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LG 512 ECD Fall 94

Winter 2013/Fuller Live







DESCRIPTION: This course presents an analysis of the current understanding and “modes” of “family ministry” over against a theological, sociological, and developmental understanding of contemporary culture. Various models of family ministry will be examined, and through the use of case studies, lectures, and research, students will learn how to create a family ministry that best suits the needs and vision of a given church or ministry organization.


SIGNIFICANCE FOR LIFE AND MINISTRY: While much has been written about family ministry the last few years, there are few comprehensive models. Even the term “family ministry” is not clear, for there are as many definitions as models. The western family, however, is in need of help. Churches have abandoned relational interconnectedness in favor of growth-oriented programming. This course will enable the student to understand and practically respond to the needs of singles, couples, and families while building the local church into a “family of families.”


LEARNING OUTCOMES: Students will be able to (1) grasp a comprehensive theological understanding of the nuclear family and the church as a “family” (cognitive); (2) recognize and appreciate the unique challenges families face in any social context (affective); and (3) create relational programs and parish strategies that enable both the strengthening of marriages, families, and the church as a multi-generational missional community (skills).


COURSE FORMAT: The class will meet weekly for three-hour sessions of lectures, class discussion, and presentations by guest experts. Each student will complete a detailed final project.



Hellerman, Joesph. When the Church was Family. B & H Academic, 2009. ISBN: 978-0805447798. Retail $19.99.

Elkind, David. Ties That Stress: The New Family Imbalance. Harvard University Press, 1994. ISBN: 0-674-89149-X. Retail $18.95.

Garland, Diana. Family Ministry: A Comprehensive Guide. InterVarsity Press, 2nd ed, 2012. ISBN: 978-0830839711. Retail $50.00.

Patrick Lencioni. Silos, Politics and Turf Wars: A Leadership Fable about Destroying the Silos that Turn Colleagues/Competitors. Jossey-Bass, 2006, 224 pp. ISBN: 0-787-97638-5. Retail $24.95.



Balswick, J., J. Balswick, B. Piper, and D. Piper. Relationship-Empowerment Parenting. Baker, 2003. ISBN: 0-801-06402-3. Retail $4.26.

Clapp, Rodney. Families at the Crossroads: Beyond Traditional and Modern Options. InterVarsity Press, 1993. ISBN: 0-830-81655-0. Retail $17.00.

Marquardt, E. Between Two Worlds: The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce. Crown Publishers, 2005. ISBN: 0-307-23710-9. Retail (paperback) $13.95.

McKenna, Theresa. The Hidden Mission Field: Caring for Single Parent Families in the 21st Century. Winepress Publishing, 1999. ISBN: 1-579-21171-2. Retail $12.95.

Perkins, James C. Building Up Zion’s Walls: Ministry for Empowering the African American Family. Judson Press, 1999. ISBN: 0-817-01337-7. Retail $16.00.

Ramsay, Nancy. Pastoral Care and Counseling: Redefining the Paradigms. Abingdon, 2005. ISBN: 0-687-02224-X. Retail $26.50.



1.     Reflection papers (2-3 pp.) on Ties That Stress, Silos, and Families at the Crossroads (30%).

2.     Midterm exam on lectures and Family Ministry (25%).

3.     Write a three- to four-page practical theology of “family ministry in the local church” (10%).

4.     Design a family ministry program, including but not limited to every issue covered by the lectures and the majority of those covered by the texts (35%).




RELATIONSHIP TO CURRICULUM: Meets MDiv Core requirement in Christian Formation and Discipleship (MIN 4); fulfills requirement for the Family course for MDiv, Youth, Family and Culture concentration; MA in Youth, Family and Culture; and MACL–YM.