Susan Ebertz: Seeking Information Mastery in Multivocational Ministry

How can multivocational ministers keep up when information needs are continually changing?

Susan J. Ebertz, a member of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), is Associate Professor of Bibliography and Academic Research and Director for the Reu Memorial Library at Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa.

This is one of a series of video posts from the authors of Bivocational and Beyond: Educating for Thriving Multivocational Ministry (forthcoming April 2022). This book is an edited volume for church leaders and those that teach and support them. Contributors include bivocational pastors and other reflective practitioners as well as theological educators and researchers.

In Chapter 18, “Seeking Information Mastery in Multivocational Ministry,” Susan J. Ebertz adopts a model by Hubert Dreyfus to frame the importance of continual learning to achieve mastery in multivocational ministry. This chapter focuses on learning about information rather than learning specific facts: how to determine what information is needed, where to find it, and how to evaluate it. The author then walks through challenges, such as finding time for learning, countering algorithmic bias in internet search engines, and discerning trustworthy and knowledgeable sources. The author concludes by inviting the reader to share what is learned with their congregations, ministry colleagues, and community. Such collaboration brings one in contact with diverse voices, promoting innovation and allowing for creativity in thought and practice. Through careful and efficient research and collaboration with others, multivocational ministers can continue their learning in ways that support effective ministry.

For resources on bivocational and multivocational ministry, see the book’s webpage.