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Ministry Course Descriptions

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 5110 – 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 5115 – Preaching the Word
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 5120 – Gospel Communication in Context
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 5125 – 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 the congregation, families, and 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 5130 – Leading & Teaching in the Church

MNST 5158 – Experiencing African Christianity
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 5212 – From Text to Sermon
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 6105 – 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 6110 – 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 6115 – Spirituality in Chronic Illness & 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 6120 – Community Health & the Church
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 6121 – Religion, Spirituality & 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 6125 – Issues of Christian Faith in America
What issues do the missionized cultures of the Americas face today? This course explores topics challenging to the life and ministry of the body of Christ in North, Central and South America including native populations. Accompanied by local scholars, practitioners and learners from the host region this hybrid course creates a stimulating bilingual learning community integrating face-to-face cultural immersion with online pre- and post-travel components. Scholarships assist participants in raising additional non-tuition expenses. See current course listings for up-coming travel locations. Completed application form for travel courses and instructor's permission required for enrollment.

MNST 6130 – The Gospel in Asian Context
Asia, birthplace of the world's religions, contains the fewest populations of Christ followers. How does Christian witness work in Asian contexts? Come explore contextualization of the good news of Jesus Christ in ways unfamiliar to many westerners. This hybrid course combines cultural immersion with online pre- and post-travel components. Participation of local scholars, leaders and fellow Asian students builds a global learning community that grows through home stay and times of study, reflection and worship together. Learners participate in an international conference interacting with practitioners in Christian ministry throughout the Buddhist world. Scholarships assist participants in raising additional non-tuition expenses. See current course listings for up-coming travel locations. Completed application form for travel courses and instructor's permission required for enrollment.

MNST 6135 – Experiencing African Christianity
Expansion of the Christian faith in the global south is located largely in Africa. What are some of the reasons for this growth? This hybrid course explores African Christianity by integrating face-to-face cultural immersion with online pre- and post-travel components. Participation of local scholars, leaders and fellow African students builds a global learning community that grows through home stay, and times of study, reflection and worship together. Scholarships assist participants in raising additional non-tuition expenses. See current course listings for up-coming travel locations. Completed application form for travel courses and instructor's permission required for enrollment.

MNST 6140 – Experiencing Global Christianity
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 focus on intercultural learning and to earn 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 experiences. Completed application form for travel courses and instructor's permission required for enrollment.

MNST 6145 – Mission of God: Insights for Service
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. Participants will apply biblical foundations, cultural studies and historic themes to present day contexts. Justice as mission, effective use of short term experiences, and discerning the call of God in global service are themes that will be addressed.

MNST 6150 – God's Global Vision: Mission As Biblical Theme
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 given to thematic models of God's call and redemptive activity sending God's people as instruments of blessing to the nations. This course geared specifically geared for those desiring a deeper biblical hermeneutic of scripture's overarching narrative for use in teaching, preaching and kingdom service wherever that may lead.

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 develop a personal mission theology towards culture from which to reflect and act in today's multicultural world.

MNST 6152 – Rethinking Mission: Lessons From Christian Art, History & Practice
Every epoch of the church created its own forms of expression and practice. What do these historic examples mean to us today in our partnership with the mission of God? This course introduces the basic perspectives and tools of missiology through the lens of historic Christian art. Various mission strategies and roles of art in mission discussed through biographical study. Particular focus is given to the integration of the arts and ministry to artists in worship and witness. Because effective missiology is developed interactively, opportunities are given for collaborative learning. Artistic skill not a prerequisite. Optional travel component to explore historic Christian art firsthand. See current listings for up-coming travel offerings for this course.

MNST 6160 – Foundations of Congregational Vitality
Pastors and churches do not magically drift into vitality. They sense a call to be more faithful, fruitful and alive in the Spirit. How do congregations position themselves to experience this awakening? How does a common language of vitality bring unity and clarity? How do churches avoid the quick fix approach and instead walk a transformative process over time? This course provides pastors with the vision, intention and means to engage that process.

MNST 6165 – Leading Healthy Missional Change
The seven last words of a dying church are, We've never done it that way before. What changes need to occur in order for congregational culture to become more healthy and missional? How does a church determine what to preserve, create and discard in order to more fully accomplish the mission? What is the difference between transition and change? How do pastors discern between too much too soon or too little too late? Healthy missional churches accept the reality of change in order to be more nimble and responsive to how the Holy Spirit is moving. All living things change.

MNST 6170 – Strategic Ministry Planning
Strategic ministry planning and implementation helps turn vision into reality. The plan provides a clear path on how to get from here to there. It aligns the resources of the church in order to accomplish the mission. This course focuses on strategic thinking skills in order to equip pastors in the planning and implementation process.

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. Students will reflect on images presented in contemporary film, television, and literature, and the underlying assumptions to be addressed in proclamation and pastoral 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 6225 – Evangelism & Discipleship
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 6230 – Preparing for Baptisms, Weddings & Funerals
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 6264 – Gospel Communication in Context
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 Ecclesiology
This course provides an opportunity for the student to develop a mature theological and ethical ecclesiology relevant for church planting. Cultural exegesis and social analysis will also be explored as tools to help the student gain knowledge on the vocation and practice of church planting. The mission, values, and vision of church plants will be explored to help develop a missional perspective on church planting.

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 6286 – Church Planting Pathways
This course seeks to teach the principles of planting culturally relevant churches. The mechanics and pathways for church planting will be presented to equip the student for effective ministry as a church planting pastor. The course will help the student develop a plan of action and a course of preparation for planting a local church in a specific geographic and cultural setting.

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, 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, and 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 toward a life-long process of leadership development and effectiveness.

MNST 6400 – 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, 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 6401 – Sankofa: Racial Righteousness & Reconciliation
The course approaches the challenges of the development of history, culture, and race and their implications in creating the American narrative. The course explores various themes including: culture, race, racism, and community and social justice. Students are enabled to develop methods toward reconciliation within a theological and biblical framework. Through a variety of readings, one-on-one conversations, lectures, guest lectures, and field visits, participants get perspectives on history, culture, and race rooted in African American experiences. The goal of the course is to explore African American history and culture, and the systems that created human categories based on race. The participants engage in research through readings, and class lectures discuss the challenges of racial justice, especially as it relates to the church and to the transformation of participants into agents of racial reconciliation as part of their ministry and leadership.

MNST 7190 – Special Topics in Ministry
This course will focus on various special topics relevant to Christian ministry. Previous course offerings have included: Pastoring the Missional Church, Global Partnership: Practicing Biblical Koinonia, Stewarding Creation: Justice, Food and Health. This course may be taken more than once.

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 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