergy and realizes that
such is the case? In such circumstances it is highly likely that the candidate will
become depressed and/or will leave the ministry.

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BOM HANDBOOK                                       Psychological Assessment of Candidates for Clergy Careers

Mental Health Issues and Institutional Forms
A third major area of concern is the interface of mental health issues for a given
candidate with the particular institutional form of The United Methodist Church
(or other denomination or sect). Institutional forms require certain kinds of
behavior from individuals who are participating in them. Since the United
Methodist structure is an authority-oriented structure, persons with authority
problems tend to encounter certain difficulties and present certain kinds of
problems for the organization. In many instances, these problems would probably
not occur in a congregational type of polity or structure.
While there is considerable latitude on this matter, psychological consultants need
to pay special attention to authority issues for candidates who are going to be
serving in The United Methodist Church because of the nature of the connectional
system which provides a basis for United Methodist institutional structure. For
those persons (elders) who are to itinerate in the connectional system, these issues
are crucial. For persons ordained to Word and Service (deacon), these issues
would relate more directly to the type of appointment that is in view.

                                      Part Two
Selection Decisions, Criteria, and Process
  I.        Theological Understandings of the Need for Selection
As noted in the Discipline
            The heart of Christian ministry is Christ's ministry of outreaching love.
            Christian ministry is the expression of the mind and mission of Christ by a
            community of Christians that demonstrates a common life of gratitude and
            devotion, witness and service, celebration and discipleship. All Christians
            are called through their baptism to this ministry of servanthood in the
            world to the glory of God and for human fulfillment. The forms of this
            ministry are diverse in locale, in interest, and in denominational accent, yet
            always catholic in spirit and outreach. (¶125)
            This ministry of all Christians in Christ's name and spirit is both a gift and a
            task. The gift is God's unmerited grace; the task is unstinting service.
            Entrance into the church is acknowledged in baptism… Baptism is
            followed by nurture and the consequent awareness by the baptized of the
            claim to ministry in Christ placed upon their lives by the church. Such a
            ministry is confirmed by the church when the pledges of baptism are
            accepted through profession of faith and renewed for life and mission.
            The ministry of all Christians is shaped by the teachings of Jesus. The
            handing on of these teachings is entrusted to leaders who are gifted and
            called by God to appointed offices in the church . . .. For these persons to

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BOM HANDBOOK                                     Psychological Assessment of Candidates for Clergy Careers

            lead the church effectively, they must embody the teaching of Jesus in
            servant ministries and servant leadership. (¶131)
Persons who feel called by God to ordained ministry as a deacon or an elder will
need to test that sense of calling against their own gifts and graces. That sense of
calling, if it is to lead to ordination, must also be tested by the church. God's call
to the ordained ministry is inward as it comes to the individual and outward
through the judgment and validation of the church. "Within the church
community, there are persons whose gifts, evidence of God's grace, and promise
of future usefulness are affirmed by the community, and who respond to God's
call by offering themselves in leadership as ordained ministers." (¶301) “Those
whom the Church ordains shall be conscious of God’s call to ordained ministry,
and their call shall be acknowledged and authenticated by the Church.” (¶304)
The difficulty of this important task must not be underestimated. It demands the
highest and best decision making from sensitive and perceptive board and
committee members as well as from laity in the congregation and faculty in the
seminary. Difficult though the selection and nurture task is, when it is properly
understood and implemented, the resulting decisions can enhance both the
spiritual and temporal life of the candidate, the church, and the world. Poorly
understood and implemented, the process lays waste the personal and corporate
resources of all concerned. Bitterness and tragedy can and often do result when
selection and nurture decisions are faulty.
When a given applicant is not accepted for ordained ministry, one route to
reducing these difficulties is for the candidate and the committee to be very clear
with themselves and each other about the limits of the applicability of the
decision. The selection decision applies only to ordained ministry in a given
denomination, in a given annual conference (or district), at a given time.
A second limit that may need to be stated is that while judgments of this sort must
be made, they are made by fallible human beings whose understanding of the will
of God is imperfect at best. One is reminded of the selection of Mathias as
recorded in Acts 1:26. However, with all humility and candor, selection decisions
nevertheless must be made. They need to be made both prayerfully and
responsibly, with as much care and clarity about appropriate criteria and effective
procedures as is humanly possible. "Each person voting is expected to vote
prayerfully based on personal judgment of the applicant's gifts, evidence of God's
grace, and promise of future usefulness for the mission of the Church." (¶304.5)

II.         Criteria for Selection Process

Conceptual Framework
There are four major stages in the selection, nurture, and support of persons from
their initial consideration of ordained ministry to serving as ordained deacon,
elder, or local pastor. Each stage has a corresponding conceptual emphasis for
measuring fitness, competency, readiness and effectiveness and focuses on
additional elements.

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BOM HANDBOOK                                  Psychological Assessment of Candidates for Clergy Careers

     Stages                        Emphasis             Criteria Question
1.   Candidacy                     Fitness              Does the person have the
                                                        potential qualities (gifts,
                                                        grace, fruit, character, and
                                                        personality) to become an
                                                        effective minister?
2.   Probationary membership       Competency           Is the person developing the
                                                        knowledge, professional and
                                                        interpersonal skills, and
                                                        spiritual formation essential
                                                        for effective ministry in his or
                                                        her practice under
3.   Ordination                    Readiness            Is the person ready to begin
                                                        the practice of ministry
                                                        independently as an ordained
                                                        member of the annual
4.   Continuing ministry           Effectiveness        Is the person functioning
                                                        effectively in the type of
                                                        ministry intended and
                                                        participating in continuing
                                                        education and growth?

