Class Description

Practical skills for creating and presenting budgets grounded in the church’s mission, expanding means of giving and sources of income, presenting accurate tracking and reporting of giving, proper financial administration of funds, and exploring new options for funding ministry, examining all from both a theological perspective and from best practices of financial transparency and accountability.

Class Description

Introduction to basics of personal financial management, including special considerations for religious professionals and congregations where they serve. Topics include budgeting, debt, compensation and taxes, insurance, investing, and estate planning.

Much of the challenge of being a bivocational pastor is securing steady, ‘gainful’ secondary employment. A standard job-hunt is demanding enough, but for bivocational ministers, such a task is laden with obstacles unique to their set of circumstances. Traditional job search approaches often prove inadequate and insufficient. This class will introduce participants to effective strategies, tools, and tactics designed specifically for bivocational ministers. Participants will learn skills for uncovering ‘hidden’ job opportunities where none seem to exist, for crafting compelling promotional packages, and for conducting successful job interviews

What is your relationship to money? Do you love it? Hate it? Ignore it? What does the Bible say about money? What does Jesus teach about money? What does our culture say? Do you live with a sense of abundance or a sense of scarcity? How does your Church handle money and resources?  If pastors and lay leaders are to lead in this area with deeper spiritual authority, we too need to examine our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors which relate to money. This six-session class will provide a place of dialogue, learning, and discovery — centered around navigating the tricky and emotionally-fraught intersections between our money, our faith, and the church.

Churches and non-profits cannot survive, let alone thrive, without the financial contributions of members and others. Yet, one of the most dreaded and avoided aspects of ministry and leadership is asking others for money. There is a strong cultural taboo to even talking about finances and money. In this class, participants learn to see fundraising as an opportunity to develop important relationships that enrich their lives. With ample opportunity for dialogue and discovery, participants will put their learning into practice in a final project in which they create a fundraising campaign for an organization or church.

This class introduces pastoral care with attention given to basic skills (effective listening, pastoral presence, referrals, and self-awareness) and ethical obligations of pastoral caregivers, including appropriate boundaries. Participants are oriented to the tools and practices of pastoral care in a variety of settings through consideration of particular circumstances of ministry, such as loss and grief, illness, and addictions. Attention is given to emergent models and practices critical for quality care, including trauma-informed care and diversity/intercultural pastoral care.

This continuing education class invites students to explore how vocational identity and spiritual practices provide a framework for ethical decision making in ministerial practice. Students will interrogate ethical guidelines in their ministerial context and identify ongoing professional practices that will support ethical decision making. This class is part of the Ministerial Institute curriculum.

Multivocational ministries could be the future of the church in North America. What are the potential benefits and challenges for you and your congregation? Participants in this class will learn from the latest research and writings about bivocational and multivocational ministry. Topics include vocation and calling, financial pressures and motivations, cultural shifts, leadership strategies, congregational dynamics, and more.

Effective leaders consistently engage their own psychological, emotional, and spiritual development because they understand how self-knowledge builds capacity for leadership. In this class we explore the concepts in Bowen’s family systems theory to better understand ourselves and how we fit into and work within the dynamic system that is the church. Participants will engage in critical self-reflection through reading, writing, and class conversation. We will also use case studies to clarify concepts. Students are also expected to draw examples from their own lives to engage the material more deeply.