3: Advising Relationship
The close relationships among Covenant clergy have been a traditional Covenant distinctive. This advisory relationship is designed to connect pastors with a veteran pastor willing to listen to their experiences, answer their questions, lend advice, and help them become more firmly rooted in their local Covenant context.
Choosing an Advisor
- Applicants choose an advisor with their application for Covenant Orientation or may use the Advisor Selection Card (click here to download the card). Advisors must be active, ordained, or commissioned Covenant ministers with at least five years of service in a local Covenant church. Retired pastors are also suitable advisors. It is best if the advisor has ministerial experience similar to that of the advisee. The Covenant Orientation office or a conference superintendent can often help with finding a suitable advisor.
- The card is returned with both the advisor’s and advisee’s signatures.
- The Department of the Ordered Ministry approves the advisor choice.
- The office sends the advisor an explanation of the Covenant External Orientation Program, guidelines for the relationship, and a Report on the Advising Relationship (click here to download the report template) to complete and return signifying the fulfillment of the requirement.
Length and Content of the Relationship
The relationship should last at least one year and include at least three evenly spaced meetings (i.e., one meeting every three or four months). The guidelines sent to advisors by the Covenant Orientation office will include a brief suggestion for each meeting. These suggestions are not meant to control the course of the advising, but rather to provide a starting point for discussion.
- Meeting one – Get acquainted and share why each has chosen the Covenant.
- Meeting two – Debrief a specific Life Experience and discuss your life in the Covenant.
- Meeting three – Review a Covenant Orientation course and discuss how it relates to your ministry.
Completing the Relationship
After each meeting, the advisor will write a few sentences in summary. Following the third meeting, the advisor will return the Report on the Advising Relationship or a narrative notifying Covenant Orientation of the student’s completion of this requirement. The Covenant Orientation office requires that a report be signed and returned by the advisor in order to grant the student credit for this requirement.