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Ministry Course Descriptions

MNST 0500 – eLearning-Prepare for Success

MNST 5101 – Academic Writing
This course will improve the student's ability to write clearly and effectively in a variety of Seminary classroom and ministry venues. Course will focus on developing strategies for appropriate theses or topics, efficient research, organization/prewriting, composition, revising and editing. Critical thinking and logic, rhetorical principles, and practice in analyzing assignments will be included.

MNST 5108 – Ministry Identity and Practice
Participants in this course will explore a variety of ministries of the church with a view to developing a practical vision to guide their own work and to equip others for theirs. Practices such as pastoral care, leadership, worship and the arts, Christian education and formation, evangelism, compassion and justice, and missions will be introduced with an emphasis on developing communication skills appropriate to each.

MNST 5130 – Engaging Congregations in Ministries of Health
This course will provide the student with a theoretical framework, practical skills and resources to engage a congregation in developing or expanding ministries of health. Utilizing the framework that health is an individual and a community experience, the historic, biblical, and theological roots of health ministry will be explored as well as the dynamics of congregational culture and community development as it applies to facilitating health ministries. Students will apply course concepts through working with a congregation in their own community to develop or expand health ministries.

MNST 5131 – Spiritual Issues in Chronic Illness and Disability
This interdisciplinary course explores the spiritual issues faced by the individual, family, congregation and community living with chronic illness and disability. Throughout the course we will proceed with a lens toward hospitality of embodiment taking care to address spiritual issues for the disabled of body and the disabled of acceptance. The social and personal construction of meaning within the experience of chronic illness and disability, as well as cultural dynamics and ethical issues will provide an overarching course framework.

MNST 5137 – Faith, Health, & Community Development
There is much that churches can do to improve the health of their communities when they work in partnership with other organizations. This course will explore trends, models and concepts in the contemporary faith and health movement through lecture, discussion, case studies and site visits. Students will have the opportunity to apply course concepts in their own community.

MNST 5156 – Mission and Ministry in Latin America
Understanding the global character of the church first hand is essential for ministry in today's growing cultural and ethnic diversity. This course explores the challenges of mission and ministry within the Latin American context. An assessment of intercultural competency for ministry is included. This hybrid course includes pre- and post-travel online requirements as well as an immersion experience. An additional application form and instructor's permission is required for enrollment.

MNST 5157 – Mission and Ministry in Asia
Understanding the global character of the church first hand is essential for ministry in today's growing cultural and ethnic diversity. This course explores the challenges of mission and ministry within the Asian context. An assessment of intercultural competency for ministry is included. This hybrid course includes pre- and post-travel online requirements as well as an immersion experience. An additional application form and instructor's permission is required for enrollment.

MNST 5158 – Mission and Ministry in Africa
Understanding the global character of the church first hand is essential for ministry in today's growing cultural and ethnic diversity. This course explores the challenges of mission and ministry within the African context. An assessment of intercultural competency for ministry is included. This hybrid course includes pre- and post-travel online requirements as well as an immersion experience. An additional application form and instructor's permission is required for enrollment.

MNST 5159 – International Mission and Ministry
Use your church or para-church organization's pre-arranged mission trip experience in combination with online pre-travel learning and post-trip reflection to gain seminary credit. Develop leadership and administrative skills, reflect upon personal intercultural competency, evaluate intercultural ministry and missiological issues and learn to lead a short effective intercultural ministry experience. Completed application and instructor's approval required.

MNST 5171 – Rural Church and Culture
This course is designed to provide students with an overview and understanding of the unique dynamics and potential of the rural church in the United States and Canada. Course components include experiential learning and highlight current online resources.

MNST 5175 – Global Partnership: Practicing Biblical Koinonia
Many churches today are uniting cross-culturally in global mission partnerships. How does a church develop these partnerships? What should motivate both parties in cooperating in mission? What models from scripture are available from which we can learn? What contemporary strategies are working and which are not? This course reviews biblical examples of koinonia partnerships, contemporary case studies, a survey of methodologies and motivations for partnership, tools in developing a commonality of vision for global partnership, the life cycle phases and duration of global mission partnerships and tools useful in evaluation. Guest speakers will provide a variety of cultural and ministerial perspectives.

