GS 2010 art 51

GS 2010 Article 51 – Committee for the Funding of the Pastoral Training Program

1.         Material

  • 1.1       Report from the Pastoral Training Program Funding Committee (PTP): the church at Guelph (8.2.h).
  • 1.2       Letters from the churches of Burlington-Fellowship (8.3.H.1) and Flamborough (8.3.H.2).

2.         Observations

  • 2.1       Synod Smithers 2007 appointed the church at Guelph as the PTP funding committee (Acts, Article 159) with the following mandate (Acts, Article 78):
    • []             To look after all internship-related funding matters.
    • []          To determine a reasonable compensation for an internship, and to develop guidelines for such a compensation.
    • []          To assess the churches each year based on the anticipated funding required for a particular summer.
    • []          To report about their activities to the next General Synod, which report shall be sent to all the churches.
  • 2.2       Synod Smithers appointed as liaison between the College and this committee the PTP Coordinator (Acts, Article 78).
  • 2.3       The church at Guelph appointed its own committee to do this work.
  • 2.4       This committee formulated a document entitled “The Committee for Pastoral Training Program Funding,” describing its mandate, membership, duties of its members, the manner of appointment of Committee members, auditors of the financial records, and the requirement to prepare triennially a report for submission to the churches prior to general synod.
  • 2.5       In connection with the second item of its mandate above, the committee:
    • 2.5.1    Considered that the Pastoral Training Program is an educational program that endeavours to equip students more fully for their future task among God’s people.
    • 2.5.2    Developed guidelines regarding compensation of students in the PTP, assessment of the churches, how to help foreign students in fulfilling the requirements of the PTP, and how to assist the churches with advice regarding employment of students and payroll deductions.
    • 2.5.3     Submitted a report of its activities to the churches.
  • 2.6       The committee reports which students were funded by the program in the summers of 2008 and 2009.
  • 2.7       The committee reports that one student, although being an Australian citizen and therefore a foreign student, was able to obtain a work permit from the Canadian Department of Immigration and Citizenship. The committee noted that this may constitute an implicit recognition by the Canadian government of the PTP as a Co-op Student Program of Studies commonly administered by Canadian Universities.
  • 2.8       The committee reports that Dr. A.J. de Visser composed an outline for the churches employing students regarding the funding of summer internships which emphasized that a summer internship ideally has a length of 12 weeks. In line with this the committee decided to provide funding for a 12 week training period. It also decided to pay travel costs to students employed in western Canada
  • 2.9       The committee reports that its books were audited and its records were found to be in good order.
  • 2.10     The committee reports that it received a request for information about the PTP funding from the Deputies for Training for the Ministry of the FRCA. Synod Legana 2009 of the FRCA decided to adopt an Australian adaptation of the guidelines for the PTP and to charge the deputies with the task to monitor the practical implications of including the Australian Churches in the PTP of the College and to collect and disburse funds for this purpose in accordance with its guidelines.
  • 2.11     Burlington-Fellowship expresses appreciation for the report but also comes to the conclusion that “it is unfortunate that Synod 2007 did not stick to the original plan to have this administered by the Theological College of the Canadian Reformed Churches as was clearly intended by decisions made at previous Synods.” While agreeing that remuneration of students should be taken care of by the employing church rather than the Theological College, BurlingtonFellowship believes the program and funding process should simply be included in the regular activity of the College. In this way “the churches would avoid extra resources to administer.” BurlingtonFellowship therefore recommends that Synod Burlington-Ebenezer 2010:
    • [1.]          Rescind Synod 2007 decision to set up separate Pastoral Training Program Funding Committee.
    • [2.]          Dissolve current committee, and pass all their good work and processes on to the Theological College.
    • [3.]          Instruct the Theological College to adopt and assume responsibility for funding mechanism developed by the Guelph committee by including this in their general per communicant member assessment.
    • [4.]          Instruct the Theological College to implement process for formation of a simple agreement with Churches who make use of the program to ensure that Churches assume legal liability of their hired student Pastor.
  • 2.12     Flamborough recommends that the current PTP Funding Committee continues to look after all internship related funding matters according to the developed guidelines.

3.         Considerations

  • 3.1       The committee appears to have done its work very well, and the funding program appears to be working very well.
  • 3.2       Synod Smithers 2007 (Article 78) explained why the Fund needed to be administered by one of the churches.

4.         Recommendation

That Synod decide:

  • 4.1       To express gratitude to the Emmanuel Canadian Reformed Church at Guelph and its committee for the work done.
  • 4.2       To reappoint the Emmanuel Canadian Reformed Church as the PTP funding committee with the following mandate:
    • 4.2.1 To look after all internship-related funding matters.
    • 4.2.2    To assess the churches each year based on the anticipated funding required for a particular summer.
    • 4.2.3    To report about their activities to the next general synod, which report shall be sent to all the churches.


The members of Synod who belong to the church at Guelph abstained from voting.