Frequently Asked Questions

How much will this cost?

Once the The Residency is up and running with two residents, we estimate that the program will have an annual cost of $250,000 for the residency and $250,000 for the Speaker Series, with some ebb and flow from year to year. Our goal is to raise $2.5 million for the first six-year phase.

Who will manage the fund?

All donations to the fund will be managed by the The Foundation of San Marino Community Church.. A more detailed budget is available upon request. 

What if the full amount needed for The Residency and Speaker Series is not raised?

If we do not raise enough money to support both programs, all funds will be reallocated to support the Speaker Series.


Why is The Residency only available for Princeton Theological Seminary graduates? Will other Seminary graduates have future opportunities?

The purpose of this fund is to honor the strengths brought to SMCC by Jeff and Lynn O’Grady. SMCC's special connection with Princeton Theological Seminary was a direct result of Rev. O’Grady’s leadership and ministry, and is something we hope to sustain and cultivate for years to come. Additionally, we value the opportunity to train up PC(USA) ministers who come from the rigorous academic environment of PTS, but are also well-versed in the innovative and intersectional ministry they learn through this program.


Our hope is that The Residency will be successful enough that we can endow residency programs with additional seminaries that train PC(USA) ministers.

What is the nature of the involvement of PC(USA) and Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS) with the residency?

This fund is being led by the team and community at SMCC. It is part of the wider work of the PC(USA) and builds on the work of PTS to help prepare PTS graduates for ordained ministry in  the Presbyterian Church.


How does this Fund fit with the current SMCC staffing structure?

This program is in addition and complementary to calls for new Clergy or Directors that will be made by SMCC as part of the restructuring process with Rev O’Grady’s retirement.  Residents will increase the capacity of current church staff to be able to lead new initiatives such as the O’Grady Speaker Series. In addition to Residents being supervised by the staff at SMCC, additional mentors from the SMCC community have agreed to spend time working with the Residents. 


What is the difference between a ‘Resident’ and an ‘Intern?’

Similar to the medical field, an intern is typically early on in their educational process, while a resident has completed their education and is working to gain additional hands-on training in their first post-education position.

In the case of this Residency program, a Resident is someone who has completed seminary and also completed the three year ordination requirements through the PC(USA). Welcoming a Resident is the akin to welcoming an Associate Minister who is entering their first ordained call, even to the point that they need to be examined for ordination by the presbytery. SMCC will ordain the Residents, who will then serve and contribute to the ministry of SMCC in a 2-year temporary position. Residents will be paid in accordance with the presbytery minimum, as is standard for residency programs throughout the country. If established, this would be the first PC(USA) residency program on the West Coast.

An Intern is a student who is still in seminary, and is often setting foot into a ministry context with little or no previous experience. While SMCC has previously welcomed Interns for the academic year, we more regularly welcome Interns during the summer for a 10-12 week program.  The Residency will exist alongside the role that Interns will have at SMCC.


Who will select the topics and speakers for the Speaker Series?

A committee consisting of Head Pastor Rev. Jessica Vaughan Lower, Rev. Jeff O’Grady, and representatives from SMCC Session, SMCC Foundation, and Princeton Theological Seminary will select topics and speakers for the Speaker Series. A system will be established to collect recommendations for specific topics and speakers.


A Speaker Series of this scale sounds like a labor-intensive endeavor. Who will oversee the administrative burden?

Residents will spend 25% of their time executing the Speaker Series, thereby alleviating the administrative burden shouldered by our existing staff.


What kinds of complementary events will be planned alongside the Speaker Series?

Our hope is that the topic and speakers will produce varying opportunities for additional events and offerings from year to year. Examples include smaller workshops or technical trainings, production of curriculum, podcasts, community partnerships, etc.