Topic outline

  • Practical Ministry in the Congregational Context addresses practical realities ministers face in their day-to-day service to local congregations.  The course will cover a wide range of topics including: time management, relationship building, conflict resolution, staff and elder relations, and ministry responsibilities.  

  • Introduction

    Welcome to MIN532- Practical Ministry in the Congregational Context.

    I have served in full-time ministry in American congregations for the past 31 years.  My experience has provided me with the greatest moments of my life along with the greatest challenges.  Through local ministry God has blessed me with dear friends, lifelong connections, and a sense of purpose that cannot be found anywhere else.  I believe that ministry truly if the highest calling and the most noble vocation.

    "If I had a thousand lives to live, I'd be a preacher in every one!!!"

    However, working with a congregation can be very challenging at times.  A minister is at times a counselor, a friend, a disciplinarian, a leader, a follower, and a politician.  Each role is important, and to fall short in any area can have detrimental effects upon the congregation.

    MIN532 focuses upon these intangible skills that can make or break a ministry, but are often overlooked (due to time restraints) in undergraduate bible training.  We have two categories of students in this class: short-course attendees and online-only students.

    Short-Course Students:

    THERE IS NO SHORT COURSE THIS TERM. Purchase your books and begin reading.  Post to the discussion board connected to this introduction and respond to the posts of other students.  We will discuss many concepts from the two required texts in the short course.  I EXPECT YOU TO BE PREPARED.

    Online-Only Students:

    Purchase your books and begin reading.  Post to the discussion board connected to this introduction and respond to the posts of other students. 


    WE WILL HAVE 5 ZOOM SESSIONS THE TERM (January 2023). ZOOM REQUIREMENT: We will have 5 zoom sessions at 10:00 AM (central time) on Thursdays: January 19, February 2, 9, 16, & March 9.  The ZOOM code is 360 590 5056.  The password is SIBI. You must log in and attend at least 5 sessions in order to receive credit.  STUDENTS WHO DO NOT ATTEND 4 of 5 ZOOM SESSIONS MUST COMPLETE THE 10-PAGE VIDEO PAPER AND THE SLIDES PAPER.

    STUDENTS WHO DO NOT ATTEND 4 of 5 ZOOM SESSIONS:  Browse YouTube and identify videos that give good advice that can be used by ministers to organize their time and improve their effectiveness.  THEY DO NOT HAVE TO BE RELIGIOUS VIDEOS. Begin working on your 10-page paper based upon the videos entitled, "The best tips for success in my ministry."  You must also complete a 5-page review of the class slides.  Both papers are due on February 4th at 11:59 pm.  The "best tips" video paper may be submitted below, but the slides paper must be emailed to me at

  • First Report- Mastering the Pastoral Role

    Thank you to all who participated in the short course.  Your participation was outstanding.  I hope the material was a blessing to you all.  I will post the slides from our class in this section for your further study and review.

    The first report on "Mastering the Pastoral Role" is due February 18th.  Submit your papers in this section.  

    I will also have a discussion thread for you to participate in.

  • Second Report - Anderson

    Please turn in your second book report by March 4th at 11:59 pm.

  • First "Video" Report

    Please carefully study the two linked blogs from Matthew Morine and write me a four-page response paper.  I'll give you until 11:59 on March 18th to turn it in.

    Also, please post to the discussion board this week about what single chapter in the two assigned books meant the most to you and why.

  • Second "Video" Report

    Please watch the following videos and submit a report on how the material could apply to ministry.

    DUE on April 1st.

  • Final Paper

    Your final paper MUST be submitted by April 15th.

    EMAIL your paper to me at

    A final paper of 8-10 pages in length on one of the following topics selected by the student is to be written for the intelligent, uninformed reader and should include a minimum of ten sources. Choose one of the following: o “How to Show Respect Toward Sub-Standard Leaders” o “The Right Image: The Importance of Appropriate Dress as a Minister” o “The Importance of Time-Management in Ministry” o “Balancing Ministry and Family” o “The Ivory Tower of Ministry: Unique Challenges for Ministers” o “How to Be Professional and Authentic as a Servant of God”