Theory and Practice of Ministry
Theory and Practice of Ministry courses encourage students to form an understanding of human nature and a theology of lay and ordained ministry.
MNST 504 Cross Cultural Field Expeience (1 to 3)
Elective cross-cultural experiences, including summer experiences, which must last a minimum of three weeks and be approved by the Director of Contextual Education and Field Education.
MNST 511 Pastoral Theology: Theology and Practice of Pastoral Care (3)
This course examines the distinct vocation and ministry of those called to the ordained priesthood. Drawing on Scripture and the ordinal of The Book of Common Prayer, it looks first at priestly identity and authority in relation to the ministry of all the baptized. After considering what it means to lead a community of faith as "pastor, priest, and teacher," we move to the practice and underlying theology of several aspects of parish ministry. Relevant canons and portions of The Book of Common Prayer are studied. Approaching pastoral care as the "cure of souls," the course focuses on pastoral visitation and counsel; preparing people for the sacraments of baptism, reconciliation, and marriage; and ministry to the sick, dying, and bereaved. Throughout the course, attention is given to the way various pastoral situations draw both priest and parish more fully into the mystery of Christ.
MNST 512 Pastoral Theology II: Pastoral and Parish Leadership (3)
This course focuses upon the ministry of oversight that the priest shares with the bishop. It explores the nature and communal context of pastoral leadership as a dimension of servant ministry. The course seeks to develop competence and pastoral wisdom in several aspects of parish administration: working with vestries, overseeing parish finances and property, understanding and teaching stewardship, maintaining parish records, hiring staff, and recruiting and equipping lay ministries. The canons pertinent to these areas of responsibility are also studied. Toward the end of the course, we review the spiritual disciplines and patterns of holy living that are needed to sustain the priestly vocation.
MNST 515 Congregational Studies (3)
This course will introduce students to the basics of congregational theory. Among the focus points of the course are the impact of a congregation's size on patterns of decision making and mission, how a congregation's life and work adapts across its life cycle with attention to the effects of decline and approaches to re-energizing mission, and the shape of the parish considers the concentric rings from core commitment to vicarious connection. In addition, recent approaches to mission including Invite*Welcome*Connect and Renewal Works will help a student develop the skills to assess current reality and create new possibilities for vital and lively congregational life. The course is normally taken in conjunction with placement in field education and a colloquy group to reflect on both course and practical learning.
MNST 516 Parish Leadership (3)
This course will cover a range of topics relating to the work of a priest within a community. Two major concerns will be family systems theory and conflict management theory. The first provides insight into the forces at work within a congregation’s emotional and decision making process; the second provides perspective in working towards reconciliation or dealing with entrenched opposition. Planning as a means of prayerful and intentional leadership, effective meeting design, and approaches to a congregation's spiritual health and potential for growth will be covered as well.
MNST 521 Contextual Education I (3)
Contextual education provides students the opportunity to integrate and reflect upon their academic work within active ministry environments and to gain better self-knowledge in the role of congregational leader. This required course consists of three components: (1) an on-site assignment to a local congregation (normally during the second semester of the middler year and the first semester of the senior year; (2) a plenary in congregational studies that deals with current theory and methods as well as leadership development, evangelization strategies, leading a transformation process, and conceptual models for understanding congregational culture and context; and (3) a colloquy in which the students present ministry incidents for reflection and integration of academic disciplines.
MNST 522 Contextual Education II (3)
This course is a continuation of MNST 521.
MNST 525 Introduction to Christian Education and Formation (3)
This course is designed to assist students as they transition from their own, intensive education and formation experiences at the seminary into increased responsibility for facilitating, encouraging, and organizing the education and formation experiences of others. Students will be asked to bring the breadth of their seminary experience into the classroom to evaluate, critique, and imagine new possibilities for Christian education and formation in the Church.
MNST 528 Introduction to Spiritual Direction (3)
This course introduces students to spiritual direction, a ministry centrally concerned with discerning the workings of God through focused, spiritual conversation. While the course does not, by itself, qualify one to exercise this ministry, it offers a broad overview of it through reading, lecture, and class discussion. It explores the nature of spiritual direction, the role and preparation of the spiritual director, and occasions for spiritual guidance in parish ministry. The course is not a practicum in spiritual direction, although it will take account of personal experience. Students are encouraged to take this course pass/fail. Prerequisite: THEO 503.
MNST 532 Family Systems Theory (3)
Family Systems Theory is one of the dominant theories informing pastoral practice, both in the care of individuals and families and in the care of the congregation as an organic whole. This course presents family systems theory through an immersion in primary and secondary texts, through an analysis of the recent Netflix series Bloodline, and congregational assessments. In keeping with key tenants of the theory, a substantial part of the course will focus on the self of the pastor (self-regulation and individuation). Students should already have completed CPE and be currently serving a contextual education placement. Prerequisite: MNST 511.
