COS 514 - Theology and the Practice of Ministry


July 10 - 18

Instructor: Dr. Matthew W. Charlton
Contact: matt.charlton@tnumc.com

Download class syllabus & pre-class assignments

Course Description

This course emphasizes the integration of the role of the practicing pastor with the church’s theological heritage and its particular Wesleyan expression. The course also stresses theology as an ongoing task of critical reflection for the purpose of action. Consideration is given to issues, events, and institutions that form the context within which the pastor is required to think, speak, and act with theological clarity. For this session in 2014, the theological focus will be on the doctrine of redemption, particularly how different understandings of redemption form the way we think theologically and the influence of the doctrine of redemption in our ministerial practice. The subtitle of this course is: Redemption and Theological Practice.

Course Objectives

  1. Continued growth of the pastor’s identity as theologian and continued development of his or her ability to address the issues and concerns of the church theologically.
  2. Focus upon thinking theologically about everyday activities and contemporary events in terms of the doctrine of redemption.
  3. Reflection upon a variety of theological perspectives in order to apply a faithful critique to persons who claim to be God’s voices in our time.
  4. Integration of the pastor’s theological understanding in the practice and evaluation of ministry.
  5. Encouragement of lifelong theological reading, reflection, and growth.

Required Textbooks

Lacey Warner and Ken Carder. Grace to Lead: Practicing Leadership in the Wesleyan Tradition. (UM General Bd of Higher Education, 2010). 978-0938162766, retail price $12.95

James Cone. The Cross and the Lynching Tree. (Maryknoll: Orbis, 2011). 978-1626980051, retail price $24.00 (available as an e-book)

David Kelsey. Imagining Redemption. (Louisville: WJK, 2005). 978-0664228895, retail Price $20.00 (available as an e-book)

Kathleen A. Cahalan. Introducing the Practice of Ministry. (Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2010). 978-0814631690, retail price $19.95 (available as an ebook)

Frederick Buechner. The Sacred Journey. (New York: HarperOne, 1982). 978-0060611835, $13.99

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