WISCONSIN LUTHERAN COLLEGE
THE 211: The Christian Faith and Life (3 credits)
Pastor Paul Kelm, Home Phone 784-0492 (Consultation by appointment)
I. COURSE DESCRIPTION
A biblical study of the Christian’s relationship with God~ self and others, with a particular focus on the ministry and fellowship of Christians gathered to be Christ’s church.
II. COURSE OBJECTIVES
A. That students develop a more personal relationship with their God through Bible
study, reflection and discussion.
B. That students develop a clearer understanding of themselves and their gifts, as well as Christian skills for coping with life and using their gifts.
C. That students become familiar with the nature and mission of Christ’s Church,
together with the challenges and opportunities confronting contemporary churches.
D. That students evaluate several significant issues and functions of confessional Lutheran churches.
III. COURSE METHODOLOGY AND MATERIALS
A. Three distinct areas outline the content of the course: Skills of Christian Living, Is sues of Personal Christianity and Principles of Church Leadership. Sometimes students will be asked to prepare for class discussion, especially by thoughtful study of a chapter of the Bible during the “issues of personal Christianity” subjects. Most classes will be guided by a handout prepared by the instructor. Lecture, question and answer, focused discussion and small-group interaction will be the methodology employed. Students are invited to raise related issues for discussion.
B. Each student will develop a Bible study, based on a specific chapter of the Bible and for a specific audience. Chapter and audience options are listed later in this syllabus. Bible studies will be graded according to the following criteria: 1) How well did this study bring out the main truths of the chapter in a detailed outline or narrative that both explained and illustrated these truths? 2) Is this study relevant to the audience selected? 3) Does this study involve the audience in the study through effective questions, discussion starters, action involvement, etc.? 4) How clear and practical are the applications of the chapter’s truths to life? 5) Does this study clearly relate Jesus Christ to the chapter and to the Christian’s life? 6) How creative and engaging is this study? Bible studies are to be turned in no later than September 23.
C. Each student will deliver an oral book review of six minutes in class. Book choices are listed later in this syllabus. The book review should include: the title of the book and a brief introduction of the author; a clear statement of the major premise/point/purpose of the book; at least four significant secondary or supporting arguments the author raises: an explanation of what value the book has to a Christian life and/or a church leader: a theological evaluation of the book (Is it biblically accurate and doctrinally correct?). Finally, the book review must convince the instructor that you actually read the book. The book review is due on or before Wednesday, October 21.
D. Students will complete an interview, analysis and summary project in teams of two. Options are listed later in this syllabus. Students must register their choice of project with the instructor by Wednesday, September 30, and must submit the written summary - no less than four typed, double-spaced pages with interview sheets attached - by Wednesday, November 18.
E. A research paper on one issue or aspect of congregational life and ministry is due on or before Wednesday, December 9. This paper must be not less than five typed, double-spaced pages of original composition. Two copies must be submitted, one of which will be returned. The paper should combine research, evaluation and the clear presentation of a thesis or strategy. Research should include interviews, essays, articles and books. At least five different sources must be cited in the bibliography. A list of suggested subjects is included in this syllabus. However, students may choose their own subject, with the approval of the instructor. The subject matter of each student’s research paper must be established with the instructor by Wednesday, November 4.
F. There will be no exams.
G. Texts for this course are available in the bookstore and include:
THE HOLY BIBLE
IV. EVALUATION AND GRADE
Completion of all course requirements assures a C. Grading above a C will be based on the level of thoroughness, thought and clarity in each area of course requirement. The grade will be compiled with approximately 20% weight attributed to each of five areas: the Bible study, the book review, the team interview project, the research paper, and class contribution. Failure to complete all of the course requirements will result in an F. Late submission of any required assignment will lower the final grade by as much as one-half of a grade point (A to AB, AR to B, etc.) for each week or portion thereof overdue.
Because class preparation and discussion rather than examinations are an essential means of evaluation as well as education, each unacceptable absence from class will lower the final grade by as much as one-half of a grade point.
Plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty will mean failure of this class, and may result in expulsion from the college. Academic integrity means that you will not attempt to use one paper for two classes without prior agreement with both professors.
V. ATTENDANCE POLICY
Attendance at each class period is expected.
Absence from class must be excused with the instructor, in person. prior to the class to be missed where anticipated or in the following class when unanticipated.
Illness, family crisis and participation on in college-sponsored extra-curricular events are acceptable excuses. Issues of personal discipline and responsibilities to other educators or employers are not in themselves acceptable excuses for absence.
Habitual absence or dishonesty in reporting absence can result in a failing grade. Repeated late arrival is a disruption of the class and an expression of poor sell-discipline. Without prior explanation, repeated late arrival will be treated as an absence.
