ASSOCIATE OF ARTS IN CHRISTIAN MINISTRY COURSE DESCRIPTIONS FOR CORE CLASSES
Church and community
This course introduces the students to community assessment, engagement and the concept of transformational development. The course will utilize readings, discussions, research, and written assignments to expand student awareness of the role of the Church within a community, and its development. It will also build the student’s exegetical skills. While exegesis is most often spoken of in terms of proper examination of Scripture, this course expects the student to invade their context of ministry, and learn about the needs and assets within their communities.
Theology for Ministry
This course will use skills and knowledge from previous ministry courses with the purpose of creating a “pastoral” or practical theology for ministry which takes into account the context of ministry, the six dimensions of the tasks of the church and the biblical/theological concepts of the Christian faith. It will include ministry to families, youth and community at large.
Spiritual Formation in Ministry
This course is designed to support the student in their journey to better understand their unique spiritual gifting through methods used in the discipline of self-introspection and spiritual formation. Students will be introduced to various personality, mental, emotional and spiritual attributions to increase their awareness and appreciation for their uniqueness and hardwiring. In addition to ways to understand their attributions from the perspective of ministry and for sustaining themselves in ministry. This course will also introduce the students to concepts and a theology relating to God’s call process. Pastoral care and counseling This course will reflect and discuss current topics in pastoral care and counseling that are especially relevant to Latino/a urban churches and communities in the US. As students engage in these topics they will be introduced to foundational concepts, skills and models for pastoral care and counseling that will prepare them for ministry among urban and immigrant communities.
The following topics will be reviewed throughout the course:
1) basic counseling and pastoral care skills
2) ministerial boundaries
3) families and congregations as systems
4) pastoral care and counseling among immigrant communities
Foundations of Christian Theology
The Christian Church in general, and ethnic/ racial churches—whose majority attendants are people of color—in particular, have often served as sanctuaries and stalwarts in many communities, giving voice to the voiceless and being a beacon of hope in times of crisis. That role has never been more important than in the twenty-first century in light of the sociopolitical, economic, and global challenges facing our world. We often ask, “what does the barrio have to do with the furthest confines of the earth?” often not realizing that our jobs, food, clothing and even our economic sustenance often depends on worlds that are foreign to us. In light of this, we ask, “what does the church on Sunday have to say about our lives on Monday through Friday?” Sadly, at a time in which tweets and Instagram determine our modes of communication, our churches have begun to lag behind on its most important task: to “explain the faith.” St. Anselm of Canterbury defined theology as “faith seeking understanding.” It is the task of the Church to explain why we believe what we believe and how to best articulate that belief in a world “come of Instagram age.”
Youth Ministry in the Urban Context
This course introduces students to the dynamics of youth ministry in a multi-cultural urban context particularly among the Latino and African American communities. It explores biblical, social, historical, economic, and cultural factors of the city for the formation of a theological approach to urban ministry. It examines the impact of suburban migration from the city, violence and trauma, and exegeting the urban context. Throughout the course, a holistic model and approach to ministering effectively in the urban context will be introduced. The design of this course is relational and engaging.
Introduction to Youth Ministry
This course introduces students to adolescent development and the advancement of a theology and purpose of relational youth ministry. This course explores the student’s call to youth ministry. It introduces urban youth culture and the nature of reaching and disciplining youth particularly in the Latino context. The design of this course is practical, asset-based, culturally engaging, and youth empowering. Youth Ministry Programming Skills This course is designed to train students in the programmatic skills necessary for effective youth ministry. It will focus on programming for relational youth ministry. It introduces skills in team building, program development, event planning and communications. This course will provide many tools for programming particularly urban youth and utilize a laboratory approach.