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Course Description

Ministry Studies Elective Courses

M200 - Forgiveness and Pastoral Care
This course seeks to examine the integration of the concepts of forgiveness, justice and community in the context of pastoral care. The concepts from the introductory course in pastoral care are assumed as a basis of knowledge for this course. A major assumption of this course is that the issues of justice, community and forgiveness are integrally related. In the context of pastoral ministry persons are expected to draw upon their experiences in field education as well as knowledge gained from other courses. This course will draw upon a variety of disciplines during the semester, including pastoral theology, theological texts and psychodynamic interpretations.

M201 - Spiritual Formation
A vital and important purpose of Christian religious education is spiritual formation and growth. This course explores the nature of what it means to grow spiritually and what are the tasks for this formation for Christians. From an educational perspective, we examine the practices, understandings and contexts which are necessary and important for people to grow spiritually in their Christian journey and how pastors serve as pilgrim guides in this process.

M202 - Evangelism
An examination of theological foundations for the practice of evangelism in the contemporary church, the course will look at scriptural foundations and historical evangelistic practices in the church, critique contemporary expressions of evangelism.

M203 - Seminar: Elements of Worship, Holy and Just
This course is designed to help worship leaders to foster better, more intentional worship by examining in depth four phases or elements of weekly Christian services: the gathering, service of the word, response to the word and sending. We will ask: what are some of the theologies and functions of this particular part of worship? What justice and/or pastoral issues call for our attention in this part of worship? What might make this part of worship truly an act of the whole assembly? How can we as worship leaders educate, plan and empower others to design and lead worship that incorporates these concerns?

M204 - Pastoral Care in Multicultural Perspective


M205 - The Spoken Word
The purpose of this course is to help worship leaders become better readers of scripture, and better able to coach other members of their congregations. Through a combination of classroom discussion and a workshop format, the course will cover individual reading, dialogue reading, reader’s theater and verbatim drama formats. Note: this course does not cover contemporary skits based on scripture. Students should expect to engage in some memorization of scripture (including one longer passage), a small amount of body work (relaxation, vocal warm-up) and exegetical work on their selected passages.

M206 - A Rhythm of Writing as Spiritual Practice
This course is an invitation into a number of writing strategies as spiritual practice. We will fool with words. We will attend to writing process rather than writing product or performance. We will tap beneath our rational surface for knowing and expression that are intuitive, imaginative, and improvisational. Through a rhythm of writing, we will uncover these elements of spirituality woven together: our web of connections, our claiming of authentic voice and our making of meaning.

M207 - Prophetic Preaching
This course seeks to cultivate a theological sensitivity to be able to constructively critique sermons based on their prophetic content or lack thereof, the creation of working definitions of what it means to be “prophetic” in the context of the preaching moment, and to explore the implications of being “prophetic” in the preaching moment as it relates to various contemporary controversial issues.

M208 - Developmental Theory
This course attempts to integrate some of the developmental theory that can assist pastoral leaders in effectively meeting the needs and struggles of individuals, families and communities with whom they work.

M209 - Hymnody and Psalmody
This course is an overview of the music of the church, its historical development and current use. Dr. Frank Perkins is renown organist and church musician who will engage the class in sacred music in a number of ways.

M210 - Organizing for Justice


M211 - Developing Skills for Pastoral Care
Essential to good pastoral care is the ability to reflect theologically on conversations with persons in various contexts. In addition, it is important to develop skills in listening, leading a conversation, issuing an invitation for persons to share and creating a space in which the sharing can take place. This course will involve students in active learning through the use of role-plays, critical reflections on conversations and the development of skills necessary for pastoral care in the parish or other ministry context.

M212 - Breaking Jesus: The Violent Ritual Logic of Holy Communion
This course will use feminist liturgical theology and ritual studies to evaluate the violent logic of practice that is embedded in virtually all contemporary Eucharistic rites. The class will then examine new research on the origins of Holy Communion, and explore possibilities for renewed sacramental practice.

M213 - Christian Education for Peace & Justice: Children and Families
Based on Jim & Kathy McGinnis’ 36 years of working with Christian educators from Catholic and mainline Protestant traditions, this course will explore how to teach the critical social issues of justice, peace and the integrity of creation in prophetic as well as pastoral ways. Their methodology of "from awareness to concern to action" will be applied to pre-school and elementary school-aged children and to families, with several guest speakers adding their own practical expertise.

M214 - Creating Contextual Worship
When congregations come to worship, they bring the collective mind of the culture with them. The services we offer reflect a social construct, often responding to that external cultural influence as we call ourselves to serve and follow Christ. How do we create worship that honors the context into which we are called to do and be minister? How do we work at creating forms that honor our historical roots, while developing experiences that are current, authentic, relevant and meaningful. We will look at some “contemporary” and “traditional” models, discuss tools and resources and begin to shape a response to the so-called “worship wars,” that is both theological and practical.