VI. COURSE OUTLINE
A. Instruction and overview
B. SKILLS: Personal Bible Study
B. SKILLS: Christian Prayer Life
A. SKILLS: Christian Encouragement B. SKILLS: Christian Conflict Resolution
A. SKILLS: Christian Values Choices
B. SKILLS: Christian Witness
A. SKILLS: Apologetics
B. SKILLS: Christian Decision Making
A. ISSUES: Repentance. Psalm 51
B. ISSUES: Sell-Image. Psalm 139
ISSUES:Sanctification. Romans 6-7
B. ISSUES: Character Formation. H Peter 1
A. ISSUES: Christian Hope. Romans 8
B. ISSUES: Christian Sexuality. I Corinthians 6:9 - 7:18
Week Nine: A. ISSUES: Christian Giving II Corinthians 8 and 9
(B. ISSUES: Being Sure John 3)
A. Book Reviews B. Book Reviews
Week Eleven: A. LEADERSHIP: What’s A Leader?
B. LEADERSHIP: Understanding Ministry
Week Twelve: A. LEADERSHIP: Mission and Vision
B. LEADERSHIP: Analyzing a Church
Week Thirteen: A. LEADERSHIP: Philosophy of Ministry
B. LEADERSHIP: Organizing Ministry
Week Fourteen: A. Interview and Summary Sharing
B. LEADERSHIP: Involving Members in Ministry
Week Fifteen: A. LEADERSHIP: Small Group Ministry
B. LEADERSHIP: Leading Change
VII. OPTIONS FOR THE BIBLE STUDY ASSIGNMENT:
high school-aged youth; college students: young adult singles; married couples; families with children aged 4-10; and adult Bible class at your church; young mothers; business men and women; a men’s Bible class; a women’s Bible class; seniors.
Assume that the class for which you are preparing your study consists of ten people, is lay-led, and runs for 45 minutes.
Bible Chapter Options:
Genesis 3: Genesis 15; Exodus 3; Numbers 14: Deuteronomy 6; Joshua 24;
II Samuel 7; Nehemiah 9; Psalm 40; Ecclesiastes 9; Isaiah 40; ‘Jeremiah. 31;
Ezekiel 3; Hosea 11; Matthew 13; Luke 10; John 6; Galatians 3;
Ephesians 2; Philippians 3; Colossians 3; 1 Thessalonians 4: I
Timothy 6; Hebrews 12: James 1; I Peter 4; I John 4; Revelation 22.
Viii. BOCK REVIEW OPTIONS
Generating Hope by Jimmy Long (InterVarsity Press)
The Purpose Driven Church by Rick Warren (Zondervan)
The Contemporary Christian by John Stott (InterVarsity Press)
Renewal for The 21st Century Church by Waldo Werning (Concordia)
The Body by Charles Colson
A Church For The 21st Century by Leith Anderson (Bethany House)
Inside Out by Larry Crabb (NavPress)
Entertainment Evangelism by Walt Kallestad (Abingdon)
Effective Church Leadership by Kennon Callahan (Harper and Row)
Church Without Walls by Jim Petersen (NavPress)
Getting Together by Em Griffin (InterVarsity Press)
Christ Esteem by Don Matzat (Harvest House)
Ordering Your Private World by Gordon MacDonald (Olive Nelson)
Fit Bodies Fat Minds by Os Guinness (Baker).
The Once and Future Church by Loren Mead (The Alban Institute)
Why Nobody Learns Much. of Anvtbinng At Church and How To Fix jt
by Thomas Schultz (Group)
Three Generations by Gary Mcintosh (Fleming Revell)
Effective Church Leadership: A Practical Sou,rce Book by Lee Harris
It’s A Different World by Lyle Schaller (Abingdon)
Reflections ot a Contrarion by Lyle Schaller (Abingdon)
Strategies For Change by Lyle Schalller (Abingdon)
A Primer on Postmodernism by Stanley Grenz (Eerdmans)
Gentle Persuasion by Joseph Aldrich
User Friendly Churches by George Barna (Regal Books)
Darwin On Trial by Philip Johnson
Connecting by Paul Stanley and J. Robert Clinton (NavPress)
XI. OPTIONS FOR INTERVIEW AND ANALYSTS
1. Interview 15 or more students at an urban university to determine religious attitudes and beliefs, with a view toward analyzing how to do evangelism with young adults. Teams will develop a questionnaire, interview students face-to-face, summarize conclusions and suggest implications for evangelism.
2. Interview 12 or more high school juniors or seniors who no longer attend church, though they were confirmed, to determine why they dropped out and how the church might better serve them. Teams will get names from churches or pastors, develop a questionnaire (for personal or phone interview), conduct interviews, and draw conclusions re why dropout occurs and how the church can better prevent it.
