Course Summary

Identifying the challenges of ministry within contemporary culture

Through the use of live personal interview techniques, the course aims at extracting specific information that can yield useful analysis and learning about contemporary ministry. The study is area specific and relates to the way the modern church responds to its environment. The three modules of the course are organized into three activity blocks.  These are titled (1) General Ministry, (2) Ministry and Society, and (3) Family and Youth Culture. Each block includes three independent topics and consists of research preparation, research activity, and a research summary.  Open only to M.Div. students and may apply only toward completion of the M.Div. degree.  3 graduate semester credits.

Each activity block requires 30 interviews; thus 90 interviews will be conducted for the completion of the course. Each block is a different topic but uses the same methodology to achieve the following objectives:

1. Determine the environment (nature and form) of your interviewees’ church life.

2. Identify the perceptions of your interviewees on the specific topics.

3. Analyze the results of your interviews.

4.  Demonstrate how you can use the findings of your research to create a better church

Credit for the course requires the submission of three written summaries of the research, which shall be judged excellent (A), good (B), or fair (C). The papers will be evaluated to ascertain if the student performed the assignments, if actions and conclusions met the intended expectations of the course, and if the student's conclusions appear to be based on sound interview procedures.


Gorden, Raymond L. Basic Interviewing Skills. Waveland Press, Inc., 1998. 236 pages. $30.35 ISBN: 978-1577660200

For substitution texts, see Extended Resources.

Beyond the syllabus, the resources needed for the course will be local people who are willing to be interviewed by you.