Thursday, February 03, 2011

the craft of ministry takes practical shape

Ministry is a craft:

  • as technique. Not mindless procedure, but the cultures in which we might flourish
  • as a unique and individual blend of skill, commitment and judgment
  • as the aligning of head and heart, intuition and intelligence, history and innovation

I’ve blogged about this themes last year, interacting with Richard Sennett’s book The Craftsman. And I then made some links to ministry training, ways to help leaders and their churches in their craft of thinking and acting in mission

Over the next few days, ways to grow in this craft begin to take practical shape here at Uniting College. Tonight (Feb 3, 5:!5-6:15 pm) there is an information evening that gives an overview of the Master of ministry. A chance for folk to kick tires.

Over the next weeks I am booked to sit with 13 individuals, existing “crafters” (students). I will be trying to find ways to turn what they see as their growing edges – their questions about their craft – into learning opportunities. Our Master of Ministry has such flexibility in this regard. We are not offering blocks of information taught by overseas experts, but able to flexibly craft unique assignments.

On Monday the Research intensive begins. We are partnering with other local post-graduate providers, which we hope will provide a richer experience. Research methods is a demanding course. But so essential for “crafters” to explore their tools of the research trade.

It looks like we will double our post-graduate numbers in our post-graduate ministry programme this year. This includes a jump in our Doctor of Ministry programme and interest (from around Australia and even New Zealand) in the new missional cohort we want to explore the craft of missional leadership.

God the crafter
enliven the craft of all who wish to craft with you,

Posted by steve at 11:22 AM

Monday, July 26, 2010

a new semester postgraduate focus

A new semester starts here at Uniting College today. The focus for me this Semester is the post-graduate area and it’s so nice to be building on foundations, rather than heading into unknown and uncharted terrain.

First is the continuation of Program seminars. I’ve blogged about these before, noting with excitement how these build collegiality and are constantly developing people’s ability to reflect theologically on current ministry practice. We’ve got new students and a really rich denominational environment – Salvation Army, Anglican, Lutheran, Churches of Christ, Catholic, Uniting – at play.

Second is the continuation of Missional Church Leadership. Students are at the half-way stage of the course. That means that today we are gathering around presentations of their listening in their unique contexts. As they present, I am working with the class developing their capacities to engage in processes of discernment. This is not theory, but requires stepping into real, living mission contexts and together exploring what God might be up to.

Third, the icing on the cake, is the post-graduate distance course I’m co-teaching for Otago University. It’s a “foreigner”, on my own time as it were. The topic is contemporary preaching and I am looking forward to co-teaching with Lynne Baab. The students have set up their own blogs and with the wonders of modern technology, I in Adelaide, will be engaging with Kiwi students throughout Aotearoa. It’s nice to realise that I might have left New Zealand, but in the grace of God, I can continue to be involved in my home!

Posted by steve at 06:47 AM