Academic Programs

Ministry Studies

Pastoral Care

M 109-S INTRODUCTION TO PASTORAL CARE AND COUNSELING

The purpose of this course is to give a broad overview of caregiving in the life of the congregation and of the
pastor's role within the caregiving process. The course will also help students define the theological foundation of their approach to pastoral care. This course is offered at the Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center.
3 semester hours.

M 208-S MINISTRY WITH OLDER ADULTS

This course will explore the psychological, social, biblical, and spiritual dimensions of aging as well as the relationship of older adults to the life and mission of the local church. Attention will be given to pastoral care and to creating a more intentional ministry for, by, and with older adults. This course is offered at the Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center.
3 semester hours.

M 209 and M 209-T TOPICS IN THE CAREGIVING MINISTRIES OF THE CHURCH

This course will focus on pastoral caregiving topics for pastors, chaplains, deacons and other caregivers. The topics include older adults, wellness, disabilities, family life, and mental illness. The learning process will involve a combination of lecture, discussion, group participation, and experience, with planned field trips to assist students in direct experience of the kinds of resources within the community. The class will hear from experts in the caregiving roles who will provide information and invite interaction with the students.
3 semester hours.

Music & Worship

M 210 and M 210-S WORSHIP IN THE CHURCH

A study of worship as expressed in the Free Church tradition, this course is designed to introduce
students to the history, theory, and practice of corporate worship. Emphasizing the theology and practice of worship, each person will also become aware of his or her own expressive gifts and thus use them in the planning and leading of corporate worship. This course is offered at Richmond and the Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center.
3 semester hours.

M 211 and M 211-T RITUAL AND REFLECTION IN THE LIFE OF FAITH

Students will study the biblical, theological, and anthropological bases for various rituals and ordinances of the church. Focusing on such practices as child and parent dedication, baptism, Love Feast, communion, anointing, the laying on of hands, weddings, funerals/memorials, and ordination, students will reflect on the meaning of various rituals as they design creative ritual services.
3 semester hours.

M 212 MUSIC IN WORSHIP

A study of hymnody—the theology, the music, the singing of hymns—with special emphasis on the function of music in the life of the local congregation. Historical and contemporary music will be surveyed, including not only American "mainline" church music, but music from various cultures and traditions. The course also includes a look at the relationship of musician and nonmusician, pastor and layperson, congregational involvement, and choir and instrumentalists, all within the worship experience. Problems of small and large congregations will be discussed.
3 semester hours.

M 213 MUSIC IN THE CHURCH

This course is designed to explore the importance of music in worship, both as an aid to worship and as an act of worship itself. Designed for both musicians and nonmusicians, we will look at the roles of pastor and the church musicians in planning and leading worship services, with special emphasis on the music. Topics covered will include an Anabaptist understanding of music in worship, choosing music for worship services, contemporary worship music, hymns, the teamwork of minister and musician, technology. etc.
3 semester hours.

M 214-S SONG, MISSION AND CULTURE

This course looks at the experience of music and the processes that happen when introducing changes in music. We will focus on contemporary and alternative music in the church, and also on the long roots of folk and contemporary music from around the globe and North America. Students will be challenged to develop theological and sociological rationales for choosing music for various ministries; they will have opportunity to explore particular genres of music and approaches to leadership in alternative styles of music; and we will highlight the largely overlooked role of music outside of worship.
3 semester hours.

M 219 CONGREGATIONAL SONG: PRACTICES PAST AND PRESENT

This course will explore the practices of congregational song in the Christian church from several perspectives. Insights from the church's history, theology, and worship practices along with art, music, linguistics, and ethnography will inform our study. Historical sources, including hymnals, standard hymnological research tools, methods of text and tune analysis, and the contemporary contexts of music and worship, provide our primary mediums of investigation. Class sessions will include singing, presentation, and discussion. Hymnal: A Worship Book will be the main text. (Students from other denominations may use their own hymnals or songbooks in addition to Hymnal: A Worship Book.)
3 semester hours.

M 220 THE MINISTRY OF WORSHIP

This year-long course is designed to deepen the student's theological understanding and creative design of corporate worship through preparing and leading services of worship at Bethany Seminary. Through lectures, readings, discussions and activities, students are encouraged to work as a team toward developing meaningful and creative worship events as they provide chapel services during the academic year.
3 semester hours of credit granted at the successful completion of both semesters.

