An introduction to a practical theology of ministry, with an overview of the biblical and theological foundations of ministry with a focus on common aspects of ministry.
Students will examine some of the complex and wide-ranging issues to which a pastor may respond. In addition, students will be able to list some of the social science support tools that aid in identifying deeper issues.
Every action ministers take is in response to their faith in God. They work from a theological framework that tells them what they should or should not be doing. In the early church, many theological debates centered around the statements used in worship, or the actions taken during the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. At the same time, while most pastors are not professional counselors, they are often called to advise in difficult circumstances. Some of the tools of psychology and social science are helpful to identify and separate the real issue that needs addressing from the symptoms that arise from that issue. Helping students think with a biblical worldview about each of the issues facing them will enable them to sort out useful tools from those that might actually be damaging.
CP-3 Ability to plan, participate in, and guide others in worship.
CP-6 Ability to express pastoral care through visiting the sick and conducting weddings, funerals, burials, baptisms, and dedications.
CP-7 Ability to offer biblical counsel and refer as needed and to equip others to do the same.
CP-8 Ability to determine direction and personnel to equip God’s people for works of service.
CP-11 Ability to teach and model a Christian understanding of marriage and provide counsel for other practices of marriage that are divergent from the New Testament teaching.
CH-5 Ability to demonstrate Christian ethics consistently with integrity in public, decision making, and conducting oneself in today’s world.
CH-7 Ability to reflect theologically on life and ministry.
CX-2 Ability to apply this current information to the ministries of the Church.
ACC-2 Explain and demonstrate how the Christian life of accountability is shown in relational integrity, leadership integrity, and financial integrity, toward God, church leaders and in other relationships.
ADM-1 Identify and demonstrate ways to be Christlike in administering a local church.
ADM-2 Explain and demonstrate how a pastor leads in love while balancing the demands of administration, leading with vision, following those in authority, and the shepherding concerns of the church.
ADM-5 Demonstrate how to teach and equip the members of the congregation with the knowledge and tools needed to fulfill the mission of the church using the resources of all levels, boards, and auxiliaries with good stewardship and reporting procedures.
CED-1 Develop the mind of Christ through growing closer to God, studying God’s Word, the needs of the cultural context, and ways to help others grow spiritually.
CON-2 Demonstrate an awareness and sensitivity to the wide range of communication methods characteristic of effective Christian counseling techniques, e.g. reflective listening and questions, mirroring, emotional awareness, transformative grace, and appropriate confrontation. Pastors need to be able to give clear expression to their own emotional struggle in the midst of difficult situations.
CON-3 Demonstrate the ability to identify and equip church members who are gifted in the area of Biblical counseling and delegate counseling cases to them.
CON-4 Demonstrate the ability to provide pre-marital and marital, loss and grief counseling.
CON-5 Explain the biblical foundation of counseling and the importance of knowing how to counsel people using the resources of the body of Christ.
Personal Spiritual Development (Holiness).
HOL-1 Explain the kenosis passage (Philippians 2:5-11) as it relates to our “imitation of Christ”. List and explain the top ten character traits a pastor should have as it relates to pastoral ministry.
LEA-1 Identify how Christ was a leader and demonstrate ways to apply this leadership in students’ lives.
LEA-8 Explain the benefits of mentoring from a biblical and theological perspective, the goals and purpose, the selection process for mentoring (prayer, issues such as gender and age); and the difference between formal and informal mentoring. Explain the role of evaluating and accountability in the mentoring relationship and the difference between a friend and a mentor.
MIN-2 Explain the essence of Christian ministry and how the Biblical theology of the stewardship and the Body of Christ applies to ministry activities, how ministry has changed through history.
MIN-3 Formulate a theological rationale for leading a missional church.
MIN-4 Demonstrate the ability to reflect on ministry practices in light of a Wesleyan focus on ministry.
PRA-1 Model the prayers of Christ and His relationship to the Father through a strong passion for a life of prayer shown by devoting time to prayer and keeping a prayer journal, including a list of lost people for whom God has made them responsible.
RIT-1 Use various rituals to point to the person and work of Christ and explain how this impacts the student and the church.
RIT-2 Explain and demonstrate several techniques for administrating various rituals (weddings, funerals, baptisms, and communion must be included) including theological, cultural issues and legal implications. Demonstrate public reading or memorized scripture quotation during a ritual.
RIT-3 Analyze various historical forms of Christian worship and devotion and consider how to apply relevant forms within today’s cultural context.
SAB-1 Model how Jesus took time to be with the Father by taking a weekly defined time of rest and communion with God.
Maddix, Mark, and Diane Leclerc, eds. Pastoral Practices: A Wesleyan Paradigm. Beacon Hill Press, 2013.
Petersen, Bruce L. Foundations of Pastoral Care. Kansas City: Beacon Hill, 2006.
Rowell, Jeren. Thinking, Listening, Being: A Wesleyan Pastoral Theology. Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press, 2014.
RIIE Module, Shepherding God’s People.
RIIE Module, Christian Ministry.
TP 302 Pastoral Care Teacher Handbook, Nazarene Theological Institute, Church of the Nazarene, Africa Region.
Additional information can be found in:
Clinebell, Howard. Basic Types of Pastoral Care & Counseling: Resources for the ministry of Healing & Growth. (1984) Abingdon Press: Nashville, TN.