Assessment, both psychological self-report and behavioral observation, is
involved at each of these stages. Most annual conferences have psychological
assessment procedures that are clearly developed for candidacy (Stage 1), and
some are also instituting psychological assessment procedures for Stages 2 and 3.
At candidacy, the psychological assessment process seeks to identify both
strengths and needed growth areas in the candidate. Psychological assessment is
required prior to candidacy certification (¶311.3(d)). The primary responsibility of
the ministerial assessment specialist (MAS) is to the annual conference. The
central task of the MAS is to identify how well the candidate meets the many
dimensions of fitness needed for ordained or licensed ministry.
Probationary membership is preparation for ordination. At probationary
membership, psychological assessment seeks to determine the candidate’s
progress in addressing personal and relational growth areas as well as how the
candidate is sustaining support networks for continuing growth. Other
assessments evaluate the candidate’s knowledge and skills through supervision
and feedback.
At ordination the central question is whether the candidate is ready to practice
ministry in the United Methodist structure.

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BOM HANDBOOK                                  Psychological Assessment of Candidates for Clergy Careers

Culture and Gender Fairness and Accuracy
At each stage all procedures must be accurate and fair to the church and to the
candidate, including the heritage and situational contexts of both candidate and
church. Comparisons need to be based on empirical research with both women
and men candidates and be sensitive to the cultural, language, and heritage of both
the candidate and the corresponding groups in the church.

III.        Psychological Dimensions of Selection Criteria
Psychological dimensions of the selection which should be included in a
psychological review are set forth in Section III of Part One of this chapter, pages
5-6. Those dimensions include reality testing, anxiety coping, interpersonal
striving, physiological vulnerability, affective disorders, cognitive disorders, and
identity problems.

IV.         Reporting on the Psychological Dimensions of Selection

Psychological Reports As Consultation
Psychological evaluation functions in a servant role in relationship to the selection
and nurture decisions of district and conference boards and committees of
ordained ministry. Final decisions about applicants for ordained ministry are
made by conference and district committees. These decisions are the result of
board and committee interview processes utilizing criteria that are broadly
theological and ecclesiological in nature but which include psychological
dimensions as well.
The ministerial assessment specialist (MAS) provides information concerning an
applicant’s internal and interpersonal functioning. Interview teams then utilize
that information as one of the bases for formulating questions that they will need
to ask the applicant, and as a part of the information they will need to consider in
making their final decision. Hence, psychological reports are viewed as written
consultations to interview committees for use in the formulation of questions they
may need to raise with the candidate in their face-to-face interviews.
The face-to-face interview between the applicant and the MAS should provide an
interpretation of the testing results, using non-technical language understandable
to the candidate and to the district committees and conference boards. The results
of the psychological review are to be related both to mental health standards and
to the potential for effective performance of professional ministry. Specific
suggestions regarding enhancing strengths and addressing areas of weakness
should be part of the face-to-face consultation between the applicant and the
ministerial assessment specialist.

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BOM HANDBOOK                                     Psychological Assessment of Candidates for Clergy Careers

Psychological Reports As Evaluation
Psychological reports consist primarily of a clinical description and evaluation of
personality. They are typically based on test data as well as data from a diagnostic
or history-taking interview.
The focus of the psychological report is on description rather than prediction. The
personality description is set in the context of psychological role requirements of
professional ministry in The United Methodist Church. Evaluation occurs
throughout the report.
There will be predictive statements of a general nature about the long-term effect
of the trends and patterns of a given personality style as that relates to the
psychological role requirements of ministry. It is not predictive with reference to
specific behaviors in specific situations. Predictive statements are typically
beyond the competence of psychological assessment given the present state of the
science of psychological prediction.
The following seven categories may be used as a summary evaluative statement
under the rubric of mental health and interpersonal functioning. These categories
should be used to clarify for the MAS the nature of the statements included in the
report, as representatives of the category, rather than the MAS using the category
name in the report. The categories are not to be placed in the report since nothing
in the report should be seen as tying the selection committee’s hands. The
selection committee makes the decision, not the MAS. However, selection
committees can benefit from a professional opinion properly stated at the
conclusion of a descriptive report.
As noted, the name of the category should not be included in the report. However,
a descriptive sentence that would communicate a professional opinion to the
selection committee is added as an example for each category and may be used in
the test of the MAS reports.
The lead phrase for the bottom line professional opinion may be phrased as
follows: Based on the data made available at the time of this review, when seen
from the perspective of mental health and effective interpersonal functioning, the
applicant appears to be:
            1. Highly regarded. For this category the conclusion might be, “in robust
               mental health and evidences rather exceptional interpersonal skills.
               These personal gifts should enable the individual to move through the
               formation process provided in seminary and achieve a point of
               readiness for the beginning practice of professional ministry.”
            2. Recommended. The MAS might conclude the report with the
               statement, “Based on the data made available at the time of this
               review, when seen from the perspective of mental health and effective
               interpersonal functioning, the applicant appears to have developed the
               intrapsychic structures and interpersonal styles that can provide a good
               foundation for the development of effectiveness in full-time
               professional ministry.”

