525-9 MINISTRY SEMINAR
Mondays 5:30-8:30 p.m.
(All-day Retreat Saturday, December 7, 8:30
"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
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.
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
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
CLASS SCHEDULE AND ASSIGNMENTS
Please produce two (2) copies of all papers for
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
September 16 BIBLICAL AND THEOLOGICAL FOUNDATIONS FOR
Read: 1. "The Laity in Biblical Perspective"
(Gillespie) [class handout]
The Authority of the Laity
Where in the World Are You?
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
Due: A two-page biographical sketch of a lay
person who "practices" his or her faith in ways that you
September 30 MINISTRY IN PUBLIC CONTEXT
1. Private Needs, Public Selves
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
October 14 and 21 MINISTRY IN ACTION: CASE
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
November 4 MINISTRY AND JUSTICE
1) Jesus and the Disinherited
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
*Be prepared to join in a service for the renewal
of baptismal promises.
(Baptism is the basic call to ministry for all
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?