• What are the roles and expectations of pastors?
• What does the Bible say about the pastor and pastoral work?
• What are the specific tasks of pastoral ministry?
• How do you know you are called by the Holy Spirit into ministry?
Early in the century pastors were often the most well-trained individuals in a community. Respect and authority of clergy was unquestioned. But for many reasons, this is no longer the case. In the ensuing attempt to deal with this change in pastoral identity, many descriptions of the role of pastor have been offered up. Some have attempted to bolster the professional image of the pastor by placing the position on a par with doctors and lawyers (e.g. pastor as CEO). Others have seen the pastor’s role as a spiritual therapist along psychological lines (pastor as therapist). And, still others have seen the role of the pastor as being a change agent in society, an advocate of social justice (pastor as a change agent).
One’s view of pastoral ministry needs to be biblically grounded and theologically driven. Only such a view of pastoral work will be able to hold together the diverse tasks of the ministry without becoming one-sided. The selected textbooks and learning activities included in this course will stimulate your thinking as you dialogue with faculty and other students to consider how you envision and approach pastoral theology.