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Academics: Ministry Leadership Minor with an emphasis in Pastoral Ministry

Pastors are not the only ones who do pastoral ministry. You may feel God calling you to be an engineer or a small business owner or a social worker, but also calling you to serve the church as an elder, deacon, or Sunday School teacher (just to name a few examples). These important jobs in the life of the church involve pastoral work! This emphasis of the minor would be an extremely helpful way of preparing for these forms of service to Christ’s church.

Many students interested in pastoral ministry pair this minor with a major in one of the humanities (history, religion, English, philosophy). But other students find it useful to link this minor to students in the social sciences (such as psychology or sociology). Still other students have pursued studies in ministry alongside their studies in the natural sciences. As with all of the emphases in this minor, the pastoral ministry emphasis can be a rich complement to any course of study here at Calvin.

Students who do this minor with the goal of professional pastoral ministry should consider a seminary education as the natural next step after college. Not only do most church denominations require or suggest seminary for pastors, but it will also provide students with a deeper well of resources to draw upon in the challenging work of ministry.


Requirements for Ministry Leadership Minor: Pastoral Ministry

1.CMS 151—Church and Society (3 hours), or approved interim

2. One additional 200 level Religion course beyond core, in Bible or Theology(3 hours). If students have taken Biblical Foundations II as their second Religion core course, then they should take one course from REL 230-235 to fulfill this requirement. If students have taken Theological Foundations II as their second Religion core course, then they should take one course from 211-224 to fulfill this requirement.

3. Cluster of courses with an emphasis in PASTORAL MINISTRY (9 hours)

  • CMS 251 Theological Reflections on Ministry Practices (3 sections)
    Students learn to address specific situations, problems, challenges, and opportunities in ministry through interdisciplinary readings, theological reflection, and strategic planning exercises.
    And either
  • CMS 378 A Christian Calling: Proclaiming Jubilee as a Christian Leader (3)
    The aim of this course is to describe the strategic role that leaders within the church have played and continue to play in the economy of gifts God gives to his people: and to assist twelve upper-level students, Jubilee Fellows, to discern whether God might be calling them to become a church leader. Prerequisites: Admission to the Jubilee Fellows program; permission of the instructor
  • Or REL 237 Christian Worship (3)
    A study of the history, theology, and practice of Christian worship. This course examines the relationship between theology and worship by considering the biblical basis for worship, the history of Christian liturgy, and contemporary worship. Examples of sermons, baptismal, and Lord’s Supper practices, hymnody, prayers, dance, art, and architecture from both traditional and contemporary worship are studied.
  • And one class from the following:
    SOC 250  Diversity and Inequality in the United States (3)
    CAS 253 Intercultural Communication (3)
    CAS 260 Interpersonal Communication (3)

4. 3 credit hours from a complementary area of interest:

Students will choose a course they did not count toward the requirements listed in number 3 from the following:

  • CMS 374 -- Youth and Family Ministry (2 hours)
  • CMS 378 -- A Christian Calling: Proclaiming Jubilee as a Christian Leader
  • CMS 375 -- Ministry, Leadership, and Community Development
  • REL 252 -- Introduction to Missions
  • MUSC 236 -- Music in Worship

5. CMS 381 Ministry Studies Internship (3 hours), with specialized placements in the area of student interests/emphasis

KEY FACULTY PERSON: Prof. Todd Cioffi (CMS)     
Other key faculty: Thomas Thompson (Religion), Lynn Barger Elliott (CMS), Mary Hulst (Campus Ministries), Paul Ryan (Campus Ministries), Kathy Smith (CICW)