M215 - In the Grip of Grief
A steady rhythm of change, loss and grief is common in every life and context of ministry. Dying and death in varying guises visit widely and often. This course will draw near to look at and listen to grief, to explore elements of end of life care and to consider the questions and stories of spirituality at the edges and in the gaps of a journey through change, loss and grief.

M216 - SDP Conference Course


M217 - SDP Conference Course Continuation


M218 - HIV and AIDS: Theological Issues
This course will look at the history, realities and theological issues related to HIV and AIDS. Class sessions will provide students with a forum for receiving and understanding correct general biomedical, cultural and historical information, an opportunity to explore and question the many theological issues that have been and continue to be part of the AIDS public discourse and the challenge to think about the possible ministry implications that arise from this discussion - preaching, teaching, awareness, advocacy, care. Theological responses from various churches and organizations, in the United States and internationally, will be discussed and evaluated, and students will be challenged to think creatively about the role of churches as we respond to, love and live with our sisters and brothers who are living with HIV and AIDS.

M219 - Youth Ministry for the 21st Century
Youth live busy lives in a busy world. Caffeinated drinks are just one way youth attempt to keep up with the culture and their own lives. Youth Ministry has often joined the frenzy hoping to keep youth from thinking of the church as boring and leaving it. As youth drink in the culture, the 21st century church must offer God’s living water as the source for understanding and living lives of meaning. In this course we will examine prevalent understandings of youth ministry and hold them up against faithful youth ministry that is theological, Christological, ecclesiological and Spiritual.

M220 - White Privilege and the Church
This course seeks to understand the impact that White Privilege has on the church today while equipping future pastoral leaders to become allies in the creation of a more just church.

M221 - Lift Every Voice and Sing: Music Leadership for Participatory Worship
In many of our churches congregational song has become timid, dry and scarce. What is a pastor or minister of music to do? In this class students will learn some of the underlying theory and practical skills needed to help congregations find their voice and return to the joy of singing together. We will discuss issues and strategies related to congregational song, but we’ll also practice some of the skills needed to lead congregations in singing. You don’t need to be a star singer for this course, just an enthusiastic leader! Co-taught by Professor Grundy and Paul Vasile, Minister of Music at Trinity Presbyterian Church in University City.

M222 - Conflict Resolution in the Church
We do not have significant relationships without conflict. Indeed, our most significant relationships are the ones in which we have the biggest conflicts. Our capacity to build, sustain and repair our most significant relationships depends, to a very large degree, on our ability to name, address and resolve conflict. This is difficult under the best of circumstances but is complicated in the context of communities of faith because of the strange notion that we are not supposed to have conflict. Certainly the Biblical witness is to conflicts in faith communities. Nevertheless, we have this idea that our churches are not supposed to have conflicts and, if they do, there is something wrong. This course begins with the premise that any human community with a modicum of intimacy will experience conflict and that the way to deepen the intimacy and strengthen the community is through the resolution of the conflict. Further, it will give specific tools for doing so. And we will discover that the capacity to be a peacemaker has more to do with who we are than what we do. While having some nice techniques in our tool kit can prove very beneficial, our capacity to use the tools well depends on the personal resources that we each bring to the conflict. We will discover that the task of becoming a peacemaker is a path to our own spiritual transformation.

M223 - Christian Education for Peace and Justice: Working with Youth and Adults
The purpose of this course is to challenge us to respond courageously and creatively to Jesus’ plea — “If only today you knew the things that make for peace” — and to explore creative ways of engaging youth and adults in doing “the things that make for peace.” More specifically, the course will provide opportunities to experience the diversity of pedagogical methodologies in teaching the seven components of the Pledge of Nonviolence and responding to the issues of racism, sexism, poverty, environmental exploitation and war.

M224 - A Mosaic of Ministry in the Margins
Margins form a significant and often unrecognized context for ministry. Some locations and shapes of ministry are clearly marginal. But there are margins, edges, boundaries and gaps in every expression of ministry. All who minister carry their own margins. And we are claimed by a tradition, a story and centuries of Judeo-Christian practice and experience in which margins figure prominently. Together we will participate from multiple angles in a composition of ministry as a mosaic of margins.

M225 - Pastoral Care for Family Violence
This course will examine the etiology and prevalence of interpersonal violence and abuse in families, and equip students to respond appropriately to situations of physical, psychological or sexual violence and abuse. Theological issues and spiritual struggles related to recovery from interpersonal trauma will be explored. The role of the clergy and congregations in supporting family members will be highlighted. Additionally, issues such as violence in the lives of older adults, racial/ethnic issues, forgiveness and intergenerational effects will be discussed.

