The Annual Meeting of the Association of Graduate Programs for Ministry is a collegial and supportive gathering of professional educators passionate about preparing laity for the various ministries to which they are called. This annual gathering allows for deep discussion on issues pertinent to the academic as well as the spiritual and human formation of graduate students. The collegial atmosphere strengthens and supports educational leaders in this field. Good and lasting friendships are formed. I highly recommend attending!
Formation for ministry is all about relationships and collaboration. The AGPIM annual meeting has been a kind of seedbed for cultivating and growing fruitful relationships and enriching collaboration for me and other members. No other annual meeting puts me in the same place at the same time with people who understand, value, and have expertise in the work to which I aspire.
I find it important to come to the AGPIM meeting for collegial support, getting creative ideas that help me enhance our school’s program, and being affirmed and deepened in the vocation of graduate lay ministry education.
My appreciation for AGPIM for the years I have attended… is the opportunity to get a sense of the national church. The members have lots of contacts across the country and even outside it, and to Rome. Also, I get a sense of how other programs are handling problems and issues. The larger programs usually hit issues earlier than the smaller programs, so I get a head-up so to speak. The speakers or sectional discussions always give me something to take away and apply at home. Outside of the actual meeting, over the years I have benefitted from the possibility of contacting other members for information, advice, support. For me, this is the only forum I have to speak to people primarily dedicated to pastoral ministry education and formation. Pastoral theology is a different enterprise than systematic theology or biblical studies. We are automatically involved in a multi-disciplinary project. We must deal with academia, dioceses, parishes, etc. We are drawn into a multi-cultural, even pluralistic scene.