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BOM HANDBOOK                                      Psychological Assessment of Candidates for Clergy Careers

            3. Acceptable with the following notations. Use the same language as in
               (#2 above) but add a sentence or more as appropriate indicating the
               substance of the notation. For example, “This candidate appears to be
               too hard on him/herself and will need to attend a regular observances
               of days off and vacations, along with keeping a reasonable schedule, in
               order to avoid burnout.”
            4. Acceptable if the following conditions are met. A sample statement
               would be, “Based on the data made available at the time of this review,
               when seen from the perspective of mental health and effective
               interpersonal functioning, the applicant appears to be in need of some
               focused work on problems with authority figures. The applicant could
               benefit from a year of administrative supervision with a firm but
               caring experienced senior supervisor, from whom this individual can
               learn the value of promptness in the completion of work assignments,
               the necessity of keeping appointments on a regular schedule, and other
               such matters of significance to the effective functioning of a
               professional. At the end of the training period of one year, reports from
               the administrative supervisor and others may be utilized to evaluate for
               progress in candidacy.”
            5. Marginal, with the following areas of concern needing attention and
               remediation specified or as need to be described such as, “The
               applicant appears to be in need of significant therapeutic work in areas
               of gender identity development, need for a greater degree of autonomy
               and individuation, further development of a positive sense of self and a
               higher level of self esteem, and the resolution of some chronic
               depressive features in his/her personality structure. This process is
               likely to take some time, such as a year or more, in individual
               psychotherapy, plus an additional period of time beyond the individual
               counseling, working in group therapy. Without a successful
               therapeutic experience in which these and other related areas are
               successfully addressed, the applicant would not appear to have the
               emotional resources with which to cope with the demands of
               professional ministry, whether in a parish or setting beyond the local
               church. Subsequent to the applicant’s therapeutic work, another review
               of the present sort would need to be held, as an independent evaluation
               about progress to that date, and prospects for the future adjustment and
            6. Not acceptable as he/she presents at the present time. If improvement
               occurs in the areas noted, the applicant may be encouraged to reapply
               at a later time. “The applicant presents with significant emotional
               and/or, cognitive and/or conduct difficulties of a psychiatric nature. It
               is recommended that this individual be referred for psychiatric
               evaluation, and for ongoing psychotherapy. This intervention is likely
               to involve more than one year of work, and possibly as much as three
               or four years of sustained work, before the individual would be ready
               for the stresses and strains of preparation for professional ministry, let
               alone be ready to cope with functioning in parish or agency ministries.

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               The nature of these difficulties are sufficiently intricate and complex
               that the applicant would need to have successfully completed two-
               thirds to three-fourths of the work before a subsequent application
               could be evaluated with any confidence. Nevertheless, given a
               successful therapeutic experience of some intensity and duration, a
               subsequent review would seem to be in order, to further establish
               his/her readiness to begin preparation for a possible career in
               professional ministry.”
            7. Not acceptable at this time, and not likely to be so in the foreseeable
               future, hence the applicant is encouraged to consider the following
               alternatives: “The applicant presents with significant hindrances to
               effective service in this annual conference and denomination, and
               possibly in ministry as a vocation as well. Given the applicant’s need
               for interpersonal and emotional distance, his/her tendency to be self
               absorbed, the tendency to personalize all incoming messages, the
               tendency to displace anger onto others and then experience them as
               being angry, the tendency to utilize fantasy as the criterion for whether
               problems are solved or not, and the like, it would be important for this
               individual to engage in a structured experience which would enable
               her/him to, in light of God’s call, reconsider his/her vocational call.
               The applicant would need to be aware that even if he/she engages in
               the foregoing process, that there is no point in submitting a
               reapplication in this process, should the committee so decide.”
The foregoing language which interprets each of the major categories of the rating
scale is intended as suggestive only. Naturally each MAS will want to select the
language which fits the particular report, so that the selection committee does
receive a professional opinion about the entire report, but in language which is
nontechnical and nonbinding. That is, the professional opinion of the MAS should
be made in language that provides consultation with and information for the
selection committee to arrive at a decision regarding the candidate.
Boards should remain in regular dialogue with the specialists regarding what is
needed for the psychological reporting. Ministerial Assessment Specialists should
report to the boards any suggestions they may have for facilitating the process;
this could also be reflected in the contract between the board and the MAS.

 V.         Applications of the Criteria: The Selection Process and
            Participant Responsibilities at Major Decision Points
The psychological report will be useful at each of the three major decision points:
candidacy, probationary membership, and ordination. It will be of more use in the
selection decision at the two earlier levels, and of most use in the selection
decision at candidacy since that is typically a pre-seminary decision point. A
reconsideration of vocational choice is usually most easily carried out at the pre-
seminary level where that seems to be the appropriate course of action. Indeed the
candidacy process is intended to facilitate just such vocational and self-
exploration. Hence the psychological report and interview can provide substantial
input for the exploring candidate.

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The psychological review will focus on fitness, competency, and readiness for
ministry in different proportions at each of the three major decision points. The
emphasis at candidacy will be on issues of fitness–that is potential for growth as
well as current characteristics and capabilities. The focus at application for
commissioning as a probationary member will be on continuing fitness issues and
beginning competencies in ministry. At ordination as one is preparing to enter full
connection, the issue of readiness to begin the practice of professional ministry
with beginning levels of effectiveness will be central.

