When the new semester begins here at Union in about a week and a half I will be teaching a course on Pastoral Ministry. I am hoping this will also help me to write some things here that I have been wanitng to get to. Anyone interested can see the syllabus here. This syllabus is from the first time I taught this class two years ago- some of you reading were in that class and some are registered for this upcoming one.
For those taking the class, I will require the same books, except I will not require the Bridges book. Instead I will have you choose another book from the bibliography at the end.
For readers not taking this class (most of you by far!), I thought some of the basic ideas in the syllabus might be helpful and that the reading list might be of interest.
Friday, January 20, 2006
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What's Gregory the Great's book like? Should I be embarassed that I don't know about it? Just curious. I really appreciate your ministry to us, and thanks as well for your Children's blog (a little late with the thanks... sorry).
Thanks for the encouraging words. No, I don't think you should be embarassed. I did not know about it until I started looking into some things a couple of years ago.
Now, it is sad that this book has dropped off the radar screen. I started looking for it when I read Eugene Peterson saying that his view of pastoral ministry (which I think is good) had been shaped by various people including Gregory.
From what I have read, it is the first detailed treatment of pastoral ministry in the history of the church. That alone makes it important. Reading it you can see the early moves toward what I would call Catholic error. However, you can also see that pastoral ministry is conceived of as shepherding souls, not simply public speaking and certainly not building programs. It is quite refreshing in that sense.
Thanks for the information.
Dr. Van Neste,
I'm glad to hear that you're teaching that class again. It was a very beneficial class for me and shaped my understanding of pastoral ministry. From what I have heard about similar classes in other institutions, your class really is a gem. Thanks for teaching it. And, to those who will be taking the class starting next week, I recommend reading the Bridges book even though it isn't required. It is a classic and convicting treatment of pastoral ministry.
I'm glad to see that you are requiring, Brothers, We Are Not Professionals. This book will have a profound impact on the ministries of those who read it. I have friends on the faculty of Brewton-Parker College here in Georgia who speak very highly of what is happening at Union. Y'all keep up the good work.
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