The CURE for Your Vocation

Follow current students and alums on the McCormick blog, The "Cure" for Your Vocation.

We have fun, too.

We're not all reading, writing, and study. We have fun, too! 

Reflection on Ministry


Program Masters
Field of Study Ministry
Class# MIN 404
Location MTS room 101
Start Date 9.7.2010
End Date 12.10.2010
Time 6:00-8:50p.
Day Mon

Course Description Masters Level

McCormick Theological Seminary


Course Number and Title:     MIN 404  Reflection on the Practice of Ministry


Faculty:                                   Joanne Lindstrom & Adjuncts


Term:                                      Fall


Course Description:              

Authentic ministry comes out of an encounter with God.  In God’s presence, we discern where God is calling/leading which clarifies our skills for ministry and out of which our theology of ministry flows.  The first of a two-course sequence taken in conjunction with a field placement, MIN 404 focuses specifically on theological reflection on the practice of ministry as it relates to ongoing vocational discernment and  pastoral formation.


Course Objectives:                

By the end of the class, students will have:

•Reflected on their experience of ministry through the following lenses:

            -spiritual practices – seeking to know God

            -ministry skills -  being known by God and God’s people

            -vocational discernment – hearing God’s leading

            -theology -  knowing about God

            -personal formation ­– knowing oneself

•Identified and discussed the emotional challenges of beginning a new ministry

•Practiced awareness of self as one being formed for ministry

•Examined approaches to leading small groups in their ministry settings

•Practiced disciplined observation of the culture and context of their field sites

•Identified learning needs that will shape the work of our second semester together.


Masters Program Learning Outcomes

The learning outcomes established for each degree program are below. The ones that are underlined are those addressed by the course above. Because a course may be taken by students in any masters degree program, outcomes in more than one degree program may be addressed by this course.


M.Div. Learning Outcomes             

  1. Lead communities of faith with integrity, imagination and compassion.
  2. Perform the skills related to nurturing the life of faith (for self and others) including preaching, teaching, care-giving, leading public worship and public ministries.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of the Bible and Christian traditions and the ability to interpret texts and practices.
  4. Work and worship with people from diverse backgrounds (racial, ethnic, religious) informed by knowledge from cross-cultural and anti-racist perspectives.
  5. Analyze social locations and cultural contexts in order to develop contextual forms of Christian ministry.
  6. Be proficient in the theological and ethical reflection related to situations and decisions in local, national and global contexts.
  7. Practice appropriate habits of spiritual formation and self-care and possess a growing, healthy sense of vocational identity.

MTS Learning Outcomes

  1. Exhibit the ability to interpret and teach Christian traditions, texts, and practices that nurture the life of faith and scholarship in themselves and the communities they serve.
  2. Articulate a point of view effectively and coherently in spoken and written communication.
  3. Engage in theological research and analysis based upon an argument and construct a theological essay or thesis article.



MA in Discipleship Development Learning Outcomes

  1. Teach basic concepts of Christian belief, traditions and practices.
  2. Equip others to engage in a variety of spiritual practices (such as prayer, hospitality, or worship).
  3. Plan and lead programs of Christian formation in a variety of settings.
  4. Analyze and evaluate resources and practices for Christian formation.


MA in Urban Ministry Learning Outcomes

  1. Examine and analyze urban contexts using Chicago as a laboratory / case study.
  2. Draw on biblical and theological resources to reflect ethically on issues of church and society.
  3. Demonstrate capacity to engage in cross-cultural ministries.
  4. Evaluate skills and strategies to organize communities and access political power in urban settings.


Primary Texts:

Hamman, Jaco. 2007.  Becoming a Pastor: Forming Self and Soul for Ministry.  Cleveland: Pilgrim Press. ISBN: 978-0-8298-1749-2

Wimberly, Edward P.  1997. Recalling Our Own Stories: Spiritual Renewal for Religious     Caregivers. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. ISBN: 0-7879-0363-9

An additional text may be chosen.  Selected articles, book chapters and resources will be available electronically through Moodle.


Approximate amount of work per week students can expect (reading, writing, etc.)

75pp – 100pp of reading per each of the 8 class sessions

2-3  hours written reflection


Course Assignments and Projects

 A mixture of reflection papers and short weekly responses via Moodle.

A coupled course project which can be completed during Fall or Spring.