MNST 535 Chaplaincy in Comparative Contexts (3)
Building on the foundation of inter-religious literacy and competency laid in WREL 501, this course explores a variety of contexts in the US today where Christian chaplains serve alongside chaplains of other traditions in multifaith offerings of emotional and spiritual care as well as the personal, professional, and ethical implications of chaplaincy practice. A multi-day experience visiting at least eight different chaplaincy contexts is a required component of the course. Prerequisite: WREL 501.
MNST 557 Leadership: Theory and Practice for Transformation and Growth (3)
This seminar examines contemporary theories of leadership taught in education, government, and business seminars, workshops, and classrooms. Focus is first on "adaptive leadership" (Heifetz), "appreciative leadership" (Cooperrider), the "learning organization" (Senge), and "servant leadership" (Greenleaf), looking intentionally beyond the Church for wisdom that will help participants be better leaders for the Church. These insights will then be viewed from the perspective of work on "pastoral excellence" (Jones) and other research from the "Pulpit and Pew" project and comparable studies, as the students develop their own theologies of pastoral leadership and apply them in case studies.
MNST 560 Gender Roles and Assumptions (3)
This course is designed to engage students in reflection and discussion on issues arising from gender assumptions and expectations in society as well as the church. Both male and female clergy need to acknowledge that the foundational element of oppression can be understood as power differentials. The misuse of power is a major factor in issues, for example, of poverty, sexism, and racism. The church should be an informed and articulate leader in eradicating the root causes of such issues, but this kind of leadership is possible only when the church itself is willing without exception to "strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being." (BCP, p. 305) Only by realizing that the power differential in the way gender expectations are understood in society is a root factor in each of these issues can the church begin to have an authentic voice in modeling justice to the world.
MNST 561 The Emergent Church in Anglican Perspective (3)
The ecclesial trend in the United States garnering the most attention in the last decade is widely referred to as the "Emergent Church." A theological hybrid, liturgically mixed, and denominationally undefined movement, it welcomes a variety of churches, pastoral leaders, inquirers and observers. This seminar will explore the key thinkers (e.g., Butler-Bass, McLaren, Tickle), practitioners (e.g., Jones, Kimball), and practices (e.g., "ancient-future" worship, social-justice concerns, "green" ecclesiology, contemplative youth ministry) that are beginning to define the Emergent Church movement, welcome some of them to campus, and visit nearby exemplars. Students will present a project, paper, or sermons.
MNST 562 Transforming Congregations in Community (3)
This course is designed to be a study of the nature and practice of power found in the Bible and Christian Theology. This course will use the Bible as its primary textbook to understand how power works in the worlds of politics, business, education, social services and religion - both in its legitimate exercise to empower people and in its illegitimate exercise to maintain the dominant establishments at the expense of people. Further, the scriptures will be examined to enable students to organize their congregations to use power relationally in order to bring about political, economic, social and spiritual transformation through their church and community.
MNST 563 Leadership, Innovation, and Outreach: Parish Ministry in the 2020s (3)
In an age of declining attendance, reduced giving, closing parishes, and aging members, successful ministry in the coming decade must change and adapt to new realities and opportunities. This course is a mix of leadership studies, sociology, congregational analysis, stewardship, and fund raising, and the exploration of new models for ministry. It will prepare students to interpret and understand the parish and its wider community, and develop and fund programs to respond to community needs and more fully and faithfully serve Christ in the church and in the world.
MNST 564 Community and Organizational Leadership (3)
This course runs in conjunction with the third semester of field education and focuses on the congregation's public life and the responsibilities of managing the financial, staffing, and related areas of an organization's life and work. The course will explore how a leader identifies a community's concerns and engages others in addressing issues within and beyond the congregation. In preparation for the process of finding and beginning placement as ordained and/or community leaders, the student will develop a deeper understanding of their particular abilities and commitments. This course normally runs in conjunction with the third semester of field education. The setting may be a parish or community organization and normally will include a particular project or specific responsibility. The course will adapt to the particular placements and responsibilities of field education. In addition, the colloquy will allow for reflection between students and across the various projects and field education sites.
MNST 570 God and the Other (3)
The Other/otherness are central notions in contemporary debates about identity and diversity. And they are fundamental for Christian thought and practice: ethics (the love of neighbor), psychology (the experience of "me" and "not-me"), and theology (God's transcendence and revelation in the face of the stranger). This course is a critical analysis of the ways that the notion of the Other functions in cultural, psychological, and theological frameworks, with a focus on implications for pastoral ministry. Attention will be given to issues of race, gender, and other differences. Prerequisite: (THEO 511 and (MNST 511.
