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Winter 2013/Seattle


B. Burton


DESCRIPTION: This course integrates multiple perspectives on the calling to ordained ministry as it is lived out in a congregation. It supplements on a practical level the required courses in the ministry division for the student who envisions a pastoral vocation, which is treated as an apostolic calling to ministry of Word, sacrament and church order in a missional church community.

SIGNIFICANCE FOR LIFE AND MINISTRY: This is a core course in Pastoral Theology and is specifically directed toward the concerns of those who may move into parish responsibility, either on staff or as the lead pastor. It will consider carefully both biblical and practical approaches to pastoral work, with case studies and mentoring in the local church to keep the course in vital contact with contemporary parish life.


  1. To gain understanding concerning the centrality of worship in congregational life and mission.

  2. To become more committed to participating in congregational life, worship, and mission.

  3. To have a better understanding of the tasks of pastoral leadership.

  4. To gain skills related to the work of a pastor.

  5. To perceive more clearly my own gifts and calling in relationship to pastoral ministry.

COURSE FORMAT: Lectures, reading assignments, discussion, case studies. Classes will meet on 5 Saturdays.


Anderson, Ray. Theological Foundations for Ministry. T&T Clark. 1999. ISBN: 9780802817761. Out of print. Used copies available on Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com.

Bernanos, Georges. The Diary of a Country Priest (classic novel with various editions).

McMillan, Becky/Carroll, Jackson God’s Potters: Pastoral Leadership and the Shaping of Congregations. Eerdmans, 2006. ISBN: 978-0802863201. $13.00.

Neuhaus, Richard John; Freedom for Ministry (2nd edition), Eerdmans, 1992. ISBN: 9780802806222. 258p. $26.00.

Nouwen, Henri. In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership. Crossroad, 1993. ISBN: 9780824512590. 120p. $14.95.

Peterson, Eugene. Under the Unpredictable Plant: An Exploration in Vocational Holiness. Eerdmans, 1992. ISBN: 9780802808486. 206p. $20.00.

Rohrer, David. The Sacred Wilderness of Pastoral Ministry: Preparing a People for the Presence of the Lord. InterVarsity, 2012. ISBN: 978-0830838240. 180p. $15.00.

Willimon, William H. Pastor: The Theology and Practice of Ordained Ministry. Abingdon, 2002. ISBN: 9780687045327. 392 p. $29.00.


Baxter, Richard. The Reformed Pastor (17th century classic with various editions).

Guder, Darrell. The Missional Church: A Vision for the Sending of the Church in North America. Eerdmans, 1998.

Jones, L. Gregory. Resurrecting Excellence: Shaping Faithful Christian Ministry. Eerdmans, 2006.

Oden, Thomas. Pastoral Theology. Harper & Row, 1983.

Purves, Andrew. Reconstructing Pastoral Theology. WJK, 2004

Willimon, William H. Pastor: A Reader for Ordained Ministry. Abingdon Press, 2002.

Wilson, Johathan, Why church Matters: Worship, ministry, and Mission in Practice; Brazos Press, 2006, 160 pgs.; ISBN:1587430371


  1. Read material listed for each topic in the course outline being ready to engage in class. Attend class sessions and participate in class activities.

  2. Prepare, in writing, services of (a) Baptism or Holy Communion, (b) Wedding or Funeral. (15%)

  3. Write a 3-5 page research/reflection paper on the biggest opportunities and challenges pastors and churches face today and looking into the future. (20%)

  4. Write a 3-5 page paper on your personal understanding of the meaning of Christian Leadership as a pastor utilizing and referencing the course texts and other sources. (20%)

  5. Write a personal vision and theology of pastoral ministry, including historical, theological and ecclesiological dynamics and ministry principles. Make sure to address the issue of calling. Engage some of the traditional and emerging understandings of pastoral ministry found in the readings and discussed in class. (10-12 pages) (35%)

  6. Participation in mentorship, including 2 reflection papers (10%)




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.