Record Enrollment at School for Aspiring Methodist Ministers
Posted on Monday, May 31, 2010 [10:10 AM]
Students and teachers of the Licensing for Pastoral
Ministry School gather in the Norma
& Glen Hodge Center for Discipleship. A record 52
students attended the annual school,
held on the A.P. White Campus.
COLUMBIA, Ky. -- The future appears bright
for Kentucky Methodism if the last two classes at the Licensing for
Pastoral Ministry School is any indication.
A record 52 students attended this year's school, which was held
May 23-29 at Lindsey Wilson College. That's eight more than attended the school in 2009, which was then a
The annual school, which is sponsored by the Board
of Ordained Ministry of Kentucky Annual Conference of The United
Methodist Church, certifies laypersons to serve as pastors and
present sacraments in their assigned United Methodist churches.
"We have had to re-design the entire layout of the school
because of the large number in this year's class," said Ken Jessee,
dean of the school. "But that's certainly good news and that means
that we are having a successful year."
Jessee said that even with the large number of students at this
year's school, the goals did not change, nor did its teaching
"The numbers make no difference," Jessee said. "We are trying to
put out quality members in every united Methodist congregation.
These are laypeople who want to serve the Lord. They've been called
into ministry; we have some in college, some in seminary and some
are working on a master's degree. We have students from all walks
of life: doctors, lawyers, judges, housewives, grandmothers,
grandfathers and all kinds of folks. It's a diverse group of people
who all love God and want to serve."
The school, which attracts students from throughout Kentucky,
has been held at Lindsey Wilson's A.P. White Campus for 11 of the
last 12 years.
Tina R. Patterson of Louisville, Ky., is a full-time student at
Louisville Presbyterian Seminary who attended the school for the
first time. She said she was surprised at the level of commitment
to teaching and education at the school.
"I have enjoyed myself," Patterson said. "The thing about
Methodists is that they go a step further in explaining everything.
From baptism to taxes, pastoral care to communion; it's all covered
During the weeklong school, LWC's Norma & Glen Hodge Center
for Discipleship was covered with books and materials the school
provided to students. Patterson remarked that the number of items
available to students was a reflection of the school's dedication
to equipping everyone.
"They gave us enough books to start our own library," she said.
"I love to read and learn more, and they've given us everything we
need. It's our job to take what we have learned into our fields of
But this year's school -- which attracted eight more students
than last year's -- was not all education and no spirituality.
Jason Tiller, a Russell Springs, Ky., resident and youth pastor at
Asbury United Methodist Church in
Campbellsville, Ky., led the music at the school's worship
"I've been known as the 'guitar man' for the last few days,"
Tiller said. "The education has been great, but we have also had a
refreshing week due to the worship services. I think it's important
for us to take time for those things as well. In some ways, this
week has been a little like a retreat for the pastors and
Tiller said he finds it important to have a balance of
information and worship at the school.
"We get the full effect at this school," he said. "We've had a
very good week and we are all looking forward to taking what we
have learned and implementing new ideas at our churches."