course overviews

 

Bible Study Methods

Purpose:
To help students develop a foundation of how to study the Bible for both personal devotion as well as preaching and teaching preparation. The course will inspire a passion for the Bible in students, and teach them how to extract its treasures.
 
Expected Demonstrated Competencies:
1. Practice of personal devotional study for faith enrichment
2. Able to study scripture in preparation for preaching or teaching
3. Understand various methods of teaching others how to study the Bible, including the inductive bible study method
4. Grasp of how to use various tools and resources available for the student of the Bible 5. Able to lead a bible study lesson

 

Old Testament

Purpose:
To help students understand the Old Testament as the Word of God: rich in content, diverse in style and purpose, necessary to understanding the backdrop of the New Testament, and useful for personal faith and ministry. The course will develop student confidence in the Old Testament highlighting its treasures in history, wisdom, and prophecy.
 
Expected Demonstrated Competencies:
1. Understand the broad historical narrative of the whole Old Testament
2. Grasp of the variety of books, their genre and purpose, including its application to Christian life today
3. Articulate faithful understanding of creation and the nature and the consequence of the Fall
4. Explain the idea of covenant, law, and grace in the Old Testament
5. Able to use the Old Testament as a resource for preaching, care and counseling, and worship
6. Comprehend the connections between the Old and New Testaments in history, theology, and prophecy

 

New Testament

Purpose:
To inspire student confidence in the New Testament through exploration of its witness to the goodness of God, the nature of the Kingdom of God, the incarnation, life and mission of Jesus, the centrality of the Cross, and the Christian life. This course will present the New Testament in a way that develops students’ wonder of the love and work of God to bring salvation to this world through Jesus. Students will not only have a foundation of knowledge but also should develop a passion to make disciples who make disciples.
 
Expected Demonstrated Competencies:
1. Articulate Jesus as historical person, as true God (doing what only God can do), and as true man (doing what every Spirit-filled believer can do)
2. Understand the mission and message of Jesus
3. Explain the Kingdom of God, Jesus’ miracles, Jesus and the demonic, hell and salvation
4. Grasp the work of the Holy Spirit and describe the triune God as revealed in the New Testament
5. Comprehend the early church and its mission
6. Articulate Christian living, understanding both sin and sanctification
7. Develop a biblical understanding of human sexuality

 

Reformation & Lutheran Church History

Purpose:
To help students better understand our Christian faith and how our theology was shaped and clarified through history. Through exploring the life of Martin Luther, as well as Reformation and post-Reformation Lutheran Church history, the aim is to discover how biblically faithful theological positions were developed and how these ideas are helpful today for living and sharing the Christian faith.
 
Expected Demonstrated Competencies:
1. Basic understanding of Church history leading up to the Reformation
2. Describe Martin Luther’s life in historical context and his primary concerns which lead to the Reformation
3. Working knowledge of Lutheran theological development on basic tenets of the faith
4. Familiarity with Post Reformation Lutheran Church History, the history of the Lutheranism in the American context, and Lutherans in global mission

 

Lutheran Theological Foundations

Purpose:
To build a working knowledge of Lutheran theology by exploring the treasures of the Small and Large Catechisms, the Augsburg Confession, and other Confessional writings as a resource for practical theology and faith. Through this course, students will come to understand Lutheran theology not as a point of separation between Christians but as a treasure that is meant to enrich the whole church and the Christian life.
 
Expected Demonstrated Competencies:
1. Use of the Small and Large Catechisms for devotional and instructional purposes
2. Understanding of the Augsburg Confession and basic Lutheran positions on important topics
3. Familiarity with writings of the Book of Concord, their purpose and usefulness in teaching and sharing the faith today
4. Articulate Lutheran theological understandings on salvation, the sacraments, scripture, law and gospel, saint and sinner, and church authority and how they apply in the American context today.
5. Articulate the distinctively Lutheran contributions to the Church universal and what Lutherans can learn from other Christians

 

Ministry Apprenticeship:

Purpose:
To give students an opportunity to observe and practice mission and ministry in a supervised setting in order to facilitate spiritual and pastoral formation in addition to ministry skill development. Through Ministry Apprenticeship, students will develop spiritually and emotionally and grow into their identity as ministers of the Gospel.
 
