Developing the Skills of Ministry

Course descriptions and scheduling are subject to change by administrative decision. See course offerings booklet for current offerings. Some courses will be offered on a two- or three-year rotation.

Congregational Life and Work (SMCL)

Practicing ministry with youth is a theological endeavor. As such, this course will use theological vision in conversation with insights from cultural studies, sociology, psychology, and biology to guide our understanding of and response to adolescent Christian formation. We will also seek to be both critical and constructive in looking at race, gender, class, and consumption, and how they relate to and impact adolescents in the church’s ministry broadly construed.

This course involves an exploration of stewardship education resources alongside the explanation of financial tools and services needed in today’s world. It is designed to serve the needs of pastors and other church leaders in the congregation. Initial attention will focus on the personal stewardship practice of class participants. An exploration of biblical and spiritual perspectives will prepare the way for each participant to develop a five year stewardship education plan for themselves as leaders as well as their respective congregations.

Congregations are too often guilty of reducing Christian education to only head knowledge or viewing it as a limited-time activity mainly for children and youth. In reality, Christian education is a life-long transformative action that is necessary for every member of the body of Christ and encompasses our whole beings. This course will provide a survey of major topics and theories in Christian education and faith formation including definitions, biblical foundations, purposes, and contexts for Christian education; age-related educational theory; and introduction to learning styles and multiple intelligences. Through self-reflection and engagement with course readings and guest speakers, students will work towards integration of practices with relevant theory in order to design and facilitate a Christian education event, workshop, or one-time event for a Christian ministry setting.

Traumatic life experiences come in many forms, touch multiple networks of relationships and systems, and call for a complex set of responses. The church must be equipped to respond. This course examines the physiological, psychological, spiritual and social impact of trauma. It explores how the Christian narrative/community with its transforming practices of truth-telling, forgiveness, reconciliation, restorative justice and peacebuilding can lead to the shalom of God’s present and coming kingdom, both within the church, and through the church, to the larger world. Pastors, church leaders, missionaries, counselors and others who seek to become agents of trauma healing will examine a healing path that integrates theology, spiritual practices and counseling skills.

This course is for both students with a pastoral counseling concentration and other seminary students interested in learning the introductory level of the art and science of pastoral counseling. The course will examine the basics of a counseling relationship and give the student the opportunity to practice a “counseling” relationship and skills in the context of the course. Topics to be covered include: theory overview, skills work, typical cases encountered, issues related to ethics, culture, theology, diagnosis, and treatment planning. Special attention will be given to the dynamics of counseling in the context of the congregation or faith community.

This course is a general introduction to preaching, emphasizing how to move from biblical text to God-centered proclamation of the gospel. While the course will explore a variety of approaches to the biblical text and consider historical, theological, pastoral, and creative aspects of preaching, we will focus primarily on one methodology that can be adapted to a variety of styles and forms.

A critical reflection on what it means to be a caregiver in the ministry of the church. Among the issues examined are the assumptions one brings to caregiving, the relationship between caregiving and counseling, and various models for pastoral care and counseling. Specific pastoral care events such as births, weddings and funerals are also explored. Professional and ethical issues related to caregiving and counseling are introduced. There will be a brief introduction of basic counseling skills.

This course explores the biblical, historical, and theological issues underlying sacramental life in the church. A comparative study of ecumenical experience provides the student with critical tools to examine specific liturgical practices within his/her own faith tradition. Students will gain an appreciation of the underlying issues that help shape Christian worship in its various forms, and practical guidance in leading that shaping. Prerequisites: CTH 501 and 512

This course will focus on managing conflict in churches. Attention will be given to ecclesiology and theology related to conflict, development of skills for dealing with interpersonal conflicts, managing polarities, teaching communication in the congregation, and intervention skills for addressing deeper, more difficult conflicts in the congregation. The course will be taught with primary attention to the role of pastors, congregational leaders, conference ministers and overseers in managing congregational conflict and creating healthy churches. Class sessions will include lectures, videos, case studies, role plays and sharing of personal experience.

