Introduction to Ministry Seminar

Students in all of my classes are encouraged to access the following web sites for resources of various kinds and to understand better the assignments given and the philosophy of teaching and evaluation the professor employs.
Book or Article Review Guidelines
Research Grading Guide
MLA Supplement for Religious Writing
Grading Guidelines
Class Evaluation
This page provides the student opportunity to evaluate the class confidentially and anonymously at any time during the semester.
Anti-Plagiarism Guidelines
General Expectations
[apply to all classes unless the specific syllabus indicates otherwise]
Understanding Syllabus Assignments

Syllabus Contents:
Textbooks | Additional Resources | Course Description | Student Expectations | Goals and Objectives | Criteria for Evaluation | ADA Statement | Course Calendar

Ohio Valley College
Bible Program, Practical Ministry Studies
Class Policies and Syllabus

Course: Introduction to Ministry Seminar
Course #: Bible 225
Credit hours: 2 credit hour seminar
Instructor: Robert J. Young
Semester: Spring, 2002


This course is designed to help the student develop initial understandings of how the theoretical and factual knowledge gained in the classroom may be applied to specific ministry settings. As such, the course serves to initiate the student into practical applications of academic knowledge to develop a personalized understanding of the task of ministry. While the student should have completed enough academic training in biblical survey studies to begin to appreciate the application process, this introductory seminar is designed to be taken during the first two years of the student's academic studies. Freshmen enrolled in the course should have consulted with their advisor or the Bible program director to ascertain their readiness for the course.
This course is required for formal admission into the Bible program. Students successfully completing this course may apply for admission to the Bible program and upon admission, may take upper-level Bible courses without special permission.

Required Textbooks

Note: While no other books are required for purchase, the student can expect to read significant amounts of materials introducing the task of ministry and personalizing the task according to specific interests and needs. Some psychological testing may be part of the course. The student will be expected to pay any fees for such testing. The books listed below will be of special interest and help to the student. The Nouwen book will be on reserve in the OVC library. The Supplement will be helpful to students seeking proper citation forms for items not addressed in MLA, and the Handbook will be a required text in the Practicum. The Handbook will also be useful for students seeking summer employment and internships. Other suggested readings appear in the course bibliography.

Additional Linked Resources

Course Description

This course is designed to integrate factual knowledge of the Bible and the ministry process with practical applications. The course also introduces the beginning ministry student to the various shapes of ministry and is designed to assist the student in determining which ministry types are most compatible with his or her own needs and preferences. The content of the course is best described in the objectives listed later in this syllabus.

Student Expectations
[Student expectations are set forth in the catalog. These paragraphs clarify matters that pertain to this class. Students are encouraged to consult the expectations available on-line at (]
Attendance Policy
The school attendance policy will be followed. Studies show that the probability of success in academic endeavors is directly proportional to the regularity of class attendance. Therefore, evaluation criteria are weighted in favor of regular class attendance and unexcused absences may lower the student's final grade up to a grade point (see below under "criteria for evaluation"). Students are expected to attend class regularly.
Students whose unexcused absences exceed one week of class will be dropped. Students dropped are required to meet with the professor and submit their written plan for maintaining attendance and progress in the class before reinstatement. Reinstatement does not "start the clock," and further absences will again result in the student being dropped from the class.
The student should be aware that much learning takes place during class. Further, daily participation and quiz grades cannot be recorded for absent students. Students with excessive absences may not perform successfully on exams. It is the responsibility of the student to inform the instructor in writing or by phone in advance or no later than 24 hours after an absence which should be excused. The student is responsible for obtaining all assignments and completing any work missed. Classroom Conduct
Students must arrive at class on time (see catalog). Daily quizzes are usually administered at the beginning of class. A student who must arrive at class late is expected to enter class without being disruptive and wait until after class to explain the reason for his or her tardiness. Three tardies count as one absence for purposes of administering the attendance policy.
Late Assignments

  • Homework must be turned in on time or early. If you cannot turn work in on time, you must ask for permission to turn the work in late. The value of all assignments decreases by 10% of its value for each day it is late, including weekends. In some cases, late homework cannot be accepted since the answers are given in class. The grade reduction will be waived for excused absences. Daily in-class work and quizzes cannot be made up.
  • Major assignments must be produced and submitted on the timetable set forth in class. Students who do not follow the timetable for identifying topics, researching sources, outlining, and otherwise producing an acceptable paper cheat both themselves and other students.
  • Major assignments that are to be presented in class must be presented on the day scheduled. Students who see that they will be unable to submit or present major assignments as scheduled must, no later than one week before the due date, ask for permission to submit or present the work late. The work will be penalized 10% per day as outlined above.
    Students who do not produce and submit timely work will fail the class.
    Make-up Examination Policy
    Make-up exams are available only in extreme emergencies. Arrangements for make-up exams must be made with the professor prior to the exam. Students who score less than 70% on a major exam (other than the final) may petition to retake the exam; the exam must be retaken within one week after the graded exam is returned to the student. It is the student's responsibility to ask in a timely manner to retake the exam. The highest grade on any retaken exam will be C (75%).
    Group Work and Copying (when applicable)
    While students may work together in a group to complete a homework assignment, learning is often an individual process, and all students must participate in the process if learning is to occur. Do not allow a fellow student to participate in group work if she or he does not materially contribute to the learning process. Do not copy your homework from anyone else, do not allow anyone else to copy your homework. Homework exercises are generally a small percentage of the grade in a class. Satisfactory learning as demonstrated on pop quizzes and major tests is much more important. Do not cheat yourself or others. Learn the material.
    Withdrawal Procedure
    Class withdrawal procedures as set forth in the catalog must be followed. The student must initiate an official process. Non-attendance does not constitute official withdraw. The student who neither attends nor drops the class will ultimately receive an "F" grade.

