Curriculum and Courses
Master of Arts in Pastoral Leadership
The master of arts in pastoral leadership provides Christian ministers and those preparing for a pastoral ministry vocation with the foundational principles and skills needed for effective leadership in the Church.
Students pursuing a master of arts in pastoral leadership complete MI 500, 510, 515, 520, 525, 530, 600 and 610. In addition, students complete nine additional hours from MI 505, 535, 540, 542, 570, and 580.
Master of Arts in Ministry/TESOL
The master of arts in ministry/TESOL prepares students to utilize teaching English to speakers of other languages as a ministry. This program prepares students for all of the necessary components of ministry while equipping students with tool and resources for managing and teaching within an English teaching program. Students will be prepared to lead ministry initiatives with peoples of various backgrounds and cultures and teach English with excellence.
Students pursuing a master of arts in ministry/TESOL complete MI 500, 505, 510, 515, 600, and 610. In addition, students complete TE 522, 533, 534, 535; and three additional hours from the ministry program.
Courses in Graduate Christian Ministry
New students will be enrolled in an online orientation module when accepted into a graduate program (excluding OTD students). Online learning provides a very flexible learning environment that requires students to take ownership for learning. This course is designed to be self-paced and will introduce students to the online learning management system, University policies and ensure students know how and where to seek assistance and support.
The necessity of personal soul care in the life of the Christian minister is the unifying principle of the course. Students will analyze their own spiritual health and temperament and utilize those insights to develop and implement a personal plan of spiritual wholeness and accountability.
Students will develop the ability to articulate biblical and theological rationale for ministry decisions. A variety of historical and theological frameworks will be consulted to provide the foundational understandings necessary to identify and analyze key issues of conflict within a variety of ministry contexts.
The ability to motivate, to manage, and to equip staff and volunteers is essential to the effectiveness of a church or any Christian ministry. This course will address these key issues, utilizing biblical and theological perspectives on ministry leadership to provide students with the ability to effectively lead governing boards and ministry committees to fulfill the organizational mission.
Biblically faithful leadership, teaching and preaching are dependent upon an accurate interpretation of Scripture. This skill will be developed in the course as students engage in word studies and structural analysis of biblical texts. They will develop the ability to adapt methods of interpretation to various literary genres within Scripture and begin to implement principles of practical biblical application.
An understanding of how to accurately interpret the biblical text, and sound hermeneutical skills of adaptation and application are essential for the successful completion of this course. They are the foundational principles which will be utilized, enabling students to create sermons and teaching presentations which are biblically faithful and contextually appropriate. The ability to orally and visually communicate this content in an engaging manner is a core competency which will be developed.
Prerequisite: MI 515
It is imperative for Christian leaders to minister with an orthodox understanding of the nature and mission of the Church, founded on biblical principles and sound theological foundations. This course will develop those foundations and enable students to articulate the role of the Church within contemporary society. Consideration will be given to appropriate strategies for connecting non-churched persons with the mission of Christ.
This course will enable students to develop and practice positive and affirming interpersonal skills which are essential for successful ministry within the Church and community. An understanding of effective pastoral counseling principles, including the necessity of referrals, will be a central component of the course. Students will also develop counseling procedures for specific ministry situations, such as pre-marital, marital, and grief counseling.
The biblical principles and theological foundations of worship will be examined. Students will reflect these key understandings as they develop a personal philosophy of worship and create appropriate worship experiences for specific ministry occasions. The course will also enable students to recognize and appreciate the practice of worship among differing Christian communities.
The focus of this course is on an understanding of the historical and biblical foundations of Christian education. Students will build on these principles in three key ways. They will develop a personal philosophy of the educational ministry of the Church, develop a comprehensive curriculum for a specific Christian education ministry, and develop a strategy for equipping volunteers in Christian education.
The course will focus on theological and practical knowledge related to a specific area of ministry practice. Students will develop an annotated bibliography of theoretical and practical scholarship, participate in a one-day symposium, engage in online discussion, and create a working theology of effective ministry practice. Sections of MI 542 will correspond with the Idea to Action Symposium Series offered by the graduate ministry program each fall and spring.
Students may take up to two sections of MI 542 in fulfillment of directed electives for the MA in Pastoral Leadership.
Appropriate youth ministry strategies are dependent upon an accurate understanding of the various stages and characteristics of adolescent development and cultural characteristics. This course will provide students with the opportunity to reflect on these relationships between culture, development, and practice. An exploration will also be made of the issues and trends impacting various adolescent sub-cultures. Biblical principles will be utilized as the framework for a cultural critique and for the creation of effective ministry strategies to address various critical issues within a youth sub-culture.
The primary responsibility for the spiritual formation of youth belongs to parents, with other adults in the Church serving as role models and mentors. Youth ministry exists to assist parents and the Church in fulfilling this task. The course is designed from this perspective, with students exploring the biblical, historical, and theological foundations of intergenerational ministry. An understanding of the importance of ministry with parents as part of an effective youth ministry strategy will be emphasized, with recognition given to the variety of forms this ministry might take, depending on the cultural context. Students will create culturally-appropriate ministry strategies which connect generations within the Church.
Students will gain research skills which will increase the effectiveness of ministry within any given context. They will understand the basic means and methods of conducting qualitative and ethnographic research. After identifying challenges within specified ministry populations, students will conduct original research to seek solutions to the underlying problems.
This ministry research project will serve as a culminating experience, allowing students to identify a significant ministry issue in their field of study which would benefit from further study. They will utilize qualitative and ethnographic research skills to create a comprehensive written description of the problem and to conduct original research which contributes to the practice of ministry. The findings will be presented to faculty and students and submitted in written form.