MNST 5212 – Introduction to Preaching
The student will learn basic skills in oral communication fundamentals of expository sermon preparation, and develop sensitivity to the liturgical, social, and cultural contexts in which preaching takes place.

MNST 5220 – Exploring the Mission of God
This course is designed as an introductory survey of important issues in missiology for students planning to take only one course in mission studies. It will engage students in critical reflection upon their own missiological awareness, ability and practice as well as engagement with other faiths and cultures. Stewardship, promoting causes of justice and life of the whole person and community are major themes that will be addressed.

MNST 6122 – Introduction to Pastoral Care & Counseling
This course considers pastoral care and counseling issues specific to contemporary congregational contexts. It will address pastoral care approaches that are grounded in contextual pastoral theologies. It will focus on the pastoral concerns of thecongregation, families, individuals as well as the broader community issues that contemporary pastors must face, and will emphasize the development of skills and attitudes necessary for effective and theologically coherent pastoral care and counseling. This course also includes exposure and practice with various approaches to pastoral assessment, counseling and referral. This course requires some local travel to churches and associated ministries. Pedagogical approaches: case method, role play, demonstrations, readings, and lecture.

MNST 6127 – Pastoral Care & Counseling in Urban Contexts
This course considers pastoral care and counseling issues specific to urban faith communities. It will address pastoral care approaches that are grounded in contextual pastoral theologies, and take the urban context as the starting place effective care that considers the impact of systemic structures on the life of individuals, families and community. It will focus on the pastoral concerns of the congregation, families, individuals as well as the broader community issues that urban pastors must face. Emphasis is on the development of skills and attitudes necessary for effective and theologically coherent pastoral assessment, community collaboration, counseling, and referral in the area of care and counseling. This course requires some local travel to churches and associated ministries. Pedagogical approaches: community assessment, case method, role play, demonstrations, readings, and lecture.

MNST 6150 – Pastoring the Missional Church
This course addresses the question of the missional church, how various groups define it, what it is, how it happens, and how the leadership can best shepherd this process. Not only does the missional church send missionaries, it itself is sent into the world as an apostolic entity, its nature defined in part by the missio dei. Leadership will move the church across cultures in global outreach while at the same time exegeting its own surrounding culture and moving from being merely attractional in nature to centripetal in evangelism.

MNST 6151 – Cultural Dimensions of Mission
Insights from the social sciences are applied to the analysis of the missionary task of the church. Using the case study method, topics relevant to the cultural dimension of mission are discussed including the role, impact, and needs of the missionary, and the appropriation of cultural forms in missional communication of the gospel. Each student will form a personal mission theology towards culture from which to reflect and act in today's multi-cultural world.

MNST 6152 – Mission Strategy and Methodology
This course introduces the basic perspectives and tools found in the discipline of missiology. Various strategies and methods of doing mission are discussed through the study of biographies of mission leaders that model effective missiological investigation, reflection, and action. Because effective missiology is developed interactively, opportunities are given for collaboration in learning

MNST 6218 – Images of the Preacher in Contemporary Culture
A study of cultural and theological assumptions about the nature and work of the Christian preacher, with implications for the students' emerging theology, preaching and ministry.

MNST 6220 – Biblical Preaching
The student will practice moving from biblical text to sermon with a focus on a selected book of the Bible. Issues related to preaching from biblical genres (ancestral narrative, wisdom poetry, prophecy) will be discussed as students prepare and deliver sermons. Topics include: the story of Joseph and his family, Proverbs, Jeremiah. Cross-listed with BIBL 6220.

MNST 6222 – Human Sexuality & the Church
Lecture, readings, discussion, case method, and films relate the theological, biblical, and psychological aspects of sexuality with an emphasis on pastoral counseling and applications.