M226 - Religion and Healing
In this course we explore how Christians in different times and places have practiced and thought about healing. Veneration of saints and relics, sacramental functions like anointing of the sick, modern-day televangelists, Christian Science, curanderismo, African Christian healing practices and the cautious expressions of modern mainline denominations are all on the table for discussion. (Hendrickson)

M227 - Clergy Leadership in Health and Wholeness
Christian churches have been called to “preach, teach, and heal” and much of most clergyperson’s work is health-related. Clergy ultimately are accountable for all the ministries of a congregation, including ministries of healing and wholeness. They do so at a time when congregations are increasingly stretched by the realities of our economy, the demographics of aging, a fragmented health system which leaves many vulnerable and a culture that emphasizes “cure” over “care” at any cost. In addition, work-related isolation, long hours and the intensive nature of ministry contribute to clergy stress and poor personal health practices. This course examines the role of wellness promotion for clergy and congregations through the lens of history and current best practices.

M228 - A Practical Theology of Reconciliation
On June 1, 2008, more than 20,000 African American men marched along St. Louis streets to demonstrate their commitment to end the despairingly high homicide rate in the St. Louis area. They participated in an anti-violence, life affirming grassroots movement knows as A Call to Oneness. The movement grew out of the Reverend Dr. Freddy James Clark’s vision to bring community activists, political and religious leaders, social and civic organizations, and local residents together to collectively confront this crisis. From May 30th through June 1st, participants attended forums, workshops and worship services that were designed to address the question, “How do we address the moral issues and concerns that face black men in our community?” The mission of A Call to Oneness is to foster an environment that promotes human dignity and respect for the other through the vehicle of reconciliation. This class emerged out of Professor Leah Gunning Francis’ desire to connect academic resources with the A Call to Oneness movement. The aim of the class is to construct a theological framework of reconciliation which A Call to Oneness can be examined, and combine the objectives of A Call to Oneness with educational, sociological and theological resources to offer insights for sustaining a practical ministry of social transformation.

M229 - God Seekers: The History of Christyian Spiritual Traditions
This course shall explore the lives and writings of major figures in the history of Christian spirituality, especially those who gave birth to spiritual traditions still functioning today. Examples would be Augustine, Benedict, Francis, Luther, Calvin, Ignatius, Teresa of Avila, the Wesleys, as well as Orthodox, Anglican, black and feminist writers. The course will consist of weekly discussion of assigned readings and a term paper.

M230 - Framing Youth: Faith, Identity and the Adolescent
This course invites an exploration of the social historical “rise and fall” and contemporary “framing” of the adolescent. Through readings, discussion and conversations with youth and practitioners, we will survey the intersection of race/ethnicity, class, gender, religion/spirituality, sexuality, politics and economics in, [a] socio-cultural constructions of “the adolescent” and, [b] adolescent developmental needs (biological, social, psychological, mental and spiritual), to examine implications for our understanding of adolescent faith formation and identity construction. Of special interest are issues of social context/positionality; identity/voice; culture, difference and power; pedagogies for critical consciousness and social transformation. Ultimately, we explore how the “framing” of youth impacts the theology, operations and cultures of the faith communities seeking to engage in ministries with youth. Course includes readings, research, papers, presentations, off-campus activities and guest-speakers.

M231 - Educating for Justice and Peace
This course is an exploration into the ways in which individuals and congregations are formed to be agents of justice and peace in the world. We will examine aspects of Christian Education theory and practices as they relate to the embodiment of God’s mission of justice and peace.

M232 - Disability Justice and Spiritual Health: On the Road to Dismantle Ableism in Faith-Based Practice
What is God’s mission of healing, wholeness and reconciliation in the church and in the world? This question will provide a foundation for an exploration of injustice, inhumanity and institutional ableism. The ability to articulate the relationship between inequity and spiritual loss will be fostered and both language and tools will be provided to help in the dismantling of such oppression. The pastoral formation of leadership for communities of faith that practice hospitality, inclusion, mutual interdependence and right relationship will be the primary goal in this course.

M233 - Mission and Discipleship
This class will explore the relationship between missions and discipleship. We will use case studies of both the instructor and students to better understand how missions are an essential component to making disciples in the Church. We will explore how a congregation's mission response to war in Sri Lanka, famine in Africa and a hurricane in Louisiana have helped them mature as Christians.

M234 - Teens and Tweens: Ministry with Youth in Church and Community
This class will explore the dynamic intersections of faith and youth culture. Our analysis will be grounded in various ministry contexts, to include congregations, as we examine the implications of a changing culture on our ministry with youth.

