Congregational and ministry studies courses
151 Church and Society (3). F. This course introduces students to the study of human social activity through the lens of the church as a societal institution in the North American context. It also functions as an introduction to the field of congregational studies, analyzing and understanding the social dynamics of the church through social science investigation. This course fulfills the core requirement in Societal Structures in North America category.
201 Interpreting Church Practices (3). (not offered in 2012-2013). A comparative study of church practices in major Christian traditions, with a particular focus on their formative role in shaping individuals, communities, and society. The course includes opportunities to observe and interpret spaces, activities, rituals, and roles in congregations and denominations and to analyze the interplay of theology, polity, and societal factors in shaping local practices.
251 Theological Reflections on Ministry Practices. (1). F/S. Students learn to address specific situations, problems, challenges, and opportunities in ministry through interdisciplinary readings, theological reflection, and strategic planning exercises.
*Spring 2014 251A Theological Reflections on Ministry Practices: The Church, Reconciliation (and/or) Justice, and Urban Ministry (1). This course seeks to address specific situations, problems, challenges, and opportunities in ministry through interdisciplinary readings, theological reflection, and strategic planning exercises. This semester we will explore the best practices of urban ministry in America by examining the principles of Christian community development. These principles are exposed by the Christian Community Development Association which is a loose affiliation of thousands of churches, non-profit ministries, and individuals who work in urban communities or other areas of need throughout America and beyond. CCD principles are built on the idea that the church can best meet the needs of our society by living amongst the problems and sharing the reconciling love of Christ. The primary feature of this class will be to attend the West Michigan Regional CCDA Conference in Grand Rapids from the evening of March 6-March 8. (See http://www.ccdawestmichigan.org) In preparation for the conference, we will meet twice beforehand and twice after the conference in order to prepare for the conference and to process what we learned at it. Professors Todd Cioffi and Nathaniel Bradford, meets on 4 Thursdays, 2:30-3:20PM, Hiemenga Hall 320.
*Spring 2014 251B Theological Reflections on Youth Ministry Practices: Parasites, Peace Signs and Praise Bands (1) This course seeks to address specific challenges and opportunities in North American youth ministry through interdisciplinary readings, theological reflection, and strategic planning exercises. Through exploration of the best youth ministry practices, interviews with youth ministry experts, and a ministry project, students will discover faithful and effective and models of ministry for various settings. Professor Lynn Barger Elliott, meets Tuesdays 3:30-4:20 PM, Hiemenga Hall 320.
374 Models of Ministry to Youth (2). S. This course provides a forum for students, youth ministry practitioners, and theological scholars to investigate and evaluate a variety of models for the church’s ministry to the youth of the church and community. Students, practitioners, and scholars will employ a variety of methods including, but not limited to, a field trip, presentations by nationally recognized youth ministry experts, and critical theological reflection on key issues associated with youth ministry. The course is specially designed for cross registration with students from Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary. Prerequisites: junior or senior status. It follows the academic calendar of Calvin Theological Seminary where the course is taught.
378 A Christian Calling: Proclaiming Jubilee as a Christian Leader. (3). S. 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 (12) 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 instructors.
380 Youth Ministry Internship (4). Students work in a local church or parachurch ministry where they receive an appointment to conduct specific responsibilities in youth ministry related to the education of middle school and/or high school young people. Students will work a minimum of eight hours per week under the supervision of an on-site supervisor and participate in regular seminar meetings conducted by the college youth ministry advisor. Internship experiences will equip the students with the ability to integrate educational theory, and theoretical understandings from related disciplines, with the practice of contemporary church-based youth ministry. Each student will produce a project that demonstrates his or her competency in such learning transfer related to specific aspects of youth ministry experienced in the internship and will also meet with the seminar instructor for an oral evaluation. Prerequisites: junior or senior class level; completion of CMS 374 or Psychology 202; Education 309 or the permission of the instructor.
381 Internship in Congregational and Ministry Studies (3). This course links students to internship opportunities in congregations where they are assigned specific responsibilities in congregational and ministry studies. Students work a minimum of 10 hours per week under the supervision of an approved on-site supervisor. The weekly academic seminar accompanying the internship involves readings, reflective journals, and a major paper/project and presentation. Prerequisites: junior or senior standing; permission of the instructor; and completion of at least two courses in the minors.
385 Integrative Studies in Church, Society, and Ministry (3). S. Students explore the intersection of their major or professional program and the life of the church and its ministries. Class sessions challenge students to integrate theological insights, interpersonal skills, and broad cultural and societal perspectives into class discussions and course projects. Prerequisites: junior or senior standing; CMS 381or equivalent (or concurrent enrollment in an internship).