Hartford Seminary

Understanding Congregations (RS-541)

Your congregation is a spiritual entity, but it is also a social organization, made up of human beings, with conflicts and habits, and grounded in a particular context. The more you know about the many dimensions of the congregation, the better you can make decisions, plan ministry and envision its future. The course is designed for clergy and lay leaders who wish to better understand the dynamics of their congregations. We will use a combination of lectures, readings, and field trips to study one congregation during the class meetings and then each student will explore his or her own congregation as the final assignment. We will look at the congregation’s identity and culture, its context, the material and human resources, the structures of power, the implicit theology and the leadership dynamics in an effort to understand this complex spiritual entity that is the congregation.

If you are not enrolled in a degree program but wish to register for this course, use the Online Registration for Special Students and Auditors.

Instructor(s)

Scott Thumma

Semester

Summer 2016

Course Downloads

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