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. Interviews and reporting relate to (1) General Ministry, (2) Ministry and Society, and (3) Family and Youth Culture. Each of these "blocks" includes three independent topics and consists of research preparation, research activity, and a research summary.  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 course objectives.  Open only to M.Div. students and may apply only toward completion of the M.Div. degree.  3 graduate semester credits.


1.  Establish the criteria for selecting persons to interview

2.  Analyze the environment that influences the persons chosen for interviews

3.  Create a plan of action for conducting and evaluating the results of interviews

Credit.  Credit for the course requires the submission of three written summaries of the research, which shall be judged excellent (A), good (B), or pass (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.  Each submission is valued at 33 percent of the final grade.


A book by Joel Thiessen, The Meaning of Sunday: The Practice of Belief in a Secular Age is available in the Electronic Collection without cost to the student. 

Beyond the syllabus and the book by Thiessen, the resources needed for the course will be local people who are willing to be interviewed by the student.