This course engages leadership and administration in both traditional and emerging congregations as well as missional involvement in the broader community. Initial attention will focus on the leadership formation of the student from a wholistic perspective. An exploration of biblical and spiritual perspectives will prepare the way for an examination of transformational leadership through both a contextual and cultural lens. Finally, students will have the opportunity to practice and reflect on leadership and administration via the exploration of a variety of specific topics including planning, budgeting, communication, team building, and conflict transformation.

This course is designed to prepare students for planning and leading congregational worship and to generate appreciation for the formative and transformative role of worship in the life of the church. Primary attention is given to the practical aspects of creating worship experiences based on biblical texts. Students will practice writing their own worship resources and become acquainted with published worship resources. This course will familiarize students with using the liturgical calendar and the Revised Common Lectionary as resources for worship planning. Prerequisites: CTH 501 and 502

For better or worse, families influence our character, values, and beliefs more profoundly than any other institution. This course will look at a church-based vision for rebuilding the infrastructure of families. It is designed to examine changes affecting today’s families in light of a biblical theology of family and will look at how family culture can be frontline mission agenda for the church of the next decade. The course will assist students in developing a theological and educational framework for thinking about family ministry. The course will also equip pastors and church educators with specific resources related to parenting skills, home-based spiritual formation, and peace and justice concerns.

p(jump-links#SMCL 702). SMCL 702 Advanced Preaching (3 SH)

This course is for students and preachers who desire to explore the theology and practice of preaching at a greater depth. Topics addressed will include: awareness of different theological foundations for preaching and articulation of one’s own theology of preaching; tools and techniques for exegesis or creating a sermon; sermon forms; and ways of improving sermon presentation, such as preaching without notes or the use of technology and visual arts and drawing from the tool of poetry and classic rhetoric. Students will engage these topics through lectures, short readings, class activities, preaching sermons in class, and short reflection papers.

This course is for both students with a pastoral counseling concentration and other seminary students interested in learning the art and science of pastoral counseling. The course will examine the ministry of pastoral counseling at a more advanced level. It will give the student the opportunity to engage in a sustained counseling relationship with one other person. Topics to be covered include: an in-depth review of counseling theories, advanced skills work, and issues related to ethics, culture and theology. Diagnosis and treatment planning will be given sustained attention. Prerequisite: Pastoral Counseling I (SMCL 581)

Missions and Evangelism (SMME)

Mission in Cultural Context (3 SH)

See CM 621.

Cross-Cultural Church Experience (3 SH)

See CM 613.

Mentored Ministry Internship (2-6 SH)

See SMFE 781.

Field Education (SMFE)

(see the requirements for Mentored Ministry)

Formation in Ministry I, II (Field Education) (3 SH), (3 SH)

See FS 601 and 602.

An intensive experience in supervised ministry normally in an off-campus setting. Internships may range in length from three to 12 months. They may be arranged in settings such as pastoral ministry, urban ministries, church planting and overseas missions. Credit earned is generally elective credit. In some settings, the intern may take a limited amount of study at a local seminary. Internships operate according to guidelines established by the seminary. Ministry Internships in a specialized setting are approved by the Director of Field Education. Prerequisite: Minimum of one year of seminary study; FS 601 and 602.

EMS students may apply for a Teaching Mentorship in the EMU Bible and Religion Department. This mentorship includes practice teaching at the undergraduate level under the direct supervision of a faculty member assigned to the course. The faculty member functions as a teaching mentor and provides oversight and evaluative feedback at regular intervals during the mentorship. Participation in this mentorship will follow Formation in Ministry I & II (or equivalent) and the completion of at least 18 hours of seminary coursework. The number of mentorships each semester will be limited to one. Application shall be made to the EMS Mentored Ministry office.

This course is a guided learning experience in ministry in an institutional and/or congregational setting under a certified ACPE supervisor. Program components include verbatim writing, lectures, individual supervision and the interpersonal experience of a group of peers in a common learning experience. This course is offered during the summer in the format of a ten-week intensive unit and during the school year as an extended unit spanning six months, with three hours of credit each semester.

Directed Studies

Directed studies may be taken in any department subject to the approval of the instructor and the associate dean. More information here.

Research project done in the area of the student’s concentration and under the direction of the faculty supervisor.

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