Additional Clergy Criteria

For Your Consideration

Using persons who fail to meet the aforementioned criteria on the other clergy-related pages is not wise. It compromises Chrysalis' and Emmaus' standards for clergy leadership, and it undermines the sacramental role of the weekend Head Spiritual Director. Moreover, practices such as assigning Holy Communion services to Assistant Spiritual Directors or having Assistant Spiritual Directors consecrate the Communion elements for the weekend Spiritual Director could lead to:

  • questions in the minds of participants and others about the clergy qualifications of a weekend Spiritual Director
  • confusion about the significance of genuine clergy leadership in Emmaus/Chrysalis.

Although such practices may simplify clergy selection in the short term, they will undermine the role of the clergy and diminish the relationship of Emmaus and Chrysalis with historic and established church.

Some Emmaus and Chrysalis Boards face difficult decisions regarding who can serve as a Spiritual Director. Some persons' relationship with the church may not be clearly defined as clergy or laity. Some who serve in pastoral roles in the church or with young people may not be considered "clergy." Others may be licensed to preach, ordained in their own denomination, or ordained by a local church but lack the educational and pastoral preparation expected of clergy in mainstream denominations and in Emmaus and Chrysalis. Still others may present credentials stating they are clergy, but the credentials have been obtained through a non-accredited source. These matters must be approached by the Board with Christian love and respect for the persons involved while upholding the clergy criteria and integrity of the Emmaus and Chrysalis programs.

Several aspects of Chrysalis and Emmaus need to be kept in mind as persons are being considered as Spiritual Directors.

  • Persons who are recognized as clergy within their local church may not always be qualified and equipped for the role of Spiritual Directors in Emmaus and Chrysalis. For this reason, the selection of clergy for Spiritual Director roles cannot be decided simply on the basis of whether or not someone is considered clergy in his or her denomination or tradition. The burden rests with the local Emmaus or Chrysalis Board, Emmaus or Chrysalis Community Spiritual Director, and the Team Selection Committee to seek out the clergy who have the training, experience, pastoral sensitivity, theological depth, ecumenical breadth, and Christian maturity needed for spiritual leadership in Emmaus or Chrysalis.
  • Emmaus or Chrysalis Boards and Community Spiritual Directors also are responsible for providing the appropriate training needed for clergy to become potential Spiritual Directors in Emmaus and Chrysalis. The International Emmaus/Chrysalis Office has Clergy Regional Representatives who stand ready and willing to assist the local board.
  • Although clergy from various churches or denominations who have attended Emmaus may, in principle, be considered to serve on Chrysalis and Emmaus teams, not all clergy bring an outlook on God's grace, the Christian life, or sacraments that is representative of the Emmaus or Chrysalis model. The Chrysalis and Emmaus movements are shaped from within the biblical and theological mainstream of the church as reflected in the United Methodist and Wesleyan tradition.
  • In Emmaus and in Chrysalis, teams are selected with the expectation that Spiritual Directors and Assistant Spiritual Directors meet the Emmaus and Chrysalis clergy criteria reflective of clergy in the United Methodist Church and her mainstream denominations, as described in the preceding paragraphs.
  • Assigning the role of Spiritual Director to gifted persons who have little formal theological and pastoral training; or, whose standing as clergy is questionable, undermines the ministry of Emmaus and Chrysalis. It causes other clergy to lose confidence in the local board, and sets a poor precedent for team selection.
  • Team members and participants should be able to recognize and respect the Spiritual Directors as clergy. If the person's ordination or clergy standing is questionable in the minds of the team and/or participants, then that person's presence as Spiritual Director will detract from the Emmaus or Chrysalis event.
  • Every clergy and layperson serving on a team has specific roles and responsibilities. No one should be jealous about a particular role. The clergy-laity partnership must be lived and demonstrated.
  • No person, lay or clergy, has the right to serve in any capacity in Emmaus or Chrysalis, even if all the criteria are met. Service is never a right; rather it is a response to the call of the Holy Spirit through the Emmaus or Chrysalis Board.
  • Clergy serving in Emmaus or Chrysalis must have been a pilgrim in Emmaus or Chrysalis or a recognized Three-Day movement. In order to be an effective servant leader, one must have experience in a recognized Fourth-Day model (a list of recognized expressions of a Three-Day movement is available from the Clergy or Lay Regional Representative or the International Office).