M235 - Re-Imagining Church: Ministry & Public Witness in a Changing World
This seminar invites exploration of the church’s public witness and educational strategies for being a “relevant” church, through honing skills for social analysis and practical theological reflection on contemporary social issues that shape new visions of being “church”: war, immigration, healthcare, education, race, ecological concerns, marriage equality, etc. Reviewing current literature in congregational studies and sociology of religion, we will explore the roles and functions of faith, religion and faith communities in light of complex local/global social, economic, political and cultural realities. (Tran)

M236 - Fanning the Flame: Children, Youth and the Faith that Fuels Their Lives
How do we understand the spiritual formation of children and youth today? This course explores the role of faith in children and youth, and examines its implications for ministry with young persons. We will also explore creative ways in which to integrate ministry with young persons into the larger ethos of a congregation’s ministry, and examine the impact of social and cultural influences on these ministries. (Gunning Francis)

M236 - Fanning the Flame: Children, Youth and the Faith that Fuels Their Lives
How do we understand the spiritual formation of children and youth today? This course explores the role of faith in children and youth, and examines its implications for ministry with young persons. We will also explore creative ways in which to integrate ministry with young persons into the larger ethos of a congregation’s ministry, and examine the impact of social and cultural influences on these ministries.

M237 - Identity and Community: LGBTQ Pastoral Care
LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender, transgender, queer) individuals and communities marked by the dominant gaze of heteronormativity and heterosexism suffer from systemic violence, global loss, and oppressive exclusion. This oppression has a direct effect on the health and spirituality of GLBTQ individuals, their families and their communities. This course will cover basic pastoral care skills and knowledge needed to be effective, affirmative, enlightened and supportive pastoral care providers to BGLTQ individuals, their families and communities.

M238 - Parenting/Grandparenting for Peace and Justice
The purpose of this course is to challenge us to respond courageously to Jesus’ plea - “If only today you knew the things that make for peace;” to explore creative ways of engaging our children/grandchildren and our entire families, knowing that, “if you want peace, work for justice.”

M239 - Sister Outsider?: Historical Perspectives and Contemporary Issues for Women in Ministry
This course will explore the emergence of women into ordained ministry in the 20th century, and critically examine social, cultural and theological issues facing women in ministry today. Particular attention will be given to the role of context in examining these issues, and its impact on constructing women’s ways of being in ministry into the future.

M240 - Spirituality and Music
What is it about music, anyway? Why do these audible ratios have such a hold on our souls? In the first five weeks of the course, we’ll focus on the spiritual implications of some basic aspects of music, such as listening, rhythm, harmonic experience and chant. We’ll also explore some socio-religious contexts of music and ask why some types of music are deemed inappropriate. In the rest of the course we’ll look at how religious content and intent informs the work of composers and performers in numerous genres (e.g. Handel, Coltrane, Paul Simon); students will do a project on an artist of their choice.

M241 - Religion and Education in the Public Sphere
This seminar provides a forum for investigating intersections of religion and education in the public sphere. We will explore such arenas as: educational and social policy, media and educational technology, science and faith, (inter)religious learning, transnational geo-/eco-politics of education, education and social/religious violence. Guiding questions include: 1. What are the negotiations of “religion” in public education, and what are approaches to (inter)religious knowing? 2. How do shifting “social spaces” teach, form, and shape religion and public life? (E.g., prisons, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, nursing homes, social service agencies, community clubs, movie theaters, concert halls, places of worship, coffee shops, mega-malls, the Wal-marts and the farmer’s markets, public parks and landfills, city “shelters” and financial districts, rehabbed neighborhoods and city refuse sites.) 3. What does it mean to educate in times of war, terror, trauma, dislocation, violence? 4. How do religion and education intervene in new configurations of spiritual/religious identities and affiliations?

M242 - Sexuality: What's race got to do with it?
This class will explore a history of sexualities, gender variance and diversity among indigenous communities of color on the continent of Africa and elsewhere. The class will follow the impact of Christianity and the accompanying imported colonialist ideas and ideals regarding human sexuality. We will also follow the Diaspora to the US and the influence of religion on the presence and/or absence of acceptance of sexual minorities. We will seek to have a non-punitive discourse about the broad-spectrum diversity of human sexuality. Is it true that intolerance of sexual minorities is more prevalent in communities of color? If so what is holding these anti-other ideas in place disproportionally?

M243 - The Practice of Pastoral Ministry in a Progressive Parish
This class will explore the practical and consistent application of a progressive theology throughout the local church's ministries of worship, Christian education, care, evangelism, justice/witness outreach and pastoral leadership. Special attention will be paid to the challenges, costs, joys, and graces of leading a progressive congregation where no word, tradition, or practice can be taken for granted and where new words and ways are always needed to make Christianity spiritually transformative, a compelling experience of vital community, and an agent for good in the world once again.

M244 - Waging Peace: (Un)learning Evil, (Re)learning Hope
“How do we repair the souls of those returning from Iraq?” How do we respond to the spiritual crisis of personal and corporate bullying? How do we confront acts of violence and terror—whether individual or state-sponsored? How do we interrogate forces which make toxic social, political, and ecological environments? How do we—religious leaders and faith communities—facilitate the unlearning of violence and relearning of hope in the face of conflict, aggression, violation, occupations, decimation? How do people of faith mobilize “peaceable powers” to reconstitute this fragile world? With these guiding questions, this seminar invites attention to the words of important contemporary voices of peace; deeper analyses of social, cultural, political violence; and constructive work toward pedagogies of peace for religious leadership and religious practices.

