Psychological Evaluation for Ministerial Applicants

By Todd Tucker,2014-05-07 17:45
9 views 0
Psychological Evaluation for Ministerial Applicants

Psychological Evaluation for

    Ministerial Applicants

    To: CMLTs and those performing the psychological evaluation

    for ministerial applicants via Church Order Article 7 and 8 Re: Resources to help in administering the psychological


    When the Synod charged the Candidacy Committee with the task of administering the process

    of pastoral affiliation via Church Order Articles 7 and 8, one significant aspect of the task was

    the administration of psychological evaluations. In order to offer guidelines for this task, the

    Candidacy Committee consulted with Calvin Seminary. The seminary has been performing

    such evaluations on behalf of the CRC for Article 6 candidates for a number of decades.

    The two attached documents (The Process of Student Psychological Evaluation and A

    Glossary of Ten Terms that relate to Student Psychological Evaluations) give

    Candidacy Committee staff and CMLTs the information needed to orient psychologists across

    the country who do psychological assessments for Article 7 and 8 candidates. (These

    documents are borrowed with permission from Calvin Theological Seminary).

    Psychological reports are to be done by psychologists selected in consultation with the

    Candidacy Committee. The information provided on the following pages is intended to be a

    resource to the psychologists who serve us in this task.


    CRC Candidacy Committee Document updated 5-1-09

    The Process of Student Psychological Evaluation

    1. Incoming students at CTS (in the Master of Arts (M.A.) and Masters of Divinity (M.Div.

    programs) sit for a clinical interview with a given psychologist in which an initial history

    is taken, the psychological testing is explained, and the evaluator begins to know the

    student. [At the student’s choice, his or her mate may attend this meeting.]

    2. Students then sit for the following testing instruments:

    Minnesota Multi-phasic Personality Inventory (MMPI -II)

    A test designed to measure personality traits that may foster or hinder effective


    Rotter Incomplete Sentence- Adult Form

    This test assesses the person’s perception of the world and seeks to identify positive

    and negative life adjustment patterns.


    This questionnaire is designed to measure fundamental interpersonal relationship

    ability and orientation.

    Personal History Form

    This is a questionnaire used to gather information about family, education, work, and


    Millon Index of Personality Styles, Revised (MIPS)

    This is a test designed to measure personality styles in normal functioning adults,

    including their motivational styles, thinking styles, and behaving styles.

    3. Students then sit for a feedback interview with the given psychologist to review the

    findings of the testing and discuss the suggestions and recommendations that may be

    made for remediation and psychological growth of the student.

    4. Students then sit with their faculty advisors to review the findings of their written

    psychological evaluations and discuss the suggestions or recommendations that may have

    been made. The student’s responses to the evaluation are solicited. Plans for action, if

    suggested or recommended, are negotiated.

    A report of this review is then sent to the office of the Director of Ministry Formation.

    If you have further questions about these terms and how they are used, please feel free to

    contact Dr. Ron Nydam, Professor of Pastoral Care (


    CRC Candidacy Committee Document updated 5-1-09

    A Glossary of Ten Terms that relate to

    Student Psychological Evaluations

    1. The following are the choices that evaluating psychologists may consider useful resources for the remediation of emotional difficulties that seminary students report:

    GC 1) participation in seminary group counseling (This is a lighter weight response

    which facilitates emotional vulnerability and learning within the context of group


    CPE 2) Clinical Pastoral Education (This program, available locally and nationally,

    integrates the skills of pastoral care in a chaplaincy setting with personal and

    interpersonal development of the student. It offers significant involvement in both

    self awareness and pastoral skill. It is not pathologically focused.)

    IC 3) individual counseling (This is a very focused, therapeutic review of issues of

    anxiety or depression that may impede the fuller functioning of the student.)

    AT 4) assertiveness training (This is a specific response to problems of shyness

    inhibition that may limit a student’s effectiveness in both pastoral and leadership


    RT 5) relaxation training (This is a behavioral response to problems with anxiety

    which is of benefit to some students, especially those not Apsychologically minded.)

    AS 6) academic support (This means finding resources to students in managing the

    processes of learning)

    DC 7) Dale Carnegie/Toast Masters (These programs train people public speaking


    M 8) mentoring (This resource asks that the student, with help from the DFE, identify

    a pastor/mentor for guidance and reflection on ministry.)

    TM 9) time management (This resource asks that students learn skills in organizing

    their time/ day-timer style.)

    ADHD 10) ADHD Screen (This evaluation checks for the diagnosis of attention deficit

    [sometimes hyperactive] disorder along recommendations for helpful medications.)

    2. The following are the terms to be used by evaluating psychologists in their report to Calvin

    Seminary with these specific intended meanings:

     a suggestion - this term is used by evaluators to intend a suggestion for further growth

    and emotional development of the student. It is feedback for the students that requires no

    action. It is a suggestion. It may be wise to follow up on it, but it is not considered a

    requirement for candidacy in CRC ministry.

     a recommendation - this term is used by evaluators to intend that students need to

    follow through on feedback in order to remediate an emotional difficulty of some sort.

    This is taken to be feedback that needs a cooperative response from the student in order

    for candidacy in the CRC to be successful. If a student chooses not to follow up on an

    evaluator’s recommendation, candidacy in the CRC is impeded.


    CRC Candidacy Committee Document updated 5-1-09

In the course of each year at CTS the Candidacy Committee serves every student

    interested in ordained ministry in the CRC with a letter of review that makes reference to

    several different categories:

    1 intends that there are no emotional/functional issues are to be addressed.

    2 intends that students are encouraged to consider suggestions made. 3 intends that students must respond to recommendations in order for the student’s

    candidacy to continue toward future ordination in the CRC.

    4 intends that a student’s candidacy is not an option at this time.

     The judgments made in these letters are based upon the psychological evaluations, the

    feedback from field experience supervisors, and evaluations made by faculty members.

     If you have further questions about these terms and how they are used, please feel free to

    contact Dr. Ron Nydam, Professor of Pastoral Care (


    CRC Candidacy Committee Document updated 5-1-09

Report this document

For any questions or suggestions please email