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Vocation, Pastoral Identity and Authentic Leadership Formation

Prof Marilyn Naidoo
Professor in Practical Theology at the Department of Philosophy, Systematic and Practical Theology, University of South Africa
Seminar title: Vocation, pastoral identity, and authentic leadership formation
For the professional development of church ministers, the two big issues, according to Gerben Heitink (1999), are identity and competence – who am I? And what am I to do? Professional identity, competence, and integrity should function as a framework through which students appropriate the knowledge, skills, and spirituality associated with the work of the profession. For some, identity formation boils down to pragmatically learning what a minister should do – a well-constructed self-image. However, theological education needs to provide strong foundations for pastoral identity in the same way the humanity of Christ (Paul 2:9-10) relates the sacred to the secular by transforming humanity and repositioning it within the world.
This discussion and workshop will focus on pastoral identity formation, unpacking the human person and human psychology, to help students form and successfully integrate their professional selves into their multiple identities so that they act from a place of authenticity. Since professional identity development occurs over time and develops in interactional relationships, formative aspects of the hidden curricula will be explored, as well as formational education in the overall life of the theological institution.