Advanced Courses – Pastoral Studies
RLE 701: SERVING AND ADMINISTERING FAITH COMMUNITIES
This interdisciplinary course provides insights from the secular disciplines on administration and management of groups of people as well as pastoral principles on the nature and function of leadership in Christian communities. It addresses the various types and goals of communities of faith, the diversity of interactive and relational dynamics, the multiplicity of human needs and services, and, correspondingly, the various ways in which the ministry of leadership can be implemented.
RLE 703: MULTICULTURAL PERSPECTIVES ON MINISTRY
Major cultural, ethnic, racial, and religious traditions co-existing in contemporary American communities are challenging Church and ministry. The purpose of this course is to appreciate their potential reciprocal contribution to the development of a global, interdependent Christian community. The course explores emerging leadership insights as to how to create and empower a multicultural Christian community around issues.
RLE 705: CHURCH ACCOUNTING AND FINANCE
This course reviews some fundamental principles of accounting and finance with a particular emphasis on not-for-profit regulations. In addition, the course helps the manager of church finances to understand his or her contribution to church ministry. Attention is given to dealing effectively with voluntary and compensated church ministers, church structures, and canon law.
RLE 707: CANON LAW FOR PARISH MINISTRY
After reviewing the basic principles of the Revised Code of Canon Law, students examine the sections of the Code that pertain most directly to parish ministry. These sections include regulations concerning the celebration of the sacraments, parish administration, pre-marriage requirements, and procedures for nullity.
RLE 710: RELIGIOUS IMAGINATION AND MODELS OF RELIGIOUS EDUCATION
Dynamic images, metaphors, and visions guide the theory and practice of church life. This course seeks to explore the development of appropriate models of religious education relative to the distinct visions of the Church in contemporary culture. Various models are explored in terms of their conceptual framework, operating principles, strengths, and limitations.
RLE 711: LEADERSHIP AND THE MINISTRY OF RELIGIOUS EDUCATION
The communication, decision-making, and evaluative skills needed by educational leadership to meet the challenges of personal and community conversion are the central themes of this course. Participants examine contemporary spirituality and leadership skills that promote community advancement. Strands of spirituality and systems of reflective group process are examined for their underlying energizing principles that nurture shared responsibility, curricular interdependence, creative problem-solving, and the empowerment of people. Participants articulate a personal and community vision reflecting transforming spirituality and enlightened leadership.
RLE 713: THE TEACHING AND HEALING MINISTRY OF JESUS
This course is designed to offer a theological examination of the most recent developments in contemporary Christology. Emphasis is given to his most characteristic title “Teacher” and to the most attractive feature of his ministry, his power to heal spiritual and physical ills. Throughout the course there is a constant reference to the implications of a lived, prayerful relationship with Jesus the Christ for personal commitment and for one’s ministry in parish, classroom, and home.
RLE 715: SACRAMENTAL CATECHESIS
The course examines the process called “catechesis,” its functions and dynamics, and applies the conclusions to sacramental preparation and formation programs for all ages throughout a lifetime. Its primary purpose is to help students develop programs by which the sacramental preparation of Christians of all ages is made more effective personally, and more conducive to the emergence of community.
RLE 717: PARISH YOUTH MINISTRY
Parish youth ministry is moving beyond youth group and religious education models. The ministry requires a comprehensive approach. This course provides a renewed vision for youth ministry and practical programmatic approaches and strategies for proclaiming the Gospel, connecting young people to the faith community, and calling youth to discipleship.
RLE 721: INTRODUCTION TO PASTORAL COUNSELING
This course addresses the issues that make Pastoral Counseling a unique orientation to counseling psychology. The totality of human experience is addressed, the spiritual as well as the psychological, as the basis for therapeutic intervention. The basic dynamics and approaches are reviewed along with a brief history of the model. It challenges students to identify their resources of faith, meaning, and value.
RLE 725: MINISTRY TO FAMILIES IN THE FACE OF LOSS
The course addresses issues of loss and mourning experienced by families as a result of physical and mental disability, job loss, aging, illness, and death. It presents an understanding of the psychological and relational impact of loss with particular reference to those who minister to families in the face of loss.
RLE 730: UNDERSTANDING THE HUMAN ENCOUNTER WITH DEATH
This experientially-oriented course explores contemporary psychological approaches to death, dying, and bereavement from a spiritual perspective. Through a variety of learning modalities, including lectures, discussion, guest speakers, videos, personal sharing, journal writing, meditation, and other self-awareness exercises, the course focuses on four interrelated areas: 1) personal grief journey; 2) the psychology of death and bereavement; 3) specific skills in ministering to the dying and bereaved; and 4) human mortality, life after death, and questions of “ultimate concern.”
RLE 731: PSYCHE, SPIRIT, AND THE QUEST FOR WHOLENESS
The course explores the meeting of psychology and religion in the works of C.G. Jung, Abraham Maslow, and other contemporary transpersonal psychologists. The course investigates specific methods for actualizing one’s spiritual potential. Through lectures, readings, class discussions, and journal writing, students examine the process of coming to wholeness in their lives, in their ministry, and with the culture as a whole.
RLE735: Psychology and Spirituality of the 12 Steps
Students will examine the spirituality of the twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and other self-help programs, especially as they impact those recovering in these programs and their usefulness to society at large. Issues treated will include the development of Alcoholics Anonymous, the nature of professional treatment programs, and the twelve steps as a way of life for many people.