Preaching

M 120 and M 120-O INTRODUCTION TO PREACHING

This course introduces students to a basic understanding of the value and methods of preaching in ministry. Attention will be given to the application of biblical exegesis in the preparation of sermons, and students will be instructed and given opportunity to apply homiletical theory and skills necessary in preparing, presenting, and constructively criticizing different types of sermons. This course may be taken in a traditional classroom format (M 120) or as a combination of weekend seminars with online learning (M 120-O).
3 semester hours.

M 125 PREACHING AND PUBLIC DISCOURSE

This course provides an introduction to the art and craft of preaching as it attends to the religious and public witness of Christian faith in the context of worship. We will explore the exegesis of Scripture, community contexts of church and society, and public theology as well as ethical and aesthetic dimensions of preaching. Through reading, lectures, and classroom discussions, and the preparation, presentation and evaluation of sermons, students will learn to engage the gospel in a ministry of preaching for the church and world.
3 semester hours.

M 325 BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION IN PREACHING

This is an advanced preaching course designated to help students deepen their understanding and application of exegetical and preaching skills related to various literary forms found in Scripture. We will explore various genres of Scripture from both Old and New Testaments and learn to relate these to the creative design of sermons.
3 semester hours.
Prerequisite: M 120 or M 120-H or M 120-S or M 125 or PM 120 or PM 120-O.

M 326 PROPHETIC VOICES IN PREACHING

This course is designed to develop the students' understanding and practice of prophetic preaching within the broader context of their overall ministry. Recognizing that prophetic preaching is a part of (and not apart from) pastoral preaching, students will study formative voices of the prophetic witness in Scripture, among recent preachers of various traditions, and as prophetic preaching relates to peace, simplicity and life in community practiced among Brethren and Friends.
3 semester hours.
Prerequisite: M 120 or M 120-H or M 120-S or M 125 or PM 120 or PM 120-O.

M 328 PREACHING THE GOSPEL(S)

What is the gospel we preach and how does it relate to the biblical witness of Jesus Christ and the Spirit's presence among us? This upper-level course in preaching will develop a practical theology of preaching that arises out of our encounter with the synoptic Gospels and their relationship to the dynamic movement of the gospel in the church and the world today. With attention given to difficult passages of Scripture and difficult challenges facing our culture and our congregations, we will explore the good news revealed in Jesus' own preaching and the horizon of hope it offers us today. Students will preach at least two sermons and prepare a paper outlining their own theology of preaching as it is informed by reading, lectures and class discussions.
3 semester hours.
Prerequisite M 120 or M 120-H or M 120-S or M 125 or PM 120 or PM 120-O or B 102 or B102-O.

Education

M 230 EDUCATING IN THE SPIRIT

This course looks at education in light of the Person of the Holy Spirit, the human spirit of the person, and the relationship between the two, by drawing on insights from both theology and the human sciences. With a steady focus on how and why people are creative, participants in the course will study the dynamics of socialization and transformation, with a view toward understanding what it means to teach and learn "in the Spirit." (This course, or an approved substitute, is required for those pursuing a Youth and Young Adult emphasis.)
3 semester hours.

M 238 PRACTICAL THEOLOGY OF BAPTISM

What does baptism mean in the church, and what are its implications for education and everyday life?  We will examine contrasting theological positions, seeking to understand what is at stake in the great baptismal debates over questions such as "infants" versus "believers," and "water" versus "Spirit." Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Anabaptist, Reformed, Pentecostal and other perspectives are welcomed and will be discussed.  (Students pursuing an emphasis in Ministry with Youth and Young Adults can focus their written work in a way that makes this course count toward their quota.)
3 semester hours.

M 234 CHILDREN IN CHURCH

This course reviews the human lifespan from infancy through adolescence, with a view toward understanding developmental dynamics and their implications for church ministry. The aim will be to see how psychological, theological and biblical insights can illuminate each other. We will work with both theoretical models and case histories.
3 semester hours.

M 252 and M 252-S RURAL AND SMALL MEMBERSHIP CHURCH MINISTRY

The goal of this course is to provide the student with an introduction to the rural and small membership churches. We will address the issues of the small membership church in both the rural and urban settings with a special emphasis on leadership issues. The focus of the research and writing will be on participating in a project that reviews and develops potential new models for "doing church" in these particular settings. This course is offered at Richmond and the Susquehanna Valley Center.
3 semester hours.

M 333 SCRIPTURE AND EDUCATION

Readings and discussions will investigate contrasting pedagogical styles and hermeneutical models, such as Pietist, Pentecostal, Neo-orthodox, Evangelical, Fundamentalist, Feminist, and Liberationist. Classes will engage in close readings of portions of the Bible, and students will have opportunity to lead in teaching.
3 semester hours.
Prerequisite: a course in biblical studies or permission of the instructor.

