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Spring 2013/Menlo Park



PM503: PASTORAL THEOLOGY. Randall Young.

DESCRIPTION: The purpose of this course is to look at the various roles and responsibilities a person faces as pastor of a local church. This course will examine the nature and purpose of ministry both theologically and practically. Pastoral skills and responsibilities to be addressed include but are not limited to: understanding people, culture & church culture, the dynamics of life and relationships, nature of worship, worship leadership, the sacraments of baptism and communion, weddings & funerals, pastoral care & counseling, healing & self-care, managing differences & conflicts. This course is intended to supplement on a practical level the required courses in the ministry division for the student who envisions a pastoral vocation.

SIGNIFICANCE FOR LIFE AND MINISTRY: Pastoral Theology is specifically directed toward the concerns of those who are looking to serve in a pastoral context. The goal is to help prepare students for the rigors of pastoral ministry by carefully considering biblical material, historical perspective, changing cultural realities and case studies.

LEARNING OUTCOMES: Students completing this class will: 1) have a firm grasp of the breadth and complexity of the pastoral role, 2) learn practical skills on being pastoral in public (i.e. – worship) and private (i.e. – pre-marital counseling) settings, 3) learn how to shape ministry that is appropriate to the cultural context, 4) Learn the legal requirements for reporting abuse and 5) develop a vision for their approach to being a pastor.

COURSE FORMAT: This course will include lectures, discussion of biblical texts, use of case studies, interviews, reading and writing. The class will meet over five Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. — 3:00 p.m.


Douthat, Ross. Bad Religion: How We Became A Nation of Heretics. New York, NY: Free Press, 2012. 352 pages. ISBN-13: 978-1439178331. Pub. price: $13.98.

Willimon, William. Pastor: The Theology and Practice of Ordained Ministry. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2002. 336 pages. ISBN-13: 978-0687045327 Pub. price: $29.00. ORPeterson, Eugene H. The Pastor: A Memoir. San Francisco, CA: HarperOne, 2011. 336 pages. ISBN–13: 978–0061988202. Pub. price: $16.99.

The balance of the 1200 page requirement will be to choose one book from each of the following 3 areas.


Bilezikian, Gilbert. Community 101: Reclaiming the Local Church as Community of Oneness. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1997. 208 pages. ISBN-13: 978-0310217411. Pub. price: $14.99.

Bonhoeffer, Dietrich. Life Together. New York, NY: HarperOne, 1978. 128 pages. ISBN-13: 978-0060608521. Pub. price: $13.99.

Peterson, Eugene. The Contemplative Pastor: Returning to the Art of Spiritual Direction. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1993. 171 pages. ISBN-13: 978-0802801142. Pub. price: $18.00.


Hunter, George. The Celtic Way of Evangelism: How Christianity Can Reach the West Again. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2000. 144 pages. ISBN-13: 978-1426711374. Pub. price: $17.00.

Kinnaman, David and Lyons, Gabe. Unchristian: What A New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity. . .and Why It Matters. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2007. 253 pages. ISBN-13: 978-0801072710. Pub. price: $14.99.

Turkle, Sherry. Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other. New York: Basic Books, 2012. 384 pages. ISBN-13: 978-0465031467. Pub. price: $16.99.


Lewis, C.S. A Grief Observed. San Francisco, CA: HarperOne, 2001. 76 pages. ISBN-13: 978-0060652388. Pub. price: $12.99.

Nouwen, Henri J.M. The Wounded Healer. Garden City, NY: Image Books, 1979. 128 pages. ISBN-13: 978-0385148030. Pub. price: $12.99.

Sittser, Gerald L. A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows through Loss. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1998. 190 pages. ISBN-13: 978-0310219316. Pub. price: $19.99.


  1. Complete all assigned readings, submit a reading journal, one 10 minute oral report. (15%)

  2. Paper 1: Write a 6-8 page paper on the nature and purpose of the church. (20%)

  3. Paper 2: Prepare a plan for pre-marital counseling and write a meditation for a wedding. (20%)

  4. Paper 3: Write a sermon for a funeral with notes of explanation. (20%)

  5. Paper 4: Write a 12-15 page paper on the role of the pastor in 21st century America. (25%)


RELATIONSHIP TO CURRICULUM: Meets MDiv core requirement in Pastoral Ministry and Theology (MIN 6) or the requirement in Ministry Foundations (MIN F) for other master's degrees.


NOTE: This ECD is a reliable guide to the course design but is subject to modification. Textbook prices are set by publishers and are subject to change.