M290 - Central America Seminar
This course is a two-week study/travel immersion experience, the first week of which is spent in Guatemala and the second in Costa Rica, based at the Latin American Biblical University in San Jose. Students receive an introduction to the political and cultural history of Latin America (focusing on Guatemala and Costa Rica), as well as an introduction to the history of mission and church in Latin America, Latin American biblical interpretation and Latin American theology.

M291 - A Cultural Immersion Experience - Ghana
On this trip students will explore the effects of colonialism, experience indigenous worship, learn African Theology and observe the influence of the Pentecostalism and Islam in this developing, democratic West African nation. There will be an opportunity for student to preach in a variety of worship settings from the headquarters church to small villages.

M292 - Border Links Travel Seminar
BorderLinks is a bi-national education and service organization located in Tucson, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. BorderLink’s education experiences on the US-Mexico border provide participants with opportunities to carefully examine and struggle with questions related to immigration policy, free trade (NAFTA), labor conditions, human rights, environmental and health-issues, US-Mexico relations and the connections between economic structures, poverty and environmental destruction.

M295 - Travel Seminar: Kenya
This course includes pre-trip meeting and reading; travel to Kenya; and follow-up project and debriefing. Our Nairobi connection with the School Sisters of Notre Dame will take us to health care ministries in Kibera, Africa’s second largest urban slum. Further north in Eldoret, our partners in the Reformed Church of East Africa (RCEA) will acquaint us with their education ministries at the Reformed Institute of Theological Training (RITT) and their evangelization and outreach in Turkdud, near the Sudanese border. We expect students will have opportunity to preach and teach.

M300 - American Baptist Church Polity


M301 - Christian Church History and Polity


M302 - Episcopal History and Polity


M303 - Presbyterian Polity
This course will provide students with a working knowledge of the church government of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and prepare students towards fulfilling one PCUSA requirement in the process toward ordination to the Ministry of Word and Sacrament. This course will also provide students with the opportunity to work toward pastoral formation and to participate in the government structure of a local congregation.

M305 - United Methodist History
This course will explore the United Methodist tradition from Wesley to present. An in depth examination of the historical context for the emergence of the Wesleyan movement in England and its development as a distinct denomination the United States will be presented as well as situating current issues in the United Methodist Church within their historical context. 2.0 Credit Hours

M306 - United Methodist Doctrine
This is a required course for United Methodist students who are seeking ordination as either a Deacon or an Elder. A deep and full understanding of the theological heritage and its contemporary development in United Methodism is essential for ordained leadership in the church. Contemporary struggles and debates within the UMC are, at least in part, grounded in differing perspectives on the role of doctrine for today’s believer. The course will examine John Wesley’s theology, the official doctrinal statements in the Book of Discipline and the role of doctrine in faith development today. Of special concern will be Wesley’s understanding of grace, justification, new birth and sanctification as well as the sacraments. It will also examine the theological underpinnings of United Methodist practices of conferencing, itinerancy, orders and mission.

M308 - UCC History and Polity
The course will explore the history, theology and polity of the United Church of Christ in order to provide an understanding of the structure, ministries and mission commitments of the UCC. Through reading, research, reflection, writing and dialogue, the course will enable and encourage students to be faithful interpreters of the United Church of Christ. Students will be able to tell the story of the UCC accurately and in some detail. They will be able to describe covenantal polity and name issues and opportunities for the UCC today. Familiarity with the history, theology and polity of the UCC will help students to participate more fully in the life of their congregations, Associations and Conferences. It is anticipated that students will carry forward the ecumenical commitments, the zeal for mission and justice and a passion for the Gospel that is characteristic of the UCC.

M309 - Disciples History/Polity
Students will develop understandings of the themes and tensions that have characterized the Stone/Campbell Movement and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in particular. The theology, ministry and polity of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) will be explored in the context of the group’s development from “movement” to “denomination”.

M316 - Educating for Spiritual Formation
A vital and important purpose of Christian religious education is spiritual formation and growth. This course explores the nature of what it means to grow spiritually and what are the tasks of this formation for Christians. From an educational perspective, we examine the practices, understandings and contexts which are necessary and important for people to grow spiritually in their Christian journey and how pastors serve as pilgrim guides in this process.

M317 - Anglican Liturgy
This course surveys the historical developments, sacramental theology, and practice of Anglican Liturgy, especially that contained in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church.

M318 - Family Dynamics and Pastoral Care
Understanding systems and family dynamics can be essential for effective ministry in the parish or in specialized care settings. The course will examine some of the fundamentals of family systems theory, implications for parish life and for pastoral care.

