Foundations for Effective Ministry 3b

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This course focuses on core competencies for ministry in the areas of pastoral care, spiritual formation, ministry practice, and professional ethics.  The design of the course is modular in format and linked to the practice of ministry competencies in the areas of focus.  Participants in this course will deepen their knowledge of authentic Christian ministry in all of its complexity.  The course is offered alternately with Foundations for Effective Ministry 2 each year in the Master of Divinity program.  Topics covered in the Winter Term include:  life stages and transitions, family ministry, theology of community, boundaries and power issues in the church, ministerial ethics, and spiritual formation of the ministry leader.  Participants are expected to integrate the course requirements with field placement and ministry activity throughout the year and to think theologically about the core competencies associated with these modules.


  • To develop a working perspective on human flourishing at all life stages.
  • To understand the principles, themes, emphases, and desired outcome(s) of Family Ministry. 
  • To understand the ethical responsibilities of professional clergy and Christian leaders.


  • To awaken to the contours of the spiritual life for all ages and life stages.
  • To reflect on the roles of the faith community, family and mentors in the student’s spiritual formation.
  • To deepen in ethical commitments worthy of the gospel of Christ.


  • To build an operational framework for ministry to persons at every life stage.
  • To design and implement a program family ministry intervention that encourages and supports family faith formation and Christian family life patterns.
  • To establish ethical practices for personal and professional life.