Academic Programs 

D.Min. Colleague Seminar II  (DM-720)  
Fall 2004

The purpose of the Colleague Seminar is to explore the reflective practice of ministry in an atmosphere of personal and professional sharing and to produce a set of analytical and theological papers as background to the Ministry Project. The goal of the 2nd year Colleague Seminar is to develop a clearer theological consciousness about ministry and to deepen understanding in the arts of ministerial leadership and practice. Required of second-year D.Min. students.  Successful completion of Colleague Seminar I is a prerequisite for this course. 

Meeting Day, Time and Dates:
D.Min. Schedule -- Mondays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on September 20, October 11, November 1 and 29 and December 13

Kelton Cobb
Professor of Theology and Ethics

Contact Information:
(860) 509-9500


Course Syllabus
Class web site

PURPOSE OF COURSE:  In pursuing further the training in congregational studies that began in the first year Colleague Seminar, we will explore ways of reflecting theologically on your congregation, or your pastoral setting, and your practice of ministry within it.  This will involve examining both classic and constructive approaches to theology.  It will also involve paying close attention to personal experience and to the broader cultural environment as sources of theological insight.  The culmination of this fall semester course will be a paper in which the students will work out a theology for ministry that genuinely reflects the manner in which they practice it.


  • to consider the practical effectiveness of embedded theologies

  • to examine several current voices in Christian theology that both recover and question traditions

  • to become reacquainted with the method and elastic qualities of systematic theology

  • to gain new familiarity with the themes of God, Jesus Christ, Church, and Eschatology

  • to assist the student in ascertaining and articulating the theology with which he/she does ministry


James H. Evans, Jr., We Have Been Believers: An African-American Systematic Theology

Justo González, Christian Thought Revisited: Three Types of Theology

Charles Marsh, God’s Long Summer: Stories of Faith and Civil Rights

Christopher Morse, Not Every Spirit: A Dogmatics of Christian Disbelief

Marjorie Suchocki, God-Christ-Church


The final grade for this course will be on a Pass-Fail system.  The grade is based primarily on the final paper, but also on consistently thoughtful work on the shorter class assignments and readings.  Students are expected to participate in class in ways that show careful, thorough preparation and a conscious effort to learn with and from others.  Attendance at all sessions is one measure of this.  Contributions to online discussions is another.

The final paper will be on “A Theology for Practicing Ministry,” or, more specifically, “My Ministry as I Make Sense of It with the Aid of Theological Motif X.”  Details about this will be provided later.  The final paper is due January 14


To get into the class site, you will need to log in using your user name and password, which is the same as last year.  The Blackboard login page can be found at  

To enter the class site, connect to the Internet, open your browser, and surf to the login page at the above web address (url).   You should see a page with a large Bb and “Welcome to”  Additionally you will see a button entitled “login.”   Click that button.  [note: you do not need to create an account—this has already been done]  This will bring up a screen that asks you to enter your user name and password.  Enter your user name and password and click “login.”   IF all goes well, this should bring up a page entitled “My Blackboard,” where you will see a link to the course “D.Min. Colleague Seminar II” under “My Courses.”  Clicking on this link should take you into the course site.


Note: The readings indicated for each class date are to be read for that class.

September 19:   Embedded Theologies and the Moral Life

Reading:  Marsh, God’s Long Summer: Stories of Faith and Civil Rights

Assignment due:  Write five theological profiles, ½ page each, describing the concept of God found in each of the five figures presented in God’s Long Summer.

October 11:  
Types of Theology

Reading:  González, Christian Thought Revisited: Three Types of Theology

Assignment due:   Bring to class: 1) 10 copies of your denomination’s central “creedal statement,” or its functional equivalent.  Write a 1 page analysis of it in terms of Gonzalez’s 3 types of theology.

Post on course website by 9/283 the two “Theological Worlds” you scored highest in, and the one you scored lowest in. 

Post on course website by 10/5 one question raised by the González book.  Enter electronic discussion with questions posted.

November 1:   Theological Method

Reading:  Morse, Not Every Spirit, pp.1-112
Evans, We Have Been Believers, pp.1-52
Suchocki, God-Christ-Church, pp.1-48

Assignment due:  Write a 2 page account itemizing what resources (in general terms, e.g., scripture, prayer, newspaper, friends, etc.) you draw on to prepare one of your better sermons, and, in light of this, identify which of the methods of the 3 authors you are most at home with, and explain why.  Post on course website by 10/28. 

  • Post on course website by 10/19 one question raised by our 10/6 Colleague group discussions.  Enter electronic discussion with questions posted.

November 29:   God and Jesus Christ

Reading:  Morse, Not Every Spirit, pp.113-170, 198-224
Evans, We Have Been Believers, pp.53-98
Suchocki, God-Christ-Church, pp.49-125, 227-236

Assignment due:  In 3 pages, outline the lesson plan for a three session adult Sunday School class on either the doctrine of God or Jesus Christ.  The content and tone of the lesson plan should stretch a bridge between this session’s readings and the capabilities of your parishioners.

  • Post on course website by 11/23 one question raised by the Suchocki book.  Enter electronic discussion with questions posted.

  Also:  Bring in 5 copies of your favorite hymn about Jesus. 

