We are grateful to Arrhiannon Kirkpatrick for this lovely essay written at the completion of her Community Ministry Certificate (May 2022)
I have truly enjoyed the Community Ministry Certificate program and I believe it was money well spent. The layout of the modules was logical and in good sequence. The program develops a baseline and then builds upon that foundation to create a logical and strong structure for learning and practicing. I think this is especially true for someone who may be less practiced than others. I would not expect anything less from an institution with the reputation held by Cherry Hill Seminary, and gladly so.
I entered the program as an experienced pagan minister hoping to become validated and strengthened in my ministry. The pagan institution that I had been associated with had, sadly, unincorporated in January 2020, after 20 years. I felt the need to align myself with a reputable association and to remain a strong ally for the pagan community.
I found the most important sections and new information in the modules which focused on community building and the elements of spiritual counseling, especially for those seeking help along their path. These sections were well thought out and presented information in complete and complex manners. Our pagan group had aligned with Cherry Hill in the early 2000’s and were given permission to use some of the spiritual counseling resources in our ordination series. I found these to be more complete and thorough than the sections we had acquired. It took my knowledge to a new level.
I feel as if I have an even better perspective on my role as a pagan minister. I feel more complete and that I can offer a better quality of spiritual counseling to any who may ask for my assistance in their journeys. In understanding and gaining knowledge about spiritual counseling, I will be more confident and more discerning going forward from here. I believe that spiritual mentoring and spiritual counseling are two of the most important ways I can minister to others.
For those who are entering the program or who feel called to pagan ministry and seek a starting point, I would advise them to look into a program such as this. Those who are called to ministry have a special gift and a special place in paganism. It isn’t just the rituals that make ministry an important aspect, but the whole of the heart, the head, and the spirit working in harmony to fill a need. Examine your motives, listen to your heart, and allow your spirit to guide you on your path. If it fits, you will be filled with energy and vitality, and you will find the path fits your feet.
I am very grateful for my counselor and for the resources that have been shared through the program. I wish to acknowledge the care and love I have received as I have followed this path. I honor you, and I am humbled by the experience. Blessed Be.