Become a pastoral leader who empowers God’s people toward active participation in God’s mission of restoring wholeness to the world.
- The ability to use scriptural and theological reflection faithfully in contexts of pastoral ministry.
- A growing awareness of the work of God in one’s life and the development of dispositional qualities that nurture sensitivity to God’s active presence in one’s own life, the lives of others, and the world.
- A missional understanding of the church and the ability to discern the social and cultural trends that inform a congregation’s vision and sense of purpose.
- An aptitude for shaping healthy worshiping communities that draw new people into participation.
- The ability to design and persuasively implement strategic initiatives for congregational renewal and vitality in the exercise of church leadership.
- The ability to cultivate and communicate a compelling vision for ministry.
The following courses have been designed to allow you to master this competency:
MIN 621 | Worship | 3 Credits
This course examines the history, theology, and practice of Christian worship from an ecumenical perspective. It surveys major features of worship, including the Christian calendar, word and sacrament, the role of music, liturgical space, and occasional services. In addition to classical patterns, the course discusses contemporary trends in worship, including the liturgical renewal movement, charismatic and neo-Pentecostal influences, and the seeker-service movement. The aim of the course is to guide the student in building a foundation for the ministry of worship planning and leadership. This course meets the requirements for students preparing for United Methodist ordination.
MIN 624 | Care and Counsel | 3 Credits
This course surveys the scope and practice of pastoral care. Employing the analogy of a physician’s care for the physical body, the course seeks to develop proficiencies necessary in the pastor’s responsibility to care for the spiritual person. Among the issues explored, specific attention is given to spiritual direction, pastoral counsel and counseling skills, crisis ministries, care of the dying, development of Christian community, and social justice as pastoral care.
MIN 625 | Sharing Christ | 3 Credits
This course explores the theology and practice of the Church’s ministry of evangelism and discipleship as both personal and corporate practices. The course focuses on Christian identity in the midst of religious plurality and the ethical and spiritual requirements of Christian life and witness. In this course students will develop an approach to evangelism and discipleship that is a natural expression of the Christian faith, rooted in the truth of Scripture, and appropriate to changing cultural contexts. This course meets the requirements for students preparing for United Methodist ordination.
MIN 675 | Renewing Congregations | 3 Credits
This course explores steps that pastors can take to lead a congregation from maintenance to a missional focus. The course pre-supposes that renewal is a personal and corporate spiritual journey that leaders and congregations undertake in order to realize their full potential in God’s redemptive work. The outlined approach to experiencing renewal is biblical, systematic, and intentional. The course will cover topics such as clarifying a missional theology, developing a corporate identity, assessing organizational preparedness for change, cultivating a healthy congregational climate, building supportive relationships among leaders, focusing on redemptive outreach, preparing for change, and celebrating God’s faithfulness. The course will explore the current research on the status of the American church, noting commonly held variables among declining congregations and among those congregations that have experienced renewal. This compare and contrast approach will enable students to develop their own strategic plan to bring congregational members together for more effective outreach to their community.
PSF 611 | Pastoral Formation | 3 Credits
Building on a foundation of the central pastoral acts of prayer, Scripture reading, and spiritual direction, this course seeks to assist the student in the development of a method for ongoing theological reflection in ministry. Among the issues explored are the spiritual and theological foundations of pastoral work, the discovery of a pastoral identity, the meaning of ordination, and the office and functions of the pastor.