Ministry Leadership

Studies in ministry leadership are designed to provide an exposure to, and an understanding of, pastoral ministry and transformational leadership in the varied social contexts and forms of the church, missions agencies, and parachurch organizations. Attention is given to theory and practice in the Christian worker’s implementation of spiritual leadership through worship, church governance, discipleship, evangelism, and service activities of the church.

Objectives for students

  • Critically examine the theory and practice of transformational leadership in a variety of ministry and cultural settings;
  • Manifest a growing appreciation for one’s capacity to provide transformational leadership;
  • Develop the leadership, management, and ministry skills required for effective service in and through the local church and/or mission agencies;
  • Identify the resources to facilitate one’s lifelong development as a spiritual leader;
  • Effectively implement a variety of leadership tools and processes for organizational leadership, including strategic planning, decision making, congregational analysis, team building, conflict management, and organizational change; and
  • Implement leadership practices that contribute to the healthy, sustained growth of the local church and/or mission agencies.

ML 505 • Holistic Discipliship 3 Credits

An investigation into the ways that our spirituality is tied to our emotional, physical, intellectual, and relational health. This class is designed to encourage each student to develop an integrated and holistic understanding of spirituality with special emphasis on what it means to love God with your heart, soul, strength, and mind and to love your neighbor as yourself.

ML 507 • Missional Outreach and Evangelism 1.5 Credits

Demonstration of effective communication of the gospel of Jesus Christ to meet theneeds of the whole person (physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual). Evaluation of various non-Christian worldviews while planning ways to articulate the gospel as truly good news. Intentional sensitivity in developing missional strategies to reach people from different religious or cultural backgrounds, as well as across differences related to gender, disability, and economic status.

ML 517 • Christian Social Ethics for the Workplace 3 Credits

A study of the ethical dimensions of Christian theology for leadership and workplace contexts. The class begins with an overview and analysis of ethical theory, terminology, approaches, and biblical bases, and then brings this ethical reflection into conversation with leadership theory and an emerging theology of faith, work, and economics. Application of ethical theory will focus on leadership and workplace issues facing Christian leaders today.
Special Notes: Crosslisted with TS 517.

ML 523 • Introduction to Transformational Leadership: Theory and Practice in Global Perspective 3 Credits

Various leadership theories are explored. A model of transformational leadership theory is presented, with application made to the learner's personal context as well as a diverse range of global contexts. Biblical and "secular" approaches to leadership practice are compared and contrasted and applied to the student's ministry context.
Prerequisites: SP 001 or SP002.

ML 527 • Leading Worship in the Christian Life Cycle 1.5 Credits

Biblical-theological foundations and practical skills for leading weekly worship and marking special celebration moments in Christian life and community. Analysis of approaches to community worship in ceremonies such as dedication, baptism, communion, weddings, memorials/funerals, and holy days. Integration of theological insight, scriptural guidance, and awareness of personal cultural framework with worship leadership practice.

ML 603 • Missional Leadership Development 1.5,3 Credits

This course introduces biblical foundations and strategies to develop leaders in rising generations. It discusses the biblbical purposes of Christian leadership and the church; examines the cultural and generational characteristics of rising leaders; surveys leadership development models used in ministry; and studies practical, multiplicative strategies that would develop rising leaders within an organization. The final project offers students the opportunity to create a simple, yet comprehensive, plan to develop leaders and foster a leadership development culture.

ML 606 • Missional Spirituality 1.5,3 Credits

A study of how to embody the love for God and neighbor from the inside out, the theological foundations and spiritual practices centered in the Great Commandment and what it means to live as incarnational missionaries who love the Lord with all our heart, mind, and strength.

ML 610 • Communication and Organizational Leadership 1.5,3 Credits

This course is designed to address the essential elements of leadership communication. A model for leadership communication is presented, and students are challenged to process a wide range of material related to the foundations of leadership communication, organizational culture, organizational conflict, and organizational change.
Special Notes: Crosslisted with CP 610.

