Academic Programs 
      

Ministry Seminar    MA-525-9  Fall 2002

The Ministry Seminar provides an introduction to the biblical and theological basis for ministry, with special emphasis on ministry in daily life. The Ministry Seminar concludes with a retreat experience at the end of the semester typically lasting the better part of a day (date to be announced), and is graded on a Pass/Fail basis.  The Ministry Seminar is required of all MA students with the exception of those in Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations.  Please note: The first class on 9/9 will begin at 6 p.m. following new student orientation from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. 


Meeting Day, Time and Dates: 
Mondays from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on 9/9, 9/16, 9/23, 9/30, 10/7, 10/14, 10/21, 10/28, 11/4, 11/11
Location: Room 205

Course Syllabus

Alan McLean
Adjunct Professor of Arts of Ministry and Pastor Emeritus, First Church of Christ, Hartford

Contact Information:
phone: 
(860)
509-9516
email:
jalanmcln@aol.com

Barbara E. Headley
Adjunct Professor of Arts of Ministry and Senior Pastor, Faith Congregational Church, Hartford  

Contact Information:
phone: 
(860) 547-0820
email:
revbabs2@aol.com

 

MA 525-9 MINISTRY SEMINAR

Mondays 5:30-8:30 p.m.

(All-day Retreat Saturday, December 7, 8:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m.)

"The Master of Arts program at Hartford Seminary provides the opportunity for persons of all backgrounds to deepen and broaden their faith understandings, to sharpen their sense of vocation in their faith community, and to meaningfully relate religious theory and spiritual practice to the context of their daily life, community and the world at large."  Hartford Seminary Catalogue, p. 34

"The Ministry Seminar, offered annually, provides an introduction to the biblical and theological basis for ministry, with special emphasis on ministry in daily life. The seminar also explores the possibilities for integrating theory and practice by means of an appropriate spirituality." Hartford Seminary Catalogue, p. 35

SEMINAR OBJECTIVES

To provide an introduction to thinking theologically about ministry.

To develop conceptual and academic skills for success in graduate course work.

To cultivate useful collegial relationships and support strategies to nourish meaningful education for ministry.

To identify and examine one’s personal call to ministry and its practice in contemporary church and society.

LEARNING GOALS

To learn how to integrate biblical, theological, liturgical and pastoral understandings of ministry.

To learn how to reflect critically and prayerfully on one’s own experience in ministry and on the wider social context.

To learn how to communicate effectively in verbal and written forms.

To learn how to discern one’s own vocation and to sustain the necessary confidence and skill to carry out that ministry.

CLASS SCHEDULE AND ASSIGNMENTS

Please produce two (2) copies of all papers for both instructors.

September 9 INTRODUCTIONS AND OVERVIEW OF THE COURSE

Part of the first class will involve the Hartford Seminary general student orientation. Members of the class will be asked to take the MBTI (Meyers-Briggs) instrument home and return it at the next class.

 

September 16 BIBLICAL AND THEOLOGICAL FOUNDATIONS FOR MINISTRY

Read: 1. "The Laity in Biblical Perspective" (Gillespie) [class handout]

The Authority of the Laity (Dozier)
Where in the World Are You?
(Everist and Vos)
Due: A one-page description of how work relates to your ministry.
[turn in completed MBTI answer sheets]

 

September 23 MINISTRY IN PERSONAL CONTEXT (MBTI)

Guest: Carole Christopher, Christopher Consulting

The bulk of the class will be spent learning about the MBTI and helping class members interpret their own profiles. The class will receive a small pamphlet Introduction to Type.

Due: A two-page biographical sketch of a lay person who "practices" his or her faith in ways that you admire.

 

September 30 MINISTRY IN PUBLIC CONTEXT

Read: 
1. Private Needs, Public Selves (Roth)
2. September 11: Religious Perspectives on the Causes and Consequences (Hartford Seminary Faculty)

Due: A one-page reflection about what you think is happening to religion in American society.

 

October 7 DEVELOPING A THEOLOGY OF MINISTRY

Read: 1. Becoming a Thinking Christian (Cobb)

Due: A one-page draft of your personal theology of ministry.

 

October 14 and 21 MINISTRY IN ACTION: CASE STUDIES

Due: Case Description – On the day you present, bring a one-page description of a situation or incident when you engaged in ministry and/or solved a problem, or a reflection on the most unresolved relationship in your life. [The class will be divided into two groups, half of the cases will be discussed on October 14 and the other half of the cases will be discussed on October 21.] On the week after you have presented your case, please turn in another one-page reflection paper summarizing learnings and insights about ministry, which you gained from the discussion.

October 28 MINISTRY AND SPIRITUALITY

Read: The Active Life (Palmer)

Due: A short, written prayer expressing your understanding of ministry and spirituality and a one-page interpretation of a passage from scripture which enriches your theology of ministry. They will be used at the retreat on December 2.

 

November 4 MINISTRY AND JUSTICE

Read: 
1) Jesus and the Disinherited (Thurman)
2) Christ Outside the Gate (Costas), Chapter 7 – "Response to the Cry of Latin America"

Due: Using newspaper articles, magazines, or working on the World Wide Web, choose one contemporary issue where you believe that understandings of justice and injustice should inform your theology of ministry. Write a one-page reflection paper on why this is your conviction.

November 11 MINISTRY AND THE CHURCH

Read: The Once and Future Church (Mead)

Due: A one-page paper about what you think the church is called to be and do in our times.

 

December 7 ALL-DAY RETREAT (Saturday)

*Come prepared to share orally a quotation from the readings that you especially like. 
*Come prepared to share a symbol of your ministry.
*Be prepared to join in a service for the renewal of baptismal promises.

(Baptism is the basic call to ministry for all Christians.)

December 16 FINAL INTEGRATING PAPER DUE (8-10 pps. double spaced)

Using footnotes (or endnotes) and appropriate academic form, write a paper in which you lift up insights gained about ministry from each of the readings assigned for the course. Begin with your draft personal theology of ministry prepared for the October 7 class and show how it has been supported or changed by your studies and class participation this semester. Draw upon readings, personal experience, church involvements, work settings, class sessions and individual convictions to make a cohesive statement about ministry in our contemporary world. What informs your understanding? What sustains it? Where is it vulnerable? What is the future of ministry?

 

Hartford Seminary  77 Sherman Street  Hartford, CT  06105   860-509-9500  info@hartsem.edu