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Website Archive / Ellipsis Conference | Nov. 1-3, 2013
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Being in ministry today is often more than taking on the role of a church pastor. Come and build community with people who want to do pastoral ministry… and something else. Learn how to tell your vocational story to inspire others. Decode the structures that impact non-traditional ways of being in ministry and meet people who are making it happen.

Who should attend:

Long-time tentmakers, bi-vocational pastors, commisioned ruling elders, seminary students, and all those who want to help create new stories of serving God in ministry.

The Presenters:

You may have an MDiv, but for jobs outside of parish work, you need to do some interpretation of your skills and preparation—both for yourself and for potential employers. Mr. Ken Murdock, founder of Murdock & Associates Recruiters and Austin Career Services, will show you how to mine your own life experience, training, and education for clues about work to pair with pastoral ministry. He will also address how to develop a plan to “market yourself”, that is to make yourself known and attractive to potential employers. Mr. Murdock earned MBA and BBA degrees from Baylor University. In addition to his recruiting and career coaching work, he teaches Marketing at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas, where he frequently coaches students entering the job market. He is the founder of Austin Career Services, a company whose mission is to help people discover what kind of work fits both what they are good at and what they love to do, and to help people market themselves for that work. Mr. Murdock authored a book in 2010 titled Your Complete Guide to Job Search and Career Change.

The Reverend Dr. David F. White will lead us in telling our own stories in authentic ways that spark energy and provoke curiosity about different ways of living ministry. Dr. White draws upon a variety of practices that give us insight and language to shape our own compelling narratives—new stories of ministry that link our own lives, the life of the church and the story of God’s life in the world.

Reverend Ross Blount and Sarah Chancellor report on experiment in discerning a call to bi-vocational ministry. At the invitation of Rev. Blount and the session of First Presbyterian Church, Miss Chancellor immersed herself in the community of Allerton, Iowa to explore the combination of pastoral ministry and social work in the rural mid-west. What can we learn from this model? How might we “try this at home?”

Reverend Jackie Saxon presents bi-vocational seminary students who weave together church ministry … family … school … work … to live out their callings. They have different kinds of jobs (from full time workers for the State of Texas to non-profit advocacy and more), and church employment or significant leadership responsibility. Some are single, some have children. But each one is committed to fitting the pieces together and has discovered what it takes to make it. We need this practical wisdom in our ministries of calling and supporting people called to serve as pastors—especially those who will not be full-time students only.

Reverend SanDawna Ashley and the Reverend Dr. Paul Hooker bring us PC(USA) nuts and bolts. Whether you are a seminary student, a member of a session, or a pastor with voice and vote in a presbytery, we want you to learning how to promote bi-vocational ministry as a viable form of service. Rev. Ashley will share her work of helping congregations transition from full-time to bi-vocational ministry, of working with church structures to deal with compensation and expectations, of resourcing seminary students and pastors in planning for bi-vocational ministry and more. Dr. Hooker will show us how the Book of Order lays the foundation and gives the mechanisms.

Kevin S. Keaton, Regional Representative of the Board of Pensions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), will present a synopsis of forthcoming Medical Plan changes as well as introduce the new initiative “Call to Health.”


Friday, November 1 at 3:00 p.m. - Sunday, November 3, 11:00 a.m.

Click to see the full agenda

Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, McCord Community Center
100 E. 27th Street, Austin 78705

Full registration includes program lodging and Friday dinner, Saturday breakfast and lunch and Sunday breakfast. Full commuter registration includes program and meals listed above. Saturday only includes program and lunch.

Per person
$350 Full registration –single occupancy; $275 Full registration –double occupancy; $150 Full commuter (no lodging); $75 Saturday only

Additional for spouse or partner
$200 – Full registration with shared room

Seminary Students
$100 Full Registration – single occupancy; $50 Full registration – double occupancy; $30 Commuter; $15 Saturday only

Additional for Seminary student spouse or partner
$50 – Full registration with shared room.

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100 E. 27th Street Austin, Texas 78705
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