MNST 583 Beginning Pastoral Spanish I (3)
This course introduces the student to basic conversational and liturgical Spanish as well as Latino cultures. It is intended to give a person entering the Church the ability to conduct services in Spanish and to respond to basic pastoral situations. Emphasis is on verbal communication; however we also focus on reading and writing in Spanish. Active participation in the Spanish Evening Prayer (weekly) and the Spanish Eucharist (bi-weekly) services is required. There will also be readings from The Book of Common Prayer, the Bible (Spanish), and from typically Latino services (e.g. La Quinceañera). The textbook used is ¿Como se dice…?, and we also read and discuss Guadalupe, Mother of the New Creation. The course also has the attribute of LTCM.
MNST 584 Beginning Pastoral Spanish II (3)
This course, a continuation of the first semester course, introduces the student to basic conversational and liturgical Spanish as well as Latino cultures. It is intended to give a person entering the Church the ability to conduct services in Spanish and to respond to basic pastoral situations. Emphasis is on verbal communication; however we also focus on reading and writing in Spanish. Active participation in the Spanish Evening Prayer (weekly) and the Spanish Eucharist (bi-weekly) services is required. There will also be readings from The Book of Common Prayer, the Bible (Spanish), and from typically Latino services (e.g. La Quinceañera). The textbook used is ¿Como se dice…?, and also reading material related to liturgical traditions particular to countries in Latin America. This course also has the attribute of LTCM.
MNST 585 Intermediate Pastoral Spanish I (3)
The objective of the course is to continue along a path of linguistic and cultural proficiency combined with active participation in the weekly Oración Vespertina and the bi-weekly Santa Eucaristía services. Students officiate and read at the weekly Oración Vespertina services; and, once language proficiency is demonstrated, students will be expected to preach in Spanish at the Santa Eucaristía services. The textbooks include ¡Continuemos!, El Libro de Oración Común (bi-lingual), the Bible in Spanish, La Violencia del Amor, and short stories written by Latin American authors. The course also has the attribute of LTCM.
MNST 586 Intermediate Pastoral Spanish II (3)
This course, a continuation of the first semester course, continues along a path of linguistic and cultural proficiency combined with active participation in the weekly Oración Vespertina and the bi-weekly Santa Eucaristía services. Students officiate and read at the weekly Oración Vespertina services; and, are expected to preach in Spanish at the Santa Eucaristía services. The textbooks include ¡Continuemos!, El Libro de Oración Común (bi-lingual), the Bible in Spanish, La Violencia del Amor, and short stories written by Latin American authors. During the second half of the semester we will focus on liturgies in Spanish: La Santa Eucaristía, Bautismo and Casamiento. The course also has the attribute of LTCM.
MNST 587 Advanced Pastoral Spanish I (3)
The objective of this course is to be able to confidently and comfortably converse in Spanish. Readings from various Latin American authors will give the students a flavor of the culture of the country of residence of each author and also provide discussion opportunities in Spanish of moral, theological and cultural issues. Students will be expected to prepare homilies in Spanish and deliver them at the assigned Santa Eucaristía. The textbooks include En Breve, A Concise Review of Spanish Grammar by Seymour Resnick, William Giuliano and Phyllis M. Golding; and Anthology of Spanish American Poetry: The Twentieth Century compiled, annotated and edited by Thomas Spaccarelli. The course also has the attribute of LTCM.
MNST 588 Advanced Pastoral Spanish II (3)
This course is a continuation of the first semester course, with its objective being to confidently and comfortably converse in Spanish. Readings from various Latin American authors will give the students a flavor of the culture of the country of residence of each author and also provide discussion opportunities in Spanish of moral, theological and cultural issues. Students will be expected to prepare homilies in Spanish and deliver them at the assigned Santa Eucaristía. The textbooks include En Breve, A Concise Review of Spanish Grammar; an Anthology of Spanish American Poetry: The Twentieth Century; and other reading material geared to the Spanish proficiency level and wishes of the students. The course also has the attribute of LTCM.
MNST 589 Episcopal Latino Ministry Competency Course (3)
The Episcopal Latino Ministry Competency Course, co-sponsored by the School of Theology and the Episcopal Office of Latino/Hispanic Ministry, provides an overview of the historical, cultural, socio-demographic, and religious aspects of Latinos/Hispanics in the United States. This course addresses the pastoral and liturgical needs of dual-language congregations, and it explores the general characteristics of ministries aimed at immigrant and first-generation Latinos, as well as the more acculturated U.S. born Latinos. Designed for clergy, seminarians, and lay leaders, this course offers the theoretical background and practical tools necessary to discern the type of Latino/Hispanic ministry that best fits the particular setting and context of a congregation.