Expected Demonstrated Competencies:
1. Working knowledge of how a congregation is organized, makes decisions, and carries out ministry
2. Effectively share faith with an unbeliever and teach others to do so
3. Effectively disciple a new believer and teach others to do so
4. Able to lead a new ministry of outreach, recruiting and equipping others to minister and lead
5. Preach and clearly communicate the Gospel
6. Teach Bible study lesson for children, youth, and adults
7. Minister and teach and lead others to minister to those who are sick or in need of care
8. Plan and lead a worship service

 

Evangelism & Discipleship

Purpose:
To teach faithful and practical methods of sharing faith and discipling believers. Beginning with biblical foundations for evangelism, discipleship, and leadership development, students will explore current best practices in ministry. This course will help students develop practical skills to effectively minister in each area personally and how to lead a missional community to evangelize and disciple.
 
Expected Demonstrated Competencies:
1. Articulate the biblical mandate for evangelism, discipleship, and leadership development
2. Articulate the basic principles of multiplication
3. Develop a faithful and effective model for sharing faith personally and teach others how to share faith personally
4. Develop a faithful and effective model for discipling followers of Jesus (i.e. discipleship pathway) and teach others how to disciple others
5. Develop a faithful and effective model for leadership development (i.e. leadership pipeline)
6. Understand how to leverage groups (micro, small, midsize) for evangelism, discipleship, and leadership development
7. Develop a plan to integrate evangelism, discipleship, and leadership development into congregational life

 

Church Planting & Revitalization

Purpose:
To understand fundamental entrepreneurial and leadership principles behind organizing and leading a faithful church plant or revitalization and to develop core competencies of thinking missionally, contextually, and creatively about starting something new. Students will be introduced to a comprehensive system for guiding discernment for contextual application as well as be exposed to the practical skills often needed to effectively plant or revitalize a church in America today.
 
Expected Demonstrated Competencies:
1. Articulate a biblical and logical foundation for church planting in the American context today
2. Grasp importance of churches planting churches
3. Understand a variety of church planting models
4. Comprehend a variety of funding models and able to develop a personal financial plan for supporting a church plant or revitalization
5. Self-awareness of spiritual gifts and practical skills and how they may be best used in church planting or revitalization efforts
6. Able to craft and communicate a clear and concise vision and mission for a church plant or replant
7. Familiarity with common, practical challenges church planters face and potential solutions
8. Describe helpful parallels between church planting and revitalization

 

Missional Leadership & Organization

Purpose:
To introduce students to best practices for leading and organizing groups to succeed in their mission. Students will learn about avoiding common leadership pitfalls, how to address unhealthy patterns in established congregations, and how to leverage their influence to help move people towards God’s agenda.
 
Expected Demonstrated Competencies:
1. Understand basic principles of servant leadership following the example of Jesus
2. Articulate identity as missional leader with proper respect to both Jesus, the head, and his body, the church
3. Able to recognize and understand how healthy and effective church systems and organizational structures can lead to accomplished mission
4. Comprehends best practices for leading change in a congregation
5. Grasps fundamentals of healthy team dynamics including good communication and conflict reconciliation strategies
6. Basic understanding of how churches function and are administrated
7. Recognizes unhealthy patterns and behaviors in leaders and has a plan to be accountable and avoid common leadership pitfalls

 

Worship

Purpose:
To help students to understand the role of worship in developing and sustaining our relationship with God through thanksgiving and praise, the celebration of grace, prayer, the proclamation of the Word, and our response in faith to follow Jesus in daily life. Students will learn about various forms of worship in Christian history and today and will discover guiding principles for planning and leading faithful and effective worship for the American context today.
 