M319 - Changing the World: Preaching for Change
This is an upper level course in theology of preaching. The course will explore the role of preaching in forming and reforming Christian congregations as agents of social change. The course will involve an historical overview of preaching and social change, study of biblical and philosophical hermeneutics as they relate to preaching, and practical strategies and exercises in congregational preaching. Taught as a seminar style, students will be expected to read and discuss topics as assigned, prepare and critique sermons and write brief weekly reflection papers. M520 is the D.Min equivalent

M320 - Teaching the Bible in the Church
Course limited to 18 students. This course will explore a variety of ways in which the Bible can be taught that are appropriate to the biblical material itself and to the ways in which people of all ages develop and learn. Students will reflect on various knowledges teachers need and how these are utilized in teaching the Bible. They will explore and reflect critically on cultural issues that impact teaching the Bible in the church today. They will examine various hermeneutical approaches for studying scripture and how these influence teaching and learning the Bible. (Tye, Bracke)

M321 - Sexual Orientation, Queer Theory and Pastoral Theology
The primary goal of this course is to examine literature on sexual orientation and queer theory from clinical and theological perspectives and to explore the implications of this literature for pastoral theology and care. Gaining a clearer understanding of theoretical, theological and practical issues that arise in pastoral care around issues of sexual orientation will assist pastoral leaders in ministry with transgendered, bisexual, lesbian and gay men’s communities, as well as with heterosexuals. Queer theory and pastoral theology provide unique lenses for establishing a framework for broader conversations about inclusion, welcome, sexuality, sexual orientation, pastoral care and more. This course is designed to be integrative in nature. It is assumed in this course that persons are open and welcoming to the other within the lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and gay community.

M322 - Children in the Community of Faith
Children in the Community of Faith will focus on the tasks of nurturing, empowering, hoping for, and advocating for children within our communities of faith. A theology of children will be developed and skills needed for ministering to and with children will be developed.

M323 - Leadership in Ministry
How can persons in ministry give leadership to the congregations or organizations they serve? What does it mean to lead? How are theologies of church and ministry related to issues of leadership? This class will explore issues of leadership in ministry through readings, discussion and case studies.

M324 - Cognitive Theory for Pastoral Leadership
As ones called to leadership in the church, pastors have much to learn from the constantly expanding knowledge offered by those who study the brain. Neuroscience can help us understand some of the dynamics of congregational life and provide us with insights as to how to teach, preach and provide effective leadership among the collective brains that make up a congregation. This course will explore recent findings in brain research and help students make connections with their work as preachers, teachers and spiritual guides.

M325 - Feminist/Womanist Pastoral Theology and Care
An examination of feminist, womanist, Latina and other perspectives related to gender informs pastoral theology and the practice of care. This course will draw upon such liberative perspectives as it seeks to reflect on theological claims important to the practice of care and counseling in the parish and elsewhere. As part of the course, students will draw upon case material for analysis and will develop a pastoral theology of care that takes such work into account.

M326 - Preaching as Celebration and Affirmation
In light of the recent media frenzy surrounding the use of negative of words and their impact on the human psyche, this course will engage the student in the theory and practice of using positive biblical passages and affirming language in sermon preparation and proclaimation.

M327 - Pastors and the Legal System
The course is designed to engage the seminary student into the practical ministry aspects of the pastorate. The theology and canonical approach to conflict within the Church and in the life of the Christian minister, especially the one who serves as pastor. The 21st Century has witnessed a multitude of legal issues that face the Church; and the view of the minister in his or her role of “authority” within the Church and the parameters of the culture which places limitations and duties upon the Church and the pastor. We will review the normal and customary aspects where a pastor may have to testify in a Criminal Court of competent jurisdiction or Family Court on behalf of a member or one who has been counseled. We will review the Clergy Privilege in the Rules of Court in State and Federal Jurisdictions. We will review the intake procedures for juvenile and adult criminal custody. We will review certain aspects of the sexual assault matters and outcry witnesses which discovery of an alleged crime has occurred through counseling, including legal duties and mandates required. We will review critical court cases in Missouri and other jurisdictions, including the Supreme Court of the United States.

M328 - The Ministry of Administration
This course will focus on the administrative responsibilities of the pastoral office. Various aspects of church administration will be explored: finances, property, personnel, legal issues, technology, etc. In examining different aspects of administration, the interplay between best practices and theology will be considered. Extensive use will be made of case studies. A number of guests will be invited to share their expertise.

M329 - The Pastoral Office: Implications for Ministry
Students will explore the contemporary context for ministry, identify current perceptions about ordained ministry, research historical understandings, explore biblical texts and develop critical perspectives on the Pastoral Office – particularly as that Office is described and understood in one’s own denominational tradition. The study and research will contribute to shared learning among class members. Implications for the practice of ministry will be the focus of discussion in the latter half of the course as student presentations contribute to the formulation of a biblical, theological, pastoral ethic.