    Goals and Objectives

    1. The student will be able to answer the question, What is ministry? Answers to this question will be developed through the study of the history of ministry, biblical study, and also through more contemporary approaches to ministry (Thielicke, Peterson, Nouwen, Kennedy). As a result, the student will have a clear understanding of the nature and tasks of ministry and be able to identify various tasks and dimensions of ministry as described or defined in today's churches, including the development of appropriate working relationships within the context of local church government and the cultural settings familiar to the students. The student will also begin to think about the impact of cultural settings and expectations upon ministry models.
    Methodology: Class lectures, handouts, and discussions, assigned text readings and suggested outside readings to support research. The student will write a paper based on initial class lectures and discussions. This paper is entitled, "The Many Shapes of Ministry." The paper should reflect the continued development of the ministry task, the needs and desires of the contemporary church, the impact of the cultural setting, the nature and tasks of ministry, and some of the variations which exist in contemporary ministry.
    Assessment: Evaluation of the students' grasp of the readings and class discussions through testing. Evaluation of the student papers is based on the
    research guide.

    2. The student will gain a clearer understanding of himself or herself as a unique individual to be valued and capable of usefulness in ministry and the kingdom. This objective is accomplished in part through the self-discovery of psychological testing and spiritual gifts inventories. Students should be able to identify strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, preferences in ministry, and their unique giftedness.
    Methodology: The student will take personality inventories, i.e. MBTI, TJTA, DISC, or similar instruments. The meaning of the results will be interpreted to the student both in class and individually. The student will incorporate the results into a personal self-understanding.
    Assessment: Evaluation of personal job description; ministry planning model based on self-perceptions, and paper entitled "Shaping My Ministry for Effectiveness."

    3. Students will integrate #1 and #2 above (ministry types and personal preferences, aptitudes, and personality characteristics) to develop personal job descriptions and initial planning models based on current ministry options and self-perceptions.
    Methodology: The student will write a personal job description and develop a ministry planning model. The Faust text will provide an orientation to the task of ministry from a church leadership paper. The paper mentioned above will also contribute to this goal.
    Assessment: Evaluation of personal job description; examination on Faust text; ministry planning model based on self-perceptions, and paper entitled "Shaping My Ministry for Effectiveness."

    4. The student will become familiar with various aspects of ministry, including but not limited to ministry types, time management, typical administrative tasks and methods, library holdings, filing systems, financial matters, and specialized ministry situations such as funerals, counseling, hospital calls, and weddings.
    Methodology: Each student will be assigned a topic to be researched and presented in class. The resulting paper must be supported by adequate bibiliographic resources including periodical and web resources.
    Assessment: Evaluation of the student paper according to the research guide and evaluation of the student's in-class presentation. Students may find the term paper explanation--instructions and overview helpful.

    5. The students will begin preparation for their internship and practicum experiences.
    Methodology: Readings and discussion of Pyle and Seals.
    Assessment: Evaluation on quizzes and tests over class discussions and Pyle and Seals text.

    6. The student will develop a plan for completing her or his education at OVC, including choosing a minor and overviewing the practicum procedures. The student will also be exposed to future ministry study options.
    Methodology: Each student will be guided through the catalog requirements for majors/minors, and possibilities for graduate study will be explained.
    Assessment: While this component does not receive a grade, each student must submit a plan for inclusion in the class portfolio.

    Criteria for Evaluation

    Grading Scale [% of possible points]

    Please Note: This syllabus is an agreement between the student and the instructor of BIB 225. The professor reserves the right to amend any or all of this syllabus as deemed necessary during the course of the semester, and will promptly notify all students involved of the changes.


    Compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

    If you have a diagnosed disability and need special accommodations, please notify the Office of the Provost before or immediately after your first scheduled class meeting. After your disability has been verified, your instructor will work with you and the Office of the Provost to insure that you have a fair opportunity to perform in the course.


    Course Calendar Organized by Topics and Resources


    1. What is ministry?--"Little Exercise Young Theologians"
    Overview of ministry--motivations, rewards, dangers, pitfalls, needs, tasks, challenges, etc.

    2. What do ministers do?

    3. Biblical backgrounds

    4. The context of ministry: church and culture, comtemporary shapes and approaches to ministry.

    5. Conclusions regarding the shape of ministry--its nature and tasks. TEST 1

    6. Personal awareness

    7. Integrating ministry and ministers

    TEST 2

    8. Components and specialized studies in ministry.
    A sample of ministry concerns to be addressed in the student papers--students are encouraged to suggest topics of special interest


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