Hulme, William E. The Pastoral Care of Families: Its Theology and Practice. (1962) Abingdon Press: Nashville, TN.
Oden, Thomas C. Pastoral Theology: Essentials of Ministry. (1983) HarperCollins Publishers: New York.
Petersen, Bruce L. Foundations of Pastoral Care. (2007) Beacon Hill Press: Kansas City.
The Students will be formed into discussion groups / teams of at least three (or two if necessary). If cohorts already exist, they may form the basis for the discussion groups.
If possible, the teacher will arrange for a visit to a hospital in the area.
- The local school’s attendance policy should be placed here.
- Bible Reading and Prayer Journal: Students should read through the Bible as designated in the Master Plan for Bible Reading in the Course of Study. For this course, students will read Jeremiah 19 – 52 and Hebrews 1 – 13. The focus of the Scripture reading and prayer time for this course is on our accountability before God. As students read and pray, they should consider this question: “What is God asking me to change in my life in order to be more like His image as revealed in Jesus Christ?” Because this question may lead to personal or embarrassing information, students may be more general in the reflections they write in their journal so as not to reveal something to teachers that is meant only for God. Students may also meet with a mentor to discuss their response to the question. Students may also write out a prayer of confession as part of their reflections. Reflections should be at least one paragraph of 200 words.
(Outcomes CED-1, DIS-4, DPF-1, HOL-1, PRA-2)
- Group Discussions: Throughout the course, students will be divided into groups of at least three persons to discuss different topics related to pastoral theology. Students will take turns in being the leader, recorder, and presenter. The topics may vary, depending on the course content. Grades are earned with active and regular participation. The topics may include:
- What is the role of the pastor from a biblical and theological perspective?
- Explain how the Christian life of accountability is shown in relational integrity, leadership integrity, and financial integrity, toward God, church leaders and in other relationships.
- List and explain the top ten character traits a pastor should have as it relates to pastoral ministry.
- Explain how some laws have historically impacted congregations and compare those impacts with modern examples.
- Pastoral Care: How should a pastor help people in the church deal with loss, grief, sickness, conflict, and marital or relational issues?
(Outcomes CP-6, CP-7, CON-4, CON-5, ICO-6)
- Theology of Pastoral Ministry: Using Christ as a model, each student will develop a personal “theology of pastoral ministry” and present this in a 1000 word essay or an oral presentation. This project will necessitate study in the Bible and citations of relevant passages. Students may want to keep a list of passages throughout the course as the instructor presents material. Students may also find help in literature or the Internet, but note that sources should be properly cited.
(Outcomes CP-8, CH-7, ADM-1, ADM-2, LEA-1, MIN-2, MIN-3, MIN-4)
- Discipleship Program: Since on one of the roles of a pastor is the spiritual nurture of disciples, identify one individual within a congregation in which you are involved and create a plan for discipleship that will develop him or her spiritually, resulting in equipping and encouraging him or her to multiply disciples and take an active role in the ministry of the church. The plan may include helping the person develop spiritual gifts, skills in reading the Bible and prayer, and training in evangelism. Attempt should be made during the time of the course to mentor this person and attempt to begin the discipleship program. The discipleship plan should be written up (500 words), and a reflection at the end of the semester (250 words) of how the plan went, even if it was only initiated. The project will be graded by the quality and relevancy of the plan and the personal reflection, and if the student was able to make progress in discipleship.
(Outcomes CP-7, CP-8, CX-2, ADM-5, CON-3, LEA-8)
- Personal or Family Care Plan: Create a 10-week plan of how to disciple your family (if married and/or with children) or a family you know well. The plans should identify spiritual challenges or weaknesses and was to strengthen self-care, family care, and spiritual development using faith to access grace, knowledge to grow, and spiritual disciplines to heal.
(Outcomes CH-5, ACC-2, SAB-1)
- Worship Service on the Sacraments: Prepare an outline of two worship services for your local church or intended ministry context that incorporates baptism and the Lord’s Supper, providing Scripture texts, songs, and sermon title, Bible passage, and basic outline. The service should be appropriate to your cultural setting.
(Outcomes CP-3, CP-11, RIT-1, RIT-2)
Journal 10 %
Group Discussions 10 %
Theology of Pastoral Ministry 25 %
Discipleship Program 25 %
Care Plan 15 %
Worship Service 15 %
45-59% (Passable for the certificate level and toward the requirements for being ordained in the Church of the Nazarene)
If a student marks a final grade lower than 45% he or she must take the course again for credit at the diploma level.
(Topics and content may need some reorganization for cultural and contextual application):
Introduction: A Wesleyan way to pastor
- The History of Pastoral Theology
- The Role of Theological Reflection in Ministry – Ephesians 4:11.
- The Application of Theological Reflection in Ministry and the Sacraments
- Preaching in the Wesleyan Spirit
- Pastoral Care
- Soul Care
- Pastoral Counseling
- Care for Self and Others
- Communicating care through the spiritual disciplines.
- Care through Presence
- Care for families
- Ministering to with those who are grieving
- Servant Leadership and Administration in Wesleyan Framework
- Discipleship and Hospitality
- Evangelism and Inclusion
- Wesleyan Contextualization