I will be teaching Pastoral Theology and Life in our seminary starting Sep. 15. I taught it last year as well, but have been rethinking parts of the course. The following is an overview of what the course will examine.
Pastoral Theology refers to how pastoral work is done in the congregation, whereas Pastoral Life refers to how the pastor lives out his life as a disciple of Jesus Christ. They each have their own sphere, but are intimately related.
Perhaps the best way to start is to examine a series of questions related to both.
- What does it mean to be a pastor?
- What does it mean to be a Churchman?
- Which is easier to talk about? Pastoral Theology or Pastoral Life
- What makes Pastoral Life difficult?
- What is the relationship between the two?
- How are you accountable? What safeguards?
- What factors can disrupt either or both of them?
- What kinds of help are available to the pastor (or pastor in training)?
- What is pastoral integrity?
- What is integrity of the disciple?
- What is pastoral mentoring?
- Why is pastoral mentoring important?
As we consider each of these questions, we also keep in mind three cores values that we seek to encourage as the basis for our work together in God’s kingdom.
Three Critical Values:
For the seminary students who are taking the class, work through these questions and any others that may arise in your reflections. As you read the books during the quarter, there will be other questions we need to address.