COS 213 - Formation for Discipleship

July 10 - 18 : 8:30 - 11:30 am

Instructor: The Rev. Dr. Sheryl A. Kujawa-Holbrook

Download class syllabus & pre-class assignments

Course Description

This course examines the ministry of the church as a means of discipleship -- nurturing faith, Christian values, and ways of life among members of the congregation and wider community. It is designed to give students skills to facilitate Christian discipleship education in different kinds of churches, as well as locate and develop resources and ideas to enhance educational ministries. This course will also examine Christian education from the perspective of different groups, including adults, youth and young adults, children, families, etc. The needs of people in different cultures, as well as the connections between Christian education and other aspects of congregational life and discipleship such as preaching, worship, pastoral care, etc. will be addressed. Students are encouraged in this course to engage their minds, but also their spirits, experiences, senses and creativity. Christian discipleship education that responds to a variety of learning styles and supports the giftedness of all has the capacity to change lives. Discipleship that changes lives engages the mind, body, spirit, and soul of individuals and churches. Practical skills for evaluating, planning, and designing educational experiences are central to the class, as is the pastor’s role as mentor and servant. Obviously, this is a tall order for one class, and there is always a tension between time available and material to be covered. At the same time, it is my hope that the course will be fun as well as informative, and that the format will allow you some space to explore your own questions and utilize your gifts.

Course Objectives

  1. Reflected on the pastor’s identity as servant and mentor, highlighting the need for pastors to be both teachers and learners.
  2. Examined the dynamics of faith development in light of social location, economics, gender, race, ethnicity, age, generation, nationality and human relationships.
  3. Surveyed the major methodologies for Christian discipleship, with a particular focus on small group ministries, teaching scripture, confirmation models, and the basic doctrines of the Christian faith.
  4. Reflected on the work of the church as formative for Christian discipleship (personal piety and social justice) and developed an action plan for transforming the life of discipleship and the congregation and community.
  5. Assessed curricular materials for appropriateness to their ministry setting.

Required Textbooks

Bracke, John M. & Karen B. Tye. Teaching the Bible in Church. Chalice, 2003. 978-0-8272-3643-3.

Caldwell, Elizabeth F. Leaving Home with Faith. Nurturing the Spiritual Life of Our Youth. Pilgrim, 2002. 978-0-8298-1504-7.

Caldwell, Elizabeth F. Making a Home for Faith: Nurturing the Spiritual Life of Your Children. Pilgrim Press, 2007. 978-0-8298-1769-0

Heath, Elaine. Longing For Spring. Wipf & Stock, 2010. 978-1-5563-5519-6


Watson, Keith. A Blueprint for Discipleship. Wesley’s General Rule as a Guide for Christian Living. Discipleship Resources, 2009. 978-0-8817775-56-3.

This class requires homework to be turned in before the class starts:
Download class syllabus & pre-class assignments