LM Course Descriptions

LM 520 – Pastoral Leadership:  Concepts

This course is designed to offer students an introduction to pastoral leadership concepts that will form the foundation for other courses in the Leadership in Mission curriculum. Our premise will be that pastoral leadership is leading a community of God’s people through change so that they may fulfill the church’s mission of transforming human lives. Students will first study some of the challenges facing churches today as these churches seek to shift to a post-Christendom culture. Then they will engage in the practical skills of conducting a congregational study, interpreting their own congregation’s particular challenges and opportunities for shifting its culture.  Finally, they will work with several case studies to apply the strategies of leading adaptive change.

Prerequisite:  None
Credit:  0.5
Instructor:  Dr. Barbara Blodgett

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LM 560 – Resources for Mission: Stewardship 

This course will provide a basic Biblical, theological, and practical introduction into the spiritual discipline of stewardship and provide best practice principles for guiding the financial and fiduciary responsibilities of the pastor as church leader.

Prerequisite:  LM 520
Credit:  1.0
Instructor:  Prof. Bruce Barkhauer

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LM 561 – Governance & Management 

Governance and Management (LM 561), along with Stewardship (LM 560) and Conflict (LM 562), forms the trio of required courses for the Leading the Church into Mission curriculum. Taken together, these courses help prepare you to provide management and leadership for congregations, especially congregations confronting change. Most U.S. congregations today are going through some kind of significant change. These courses build upon Pastoral Leadership Concepts (LM 520) which introduced basic concepts of leading a congregation through adaptive change. In LM 561, we begin by reviewing the differences between technical and adaptive change and the differences between management and leadership. Then we study some of the most effective ways that clergy and lay leaders can organize themselves to move the mission and life of their congregation into the future. In particular, we study congregational governance structure. We assess our own congregational maps in order to learn the best way to equip a congregation for a future wherein most members are engaged in doing ministry (direct hands-on work) and a smaller set are engaged in governance (the policy work of committees and boards). We study the role of boards and what makes for good governance and good board members. Then we turn our attention to the role of volunteer teams and study the best ways to recruit, manage, and equip those who carry out the ministries of congregations.

Prerequisite:  LM 520
Credit:  1.0 (Offered during On-Campus Intensives)
Instructor:  Dr. Barbara Blodgett

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LM 562 – When Conflict Comes Calling

Conflict (LM 562), along with Administration and Property (LM 561) and Stewardship (LM 560), forms the trio of required courses for the Leading the Church into Mission curriculum. Taken together, these courses help prepare you to provide management and leadership for congregations, especially congregations confronting change. Most U.S. congregations today are going through some kind of significant change. These courses build upon Pastoral Leadership Concepts (LM 520) which introduced basic concepts of leading a congregation through cultural change.

In LM 562, we learn how to lead a congregation through the conflicts that are generated when congregations confront change. By studying the relationships among conflict, loss, and grief, we learn how leaders can identify the sources of tension, develop habits and strategies for working with people caught in conflict, and use the past to shape and reshape the congregation’s future. We learn that conflicts are not all the same, and that there are different styles for managing different conflicts. Finally, we reflect on conflict theologically and liturgically.

Prerequisite:  LM 520
Credit:  1.0 (Offered during On-Campus Intensives)
Instructor:  Dr. Barbara Blodgett

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LM 563-  Evangelism and Outreach 

This course offers biblical, theological, historical and sociological perspectives on evangelism and outreach.  Students will evaluate the distinctive ways in which the interplay of evangelism and outreach is and might be expressed by their congregation.

Prerequisite:  LM 520
Credit:  1.0
Instructor:  Prof. Bruce Barkhauer

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LM 564 – Developing a Mission-Focused Congregation 

This course examines the place of mission as an expression of congregational purpose.  Processes for preparing for, engaging in and following up on particular expressions of mission, including the short-term mission trip, ecumenical and interfaith partnerships and congregation-based community organizing will be explored.

Prerequisite:  LM 520
Credit:  1.0
Instructor:  Dr. Pablo  Jimenez

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LM 565 – Transformational Leadership 

This course will explore the dynamics of transformational leadership and their application in congregations.  Using historical, theological, biblical and social scientific resources, students will learn the responsibilities, potential and cautions of this form of leadership that offers resources for replenishing congregational culture and life.

Prerequisite:  LM 520
Credit:  1.0Instructor:  Faculty

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LM 571 – Beyond Activism: Becoming a Leader in Public Ministry

This is a course about how ministers along with their congregations can become involved in public ministry. In general, “public ministry” refers to any ministry where clergy and laity become engaged in social issues and problems that are larger than their own community of faith, engagement that all but the most isolationist leaders recognize as a need and a calling. In this course, public ministry refers to working for social justice through political activity in the public square. Some ministers do justice work by becoming activists. This course invites students to think beyond that model toward another one, that of congregation-based community organizing.  While organizing is the model highlighted in this course, it will be used as a lens through which to study questions that ministers and congregations face whenever they pursue justice.

Prerequisite:  LM 520
Credit:  0.5
Instructor:  Dr. Barbara Blodgett

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LM 573 – Funding a Special Ministries

This course aims to provide practical resources for clergy in securing external grant funds to support their ministries.

