Ministerial Associations

For many years in some PM quarters there were misgivings and opposition to any suggestion of formal training for the ministry. Colin Campell McKechnie was one of those who saw the need for the ministers to be better equipped. In 1850, while in Sunderland, he promoted the founding of a District Association for Mutual Improvement. Its aim was to bring the ministers together in order to promote 'mental culture and ministerial usefulness', especially among the probationers and younger ministers. An annual three-day gathering was held following the District May Meeting. In addition to worship and public meetings, papers were read and discussed. One result of this initiative was a tutorial system giving senior ministers the opportunity to supervise and guide the studies of the younger ones. Another was the launch of The Christian Ambassador (later The PM Quarterly Review and eventually The Holborn Review) in which papers given at Association meetings were published.

  • Geoffrey E. Milburn, A School for the Prophets: the origins of ministerial education in the PM Church (Sunderland, 1981)