December 13:   The Church and Eschatology            

Reading:  Morse, Not Every Spirit, pp.288-346
Evans, We Have Been Believers, pp.119-154

Suchocki, God-Christ-Church, pp.129-224

Assignment due:  By no later than December 8, post on the course website a 1 page outline of your final paper, identifying the key theological motif (e.g. God, creation, sin, christology, ecclesiology, eschatology, etc.) which you will be using to clarify what guides you in your practice of ministry, & indicating your particular angle on this motif.  Attach to it a 1/2-page working bibliography.  Each student will then be asked to respond to another student’s outline.

  • Post on course website by 12/7 one question raised by the Morse book.  Enter electronic discussion with questions posted.

Also:  Bring in 5 copies of your favorite hymn about the Church.

January 14:
  Final Paper is due



C. FitzSimons Allison, The Cruelty of Heresy: An Affirmation of Christian Orthodoxy, Morehouse, 1994  
Karl Barth, Credo, Scribner’s, 1962.  
Karl Barth, Dogmatics in Outline, Harper, 1959.  
Marcus Borg, The God We Never Knew, Harper, 1997.  
Sharon Peebles Burch, Collective Absolute Presuppositions: Tectonic Plates for Churches, Peter Lang, 1999.  
John Calvin, Calvin’s Institutes: A New Compend, ed. by Hught T. Kerr, W/JKP, 1989.  
Denise Carmody, Christian Feminist Theology, Beacon, 1995.  
Ellen Charry, By the Renewing of Your Minds: The Pastoral Function of Christian Doctrine, Oxford, 1997.  
John B.Cobb, Jr., Becoming a Thinking Christian, Abingdon, 1993.  
James Cone, God of the Oppressed, Harper, 1975.  
Noel Erskine, Decolonizing Theology: A Caribbean Perspective, Africa World Press, 1998.  
Robert Evans and Thomas Parker, Christian Theology: A Case Study Approach, Harper, 1976.  
Gabriel Fackre, The Christian Story: A Narrative Interpretation of Basic Christian Doctrine, vol. 1, 3rd edition, Eerdmans, 1996.  
B.A. Gerrish, Saving and Secular Faith: An Invitation to Systematic Theology,
Fortress, 1999.  
W. Clark Gilpin, A Preface to Theology  
Justo González, Mañana: Christian Theology from a Hispanic Perspective, Abingdon, 1990.  
Douglas John Hall, The Cross in Our Context, Fortress, 2003.  
Peter Hodgson, Christian Faith: A Brief Introduction, W/JKP, 2001.  
Peter Hodgson and Robert King, Christian Theology: An Introduction to Its Traditions and Tasks, Fortress, 1982.  
Peter Hodgson and Robert King, Readings in Christian Theology, Fortress, 1985.  
Elizabeth Johnson, She Who Is: The Mystery of God in Feminist Theological Discourse, Crossroad, 1993.  
Luke Timothy Johnson, The Creed: What Christians Believe and Why It Matters,Doubleday, 2003  
W. Paul Jones, Theological Worlds: Understanding the Alternative Rhythms of Christian Belief, Abingdon, 1989  
Catherine Mowry LaCugna, ed., Freeing Theology: The Essentials of Theology in Feminist Perspective, Harper, 1993.  
Nicholas Lash, Believing Three Ways in One God: A Reading of the Apostles’ Creed, U. Notre Dame, 1992.  
Jung Young Lee, Marginality: The Key to Multicultural Theology, Fortress, 1995.  
John Leith, Creeds of the Churches, W/JKP, 1982.  
Ann Loades, ed., Feminist Theology: A Reader, W/JKP, 1990.  
John MacQuarrie, Principles of Christian Theology, Scribner’s, 1977.  
Sara Maitland, A Big-Enough God: A Feminist’s Search for a Joyful Theology, Riverhead Books, 1995.  
Alister E. McGrath, Theology: The Basics, Blackwell, 2004.  
Daniel Migliore, Faith Seeking Understanding: An Introduction to Christian Theology, Eerdmans, 1991.
Donald Musser & Joseph Price, eds.  A New Handbook of Christian Theology, Abingdon, 1992, 2003(revised).  
Ted Peters, God—The World’s Future: Systematic Theology for a Postmodern Era, Fortress, 2000.  
Karl Rahner, Foundations of Christian Faith:  Introduction to the Idea of Christianity, Crossroad, 1976.  
J. Deotis Roberts, Liberation and Reconciliation: A Black Theology, Westminster, 1971.  
Susan Ross, Extravagant Affections: A Feminist Sacramental Theology, Continuum, 1998.  
Rosemary R. Ruether, Sexism and God-Talk, Beacon, 1983.  
Roger Shinn and Daniel Day Williams, We Believe: An Interpretation of the United Church Statement of Faith, United Church Press, 1966.  
Jon Sobrino and Ignacio Ellacuría, eds., Systematic Theology: Perspectives from Liberation Theology, Orbis, 1996.  
Dorothy Sölle, Thinking about God: An Introduction to Theology, Trinity, 1990.  
Howard Stone and James Duke, How to Think Theologically, Fortress, 1996.  
Marjorie Hewitt Suchocki, God-Christ-Church: A Practical Guide to Process Theology, Crossroad, 1993.  
Kathryn Tanner, Jesus, Humanity and the Trinity: A Brief Systematic Theology, Fortress, 2001.  
Paul Tillich, Systematic Theology (vols.1-3), University of Chicago, 1951.  
Keith Ward, Christianity: A Short Introduction, Oneworld, 2000.


Hartford Seminary  77 Sherman Street  Hartford, CT  06105   860-509-9500