MNST 592 Introduction to Liturgical Spanish and Latino Cultures (3)
This course is geared primarily toward seniors who would like to: Learn the basics of the Spanish language; be able to perform services in Spanish; and, become familiar with the Latino community from a cultural perspective. The course would have three sub-sets/focus areas: Learning basic pronunciation skills and basic vocabulary Basic reading and pronunciation Cultural issues/awareness (About a third of the classes would be dedicated to discussions of cultural issues and the needs of the Latino Community; they would be conducted in English.) This course also has the attribute of LTCM.
MNST 594 Directed Readings (1 to 4)
A Theory and Practice of Ministry topic developed by the student and a School of Theology faculty member to meet an educational goal not met through existing courses.
MNST 595 Field Education Elective (1 to 3)
Elective field education courses and including summer experiences, which must last a minimum of three weeks and be approved by the Director of Contextual Education and Field Education.
MNST 599 Field Education Immersion (3 to 6)
To provide the student with opportunity for integrating theory and practice in ministry according to the particular learning goals discerned for this intensive in a safe and accountable field education site accredited by The School of Theology. To provide the arena for theological reflection on ministry with a field education clergy mentor certified with The School of Theology as the student engages in learning and exercising skills of ordained leadership.
MNST 628 Introduction to Spiritual Direction (3)
This course introduces students to the ministry of spiritual direction. By exploring the nature of spiritual direction, the preparation and role of the spiritual director, and the current theory and research in spiritual direction through selected readings and a lecture-discussion-personal experience format, the course attempts to provide students with both a broad overview of this ministry.
MNST 636 The Pastor and Spiritual Formation (3)
In this course we will identify the skills and practices that constitute the art of spiritual direction and explore ways in which they can be used to bring focus and depth to a wide range of pastoral conversations. We will also explore the related pastoral skills that can intensify the effectiveness of common spiritual formation tools such as retreats and workshops.
MNST 637 Caring for Marginalized Populations: Pastoral Care in Context (3)
This course garners "expert" wisdom from scholars and practitioners with distinct disciplinary perspectives who have variously considered the nature and power of human hope and the potential threats to hope faced by marginalized populations and the caregivers who seek to aid them. Young African American men will serve as a primary lens to investigate the problem of threatened hope, muteness, and invisibility. However, care for other unacknowledged groups including, but not limited to, the imprisoned, the poor, the wealthy, and the elderly will be discussed.
MNST 638 Family Process in Congregational Life and Leadership (3)
Since the publication in 1985 of Edwin Friedman's groundbreaking work, Generation to Generation, the application of family systems theory to the nature, behavior, and functioning of churches and church leaders has become routine. The influence of Friedman's thinking, and of his mentor, Murray Bowen, has been widespread in seminaries, rabbinical schools, and clergy/lay seminars, just as it has in a variety of secular helping professions. This course is an in-depth review of Friedman's approach to family process, and how its wise employment as a pastoral tool can enhance congregational ministry and mission. In so doing we will also explore significant biblical parallels and theological implications of Friedman's work that neither he nor many of his interpreters have previously discerned and/or articulated.
MNST 639 Implanting the Word: Skills for Helping People Internalize Scripture's Transformative Symbols (3)
With metaphors such as "engrafting" or "implanting" the word, (Jas. 1:21) and injunctions such as "may the word of Christ dwell in you richly" (Col. 3:16), Scripture itself supports the distinction between merely pulling ideas from the Bible and an inner appropriation of its dynamic symbols through which they become incorporated as "renewable resources" for our lifelong process of meaning-making. This course focuses on ways in which pastors can facilitate and intensify this deeper engagement with the revelatory images of Scripture through their preaching and work as counselors and spiritual guides. It examines the religious experience of interiorization from various perspectives, looking systematically at the constellations of imagery which provide the Bible's palette, learning from the intellectual discipline of hermeneutics how symbols work in activating insight and motivating change, and tapping the rich resources of perennial wisdom found in classic Christian traditions of scriptural meditation.
MNST 641 Pandemic Christianity (3)
What might Christianity in an era of pandemic look like? In this class, we will consider inter alia: the articulation of Scripture with the social context of pandemic; parish practice during pandemic; various doctrinal loci (eg hamartiology, ecclesiology) in the midst of pandemic; preaching during pandemic; articulation of the Church year to pandemic; and the Church in earlier ears of pandemic.