ML 615 • Organizational Leadership and Church Governance 1.5,3 Credits

This course is designed to address the role of organizational leaders in congregational and ministry settings. Attention is given to both the pastoral and governance dimensions of leadership, with special focus on relevant strategies and approaches for guiding congregations and ministry communities. This course will focus on the leader's role in working with church staff and board, understanding diverse congregational polities, communicating effectively as a leader, fostering a healthy organizational culture, and navigating conflict and change that may arise in these churches and ministry organizations.

ML 630 • Team Leadership in Global Perspective 1.5,3 Credits

This course examines the biblical purposes and function of leadership through a cross-cultural (or global) understanding of how to first serve and then to lead. Aspects of vision casting, influencing change, and becoming missional leaders who foster the development of effective team ministries will be discussed. Principles and practices required for developing and maintaining high performance, sustainable ministry teams are examined. Special emphasis is given to identifying and discussing the critical knowledge, skills, and abilities required for sustained leadership success in a team-based, entrepreneurial organizational setting. Cases are presented from a wide range of global contexts. The application of intercultural competence is explored.

ML 632 • The Global Mission of the Church 1.5,3 Credits

This course includes a biblical and historical overview of the key leadership principles and practices involved in the global diffusion of Christianity. The course draws on insights from a variety of disciplines including the Bible and biblical theology for evangelism, leadership studies, the history of Christian missions, and the social sciences particularly cultural anthropology. Learners are provided opportunity to develop in intercultural competence, to develop a personal philosophy and the theology of missions and evangelism and to formulate a missional approach to ministry appropriate to their particular cultural and situational context.

ML 633 • Stewardship, Change and the Missional Community 1.5,3 Credits

This is a course in applied anthropology and cultural and leadership dynamics with special attention given to how culture change occurs, the dynamics and variables that effect change, and appropriate strategies for the effective change agent, whether an individual or an organization. A biblical theology of stewardship is explored and application made to the work of securing the welfare and progress of a missional community, with an emphasis on dealing with change. A process for gaining feedback on personal leadership performance as well as the collective performance of the community is presented and applied to the learner's context. The course focuses on contemporary areas of social responsibility for Christian advocates and agents of change. Cases are presented from a wide range of global contexts.

ML 634 • Leading and Theologizing in Global Perspective 1.5,3 Credits

This course considers the rationale and models for doing contextual theology (contextual theologizing), and how this impacts and intersects with leadership studies in relation to the development and implementation of contextual models for ministry. The course provides a survey of the leadership models and theological methods and criteria these employ. Selected cases emphasizing the role leaders play in this process are examined.

ML 675 • Presbyterian Polity 1.5,3 Credits

Designed to give students a theological, historical, practical, and pragmatic understanding of how things happen within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). It also is designed to prepare students to pass the Polity Section that is part of the ordination examination for the ministry of Word and Sacrament.

ML 676 • Reformed Worship and Sacraments 1.5,3 Credits

An introduction to the history, tradition, and structure of Reformed worship. The course answers questions, give practical applications, and considers the meaning and observance of the sacraments.
Special Notes: Crosslisted with HS676 and TS676.

ML 707 • Change Strategies and Conflict Resolution 1.5,3 Credits

Effective leaders must be prepared to take their ministries through seasons of change, as well as to manage the conflict that inevitably results. Without change, a ministry will become ineffective and irrelevant and will eventually die. If conflict is not resolved, a ministry may leave a trail of wounded people in its wake, or even self-destruct. This course teaches two of the skills most essential for 21st-century ministry leadership. Students learn strategies for bringing about transformational change in their ministry. They also learn how to lead people to greater wholeness and maturity in Christ through a biblical process of conflict resolution.

ML 726 • History and Theology of Ministry 1.5,3 Credits

This course invites the student to a survey of important theological expressions and models in the history of Christian ministries from the first century through the present day. We consider selected themes (WISHMAP), illustrated by classic and contemporary sources, within a chronological framework. The goal is for these “voices” to enlighten and inspire our lives in faithful, fruitful service for Jesus Christ and the kingdom.