MNST 6224 – Pastoral Care & Community Justice
This course will focus on the Church's part in responding to societal injustices that plague individuals, families and communities. The ethical, theological and biblical underpinnings of a pastoral care of community justice will be examined. Economic, education, racial/ethnic, legal and gender injustices will be studied in the context of the question from the prophet Micah, What does Yahweh require of you? To act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. Pedagogical approaches: community assessment, practice based learning in community agency/ministry contexts, case examples, readings, and lecture.

MNST 6264 – Communicating the Faith in the Contemporary World
Gracious and effective communication of the good news of the Christian faith involves the complex interplay of many factors. Drawing from studies in communication, evangelism, and contemporary culture, participants in this course will engage in an exegesis of culture, an exploration of the mandate and means of evangelism, and the development of skills in listening and speaking.

MNST 6266 – Church Planting
This course seeks to teach the principles of planting culturally relevant churches with emphasis given to understanding the variables of personalities, location, and communities.

MNST 6277 – Religions and Cultures
This course will focus on the world's major religions, how religions are embedded in various cultures and how contemporary religious plurality is a challenge and opportunity for Christian mission. Insight from the social sciences for the mission of the church and the growth of the church in the non-western world are focused features. Participants will personally observe and reflect upon cultural worship in settings other than Christian as part of their learning.

MNST 6280 – Mobilizing for Justice: Methods & Practice of Justice
This course explores a variety of approaches and methodologies to justice ministry. The relationship of ethics to community building and transformation is discussed. Practical ministry skills and how teaching on justice ministry can be part of the liturgical work of the church and the role of preaching in that formation is emphasized.

MNST 6301 – Religion, Spirituality, and Health In Professional Practice
The influence of religious participation and spirituality on health has been a growing topic of medical research that has significant implications for ministry as well as for health care. The relationship between religion, spirituality and health has been widely discussed in popular literature, has been disseminated to the public and consequently is influencing our congregations and communities. The focus of this class will be to explore the study of religion, spirituality and health, or theosomatic medicine as it has come to be known, the context in which it has occurred, the issues it presents, and practical implications for ministry and health care.

MNST 6350 – Foundations for Urban Ministry
The complexity of the urban context requires theological depth and the ability to formulate and contextually apply a relevant and robust urban biblical theology. In this course, we will engage in the process of social cultural analysis to understand the nature and context of urban ministry. Through biblical analysis, spiritual reflection, and communal discernment we will move toward a theology of urban ministry that will provide the foundation for impactful engagement with complex urban systems.

MNST 6351 – Spiritual Formation in the Urban Context
Our life with God is often referred to as a journey. Participants will be encouraged to reflect upon their formation history and celebrate their unique spiritual journey in the urban context. We will also look at a variety of spiritual practices that are invitations to a deeper sense of God's presence in one's interior life and in the world. For many in urban ministry there is a tendency to choose busyness over fullness. Historical spiritual practices of the Church can guide us into a richer faith journey and fuller life rather than simple busyness. The intent of the course is practical, experiential and formational. Included in the course will be both a teaching component and formation group sessions.

MNST 6352 – Journey to Mosaic
This course incorporates readings, films, conversations and interaction with individuals and a pilgrimage to major sites of racial significance in Chicago and the broader American context. The focus is on cross-cultural and cross-racial relationship dynamics leading to a greater cultural intelligence on racial and cultural issues in the church. The course will explore the biblical, theological, sociological, political, cultural, and psychological dimensions of the struggle for racial justice and its contemporary implications for ministry.

MNST 6354 – The Practice of Urban Ministry
This course will explore a variety of approaches and methodologies to the healthy practice of urban ministry. We will emphasize practical ministry skills and ministry practices that reflect our social, cultural, and historical analysis as well as our biblical, theological reflection. We will give particular attention to the practices of pastoral care, congregational health, and the development of beloved communities of faith as approaches to the church's role in the spiritual and social transformation of the urban context. This course will seek to integrate on-site practices of the participants into the course discussion.