M330 - Gender, Sexuality and the Church
(Patterson, Stavenger) This is a course designed to help students think critically about the issue of homosexuality as it is encountered in the church. In it we will engage a number of questions, including the experience of gay, lesbian and bisexual and transgendered people in the church, the key biblical texts typically used in the debate over homosexuality in the church, the modern construction of homosexuality as a “sexual orientation” and various theological perspectives that might be brought to bear on the church’s discussion of GLBTI issues. The class will be conducted seminar style, with weekly discussions directed around assigned readings. In the latter part of the course, class sessions will be given over to the discussion of selected student papers covering a variety of issues.

M331 - Prophetic Preaching for Social Justice (Rm 200)
This course will challenge the student to: define what is “prophetic” in a given context, to examine justice issues from a theological frame work, to explore homiletical methods for addressing them with a congregation and to incorporate both challenge and celebration in speaking truth to power.

M332 - Spiritual Practices for a Preaching Life
How does spirituality energize and enliven our preaching lives? Through what spiritual practices can we structure, support and sustain our preaching journeys? As we share our preaching with one another, we will explore and experiment with varied spiritual practices. Such practices will include: spiritual reading, writing as spiritual practice, a spirituality of the ordinary, the spiritual aspects of internal authority, spirituality and presence, the cultivation of attentiveness, and the interaction of spirituality and context.

M333 - Decision Making and Repoductive Health
In all our ministries there are potential opportunities to counsel, accompany and respond with those making decisions about reproductive health. They are not only decisions in the lives of individuals and families; they are decisions in the fabric of faith communities. These complex decisions are informed by a matrix of health issues, spiritual issues, theological issues, ethical issues, pastoral issues, cultural issues and political issues. Recognizing divergent viewpoints, we will engage in a safe, respectful, and considered conversation about choices, circumstances, consequences and commitments in these decisions.

M334 - Woman, Interrupted: Feminist Theories, Theologies and Pedagogies
This seminar invites exploration of the intersections of feminist theories, theologies and pedagogies. Drawing upon works of (non) fiction on/by contemporary women who speak/write from the margins, we will identify and analyze interpretive themes that yield implications for theological construction, pedagogical innovation and ministerial practice. Taking cues from analyses of gender, gender roles and relations in feminist discourse, we will attend to the intersection of gender, race, class, culture and political economy in the construction of identity, voice, subjectivity, power and agency in feminist writings, and analyze the influence of such development upon feminist theological and pedagogical constructions.

M335 - Intergenerational Ministries
This course will focus on two intergenerational contexts: congregations and households. In relation to congregations, attention will be given to integration of age-level ministries, dynamics of intergenerational learning and planning that strengthens intergenerational webs. In relation to households, attention will be given to family dynamics, varieties of family forms, households and faith development and interfaces between households and age-level ministries.

M336 - Resilience, Resistance and Risk: Recovering Less Violent Practices of Holy Communion
This class will introduce students to some exciting possibilities for practices of Holy Communion that are grounded in the ministry of Jesus, but respond differently to his death. We will use feminist liturgical theology and ritual studies to critically evaluate the practice of using Jesus’ body and blood that is embedded in virtually all contemporary Communion rites. Then we will then examine new research on the origins of Holy Communion and explore biblical, historical and creative possibilities for renewed sacramental practice.

M337 - Pastoral Care: Healing, Hospitality and Transformation
This course is being offered only to 2nd/3rd level students who have not taken Pastoral Theology and Care with Dr. Leslie

M400/M500 - Teaching and Preaching with the Brain in Mind
Daily discoveries emerging from the work of neuroscientists reveal the richness and complexity of the human brain. It is at the center of our ability to learn. If we want to teach and preach in the church in ways that engage people and truly help them learn and grow in their faith, it is important that we have some understanding of how the brain functions. In this course we will explore the brain and how it works and consider ways we might teach and preach that utilize our brain’s capabilities. There will be opportunity for students to practice teaching and preaching with the brain in mind. M500 is the D.Min equivalent

M401/M501 - Forgiveness and Pastoral Theology
This course assumes a working knowledge of pastoral care, some sense of pastoral theology and a ministry context (past or present). The major goal of the course is to examine the integration of the concepts of forgiveness, justice and community in the context of pastoral theology, care and counseling. A major assumption of this course is that the issues of justice, community and forgiveness are integrally related. This course will draw upon a variety of disciplines during the semester, including pastoral theology, theological texts and psychodynamic interpretations. M501 is the D.Min equivalent

M402/M502 - Pastor as Ritual Resource: Collaborating, Designing, Leading, Refining
Even beyond weekly worship, in the broader life of a Christian community, one of the roles of the pastor is to help the congregation live through life passages and congregational events with a certain ritual depth and richness. The purpose of this class is to help current and future church leaders identify and respond to the ritual needs of the faithful beyond the weekly services of word and sacrament. We will intentionally bridge the disciplines and discourses of ritual studies and liturgical studies in this course, seeking to draw from these two approaches what is most helpful for Christian living. We will explore the human need for ritual, the nature of ritualized action, how those actions function, and various contexts in church life where ritual may be appropriate.

