To provide an introduction to thinking theologically about
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 social context.
To learn how to communicate effectively in verbal and written
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
27 Introductions and
overview of the course
and discussion of “Vocation” – by L. Gregory Jones
The Authority of the Laity
1. “The Laity in Biblical Perspective” (Gillespie)
“The Authority of the Laity” (Dozier)
A one-page description of how work related to your ministry.
10 Connecting Faith and Ministry in Daily Life
“Where in the World Are You?” (Everist and Vos)
Due: A one-page answer to the question: “Where and how does God
use you in your daily life?”
17 Ministry in Public Context
1. “Private Needs, Public Selves” (Roth)
A one-page reflection about what you think is happening to
religion in American Society.
Ministry in Interfaith Context
1. “September 11: Religious Perspectives on the Causes and
Consequences” (Hartford Seminary Faculty)
2. Religious Responses to Atrocity” (Landau)
3. “Jews, Muslims and Peace” (Landau and Heidi)
“When Members of One Faith Are Teachers at a Religious School of
Another” N.Y. Times (October 4, 2003)
Due: A one-page description of how 9/11/01 has changed the way you
live your faith in daily life. Members
of class will be asked to take the MBTI (Meyers Briggs instrument home
and return it at the next class).
Ministry and Spirituality
1. “The Active Life” (Palmer)
Due: Using no more than two pages write a short prayer that
expresses your understanding of ministry and spirituality and then an
interpretation of a key passage of scripture that gives meaning to
your faith and sense of ministry.
Return completed MBTI instruments.
Ministry in Personal Context
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
Due: A two page biographical sketch of a lay person who practices
his or her faith in ways that you admire.
16 & 23
Ministry in Action: Case Studies
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 small groups.
Half of the cases will be discussed on March 23.)
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.
assignment for these two weeks: “Let Your Life Speak” (Palmer)
Ministry and Justice
1. “Jesus and the Disinherited” (Thurman)
2. “Christ Outside the Gate” (Costas)
3. Chapter 7, Response to the Cry of Latin America
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 call into ministry. Write a one-page reflection on why this is your conviction.
Guest: The Rev. Dr. Benjamin Watts, Faculty Associate in Religion and
Community, and the Director of the Black Ministries Program.
Developing A Theology of Ministry
1. “Becoming a Thinking Christian” (Cobb)
“How To Think Theologically” (Duke and Stone)
Due: A one page draft of your personal theology of ministry.
Ministry and the Church
1. “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.
Defining Your Ministry
1. “The Dream of God” (Dozier)
Due: A one page paper that response to the question: “Informed by
your theology of ministry, to what do you believe the Dream of God may
be calling you?”
Creating A Ministry Goal
joint class exercise in discovering and writing ones personal ministry
May 21 Final
Integrating Paper (8-10
pages double spaced)
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 April 13 class and build upon it.
Draw from readings, personal experience, church involvements,
work settings 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?