Decision Point One: Application for Certification of Candidacy and/or
Request for License As Local Pastor
    The task of the candidacy mentor is to complete the request form (Form 112)
    for the assessment packet from the DOM candidacy assessment office at the
    beginning of the candidacy process. When the test packet arrives from
    Nashville, the candidacy mentor serves as a monitor of the testing situation. If
    assessment is requested at the beginning of the process, then information from
    the psychological report will be available at the proper time (six to eight
    weeks) when it is to be utilized as a regular part of the candidacy process. The
    psychological report can thus assist with the nurture task. A copy of the
    psychological report should go to a member of the dCOM who is not the
    candidacy mentor, nor the district superintendent, but who is a liaison person
    from the BOM psychological assessment committee. This copy of the report is
    for use in the selection task. This report would customarily be handled
    through the office of the conference chairperson of psychological assessment.
    The task of the applicant is to be available for the testing and interview
    process and participate actively in the assimilation and utilization of the
    The task of the ministerial assessment specialist (MAS) is twofold:
            to assist the candidate in the assessment of his/her fitness for preparation
            for professional ministry, and
            to recommend, as needed, special resources and experiences to enhance
            the development of the candidate’s capacity for personal and professional
            growth toward effective professional ministry; or alternatively to facilitate
            the exploration of other options
    Recommendations and other results of the psychological evaluation at
    decision point one are made to:
            the candidate in a face-to-face interview with the consultant
            the district Committee on Ordained Ministry in the form of a written
            report, usually through the office of the conference chairperson of
            psychological assessment, and the liaison person present in that dCOM

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BOM HANDBOOK                                     Psychological Assessment of Candidates for Clergy Careers

Decision Point Two: Application for Commissioning to Probationary
    The task of the conference registrar is to prepare the list of persons applying
    for probationary membership and for the chairperson on psychological
    assessment to forward to the MAS for use in contacting applicants who are to
    participate in the psychological assessment program.
    The task of the applicant is to be available for the testing and interview
    process and to participate actively in the assimilation and utilization of the
    The task of the MAS is to conduct a fitness review and take an initial look at
    competency acquisition of psychological dimensions and to present the results
    in a face-to-face interview with the candidate and by written report to the
    chair of psychological assessment committee.
            The primary focus of the psychological assessment at decision point two is
            an assessment of progress made with the fitness issues that surfaced in the
            report at decision point one, and to reassess the entire range of fitness
            issues in terms of the increased age, experience level, and maturity of the
            A second focus is the assessment of competency acquisition in the
            psychological role requirements appropriate to the initial appointability
            and beginning of professional ministry which application for probationary
            membership implies.
            Recommendation and other results of the psychological testing process at
            decision point two are made available to:
            1) the candidate in a face-to-face interview
            2) the chair of the BOM psychological assessment committee for
            3) one member of the candidate’s BOM interview team, and if the
               interview team member and the testing committee chairperson deem it
            4) the interview team, and if the interview team deems it necessary
            5) any mental health professional that the candidate designates for current
               or future therapeutic work
Note: The chairperson of the psychological assessment committee is to be the
advocate of the candidate’s right to confidentiality in this process. He/she is to
ensure maximum confidentiality of materials consistent with the BOM’s right to
information relevant to their task and decision. The candidate’s right to privacy
must be balanced with the BOM’s need to know (in a legal sense of the phrase).
    The task of the BOM interview team member who receives the report is to
    review the report on behalf of the interview team for issues that will need
    attention in the screening interview and in the report of the team to the BOM.
    The team member may need to consult with the psychological evaluator if

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     BOM HANDBOOK                                      Psychological Assessment of Candidates for Clergy Careers

         there are questions. When the team has made its report to the BOM the team
         member responsible for the report will return it to the psychological
         assessment chairperson.

     Decision Point Three: Application for Ordination and Full Connection
     Seminary education and at least three years of service in probationary
     membership have occurred by the time this review is conducted. That means a
     candidate has been exposed to and has successfully completed a variety of
     academic and practical experiences intended to prepare him/her for professional
         The tasks of the conference registrar and the chairperson of the psychological
         assessment committee are the same as at decision point two above.
         The tasks of the candidate are the same as in decision point two.
         The MAS will focus on the significant fitness and competency issues that
         remain, with a view to assessing the candidate’s readiness for fulfilling the
         psychological role requirements that are essential to maintaining continuing
         appointability as a full-time professional. Recommendations and other results
         of the psychological evaluation process at decision point three are made
         available to:
                 the candidate in a face-to-face interview
                 the chairperson of the psychological assessment committee for distribution
                 one member of the candidate’s BOM interview team, and if the interview
                 team member and the chairperson deem it necessary
                 the interview team, and if the interview team thinks it necessary, then
                 a mental health professional of the candidate’s own choice, if indicated by
                 recommendations on the report and if requested by the candidate, and
                 pending a signed release of information
         The tasks of the interview team member are identical to those noted in the last
         bullet of Decision Point Two above.

                                        Part Three
     Developing and Maintaining a Program of
     Psychological Assessment
I.       The Psychological Assessment Committee of the Conference
         Board of Ordained Ministry: Structure and Function
     The creation and development of an administrative structure within the BOM
     which supports a program of psychological assessment is essential.