Expected Demonstrated Competencies:
1. Basic understanding of worship in the Old and New Testaments
2. Able to articulate what makes worship Lutheran and the great freedom that Article 7 of the Augsburg Confession allows
3. Thoughtfully and faithfully articulate the development of a worship plan for a specific context that is attentive to flow and movement
4. Understands and has a strategy to address “worship wars”
5. Understands worship’s function for both evangelism and discipleship
6. Basic awareness of and ability to plan special services (i.e. baptisms, confirmations, weddings, funerals, etc.)
7. Can articulate the importance of the sacraments in worship as the celebration of grace
8. Able to lead public prayer extemporaneously
9. Able to comfortably lead worship without reading or memorizing a liturgy

 

Preaching

Purpose:
To introduce students to faithful methods for effective proclamation of the Gospel and to help students hone skills and develop their personal style as a preacher of the Word. Students will learn how to develop and craft a sermon that makes a point and serves a purpose. Students will also be able to grow through delivering sermons for evaluation and feedback.
 
Expected Demonstrated Competencies:
1. Familiar with examples of proclamation in the Old and New Testaments
2. Acquainted with resources for preaching and how to use them appropriately
3. Able to use a primary scripture as foundation for message as well as other biblical passages in support
4. Understanding of a variety of models of preaching
5. Articulate a faithful purpose of preaching for the hearers
6. Develop a style of preaching that is faithful, effective, and authentic to preacher
7. Comprehends the power of story, humor, and congregational engagement
8. Can preach from notes or a brief outline
9. Familiar with issues and opportunities of preaching for special services (e.g. weddings, funerals, civic ceremonies, etc.)

 

Youth & Children’s Ministry

Purpose:
To study the dynamics and methods of reaching, teaching, and equipping youth and children to follow Jesus. It is our aim to inspire students to raise up the importance of youth and children’s ministries as priorities in missional communities and to equip students to lead ministries that are both faithful and effective in discipling young people in the American context.
 
Expected Demonstrated Competencies:
1. Able to lead children and youth to understand the faith into which they were baptized
2. Can articulate the role of parents and the church in the spiritual development of children and youth
3. Basic understanding of human development by age and implications for ministry
4. Able to develop a children’s and youth ministry plan
5. Comprehends the importance of developing a team or teams to lead youth and children
6. Understands the value of and strategies for developing intergenerational ministries.
7. Acquainted with best practices for first communion and confirmation instruction
8. Can teach and minister to children and youth of all ages in age-appropriate ways

 

Care & Counseling

Purpose:
To study the various kinds of care and spiritual guidance areas within a faith context, including ways and tools to be effective in this ministry. It is our aim that students will gain insight as to how to think about, act, and lead care and counseling ministries in a missional community.
 
Expected Demonstrated Competencies:
1. Understands the biblical foundations for care and counseling ministries today
2. Articulate that care and counseling ministries belong to the priesthood of all believers and the healthy roles for ministry leaders to take
3. Able to effectively visit and pray for the sick and shut-in, as well as administer Holy Communion
4. Can express ideas for how to go about training and leading a missional community to better care for one another
5. Understands the challenges and has a plan in place to minister and lead ministry in times of crisis and significant tragedy
6. Comprehends the basic foundations of marriage, pre-marriage, baptismal, and other spiritual counseling and where to turn for additional resources
7. Has a plan for developing small groups that become centers of mutual care and spiritual guidance
8. Able to lead prayer and develop prayer ministries that teach others to pray and lead a missional community to connect with God through the power of prayer
9. Understands appropriate boundaries and best practices in care and counseling to avoid common pitfalls

 

New Testament Theology of Mission

Purpose:
To give each student the freedom to apply the biblical, theological and practical knowledge and skills learned and developed through Harvest Workers to a specific project in an area of ministry to which the student believes God is calling him or her. The aim is to help students to ground their specific calling in ministry to our Lord Jesus whom we meet in the New Testament, and in the church and its developed theology down through the ages.
 
Expected Demonstrated Competencies:
1. Mastery of ministry skills for particular area of calling
2. Theological and biblical grounding for your specific area of calling
3. Articulate how your ministry is faithfully and effectively evangelizing the lost, discipling the found, and equipping new leaders to multiply