The Practice of Ministry in a Changing World

In a carefully constructed analysis of what makes ministry a profession, we will explore the range of definitions and their practices within the broader framework of the Church in the world.An analysis of the profession of ministry “after the call” will constitute the primary focus of this Institute and components of this profession such as status, education, training, regulations and protocol, privilege, power and stability will be carefully analyzed. It must be emphasized that we are focusing upon the concept and practice of ministry “after the call,” thereby avoiding theological controversy. Whereas each tradition varies as to the nature and function of its understanding of the call to ministry which clergy are expected to have experienced, the profession and practice of ministry is structurally and functionally the same when defined as a profession. Special attention will be given to a data-based study dealing with clergy stress and satisfaction in the workplace. 

Registration Form: To download a registration form, please click here.
Tutor: Dr. John H. Morgan (Profile) Karl Mannheim Professor of the History and Philosophy of the Social Sciences
Seminar Titles: (This Institute consists of Two Units of Study.) 
  • a.m. Defining Ministry in a Changing World
  • p.m. Clergy Stress and Satisfaction in the Workplace 
Dates: June 11-15, 2018        
Institute Venue: Hosted at Dodge House of the Graduate Theological Foundation in Indiana 
Daily Agenda: 
  • a.m.  Seminar  9:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
  • p.m. Seminar 1:15 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (No p.m. on Friday) 
Credits: NPO or two Units of Study
Session Daily Topics:
Sessions 1, 2: (Monday a.m. and p.m.)
 Defining Ministry as a Profession: What Happens “After the Call”
Sessions 3, 4: (Tuesday a.m. and p.m.)
The Nature of Status: Central Ingredients of Education and Training
Sessions 5, 6: (Wednesday a.m. and p.m.)
The Nature of Control: The Role of Regulation and Protocol
Sessions 7, 8: (Thursday a.m. and p.m.)
Professional Stratification: Securing Class and Privilege
Sessions 9: (Friday a.m. There is no afternoon session on Friday.)
Wielding Power and Influence: Professional Stability and Innovation           
Written Requirements:
For each session, morning and afternoon, the student is to prepare a 500-1,000 word essay addressing the topic of the day or the questions at the end of each chapter of the text. At the end of the Institute, the student will have written between 5,000 and 10,000 words. The final paper is to be a compilation of these nine short papers including refinements resulting from the Institute experience itself. The final paper must be between 4,500 and 6,000 words and submitted electronically as an email or a Word document within 90 days of completion of the Institute.
RECOMMENDED TEXTS (not required): 
  • Avery Dulles, SJ, The Priestly Office: A Theological Reflection
  • Edward Farley, The Fragility of Knowledge: Theological Education in the Church…
  • W. Clark Gilpin, A Preface to Theology 
Let me take this opportunity to explain how the writing of papers and oral presentations work. Some students write the required short papers prior to arrival while others write each day prior to the time the paper is due for presentation. Either way is fine but the student must have a prepared paper of 500 to 1,000 words for oral presentation to the seminar. Do not write the “final” big paper because you will wish to incorporate information gleaned from the discussions during the week. However, the final paper may include the short papers written for each of the presentations. Please remember that you will orally present each of your papers for seminar discussion, feedback, etc., as will every participant. The presentation is made informally, sitting, and reading from your laptop or written paper. There is no getting it wrong or right in terms of your presentation or content. The intent is for you to present a personal response to the readings for the day from your own professional perspective, indicating the relevance (or lack thereof) of each topic being discussed during that particular session of the seminar.
Everyone will bring something different to the table for discussion – no one will have it right or wrong, just different, based upon his/her personal background, experience, professional engagement, faith commitments, etc. The mix is where the learning occurs. The most important thing to remember is “be yourself,” and bring “who you are and what you have to say” to the seminar and all will be well. In a word, “relax” and enjoy the week.
Note: The final paper must be submitted electronically either as an email or as an attached Word document.