Prerequisite:  LM 520
Credit:  0.5
Instructor:  Dr. Donald Gillett

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LM 575  – Discerning Gifts for the Church and the World 

This course is designed to offer students multiple resources and strategies for developing a gifts-based ministry in a congregation or other ministry context. Students will learn how to employ such resources and strategies to help members understand themselves as gifted by God for service in their families, the congregation, the larger community, and, indeed, in each arena of their lives. Various learning styles and other differences among people will be taken into account as students experience these resources and develop a two-year plan for a specific ministry context. Illustrations from congregations who have emphasized gifts-based ministry will be shared.

Prerequisite:  LM 520
Credit:  1.0
Instructor:  Dr. Jean Trumbauer

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LM 579 – Women in Ministry 

This course will offer students resources for understanding the congregational leadership of women in ministry.  Students will learn the distinctive history of and challenges to women in ministry as well as exemplary processes for women in congregational ministry.

Prerequisite:  LM 520
Credit:  0.5
Instructor:  Rev. Kristen Bentley

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LM 580 – Leadership in the Black Church Tradition

This course will offer students resources for understanding leadership in Black churches.  Students will learn the distinctive role and authority of clergy, the added vision required of clergy and exemplary processes of empowerment of members.

Prerequisite:  LM 520
Credit:  1.0
Instructor:  Dr. Donald Gillett

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LM 582 – Leadership in Small Churches

This course is designed to offer students resources for understanding leadership in small and rural churches.  Students will learn the distinctive features of small/rural churches, the importance of relationally, and possibilities for leading such churches into the future.

Prerequisite:  LM 520
Credit:  1.0
Instructor:  Dr. Barbara Blodgett

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LM 585 – Hosting a New Kind of Conversation 

This course teaches you how to do strategic planning in your congregation, with the following emphases:

  • recovering the stories of your congregation and interpreting them for the future;
  • convening the right kinds of conversations for discernment and planning;
  • drawing upon the positive to create what is new rather than fix what is old;
  • identifying already existing assets for planning purposes

Prerequisite:  LM 520
Credit:  1.0
Instructor:  Dr. Barbara Blodgett
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LM 590 – LM Competency Exercise

*Please refer to section 7.1.6-7.1.8 of the Student Handbook*

Prerequisite:  Completion of all other LM 500 level work
Credit:  0.5
Instructor:  Dr. Barbara Blodgett

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LM 670- Winning Souls Without Losing Your Own

This is a course in the ethics of pastoral leadership. Effective leadership and management of a congregation require many skills, including strategic planning, discernment, persuasion, conflict resolution, and so on, but they also require a well-developed moral sensibility. Often the problems that plague congregations and their leaders, and undermine their mission, can be traced to poorly made choices with respect to balancing virtues like honesty, justice, fidelity, and solidarity against sincere attempts to do good. Moreover, sometimes pastoral leadership presents difficult problems where choices must be made. We will study the ethics of governance, stewardship, fund raising, management and oversight of personnel, team leadership, evangelism, and ministry in the public square. This course looks not only at the actions pastoral leaders choose but also at the policies and practices that congregations develop. It uses case studies in ministry ethics to generate discussion.

Prerequisite: Successfully completed one competency exercise and a minimum of 60% of LM 500 level work
Credit:  2.0
Instructor:  Dr. Barbara Blodgett

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LM 671- Character and Leadership

Many courses in pastoral leadership are about the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of leadership.  This one is about the ‘who’ of leadership.  Who is a leader?  What shapes their character and style as leaders? Factors include class, gender, race and ethnicity, personality type, emotional intelligence, and spiritual type.  What kind of leader are you becoming?  In this course you will be invited to be self-reflective about how the above-named factors shape your own leadership style.  You will also practice the skill of conducting relational meetings with other potential leaders, in order to identify and cultivate their leadership.  Finally, you will receive feedback on your leadership style from members of your congregation.

Prerequisite:  Successfully completed one competency exercise and a minimum of 60% of LM 500 level work
Credit:  2.0
Instructor:  Dr. Barbara Blodgett

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LM 672 – Church Administration & Property

Many pastors say that they weren’t called into ministry in order to read balance sheets, run meetings, and conduct background checks.  At the same time, many pastors say they wish they’d learned how to do these things in seminary.  Here is your chance.  This course will prepare you to lead congregations as effective managers of people, programs, and property.

Prerequisite:  Successfully completed one competency exercise and a minimum of 60% of LM 500 level work
Credit:  2.0
Instructor:  Dr. Barbara Blodgett

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LM 678 – Congregational Systems

A congregation is much more than the sum of its individual parts. It is an emotional system with a multi-faceted history (subsystems) that: drives its decisions; defines its culture and its relationship to its community; and, determines its relationship with its pastoral leadership. In this course the student will be given tools to better understand the systemic dynamics of congregations and how to define themselves and their leadership styles within any congregational system for effective ministry.

Prerequisite:  Successfully completed one competency exercise and a minimum of 60% of LM 500 level work
Credit:  2.0
Instructor:  Dr. Greg Alexander

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