Foundations of Christian Ministry

Course Description: This course is an overview of the biblical foundations necessary for effective ministry. The importance of the teaching ministry will be examined as a means of grounding ministry in the scripture as core content for ministry.

Course Schedule

Class DateClass TopicAssigment Due
8.24Introduction to the Class 
8.29Syllabus and Expectations 
8.31Building a Foundation: What is the Gospel? 
9.5Building a Foundation: What is the Ministry?Peterson, Introduction
Smith, The Church at the Center  
9.7The Goal of Ministry: A Life of LoveSmith, Preface, Ch. 1
9.12The Problem of Ministry: Disordered LoveSmith, Ch. 2
9.14The Re-orientation of the Church: The Reordering of LovesSmith, Ch. 3
9.19The Story of Ministry: Liturgical FormationSmith, Ch. 4
9.21Watch: The American Gospel Hauerwas, Ch. 1, 4
9.26Watch: The American Gospel Hauerwas, Ch. 5-6
9.28The Metrics of MinistryEric Schumacher, Giving Up the Stage
Ortlund, You Don’t Deserve This
Hauerwas, Ch. 7
10.3The Posture of MinistryAlan Jacobs, Lord Make Me an Idiot
Peterson, 23-42
10.5The Tasks of Ministry: Prayer DirectingPeterson, 43-72  
10.10Pastoral RuleGreogry, Intro, Letter, 49-86
10.12Pastoral RuleGregory, 87-100
Write a letter of Counsel
10.17The Tasks of Ministry: Story-MakingPeterson, 73-112
10.19The Tasks of Ministry: Pain SharingPeterson, 113-148
10.24OFF: Fall Break 
10.26OFF: Conference 
10.31The Tasks of Ministry: Nay SayingPeterson, 149-190
11.2The Task of Ministry: Community BuildingPeterson, 191-End
11.7Developing a Pastoral Imagination 
11.9Developing a Pastoral ImaginationRobinson, 1-27
11.14Developing a Pastoral ImaginationRobinson, 27-78
11.16Developing a Pastoral ImaginationRobinson, 78-110
11.21OFF: Thanksgiving Break 
11.23OFF: Thanksgiving Break 
11.28Developing a Pastoral ImaginationRobinson, 110-216
11.30Developing a Pastoral ImaginationRobinson, 216-247
12.5Sharing from ExemplarsDue: Ministry Mentor Interview Church Reflection
12.7Review and Celebrate 
12.14Final Paper Due 


Attend Church/Church Reflections (15%)

There are no lone-ranger Christians. If you don’t belong to a local church, you need to. And if you want to be involved in ministry, you need to be involved in a church. So, I am requiring you to be a part of a church. You will need to bring a either a church bulletin and/or a reflection from your involvement on Sunday.  For every time you come unprepared on a Monday, your grade will drop 4%. After the third miss, you will fail.

Academic Journal (40%)

Every time you come to class when there is a reading assignment due, you are required to actively take notes while reading. These notes will be collected in an academic journal. It should be well organized with a section for every assigned reading.

The journal will be collected and graded on October 20 and at the end of the semester.

Interview with Ministry Mentor (10%)

You won’t go long in ministry without a mentor. Therefore, you need one. Either find one or go to one you already know (must be 10+ years older than you). Interview them on questions pertinent to ministry. (What’s most important? How do you balance time? What temptations or struggles do you encounter? Advice, etc). The paper should be thorough and include your own reflections.

Final Paper (35%)

You will write a 2000 word paper on 5 core values that will guide your ministry. Your paper should include sources from your ministry interest (missions, youth ministry, camp ministry, pastoral, etc) and apply your core values to your desired ministry context. What is most important to you? Why? Where does that come from? How have other people employed or discussed that value? How will these values work themselves out in your life and ministry?