Level 3 builds on Levels 1 and 2. Level 3 brings further church leadership training, deepening theology and worship courses. Level 3 in conjunction with a person’s local Commission on Ministry can support the path to ordained ministry.

Ethics are a set of principles for appropriate conduct.  While often based on morals, which is the understanding of what it right and wrong, ethics differs from morality. Some things that moral behavior generally considers “right” may not be appropriate conduct in terms of professional ethics. For example, it is morally good to foster friendships with others.  However, the ethics of most professions discourage friendships with those to whom a professional provides a service. That’s not because friendship is wrong. Instead, it’s because that boundaries of the professional relationship need to be maintained so that a person receives a quality service from the professional that isn’t influenced by a friendship.

In this course, we will explore ethics and their application for professional pastoral ministers.  We will consider the boundaries that define the relationships between professional pastoral ministers and congregants.  We will also consider how the professional minister’s right to privacy helps to maintain appropriate boundaries and serves as an essential aspect for self-care.

Contemporary Homiletics will explore the current distinctive needs of congregations in their multiple context and how the preacher can develop particular sermonic characteristics to address those needs in faithful, engaging, and prophetic ways.

This course explores the Earth and all that lives here as the dwelling place of God. There is an ongoing dialogue between scientists’ (especially Darwin’s) meticulous observations of natural selection and evolution on Earth with the Nicene Creed, scripture, and theologies through the ages.

People within the Christian community carry many different kinds of wounds.  Pastoral care is often thought of in the context of wounds from physical illness and medical treatment or in other times of personal crisis.  An overlooked dimension of pastoral care is mental health -- an often hidden wound that people carry.  In general, most local churches are ill-equipped to support people and families faced with mental disorders.  Simply making referrals to mental health providers does not discharge the responsibility of the pastor or church to offer supportive care and inclusion as members of the community of faith.

During this section of Supervised Ministry, you will learn about the most prevalent categories of what psychologists call mental disorders.  A mental disorder is a persistent change in behavior, emotion, and thinking which impacts a person’s ability to function in day to day activities. In addition to gaining a better understanding of common disorders, this course provides the opportunity to consider how to be pastorally supportive based on case studies and theological reflection.  By considering these issues in the context of supervised ministry, you will be able to develop strategies, which can assist you as a pastoral leader as those in your care experience mental disorders.