MNST 6355 – Urban Ministry Leadership
This course examines the role of leadership in developing healthy urban ministries and congregations. Key elements such as a theology of leadership, systems thinking, leadership style, team development, and change management will be considered as they relate to leadership in the urban context. Effective leadership combines valid theories, accurate knowledge, critical values, relevant skills, and practical experience. The course initiates the journey towards a life-long process of leadership development and effectiveness.

MNST 6401 – Sankofa: Racial Righteousness & Reconciliation
The course approaches the challenges of racism, justice and reconciliation through a theological and biblical framework aimed at equipping students for ministry in multicultural settings. Through a variety of readings, one on one conversations, lectures and visits to places where these challenges are being addressed, participants get an experiential perspective on the subject. The goal is to provide information on the challenges of racial justice, especially as it relates to the church, as well as to transform participants into agents of racial reconciliation as part of their ministry and discipleship.

MNST 7140 – God's Global Vision: Biblical Foundations of Mission
What is God's mission in the world? How is it different from what we call 'missions'? What are the Biblical and theological foundations for the role of the church in the world? This mission theology course provides a biblical overview following the theme of God's vision for all peoples through the Old and New Testaments. Particular attention is given to missiological application as God calls and redeems God's people to be instruments of blessing among and for the nations. This course is geared specifically for those who seek to find their place in partnering with God's global mission as a church, as a ministry or as an individual wherever that may lead.

MNST 7150 – Covenant Mission

MNST 7160 – Communicating the Covenant

MNST 7172 – Cov Polity & Congreg Leadershp

MNST 7190 – Special Topics in Ministry
This course will focus on various special topics in ministry.

MNST 7191 – Young Life Staff Training Courses
These courses are offered by Young Life and given graduate credit through North Park Theological Seminary.

MNST 7192 – Intervarsity Christian Fellowship Staff Training Course
These courses are offered by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and given graduate credit through North Park Theological Seminary.

MNST 7195 – Special Topics in Faith and Health
This course will focus on various special topics in faith and health.

MNST 7306 – Evangelism & Discipleship Disc/Mentor-Chr Growth & Min.
This course seeks to prepare the student in both the theoretical and practical dimensions of evangelism and discipleship. The biblical bases of evangelism and the biblical pattern of discipleship will be the foundations of the course.

MNST 7316 – Advanced Preaching and Worship
Students will consider the challenges of preaching and planning worship in postmodern, multicultural settings, and learn to develop liturgies and prepare sermons using a variety of methods that will enhance their effectiveness in the local church.

MNST 7361 – Leadership & Empowering the Laity for Church Growth
This course is an examination of the nature and issues of leadership in the church. Such elements as leadership style, team development, change management, spiritual gifts, and working with volunteers will be considered as they relate to clergy and laity leading for church growth.

MNST 7362 – Leadership in the U.S. and Sweden
An exploration of the cultural contexts of leadership in the United States and Sweden using Willow Creek Community Church as a case study. This course meets periodically during the fall semester and includes a 5-day study trip to Sweden during the spring semester.

MNST 7390 – Independent Study in Ministry
An opportunity for students to explore a topic of interest outside the regular curriculum. Instructor's permission required. Submission of course proposal/syllabus to the academic dean is required.

MNST 7490 – Thesis I: Topics in Ministry

MNST 7491 – Thesis II: Topics in Ministry

MNST 7500 – Mission & Ministry of the Ecc

MNST 7510 – Polity of the ECC

MNST 7520 – Connecting With the Covenant: Vocational Excellence

MNST 7522 – Mission and Ministerial Identity in The ECC
This course fulfills part of the requirement of the ECC for ordination as well as helps graduating students grow in the vocational identity, prepare for being in the Call Process and transition from seminary student to ministry leader. In addition, students will explore how the Evangelical Covenant Church pursues Christ's priorities in the world by covenanting congregationally, regionally, denominationally and globally. It takes place over one weekend in the fall semester and one weekend in the spring.

MNST 7530 – The Wrap Up: ECC Orientation