As your United Methodist Camp and Retreat Ministry Association (UMCRM) continues to work toward a new program of Certification in Camp and Retreat Ministry with recognition in the church and our various Annual Conferences, we have partnered with the Compass Points Program (www.compasspointsprogram.org) to offer meaningful continuing education to our membership.
Compass Points is a two-year program offering a certificate of completion through Columbia (Presbyterian-affiliated) Theological Seminary in Atlanta. Participants take 6 courses offered in pairs, do an administrative visit to a site of choice, and close with a capstone event at their association’s annual or biannual gathering. Each course requires a portfolio piece/project to be completed following the class. Tuition is minimal at $250 per course and $100 for the site visit and capstone event.
The next opportunity to get started with the Compass Points program will be THIS September at the Life Enrichment Center in Fruitland Park, Florida. The Articulating Our Mission, Role, and Value and Personnel and Leadership courses will be offered back-to-back on September 13-19th with our own Cat Holbert (Lazy W Ranch, Cal-Pac) co-teaching the first class and Melissa Cooper (Life Enrichment Center, FL) co-teaching the second one.
Compass Points is an ecumenical continuing education program shared among the camp and retreat associations of the Presbyterian, Lutheran, United Church of Christ, and United Methodist denominations. We believe it to be a program of high quality that is focused on the specific issues facing the camp and retreat ministries we all love. We hope to be able to greet several new participants from UMCRM this fall.
The UMCRM Education Committee expects to complete a plan for Certification in Camp and Retreat Ministry for approval by the Board at our annual meeting in January. We anticipate that the Compass Points Certification courses will be included as a component of the new program plan.
If I can answer any questions, hear your words of advice/concern, or receive your recommendations, please email me.
The Rev. Gary Lawson, Sr. is Executive Director of Lakeshore United Methodist Assembly in Eva, TN. He was ordained an Elder in the Memphis Conference in 1987. He is serving a second term representing the Southeastern Jurisdiction on the UMCRM Association Board of Directors and chairs the newly-formed Education Committee. Gary and his wife Vickie share six children and twelve grandchildren. In addition, they’ve raised up many exceptional outdoor ministry leaders in their years at Lakeshore.