Exploring Practices of Ministry

Exploring Practices of Ministry

by Pamela Cooper-White, Michael Cooper-White


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Fortress Presss Foundations for Learning series prepares students for academic success through compelling resources that kick-start their educational journey into professional Christian ministry. In Exploring Practices of Ministry, Pamela Cooper-White and Michael Cooper-White share insights from their extensive experience as parish ministers, church agency executives, and seminary educators in diverse multicultural and international contexts. Pamela, an Episcopal priest who teaches pastoral theology, care, and counseling, is also a pastoral psychotherapist with an extensive clinical background. Michael, a Lutheran pastor and seminary president, is also a pilot and flight instructor and has served as a chaplain with the Civil Air Patrol.

The authors share their wisdom with seminarians and other readers seeking to deepen theological reflection and expand skills as ministry practitioners. While not all readers are preparing to be ordained ministers, most will engage in many of the practices described in the book: preaching and public speaking, teaching, leading liturgies, conducting ceremonies, counseling and offering pastoral support for persons undergoing life transitions, and serving as organizational leaders in congregations, chaplaincies, social ministries, and in the public arena. This book is a companion journal for pilgrims on the way to becoming confident practitioners of ministry.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781451488937
Publisher: Augsburg Fortress, Publishers
Publication date: 12/15/2014
Series: Foundations for Learning
Pages: 120
Product dimensions: 8.80(w) x 5.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Pamela Cooper-Whiteis the Ben G. and Nancye Clapp Gautier Professor of Pastoral Theology, Care and Counseling at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. She is author of Shared Wisdom: Use of the Self in Pastoral Care and Counseling (2004) and Many Voices: Pastoral Psychotherapy in Relational and Theological Perspective (2006).Michael Cooper-Whiteserves as the twelfth president of Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg in Pennsylvania. He has led the school through multiple transitions, including the creation of the award-winning Seminary Ridge Museum. He teaches and writes about church administration and leadership and is a consultant to churches in Central and South America. He is also a pilot and certified flight instructor.Cooper-White is a regular columnist with The Lutheran magazine.

Table of Contents

List of Figures ix

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction 1

The Road Ahead: An Overview 4

Welcome to the Journey! 6

The Walk to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35, NRSV) 8

1 On the Road: Practices as Theology, and Theology as Practice 11

Where We Start Shapes the Journey 15

Voices from the Margins Expand the Conversation 18

Being a Theologian-Practitioner: A Circular Dance of Wisdom 20

2 Setting Hearts on Fire: Practices of Proclamation 29

Church as Community of word and Word 31

Preaching: Art or Craft? Both and More 32

The Sermon as Crossroad Conversation 34

Preparing, Practicing, and Preaching a Sermon 42

Seven Parting "Commandments" for the Practice of Preaching 45

3 Stewards of the Mysteries: Practices of Worship 49

Exegeting a Community's Context and Culture 51

Leading Worship: A Holy Privilege 52

Public Ministers in Multiple Arenas 60

Into the Holy of Holies: Presiding or Assisting at the Sacraments 60

Baptismal Ministry; Gift and Challenge 64

Holy Communion: Cultivating a Gracious Altar-Side Mannet 66

4 Companions in Healing: Practices of Pastoral Care 71

Listen, Listen, Listen! 72

Context: How We Are Shaped by Where We Live 79

Content: What Is the Scope of Pastoral Care? 84

Diversification: Expanding the Circle of Caregivers 86

Balance: From Shepherd to Samaritan 89

5 Companions in Telling the Story: Practices of Christian Education 95

Christian Education Is Not Just for Women and Children! 97

Some Fundamentals from Psychology and Educational Theory 98

Christian Education Is Walking Together 101

Formation Is Inclusive, Intercultural, and Mobile 102

Learning Begins with Questions 105

Not Just Minds, but Hearts and Bodies 106

The Core Curriculum Is Always the Christian Story 108

Prophetic and Political Curricula (of, by, and for the People!) 112

6 Called to Be Servants: Practices of Leadership 119

Context Again! 120

Neither Command and Control nor Total Chaos 123

Planning: Discerning the Way 126

The Incarnational Church Is a Corporate Body 130

Stewardship and Faithful Financial Leadership 134

A Given for Today's Ministers: Coping with ConRict 135

Leading in the World beyond the Congregation or Other Organization 137

The Band of Leaders Needed for Tomorrow's Church 138

Epilogue: Journey into Joy 145

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