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BOM HANDBOOK                                 Psychological Assessment of Candidates for Clergy Careers

The importance of the psychological assessment committee is to administer the
psychological assessment process and to train the committee chair who will lead
in orienting and training candidacy mentors, liaisons to dCOMs and members of
dCOMs and BOMs who bear the responsibility for selection decisions and
recommendations for nurture.

Characteristics of Committee Chair:
Each BOM should appoint or elect a committee on psychological assessment and
designate a chairperson to assume major responsibility. The characteristics and
duties of the chairperson and the committee follow.
The chairperson of the psychological assessment committee should be a person
    is known to be especially careful about keeping confidential information to
    can handle sensitive material with discretion, wisdom, and empathy
    can deal perceptively and firmly with peers
    has the ability to represent the BOM’s interests in providing liaison with
    ministerial assessment specialist
    under ideal circumstances, has advanced training in pastoral counseling
    beyond that which is offered in seminary M. Div. programs, if such a person
    is available

Duties of Committee Chair:
The committee chair acts as liaison between the BOM and the MAS with regard
to BOM policies and procedures. This may entail:
    instructing the MAS about the kind of reports wanted by the BOM and the
    arranging for a contract between the BOM and the MAS
    interpreting the role of the psychological evaluation process to members of the
    BOM, the dCOM, cabinets, candidacy mentors, candidates, and members of
    the conference
    receiving the reports from the MAS, distributing them to the designated
    interviews (BOM, dCOM), collecting the reports after the decisions have been
    made, and returning them to the MAS who will trustee the files on behalf of
    the candidate and the BOM
    arranging for a second opinion in the event that a candidate desires one as part
    of an appeal process
    preparing a budget for the program for presentation to the BOM and
    submitting invoices for payment as required by the conference treasurer
    arranging for the transfer of the candidate’s psychological files from any
    outgoing MAS to any newly designated consultant

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BOM HANDBOOK                                  Psychological Assessment of Candidates for Clergy Careers

The committee chair acts as liaison between the psychological assessment
program and the dCOM process, including the candidacy mentors. This may
    interpreting the psychological assessment program to the candidacy registrar
    and the candidacy mentors
    providing information and support to candidacy mentors and the candidacy
    registrar as applications for psychological assessment via the candidacy begin
    being the point of contact from the MAS to the BOM, receiving and
    distributing all reports or a summary thereof, or communicating the content of
    the report to the dCOM liaison to the BOM psychological assessment
    committee. Access to information and/or reports are transmitted consistent
    with the specific policy of the BOM and may differ from conference to
    conference but should always be on a “need to know” basis
    collaborating with the candidacy registrar to arrange for training in the use of
    the psychological report in the dCOM interview process
The committee chair acts as liaison between the psychological assessment
program and the BOM selection interview team process. This may mean:
    interpreting the psychological assessment program and the use of
    psychological reports to the BOM interview team members
    procuring the list of applicants for commissioning or admission to full
    membership that are to be assessed from conference registrar for forwarding
    to the MAS
    receiving copies of the psychological reports from the MAS for distribution to
    the members of the psychological assessment committee who serve on the
    interview teams (one assessment committee member per interview team)
    arranging for a meeting of the psychological assessment committee members
    who serve on the interview teams with the MAS to review the written reports
    for clarification of issues and their implications, and for training prior to
    report use
    ensuring that only persons with legitimate “need to know” access the
    psychological report and that any copies are returned to the ministerial
    assessment specialist’s files at completion of their use
    arranging for a second opinion in the event that a candidate desires one as part
    of an appeal process
    ensuring that the candidate has signed both the recommended
    “Acknowledgment of the Process” before any assessment is undertaken and a
    “Release of Information” to designated persons within an annual conference
    before any information is transmitted.
The committee chair acts as liaison between the psychological assessment
program and the candidates making application for commissioning or full
connection. This may involve:

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BOM HANDBOOK                                       Psychological Assessment of Candidates for Clergy Careers

    informing the applicants about the purposes, timing, criteria, and results of the
    psychological assessment program
    asking candidates to complete the recommended “Release of Information” or
    similar document which will set forth BOM policies and procedures
            purposes and uses of the psychological report
            the boundaries of confidentiality established in the use of the reports
            the custodial rights and responsibilities of the BOM and the MAS with
            reference to the reports
            the location of the psychological reports once their use in the BOM
            process is complete
            the criteria to be utilized in the screening process (see the standards
            document and the criteria discussed in the foregoing sections), and
            the further use the candidate can make of the information from the report
            in terms of personal and professional growth
    cooperating with the chairperson of the candidate retreat for those seeking to
    be commissioned (or other interview setting), and the chairperson of the BOM
    interview teams, in arranging for the nurturing (pastoral care) of applicants
    during the candidate/commissioning/full connection evaluation process.
Note: Evaluation interviews are frequently stressful. Persons skilled in providing
pastoral care may be available to provide such care to persons experiencing the
selection process.
The committee chair maintains contact with Division of Ordained Ministry staff,
psychological assessment chairpersons from other annual conferences and with
jurisdictional, regional, seminary, and general church-sponsored programs and
events in the area of psychological assessment, candidate interviewing, and
clinical counseling.

