Ministerial Training School—A Large Door That Leads to Activity
1 Through the prophet Jeremiah, Jehovah foretold: “I will raise up over [my people] shepherds who will actually shepherd them; and they will be afraid no more, neither will they be struck with any terror, and none will be missing.” (Jer. 23:4) Such a shepherding work is being accomplished today among people of all the nations. This is being done by tens of thousands of congregation elders. In addition, a company of young men as numerous as dewdrops have offered themselves willingly in Jehovah’s service. (Ps. 110:3) What a blessing these humble brothers are to the congregations of God’s people! As the spiritual ingathering work continues, there is yet a need for qualified men to make themselves available to serve their brothers.
2 A fine provision to train single elders and ministerial servants for increased responsibilities is the Ministerial Training School. More than 22,000 students from some 140 countries have received this training in the 999 classes that have been held since the school’s inception in 1987. For these brothers, the school has proved to be “a large door that leads to activity.”—1 Cor. 16:9.
3 Purpose of the School: The aim of the Ministerial Training School is to train and equip qualified men for responsibilities wherever there may be a need in the organization. The school heightens their abilities for taking the lead in the evangelizing work, sharing in shepherding the flock, and teaching in the congregation. After graduating, some students are assigned as special pioneers or traveling overseers in their home countries or abroad. Others receive assignments to serve with their home congregations or in areas where there is a greater need within the branch territory.
4 During the eight-week course, students undertake an intensive study of the Bible. They carefully consider a wide array of Bible teachings as well as shepherding responsibilities and guidelines for handling problems in Christian living. They also learn what the Scriptures teach about administrative, judicial, and organizational matters. They receive specialized training in public speaking and are given personal assistance to accelerate their spiritual development.
5 Requirements: Understandably, the requirements to attend the school are high. Applicants must have served as elders or ministerial servants for at least two consecutive years. All must be single and between the ages of 23 and 50. Applicants must be able to read, write, and speak fluently the language in which the school is conducted, and they must be in good health, not requiring special care or diet. Preference is given to those in regular pioneer service.
6 Those who volunteer must be willing and able to serve wherever they are needed. This calls for a spirit like that of the prophet Isaiah, who eagerly offered himself to do a special work, saying: “Here I am! Send me.” (Isa. 6:8) He also demonstrated humility throughout his life. Those making themselves available for the Ministerial Training School should be motivated by love for their brothers and a desire to serve them rather than a desire for prominence or special status. After receiving such fine training, graduates are expected to apply what they learned to the benefit of others.—Luke 12:48.
7 Benefits: During the eight weeks of intense training, graduates are “nourished with the words of the faith and of the fine teaching.” (1 Tim. 4:6) This equips them to assist and encourage others in their assigned congregations and circuits. In many locations where graduates of the Ministerial Training School have been assigned, field activity has increased; pioneer service has been encouraged, especially among younger ones; and more personal attention has been given to the many new ones associating with God’s people.
8 Are you a single elder or ministerial servant between the ages of 23 and 50? Why not consider applying for the Ministerial Training School? Are you a young brother contemplating your long-range goals in Jehovah’s service? Why not keep your life simple and free of distractions so that you can enter this “large door that leads to activity”? It can bring you much joy and satisfaction. Indeed, the Ministerial Training School has proved to be a blessing not just to the graduates of the school but to the congregations of God’s people worldwide.
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How They Benefited From the Training
“The training has truly enhanced my ministry and my ability to shepherd with wisdom, using the Scriptures.”
“The school has given me a lot more confidence in handling my various responsibilities in the congregation.”
“It has changed almost every aspect of my life, including the way that I feel about theocracy and God’s organization.”
“The training I received helped me appreciate the need to make myself available to serve where there is a need.”