ML 730 • Planting Missional Churches 1.5,3 Credits

The study of how to plant and grow missional churches, what it means for a church to have a missional vision, how to determine methodologies appropriate for the context, and case studies of churches that are effective models of missional strategies.

ML 751 • Seminar in Ministry Leadership 1.5,3 Credits

An in-depth study of particular ministry leadership theme.
Prerequisites: ML 523. Special Notes: This course fulfills Doctor of Ministry concentration requirements for the Congregation and Family Care concentration.

ML 780 • Senior Integrative Seminar: Global Leadership in the 21st-Century 1.5 Credits

A summative and integrative reflection on the MATL program is offered. Integrative cases featuring content from each of the Three Centers are used to prompt a collaborative discussion around leadership issues learners are likely to encounter in their immediate context, as well as a wide range of global contexts.

ML 791 • Case Studies in Transformational Leadership 1.5,3 Credits

This course provides students the opportunity for integrative reflection on the biblical foundations, contemporary research, and historical and contemporary practice of transformational, serving leadership. The course focuses on biblical, historical, and contemporary case studies of transformational leadership as it is expressed in a variety of cultural and community contexts.

ML 826 • The Transformed and Transforming Leader 3 Credits

This course is designed to facilitate personal reflection for transformational ministry leaders. Effective transformational leadership begins with effective self-leadership. While theories associated with self-leadership will be explored in light of general leadership theory, the emphasis of this course will be on the individual student’s reflective journey throughout the course. Because, for better or worse, leaders cast their shadow on many people inside and outside of their organizations, a commitment to personal and spiritual transformation will be a high priority for students in this Doctor of Ministry program and course.

ML 827 • Trans Min Ldrsp:Theory & Pract 3 Credits

Focused on providing an introduction to the theory and practice of transformational ministry leadership, this course will expose students to foundational leadership and organizational theories, encourage thoughtful reflection on the nature of studying leadership from a Christian perspective, introduce students to the priorities and expectations of doctoral studies, and challenge students to implement empowering models of leadership in their unique leadership contexts.

ML 923 • Leading Transforming Organizations 3 Credits

Focused on the role of executive leaders in churches and organizations, this course explores the application and impact of transformational leadership at an organizational level. Complementing self, dyadic, and team-oriented leadership theories, a focus on systems thinking at both the organizational and working group levels will be engaged alongside the executive ministry leader’s role in empowering others within the context of organizational leadership. In addition to examining the executive leader’s role in facilitating organizational transformation, the leader’s role of working with boards, working over distance and culture, managing conflict and crucial conversations well, and engaging with effective communication practice will be considered. The course will also introduce students to the priorities and expectations of doctoral studies.

ML 924 • Teams, Grps & the Transfmg Ldr 3 Credits

The course is focused on the art and practice of team leadership. Research and theories associated with effective team leadership will be explored. Special attention will be given to the biblical foundations for decentralized leadership structures, and students will consider the opportunities and challenges associated with teams in contemporary organizations. Factors associated with effective team members will be explored alongside strategies for effective team development and team practice. The course will also introduce students to priorities and expectations of doctoral studies.

ML 925 • Case Studies in Transfm Ldrshp 3 Credits

This course engages students with biblical, historical and contemporary case studies in transformational leadership. Information will be presented and discussed, which is critical to understanding transformational leadership theory, and appreciating the factors that contribute to the exercise of transformational leadership in a variety of settings. The case study method will be employed to listen to, “read” and interpret the lives of individuals who have served and led in a transforming manner. This course is animated by the encouragement given in Hebrews 13:7-8 to reflect on the lives of spiritual leaders. “Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.” The student will learn to glean and value life and leadership lessons from these individuals in order to facilitate his/her spiritual formation, enlarge his/her personal leadership capacity, sharpen his/her philosophy of leadership and consequently grow more effective in the practice of serving, transforming leadership.


ML 670 • Directed Study in Ministry Leadership 0.5-9 Credits

Research and study by arrangement with the professor.
Special Notes: Permission is required.

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