3. Attend a voters meeting in 3 different churches, then interview the pastor and two
key lay leaders from each church to determine what is effective and what is ineffective in the decision-making process of churches. The written summary will be based on the interviews and personal observation.
4. Conduct a door-to-door canvass until 12 or more unchurched people have been located for interviews to determine what about the church turns unchurched people off. Teams will develop an interview or questionnaire format (while open-ended questioning should be included; multiple choice questions will assure some meaningful response), conduct the canvass and interviews, summarize and prioritize reasons why the unchurched remain so, and draw conclusions for the church’s mission today.
5. Interview 12 or more elderly church members, 4 in nursing homes, 4 in senior
apartments and 4 in their own homes, to determine what are their spiritual
perspectives and personal needs and how the church can better serve its elderly.
Teams will develop a basic interview format (personal or phone), gather the names of elderly members from one or more pastors, conduct interviews, compare responses and summarize.
6. Interview 12 or more new members (joined within the last year) from at least 3 churches. 4 transfers from sister churches, 4 who had been members of a different Christian church and 4 who were new to Christianity, to determine how well they have been assimilated into their churches and what facilitates assimilation of new members. Teams will, gather names and addresses and phone numbers from three or more pastors, develop an interview format, conduct interviews, compare responses from the three groups, summarize conclusions and draft suggestions for churches,
7. Interview 12 or more young, single members of at least 3 churches, with a balance of male and female as well as those who are members of the congregation in which they grew up and those who’ve recently joined a different church, to determine the level of involvement of young singles and what they believe would make the church more effective at involving young singles. Teams will gather names and addresses or phone numbers from three or more pastors, develop an interview format, conduct interviews, summarize and compare responses, and develop suggestions for the church.
8. Interview 10 or more Christian business leaders or professionals to determine what are the challenges facing Christian leaders in the business world, what are the ways in which they witness their faith, how can they best serve their churches, and how they balance the responsibilities to family, work; church and community. Teams will gather the names and addresses or phone numbers of business leaders - both male and female, draw up an interview format, conduct the interviews, compare and summarize responses, and draw conclusions for future Christian business leaders and for the church.
9. Interview 10 or more Christian public school teachers to determine what are the challenges to Christianity they’ve encountered, the ways in which they witness their faith, and what they believe the church can do to reach the non-Christian children they teach. Teams will gather the names and addresses or phone numbers of teachers, draw up an interview format, conduct the interviews, and summarize findings.
10. Interview 10 or more home missionaries to determine the challenges in church planting, the strategies that have been successful, and the kind of support or assistance that the church can best provide. Teams will gather the names and phone numbers of missionaries, develop an interview format, compile and compare responses, and draft conclusions for the church.
11. Interview 8 or more Christian psychologists or social workers to determine their assessment of the most significant problems facing families, children and adults, as well as what they believe the church could do to more effectively prepare people for these problems. Teams will gather the names and addresses or phone numbers of Christian psychologists or social workers, develop the interview format, conduct the interviews, and summarize findings.
12. Students may propose additional interview, analysis and summary projects, but must have instructor approval before proceeding.
NOTE: WLC students are NOT to be included in the people you interview.
X. SUGGESTED SUBJECTS FOR RESEARCH PAPER
1. “Staff Ministry” what’s the future?
2. The Parish Nurse: real holistic health.
3. The Lutheran Deaconess - past and future.
4. Why do para-church agencies develop and are they a good idea?
5 Family Ministry: who’s doing what, how?
6. The annual stewardship program - what it is and if it works.
7. Programmatic approaches to evangelism - pros and cons.
8. Keys to cross~cu1tural ministry.
9. Ministry among the urban poor - how are we doing?
10. Peer counseling programs in the church - possibilities and pitfalls.
11.Prison Ministry: Describe several working models.
12. The “Mega-Church’ is bigger better?
13 Lutheran confirmation should it be changed?
14. Campus ministry: can a regular congregation do it?
15. Church-planting strategies: what’s new and what works?
16. Special ministries for the handicapped - what and how.
17. 12-Step programs in the church - pros and cons.
18. Deferred giving: is this the answer to the church s financial crunch?
19. Why the Sunday school is in decline and what should be done about it.
20. Tuition in the Lutheran Elementary School - trends and implications.
21. “Seeker Service” - definition and evaluation.
22. Assimilation and retention - principles and methods.
23. The Church Growth Movement: can we lean anything from it?
24. Does the church have a place in cyber- space?
25. Religious publishing: Should the market drive decisions?
26. Religious broadcasting - issues and trends that affect the future.
27. Christian day care - issues and questions confronting congregations who are
28. Legal issues and concerns confronting churches in a litigious and secular society.
29. Conflict in the church: avoiding it and resolving it.
30. YOUR IDEA. with instructor’s approval