Ministry Foundations

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One semester, 2 credit points.
Ridley Core. ACT Type B Elective
Semester 2, 2018
Tim Foster with Rhys Bezzant

When Christians begin to think about a future in ministry, many questions arise – about their suitability, whether they’re ‘called’, what their gifts are and just how they should about it. So much of what we read and think about ministry is subjective, but this unit encourages students’ thoughts and practice to be guided by the bible, and based on sound theology.

This unit gives students the opportunity to think theologically about ministry, about the purpose of ordination, the nature of ‘calling’, the place of full-time ministry and more. But it also gives them space to explore their own future, gifts and education pathways. This unit also aims to equip students with some basic ministry skills, including service leading, bible reading, public prayer and basic communication – skills which are necessary in a church-based ministry context.


Section A: (30%)

1.  Biblical perspectives on the nature of ministry, ministry roles, gifts and calling.
2.  Overview of types of ministry, including lay, ordained, voluntary etc. and introduction to theological foundations of these distinctions
3.  Nature and purpose of theological training, relationship of fieldwork to classroom, how to maximise the training and formational opportunity.

Section B (70%)

4. Basic principles, knowledge and skills required in 3-6 specific aspects of Christian ministry such as:

  • Public Bible reading
  • Public prayer
  • Small group leadership
  • Introductory service leading
  • Basic communication principles



Outline your understanding of Christian ministry, drawing on appropriate secondary literature (50% of the assignment)

Following a discussion with at least two people, one being a minister, and your own prayerful reflection, describe your gifts and passions, possible future directions and how you can best prepare for those directions. (30% of the assignment)

Based on the foregoing, develop a training plan for the next 3-5 years. This should follow logically from the preceding sections and include a formal documented course plan (appended), ministry roles or formal placements, mentoring and other aspects of your preparation. (20% of the assignment)

You should append your ‘Gift Survey/Inventory’ and your course plan. Do not quote long sections of Scripture, simply provide references. You do not need an abstract/synopsis. Headings are useful.

Your grade for this assignment will take into account the extent to which you have:

  • Demonstrated an understanding of Christian ministry that is grounded in the bible, well developed and clearly expressed. You should draw on secondary material from the bibliography rather than class material, and may find theological dictionaries helpful. Graduate student will be expected to show some critical interaction. This section is 50% of the assignment.
  • Provided description of gifts and passions that demonstrates self-awareness, based on actual experiences and input from others. Do not forget to append you gift analysis.
  • Developed a preparation plan that is thorough, sufficiently detailed, logical and recognises the various elements of ministry preparation. Do not forget to append your course plan.

Word Count:  BMin/BTh: 2,000. MDiv: 2,500 words


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