Theologian in Residence
 
 

What is Theologian in Residence?

I teach and equip Reading's urban immigrant pastors who have limited or no access to accredited theological and pastoral training, at no cost to them.

Typically, an institution with the funds to pay for it (large church, seminary, religiously-affiliated university or college, etc.) will provide a “theologian-in-residence” for their members so as to have her/his expertise available when needed, to add depth and color to their ministry or programs, and write, speak and teach as needed.

It’s one of the privileges of relatively-wealthier institutions, an option that Reading does not have. After the 2010 census, Reading was named the nation’s poorest city. A 2016 Rutgers study identified the Reading School District (18,000 students) as the nation’s worst-funded.

TIR turns “typical” on its head. I raise my own personal support to serve leaders who have never had accredited theological and pastoral training. I provide this tuition-free, although they may contribute small amounts occasionally as they are able. I maintain an active academic agenda of teaching, research and publishing, and use the fruits of that research, as well as my urban pastoral experience to help these leaders become better pastors, preachers, and community and congregational leaders.

 
 
 
📷 Jeremy Drey/Reading Eagle — click the photo for a sample teaching from Mel

📷 Jeremy Drey/Reading Eagle — click the photo for a sample teaching from Mel

📷Jeremy Drey/Reading Eagle — click the photo for a sample teaching from Mel

📷Jeremy Drey/Reading Eagle — click the photo for a sample teaching from Mel

 
 

Why Theologian in Residence?

When our family moved to Reading in 2005, the largest ethnic group was still Anglo, and the Latino population was a little over one-third. Fifteen years later, the Latino population is over two-thirds of the city and the number of Anglo churches is declining rapidly. Many of the leaders serving this burgeoning Latino population have leadership gifts and a sincere, deep desire to serve the church as pastors and elders. What they often do not have is ready access to high-quality training so they can hone their leadership skills, practice Christ-centered, theologically-astute ministry, and preach and teach Christ-centered, Biblically-responsible sermons and studies.

They also need a safe space to openly dialogue about their challenges in ministry, the frustrations they routinely face and to celebrate their successes. That’s what TIR provides for them.

For more, click here.

 

Theologian in Residence

… Is funded entirely by individual contributions through InFaith, an organization with over 200 years experience serving underserved populations in the United States.

Contribute

This ministry is based on contributions from those who have the resources to give to help provide best-practices-based training for under-served and least-served leaders serving high-risk populations — in short, everything that Reading is. All financial contributions are processed through InFaith and you will receive a tax-deductible receipt. Thank you!

Just click the photo to the left, click here or copy and paste this https://infaith.org/melvin-sensenig into your browser to contribute on my dedicated support page at InFaith