Professional Pastoral Supervision (PPS)

People enter into ministry in response to a gracious call from God and the Church. It is this call that requires Pastoral Leaders to carry out their responsibilities in a faithful, professional and accountable manner. As Scripture says: “See to it that you fulfil the ministry that you have received from the Lord” (Col 4:17). Pastoral Leaders have been given a significant role within the life of the church. They are called upon to exercise leadership in its worship, preaching, mission, pastoral care and training; they also serve as Christ’s representatives in the world (Matt 28:18-20). As Pastoral Leaders live out their call to ministry in positions of power and influence, they will seek to express the love and character of Christ in all their relationships. The call to serve as an example of Christian faith and living is an essential part of the Pastoral vocation (1 Peter 5:3, 1 Timothy 4:12-16).

Why are the BUV introducing Professional Pastoral Supervision?

The BUV are committed to all our Pastors concentrating on doing good work that is their best and for which they do not need to be ashamed (2 Tim 2:15). We want pastors who are well thought of and have a good reputation for healthy ministry (1 Tim 3:2,13).  PPS is an extension of this and in conjunction with our current accreditation programme we believe that this will enable the BUV to support and produce healthy, vibrant, and productive pastors.

We are also compelled to act in response to the 2017 Royal Commission report, detailing the culmination of a five year enquiry into institutional responses to child sexual abuse and related matters.

The report contained one particular recommendation that relates to all religious institutions in Australia and to pastoral leaders in particular. This recommendation is therefore one we cannot ignore. The recommendation is as follows…

Recommendation 16.45

Consistent with Child Safe Standard 5, each religious institution should ensure that all people in religious or pastoral ministry, including religious leaders, have professional supervision with a trained professional or pastoral supervisor who has a degree of independence from the institution within which the person is in ministry.

Note Child Safe Standard 5 reads… “People working with children are suitable and supported.”

The recommendation calls for the Baptist Union of Victoria to ensure that all people in religious or pastoral ministry, including religious leaders, have professional supervision.

What is Professional Pastoral Supervision?

  • a regular, planned intentional and boundaried space in which a practitioner skilled in supervision (the supervisor) meets with one or more other practitioners (the supervisees) to look together at the supervisees’ practice
  • a relationship characterised by trust, confidentiality, support and openness that gives the supervisee freedom and safety to explore the issues arising in their work
  • spiritually/theologically rich – works within a framework of spiritual/theological understanding in dialogue with the supervisee’s world view and work
  • psychologically informed – draws on relevant psychological theory and insight to illuminate intra-personal and inter-personal dynamics
  • contextually sensitive – pays attention to the particularities of settings, culture and world view
  • praxis-based – focused on a report of work and / or issues that arise in and from the supervisee’s pastoral practice
  • a way of growing in vocational identity, pastoral competence, self-awareness, spiritual/theological reflection, pastoral interpretation, quality of presence, accountability, response to challenge, mutual learning
  • attentive to issues of fitness to practice, skill development, management of boundaries, professional identity and the impact of the work upon all concerned parties

Note the above definition is taken from the Association of Pastoral Supervision and Educator in the UK

What is the difference between supervision and Professional Pastoral Supervision?

To be a “professional” assumes that the supervisor has completed a level of training and is themselves being supervised in a way that provides accountability for their supervision. Being “professional” assumes that the practitioner is earning their income through their experience in this area and they are able to give their supervisee evidence of the supervision.

Who should have PPS?

Any person in a current pastoral leadership role in a Victorian Baptist ministry setting is required to be accredited and have a minimum of 3 PPS sessions per year (best practice is 6 sessions).

Pastoral Leaders for whom Professional Pastoral Supervision is required includes:

  • Ordained and Accredited Pastoral Leaders of the BUV
  • Pastoral Leaders (non-ordained but accredited)
  • Anyone who is registered as a BUV Marriage Celebrant
Click here to view a list of Frequently Asked Questions
Click here to lodge your Professional Pastoral Supervision session and receipt
Click here to find a BUV recognised Professional Pastoral Supervisor
Click here to apply to be a BUV recognised Professional Pastoral Supervisor