Church Growth

M 245-T and M 245-S FOUNDATIONS FOR CHURCH GROWTH

The course will develop a missional understanding of church attentive to Brethren perspectives and practices and drawing on current evangelism and church planting strategies. The course will consider biblical foundations, spiritual formation, leadership roles, cultural dynamics, congregational vocation, and key evangelistic skills. This course is offered at Richmond and the Susquehanna Valley Center.
3 semester hours.

Administration

M 260-W AND M 260-S ADMINISTRATION, LEADERSHIP, AND ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR

This course focuses on the role of leadership from the perspective of the individual, the group, and the institution. Emphasis is on understanding multiple contexts in which leadership functions, contrasting styles of leadership, and how leadership theory and philosophy influence choice of leadership behavior or style. Additional emphases include group development, organizational culture, decision making, organizing for mission, management of change, systems thinking, and contingency approaches. This course is offered at Richmond and the Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center.
3 semester hours.

M 263 WHERE MINISTRY MEETS TECHNOLOGY

Students will explore the places where ministry can be enhanced and made more productive through the use of various technological tools at our disposal. Technology, as with all tools for ministry, must equip us to be more fully aware of how God is present within and shaping our ministries. Technology as a tool for ministry must also serve a 21st century generation which is seeking to find the ways that God is present in the context in which they live.
3 semester hours.

M 265-S CHURCH OF THE BRETHREN POLITY & PRACTICE

This course is designed to enable a student to study and understand the ecclesiology, history, and polity of the Church of the Brethren. During this course, students will explore the ecclesiology in the Anabaptist and Pietist traditions in general and in the Church of the Brethren in particular. In addition, students will examine the changing nature of organization and polity in the Church of the Brethren while gaining an understanding of the relationship of congregation, district, and denomination. Included in this course will be the study of the relationship between cultural context and organizational patterns of congregations. This course is offered at the Susquehanna Valley Center.
3 semester hours.

M 267-W ADMINISTRATION AS PASTORAL CARE

This course will provide students with competency in skills and perspectives necessary for providing effective leadership in the church. The course will provide information, resources and experiences for developing a theology of pastoral administration. As a theology of administration is developed, self-awareness and self-direction as well as the ability to empower others to do ministry and mission will be explored. Projects will be placed in the context of congregational or institutional life, allowing students to expand their gifts for this ministry.
3 semester hours.

M 270-T GOD, MONEY, AND TIME

The purpose of this course is to provide the student with biblical and theological information so that he or she may more effectively lead a congregation in developing stewardship as essential to faithful discipleship. Attention is also given to particular implications of stewardship theology in the daily life of persons, communities and nations.
3 semester hours.

Youth and Young Adult Ministry

M 231 UNDERSTANDING YOUTH MINISTRY

This basic course looks at the period of youth and the person of the youth minister, as well as the ministry to which youth themselves are called within church and society. Attention will be given to the theological themes implicit in today's social, psychological, and cultural trends. How can youth ministry transform rather than simply reproduce these dynamics?
3 semester hours.

M 233 YOUNG ADULTHOOD IN DEVELOPMENTAL AND THEOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES

This course probes issues of young adulthood, especially those of vocation and intimacy. Human science concepts will be put into conversation with biblical and theological ones, with a view toward understanding "spiritual maturity" and improving ministerial judgment. Case histories may be drawn from literature as well as life experience.
3 semester hours.

M 236 SOCIAL AND SPIRITUAL ISSUES FOR RISING GENERATIONS

This course invites students to interpret the lives of young people and the society in which they come of age. The course is structured around three overarching (and sometime overwhelming) questions that young people face: Where are we living?; who am I?; why do we live? While some students taking this course may be doing fulltime work with youth or young adults, others may simply desire a deeper knowledge of youth, theology and culture—for the sake of many kinds of ministry in the twenty-first century church.
3 semester hours.

Topics In Ministry

M 280 WOMEN IN MINISTRY

This course examines current issues, experiences, and ecologies encountered by women in ministerial leadership. In addition to faculty lectures and readings, a variety of guest speakers will represent a variety of ministry areas, ecumenical affiliations, and generational perspectives. The scope of the course moves beyond current conditions to teach a variety of transformational leadership principles addressing the joys and possibilities of ministering as a woman.
3 semester hours.