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March 23, 2009Leadership

"Missional Conversation" Course Syllabus

This week I'm at Biblical Seminary teaching a D. Min. course titled, Entering the Missional Conversation. I thought you might find the syllabus interesting.

Biblical Seminary, DM901, Entering the Missional Conversation, March 23-27, 2009

Biblical Seminary exists to produce missional Christian leaders-

men and women who incarnate the story of Jesus with humility and authenticity and who communicate the story with fidelity to Scripture, appreciation of the Christian tradition, and sensitivity to the needs and aspirations of postmodern culture.

Instructors

Ed Stetzer, PhD; Michael Noel, DMin

Course Description

Transformational ministries in today's rapidly changing culture require churches that are "missional" from a biblical, theological, and cultural perspective. This course will help you better understand the cultural context in which you serve and teach you how to apply biblically faithful and culturally relevant missiological strategies to your ministry. Special attention will be given to North American cultural shifts, the missional/sending nature of God and of the church, effective communication in various cultural contexts, and emerging ministry patterns in North America.

Course Objectives

Students should, as a result of this course, be able to:

  • Identify the characteristics and mission of the New Testament church.
  • Explain the biblical and theological basis of the missional church.
  • Analyze their own ministry in relation to the biblical models of the missional church.
  • Understand, evaluate, and answer the primary benefits and criticisms of the missional church.
  • Critique and evaluate North American cultural shifts, especially in their own ministry context.

Required Texts & Materials

Frost, M. & Hirsch A (2003). The shape of things to come: innovation and mission for the 21st century church Peabody, MA: Hendrickson.

Guder, D., ed. (1998). Missional church: a vision for the sending church in North America. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

Hirsch, A. (2007). The forgotten ways: reactivating the missional church. Grand Rapids: Brazon Press.

Keller, Tim. The Missional Church. [article online] available at http://www.redeemer2.com/resources/papers/missional.pdf.

Newbigin, L. (1995). The open secret: an introduction to the theology of mission, revised edition. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

Stetzer, E. & Putman, D. (2006). Breaking the missional code. Nashville: Broadman & Holman.

Stetzer, Ed. The Meanings of Missional (online articles), 5 parts. Available at http://www.edstetzer.com/the-meanings-of-missional.html.

Van Gelder, C., ed. (1999). Confident witness--changing world: rediscovering the gospel in North America. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

Course Procedures & Course Requirements

Pre-Course deadline: January 26, 2009

Post-course deadline: April 3, 2009

Note: All assignments are due by the final due date for the course listed above. After the final due date, faculty cannot grant students permission to submit late work. Students must seek a course extension by the final due date by submitting a "DMin Academic Variance Request" form to the academic office. The form is available in DMin Communication Network. See the DMin Student Handbook for policies on course extensions.

Pre-Course Requirements:

Students will familiarize themselves with the missional conversation through the items listed in the bibliography as well as independent research in anticipation of participating in the work of the class during the residency week.

In-Class Requirements:

Class participation & small group interaction: Prepare for and participate in class discussions and small group interactions. You will need to meet in your small group regularly in order to discuss and prepare class presentations, provide feedback.

Post-Course Requirements

Students will provide a 9-12 page description and assessment of their church/community and its particular surrounding culture(s) with reference to the particular challenges and opportunities for Christian witness. These assessments should include: a description of the church/community, its ministries, and leadership structures (3-4 pages); a description of the cultural context in which the church/community engages in its ministry (3-4 pages); and an assessment of the specific challenges facing the church/community for the expansion of its witness to the gospel in its particular setting (3-4 pages).

Students can choose between the following two assignments:

Write book reviews of three books relevant to the missional church conversation in the format provided below. Books much be approved by the professor. Book review format is provided at the end of the syllabus.

-OR-

Prepare and deliver a sermon or Bible Study series.

Students will provide a 9-12 page description and assessment of their church/community and its particular surrounding culture(s) with reference to the particular challenges and opportunities for Christian witness. These assessments should include: a description of the church/community, its ministries, and leadership structures (3-4 pages); a description of the cultural context in which the church/community engages in its ministry (3-4 pages); and an assessment of the specific challenges facing the church/community for the expansion of its witness to the gospel in its particular setting (3-4 pages).

With this study as background, students should prepare and deliver a set of sermons or teaching exercises in their own ministry contexts that do the following: 1) articulate a coherent understanding of a missional theological and ministerial perspective; 2) explain the specific implications of such a perspective for the life and witness of their particular church in the context of its social location; and 3) provide a proposal and a plan for the implementation of an experimental ministry initiative to be undertaken by the community that is related to the missional perspective that is articulated and explained. These must be evaluated by six people in your ministry context for depth and significance of content, effectiveness of delivery, and relevance for the life and witness of the church/community. Students will submit a written copy of the material delivered, including the ministry experiment proposal and plan of implementation, and any other material relevant to the project along with the six evaluations.

Please submit your papers in the assignment manager on the Blackboard course site by the due date.

GRADING SCALE

The DMin program utilizes a modified pass-fail grading system for all course work. Grades are as follows:

• Exceeds requirements (Blackboard Grade-book equivalent grade = 95%)

• Meets requirements (Blackboard Grade-book equivalent grade = 90%)

• Does not meet requirements (Blackboard Grade-book equivalent grade = 80%)

No more than 25% of students will receive the "exceeds requirements" designation for any assignment. A designation of "does not meet requirements" will result in no credit for the course.

Academic Policies and Student Responsibility

Please note that students are fully responsible to know and follow all seminary rules, regulations, and deadlines published in the catalog and student handbook, and all requirements concerning their degree programs.

Academic and General Integrity

As followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to integrity and Christ-likeness in all areas of life. What this means in the academic realm is that all assignments are to reflect your own work. Those found guilty of cheating or plagiarism will receive a grade of zero on the assignment and will follow the process outlined in the current handbook.

To plagiarize is "To steal or purloin and pass off as one's own (ideas, writings, etc., of another)" (Webster's new collegiate dictionary, 1953). Plagiarism is theft. Not putting the definition above within quotation marks, not crediting Webster's (via the text citation), or changing a word (e.g., "claim" for "pass off") and presenting the definition as your own would all be plagiarism. In other words, plagiarism is using someone else's material without giving that person credit. Other forms of plagiarism include mixing unmarked quotations with your own words and putting a single reference at the end of the paragraph, buying a paper from a term paper service (from any source, including one of those online), turning in a paper written by a student who already took the course, or having someone else write your paper. If in doubt, ask your professor or the library staff before you turn it in.

Completion of Course Work

All course work is to be completed by the last day of classes for the semester. Extensions to this time limit will be made only by the academic administration committee. The individual faculty member does not have the authority to grant any extensions of time beyond the last class of the semester. Requests for extensions must be made in writing to the committee at least one week prior to the last day of classes. Forms for this purpose are available in the academic office. All requests should specify the reasons for the extension and the length of the extension desired. Such requests are not automatically granted.

Book Review Guide

Your Name

Course Title & Number

Professor

Date

Title of Book

Complete Bibliographic Reference

Overview--Give a brief overview of the book, including its theme, perspective and approach.

Critique--Offer a brief critique of the book, including elements of strength and weakness.

Application--Offer some specific application to your own ministry-- demonstrating the value and relevance of the material in this book.

Ten Best Quotes--Be sure to include the page number where the quote can be found.

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