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.

Courses

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 I: 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 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 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 583     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     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 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 640     Extraordinary Relationships: Family Systems and Pastoral Leadership  (3)

This course considers how employment of Edwin Friedman's approach to family process as a pastoral tool can enhance congregational ministry and mission. Friedman's teaching is engaged in such a way as to examine significant biblical parallels and theological implications that neither he nor many of his interpreters have heretofore discerned or articulated. Primary texts, media, brief ministry studies, student contributions, and other resources are utilized to simulate reflection and foster insights into how we love, lead, form, and guide healthy missional communities.