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Congregations are too often guilty of reducing Christian education to only head knowledge or viewing it as a limited-time activity mainly for children and youth. In reality, Christian education is a life-long transformative action that is necessary for every member of the body of Christ and encompasses our whole beings. This course will provide a survey of major topics and theories in Christian education and faith formation including definitions, biblical foundations, purposes, and contexts for Christian education; age-related educational theory; and introduction to learning styles and multiple intelligences. Through self-reflection and engagement with course readings and guest speakers, students will work towards integration of practices with relevant theory in order to design and facilitate a Christian education event, workshop, or one-time event for a Christian ministry settingWhat role does pedagogical practice play in cultivating community? Utilizing an experiential learning model, this course combines theory, practice and reflection to explore the possibilities and challenges of teaching for Christian community. A basic foundation in educational theory will be established. Anabaptist theology and practices will guide the consideration of key issues such as learning, authority, mutuality and harm in community. John’s presentation of Jesus’ theology of friendship and pedagogical formation of community will serve as a biblical guide for reflection.

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This course is for both students with a pastoral counseling concentration and other seminary students interested in learning the introductory level of the art and science of pastoral counseling. The course will examine the basics of a counseling relationship and give the student the opportunity to practice a “counseling” relationship and skills in the context of the course. Topics to be covered include: theory overview, skills work, typical cases encountered, issues related to ethics, culture, theology, diagnosis, and treatment planning. Special attention will be given to the dynamics of counseling in the context of the congregation or faith communityforms persons in the art of pastoral care in the ministries of the church. Integrating a systems approach with theological reflection, students will learn how to identify, form and partner with communities of care in order to support individuals in their well-being across all dimensions of personhood. Students will be equipped to discern pastoral care responses that are authentic to their pastoral identity and ethically serve diverse persons and communities. Pivotal pastoral care moments in the life of the congregation will be explored, including birth, marriage, death and forms of loss.

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