Duties of the Psychological Assessment Committee Liaison Member of the
    maintain communication with the chairpersons of the psychological
    assessment committee of the conference Board of Ordained Ministry for the
    receipt, utilization, and return of the psychological assessment report in order
            receive the psychological reports from the chairperson of the conference
            board psychological assessment committee for use in the district
            committee process regarding candidate evaluation
            review the psychological report in light of the conference standards for
            ordained ministry and the candidate’s fitness (potential) for gaining
            sufficient levels of competence to come to a point of readiness for full
            professional ordained ministry

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      BOM HANDBOOK                                     Psychological Assessment of Candidates for Clergy Careers

                  orient the district committee to the proper use of the reports in the
                  committee interview process, including issues of confidentiality, the
                  nature of the reports as consultation rather than as recommending an
                  accept or reject decision, and the like
                  return to report to the conference board chair of psychological assessment
                  for use in the BOM’s process of evaluating candidates who are seeking
                  commissioning, once the district committee has concluded its work with
                  the candidate
          be available for training with the members of the psychological assessment
          committee at the conference level
          be aware of the recommended procedures for conducting an evaluation
          interview as set forth in the BOM Handbook (Chapter 9), and bringing them
          to the attention of the district committee prior to their interview.

II.       Budgeting for a Psychological Assessment Program

      Stewardship of Resources
          The cost of psychological assessment programs is best understood in the
          context of the stewardship of the church’s resources. The selection of persons
          psychologically unsuited to ministry can result in material and spiritual costs
          to candidate, local churches, other settings in ministry and annual conferences.
          Annual conference BOM’s are strongly encouraged to contract with a
          ministerial assessment specialist (MAS). For more information and a model
          contract, contact DOM, Candidacy Assessment Office, 615-340-7394 or

      Sources of Income
      Annual conferences vary both as to the monies which are allocated for the
      program of psychological assessment and whether the candidate is required to pay
      some portion of it.
          Monies from the Ministerial Education Fund are used by BOMs. Since the
          intent and the impact of psychological assessment is to assist in the selection
          and guidance of appropriate candidates for theological education, no more
          appropriate uses could be made of the MEF.
          Some BOMs ask candidates to pay a modest portion of the cost of evaluation
          since the applicant receives personal and professional benefit.
          Conference apportionments are an appropriate source of income, since the
          entire annual conference (as well as each local congregation) has an abiding
          interest in the quality of clergy that results from the conference’s selection and
          nurture process.

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       BOM HANDBOOK                                      Psychological Assessment of Candidates for Clergy Careers

       Estimated Costs of a Psychological Assessment Program
           Costs vary greatly. An annual conference working with a MAS may be able to
           obtain somewhat lower costs.
           A BOM should budget approximately $200-400 per person assessment where
           the Division of Ordained Ministry assessment office of GBHEM is not
           Assessment costs per person may be approximately $100 less if done through
           the DOM assessment office, depending on the details of arrangements that can
           be made with the MAS.
           Total costs of a psychological assessment program include the following
                   test packet and materials
                   scoring of tests
                   clinical staffing
                   preparation for and conduct of interview
                   preparation of report
                   secretarial services, and office expenses, including mail, phone, supplies
                   program administration
                   consultation with BOM, dCOM, SP (phone, mail, time)
                   travel costs of MAS, if needed

III.       Evaluating and Selecting a Psychological Assessment Service
           Including Both Program and Personnel
       Minimum standards have been set by the Advisory Committee on Psychological
       Assessment of the Division of Ordained Ministry for psychological services and
       personnel. A BOM may want to evaluate any actual or potential service against
       these standards.

       Minimum requirements for psychological assessment services include the
       following areas: testing, staffing, interviewing, philosophy, reports, criteria,
       consultation and training, and evaluation research.
           Testing is defined as the utilization of standardized self-report instrumentation
           with multiple data gathering instruments.
                   Data collection include information about the following areas: personality,
                   vocational interests, biographical, interpersonal relationships, self-image,
                   and behavior.
                   The standard battery of instruments include the following: the Strong
                   Interest Inventory, the Minnesota Multi-Phasic Personality Inventory II,
                   the Adjective Check List, and Incomplete Sentences Blank.

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BOM HANDBOOK                                     Psychological Assessment of Candidates for Clergy Careers

            Additional instruments include a Personal Data Inventory and standard
            reference forms. Other instruments may be included at the discretion of
            the MAS or the BOM in consultation with the MAS.
            The Inventory of Religious Activities and Interests (IRAI) is a standard
            aspect of the candidacy process, and once scored is forwarded directly to
            the candidacy mentor for use with the candidate.
    Interviewing (diagnostic or interpretive) is considered mandatory.
    Philosophically, the evaluation program is to be understood as consultative in
    nature and is to include both screening/selection and nurture components.
    Reports are to be in writing and released only with the written consent of the
    applicant and only to authorized persons, professionals, or agencies.
    There shall be a written statement of criteria by which the staff evaluates data
    from the applicants.
    Consultation and training in the use of the psychological reports shall be
    provided on request of the BOM on a fee for service.
    There shall be a plan and budget for a periodic program review and
    There shall be appropriate record-keeping if the candidate files according to
    the guidelines for psychological files of The United Methodist Church, the
    laws of the state, and the ethical standards of the state psychological
    association and American Psychological Association.