M403/503 - Led from Within: Preaching and Internal Authority
Preaching is informed by both internal and external authority. Preaching with internal authority is led from within. In this course we will explore how we are internally authorized for preaching and what it means to preach from the inside out. We will identify elements that form our internal authority and practices that sustain and support it. Conversation and balance will be sought between our internal authority and the various expressions of external authority that surround us.

M516 - Educating for Christian Spiritual Formation
A vital and important purpose of Christian religious education is spiritual formation and growth. This course explores the nature of what it means to grow spiritually and what are the tasks of this formation for Christians. From an educational perspective, we examine the practices, understandings, and contexts which are necessary and important for people to grow spiritually in their Christian journey and how pastors serve as pilgrim guides in this process.

M518 - Family Dynamics
This course will present the issues of contemporary family life with which pastors and congregations will experience (and struggle). It will offer a variety of ways of “seeing” these issues and offer theological grounding for interpretation.

M521 - Preaching with People: Community-Centered Strategies for Preaching the Word in Context
This course will help the D.Min. student, understood to be a preacher with some experience, to develop a collaborative, group sermon preparation process that takes seriously this complexity, resulting in a body of preaching that is not only biblically and theologically grounded, but also more event-ful, more oral and more communal, collaborative and contextual.

M522 - Ritual in Congregational Context
The purpose of this course is to introduce persons already working in ministry to the recently developed (30 yrs.) field of ritual studies, with an eye to deepening the ritual aspects of Christian life within congregations. We will explore and apply a number of the basic insights offered by ritual theorists, asking about the implications for worship, pastoral care and more.

M523 - Minister as Ethnographer: Reading "Texts" and Contexts
This D.Min.-level seminar invites the exploration of the ways in which qualitative research methodologies can provide tools for our study and understanding of “living texts” and contexts for theological reflection and ministry praxis. In this seminar, participants will: 1)Examine a few key qualitative research methodologies and approaches that can inform the study of congregations and congregational life, such as narrative inquiry, appreciative inquiry, participatory-action-research, faith development research, congregational studies; 2) Practice basic research skills and methodologies through research projects of their own design, done in specific contexts; and 3) Explore how qualitative research methodologies can contribute to the construction of empirical/practical theologies for understanding faith and faith practices of individuals and communities.

M524 - Congregational Leadership
The purpose of this course is to explore how pastoral leadership can affect congregational or organizations transformation. In this course, participants will be challenged to reflect upon ways that leadership is integral to ordained ministry, examine perspectives and skills important for pastoral leadership, explore how pastoral leadership can be a catalyst for congregational or organizational transformation, and think about ways that administrative responsibilities are integral to pastoral leadership and provide opportunities to affect congregational or organizational transformation.

M527 - Pastoral Theology and Care in the Public Arena
Pastoral theology, care and counseling has long been understood as a function of the Church and the Academy. In these “publics” we have explored the pastoral functions of healing, sustaining, guiding and liberating. Christians have understood pastoral care to be the conscious acting out toward one another of the love of God and Jesus Christ. The love of God and neighbor and bearing witness to Christ’s love has a clear focus when acted out within a Christian context. Even in our differences, we claim a central connection to God and Christ. When we move pastoral theology and care outside a Christian context and into the public arenas of the hospital, schools, militaries and public debates, the mandate to follow Christ, bear witness and love the stranger as neighbor becomes more complex, particularly when we must take into account others who are not, need not, and should not become Christian. When pastoral theology and care moves into the public arenas of society, Christian pastoral caregivers must take seriously the theological tensions generated and the demands created by taking seriously the new sources of accountability. In this course we will explore some theoretical, theological and practical implications of a Public Pastoral Theology.

MAPS151 - MAPS Seminar A
Taken during the first fall semester, this course introduces students to the MAPS program. The student will develop skills in theological reflection that is integrative of ministry setting and classroom settings, including biblical, historical and ethical perspectives and inclusive of issues related to ecclesiology, spiritual formation and multi-cultural concerns.

MAPS152 - MAPS Seminar B


MAPS153 - MAPS Seminar C
MAPS C is the third in a series of courses designed for students in the Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies. MAPS C is designed to assist students in continuing the process of integration and to finalize the development of a project proposal. The proposal, when passed, will become the focus of work for the following semester. As with all MAPS Seminars, central to the course is the ongoing development and integration of critical thinking and theological reflection around course work and practical experience.

MTS151 - MTS Seminar I


MTS161 - MTS Seminar II
This MTS Seminar continues the work of MTS Seminar I by aiming the discussions of method and research at the goal of producing a Thesis Proposal that will be presented to the Masters Committee for approval.