Courses in Ministry Studies


Each module (other than the Study-Abroad tour) contains the following courses:

  1. Historical theology: Ancient Insights for Today (five credit hours) Dr. Peter Fitch, with input from Dr. Gregg Finley
  2. Counselling (two credit hours) Dr. Walter Thiessen
  3. Biblical Studies (two credit hours) Dr. Brad Jersak or Dr. Peter Fitch
  4. Spiritual Formation in Classical Traditions (one credit hour) Lorna Jones, Ignatian Spiritual Director


Bib5120 The Pastor's Use of Scripture This course looks at interpretation of various Old and New Testament passages and asks provocative questions about the healthiest way to treat sacred texts. It also gives a rudimentary introduction to Greek Language tools for use with the New Testament. BIB5220 Pauline Themes through the Eyes of the Early Church This module introduces students to some major themes in the teaching of St. Paul the Apostle, reading them in the historical and literary context of his NT Epistles. It then examines how the early church understood Paul through reflections of the church fathers on key passages in their commentaries and homilies. Finally, it considers the meaning of these themes, reading Paul by applying the interpretive practices of the early church. Bib5320 Jesus and a More Christ-like God This module engages students on what Jesus of Nazareth revealed about the nature of God and the kingdom of God. It approaches the self-revelation of God in Christ from below (biblical studies) and above (systematic theology), using the core texts and Bible as guides. These findings are integrated in order to see God’s nature and kingdom as kenotic and cruciform, ruled by divine and human consent and participation. These themes will then be applied to practical ministry, such as healing people’s image of God and the sharing of a "more beautiful gospel."


Coun5130 The Pastoral Counsellor: Agent of Change and Hope The central focus of the course will be the pastoral counselor’s knowledge and skill to provide a setting, an opportunity, and some tools to help clients be rescued (“saved,” “healed”) from addictions to power and control. Coun5230 Counselling and Self-Awareness Focuses on enabling students from a wide variety of backgrounds and experience to become safe listeners and helpers. On a foundation of a basic counselling model, this week aims at increasing self-awareness of the ways that we can unintentionally hurt rather than help people. Some basic understandings of mental illness and counselling ethics are introduced. Coun5330 Healing through Symbol and Story Explores methods of counselling and prayer ministry that promote “whole- brained” or experiential change. Students are introduced to new and old models of inner healing prayer, the importance of metaphors and symbols, and the power of narrative or story.


An examination of the development of Christian thought and spirituality in historical context from Acts to Benedict’s Rule (Module 1, 1st–6th centuries), from Gregory the Great to Thomas à Kempis (Module 2, 7th–15th centuries), and from the Reformation to Today (Module 3, 16th–21st centuries) with an application to ministry in the contemporary church and world.

Min5110 Historical Theology: Ancient Insights for Today (1st–6th C.) Includes reading and discussion of the Apostolic Fathers, Athanasius’ Life of Antony, Eusebius, St. Augustine, Benedict’s Rule, as well as other primary and secondary sources, with a particular focus on interpretation of Scripture and the development of an “ancient-future paradigm”. Min5210 Historical Theology: Ancient Insights for Today (7th–15th C.) Includes reading and discussion of Gregory the Great’s Pastoral Care, Bernard of Clairvaux, Francis and Clare, Thomas à Kempis, as well as other primary and secondary sources, with a particular focus on caring for those who suffer. Min5310 Historical Theology: Ancient Insights for Today (16th–21st C.) Includes reading and discussion of Luther, Calvin, Teresa of Avila, Pascal, Herbert, Baxter, Wesley, Thérèse de Lisieux, Bonhoeffer and C. S. Lewis, as well as other primary and secondary sources, with a particular focus on justice issues and questions raised by the emerging church.


SF5150/ SF5250/SF5350 Ignatian Spiritual FormationExperiential instruction in and practice of spiritual formation exercises in Ignatian and other classical traditions. Students will be encouraged to develop a “contemplative attitude” to God through reflection on Scripture and personal experience, with the hope that there will be growth in freedom to respond to God’s call.


MIN5400 Study Abroad Module (6 credit hours) This two-week study–abroad class is designed to familiarize students with the historical and cultural context of the Biblical world (typically Greece and Turkey), as well as to create a rich experience of community around shared learning experiences. MIN6900 Internship (6 credit hours) The purpose of the Ministry internship is to equip Christian leaders to serve God, the church and the broader community by facilitating an integration of theoretical and conceptual learning with participative learning. Students who do not have at least five years of professional ministry experience are required to undertake an internship, often in conjunction with a local church, but other forms of service are also acceptable. MIN6700 Ministry Project (6 credit hours) The Ministry project (approximately 80 pages, double-spaced) involves a practical strategy that is designed and implemented under the supervision of a mentor and then described in written form. It is meant to be professional or practical in nature and must be accompanied by a 20– to 30–page theoretical defence that is academic in nature. MIN6800 Thesis (6 credit hours) The thesis involves the preparation of an 80–page (double-spaced) the- oretical essay that is in the form of a dissertation. Students must have demonstrated a strong ability to do research and to write in order to gain academic approval.

St. Stephen’s University reserves the right to cancel or revise any of the courses listed or to withdraw for the semester any course for which there is insufficient demand.