Minimum Standards for Ministerial Assessment Specialists
The psychological assessment/pastoral evaluation service staff will need to have
persons with training, experience, and credentials as a pastor, a pastoral
counselor/psychotherapist or a clinical pastoral education supervisor, and a
    Pastoral credentials: A clergyperson will have met minimum pastoral
    qualifications when she/he has received a basic theology degree (B.D.,
    M.Div., or equivalent), has served for a minimum of three to five years in the
    parish, has current ordination credentials and is administratively responsible to
    a judicatory.
    Counseling credentials: A counselor will have met the minimum
    psychotherapeutic qualifications when he/she has completed extended
    advanced training in personality theory and psychotherapy, including
    extensive supervision of his/her clinical diagnostic and therapeutic work, with
    special attention to the application of psychotherapeutic skills to vocational
    and personnel work and is licensed.
    Psychological credentials: A clergyperson will have met the minimum
    psychological qualifications when he/she has obtained specific training and
    experience in psychological (personality and vocational) testing, including test
    theory and construction, administration, scoring, and interpretation. In
    addition, the clergyperson will need a thorough knowledge of the limitations

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BOM HANDBOOK                                   Psychological Assessment of Candidates for Clergy Careers

    of testing in general, as well as of the specific tests utilized in the program,
    and a full awareness of the appropriate ethical standards in using tests.
    Credentials need to include state licensure as a psychologist.
    The foregoing experience and credentials will need to be in the staff process at
    appropriate points. Where one or more of the credentials, or aspects of
    training and/or experience, are not present in a single person, a staff process
    can be utilized which includes other persons with the needed training,
    experience, and credentials at the point in the staffing and interview
    procedures where that specific input is essential to a quality evaluation
    program. This combination of resources is frequently present in a pastoral
    counseling center or in career counseling service.
    Criteria from the BOM consultant for the service: the professional who meets
    with the BOM for consultation and training should satisfy at least two of the
    three requirements listed above.

Working Relationship Between the BOM and the Service
In addition to meeting minimum standards of experience and training as noted
above, the ministerial assessment specialist selected to work directly with the
BOM should be one who is trusted, accessible, flexible, and professional in
his/her working relationships.

                                  Part Four
Resources, Confidentiality, Research, and
  I.        Personnel: Ministerial Assessment Specialists

Certification Process
A certification process of ministerial assessment specialists and MAS teams has
been developed by the Advisory Committee on Psychological Assessment of the
DOM task force on conference relations to assist BOM and dCOM officials who
need access to certified resource persons across the connection. This network of
certified evaluators make it possible for a BOM chair of psychological assessment
to find a certified MAS in most sections of the country.

MAS Directory
A Directory of Ministerial Assessment Specialists is available from the Division
of Ordained Ministry in Nashville. It lists certified ministerial assessment
specialists and indicates the conference for which they customarily provide
assessment services, along with the technical and professional background of each
evaluator listed. Address and phone number are also included.

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BOM HANDBOOK                                  Psychological Assessment of Candidates for Clergy Careers

An explanation of the term “ ministerial assessment specialist” is included in Part
One, Section IV of this chapter.

II.         A Standard Core Battery of Instruments and Central Scoring

Battery of Instruments
A standard core battery of instruments has been established for regular use by
ministerial assessment specialists in the psychological dimensions of the
evaluation procedures utilized in relationship to BOM and dCOM contexts. The
process for selecting the instruments to be included in the core battery involved
three steps. The first step was a survey of instruments being utilized by ministerial
assessment specialists in such assessments.
The second step involved seminar/workshop experiences with ministerial
assessment specialists in five different regional meetings (each in a different
jurisdiction) over a two-period for face-to-face discussion of instrumentation and
other issues. The third step consisted in drawing together a synthesis of the results
of both the survey and workshops by the Advisory Committee on Psychological
Assessment, who after further study and reflection identified a core battery of
instruments for use in programs of psychological evaluation in The United
Methodist Church.

Rationale for Selection
The rationale for selecting a core battery of instruments included concerns about
standardization of procedures in the interest of greater consistency and quality;
establishing norms for scoring and interpretation which are relevant to the specific
population of clergy applicants with a particular emphasis on developing norms
on the sub-populations of ethnics and female applicants, and the facilitating of
data collection necessary to the ongoing research essential to the further
improvement of the consistency and quality of psychological evaluation
An additional, and by no means less important, concern is the effort to avoid
duplication of testing procedures so that applicants are not unnecessarily burdened
by completing a different set of tests in each review. And finally, a national core
battery of tests provided the added convenience of flexibility for students needing
to take tests for conferences when the students are located at various seminary
settings around the country. So the standard core battery reduces duplication of
effort by the applicant, facilitates the development of norms for sub-populations,
provides standardization of data collection and reporting, allows for quality
control, and enhances the possibility for ongoing long-term research which can be
utilized to improve the process and document the results of the process.

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       BOM HANDBOOK                                  Psychological Assessment of Candidates for Clergy Careers

       Centralized Scoring
       In addition to a standard core test battery whose purpose is in part the
       achievement of consistency and greater quality in scoring and interpretations,
       centralized scoring of the standardized tests is essential. While standardization
       may begin with a core battery of tests, the variety of scoring programs for some of
       the instruments presents a dilemma for persons utilizing those tests. Scoring
       programs vary in quality and the amount of data that they produce. Centralized
       scoring by identified scoring procedures can significantly contribute to increased
       quality of interpretive results.
       Further, centralized scoring facilities are needed for research efforts since the data
       is then collected and stored at one location. Consequently, in addition to the
       identification of a standardized core set of instruments the Candidacy Assessment
       Office at DOM provides such a scoring service for the candidacy assessment
       process. Ministerial assessment specialists listed in the Directory of Ministerial
       Assessment Specialists who wish to utilize such scoring services for assessments
       may contact the Candidacy Assessment Office in Nashville for information about
       procedures and costs.

III.       The Standard Core Battery
       The following is a list of instruments to be included in the standard core test
       battery, though the clinician may well choose to add supplementary instruments
       of his/her own choosing in addition to these. These instruments constitute the
       minimum core to be used in each testing situation but are not intended to exclude
       the use of other instruments.
           Personal Data Inventory, includes an autobiographical statement, (standard
           form developed by the National Task Force on Psychological Testing/Pastoral
           Evaluation and revised by the Advisory Committee on Psychological
           The Strong Interest Inventory
           The Incomplete Sentences Blank (standard form developed by the National
           Task Force on Psychological Testing/Pastoral Evaluation)
           The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory – 2
           The Standard Reference Form (developed by the Task Force on
           Psychological Testing/Pastoral Evaluation and revised by the Advisory
           Committee on Psychological Assessment)
           The Adjective Check List
       The afore listed set of instruments, constituting the minimum standard core test
       battery, collects data in the seven categories identified in the seminars by
       ministerial assessment specialists as essential to a proper psychological
       evaluation, namely: thematic, personality, vocational, demographic, behavioral,
       interpersonal relationships, and self-image.

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      BOM HANDBOOK                                  Psychological Assessment of Candidates for Clergy Careers

IV.       Additional Instrumentation and Standard Forms
      Some conference psychological consultants will want to employ instruments in
      addition to those in the standard core battery. This item is included under a
      separate heading in order to emphasize the point that such a procedure is
      welcome. Nevertheless, some ministerial assessment specialists will prefer to use
      the standard core battery only. In any case, the expectation is that at least the
      standard core battery of instruments will be utilized in the assessment process.

V.        Confidentiality, Release of Information, and Disposition of

      Since acceptance into full membership in an annual conference of The United
      Methodist Church involves a corporate and legal responsibility for those who are
      ordained, the judicatory selection decision makers have a right to know how to
      make a responsible administrative decision about an applicant for membership in
      the conference. At the same time, individuals have a right to privacy and
      confidentiality of information not relevant to such decisions.

      Release of Information
      The “Release of Information” blank specifies to whom the information is
      released, and by whom, and indicates that the applicant has a right to full
      information about what is released. In the event that a particular report does not
      seem to the applicant to be a sufficiently accurate description, the applicant is
      entitled and welcomed to get a second opinion. The provisions are that he/she: 1)
      pay for that process, 2) consult with the chair of the psychological assessment
      committee of the annual conference concerning approval of the credentials and
      experience of the professional selected by the applicant to do such a review, and
      3) release both reports for review by the committee.

      Release for Research Purposes
      A copy of the standard form of the release of information blank includes a release
      for research purposes as well, when the research is properly authorized and
      standard research safeguards are provided.

      Details of Confidentiality
      Full details of confidentiality and handling of files are included in this volume in
      the chapter for registrars. (see chapter 3) A review of those guidelines indicates
      that the applicant controls the release of information, the conference owns the
      report which is released, and the ministerial assessment specialist owns the
      technical data generated for the review. Guidelines for the proper functioning of
      each party having a stake in the materials are spelled out.

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BOM HANDBOOK                                 Psychological Assessment of Candidates for Clergy Careers

A research archive for the final disposition of psychological materials has been
designated and funded by the DOM.
Credit for the development of the program flows in many directions. DOM staff
leadership from the Rev. Robert Kohler has been crucial in this process over the
past several years. Members of the Advisory Committee on Psychological
Assessment have contributed in special areas, as well as to the general
development and implementation of the process.
Dr. Richard Burnette has done the major work of preparing the Directory of
Ministerial Assessment Specialists. Dr. Emily Demme Haight has taken
responsibility for the research process and the development of the research
 Dr. Richard Hunt has worked prodigiously in the formation of the candidacy
process and the integration of the IRAI assessment into that process. Dr. Edward
P. Wimberly has listened intently and consulted wisely to both minority and
spirituality concerns. Dr. Arthur Pressley has continued the work initiated by Dr.
Wimberly. Dr. Gregory Hinkle has assumed responsibility for the research
Thanks also are due to the many persons not on the committee who have offered
advice, counsel, and assistance of several kinds to the committee in its work.
Persons such as other ministerial assessment specialists, chairpersons of
conference boards and committees, applicants, interview committee members,
and a host of others could be cited.
All have, by their behavior and words, expressed a commitment to assisting the
church and the clergy candidates with the difficult yet necessary task of selecting
from among those who are called, persons who are personally and professional fit,
and are developing appropriate competencies for a full-time professional ordained
or licensed ministry career in The United Methodist Church. To this ongoing task,
we are all dedicated.

CHAPTER 8                                                                                    page 27

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