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Online · School of Divinity · Christian Leadership & Church Ministries

Church Administration
LEAD-505

  • CG
  • Section 8WK
  • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020
  • Modified 01/13/2020

Course Description

A study of administrative principles and practices for the local church. The course examines staff, finances, buildings, and public relations in churches and integrates material from both religious and secular sources.

Requisites

Prerequisites

None

Rationale

Administration is one of the greatest challenges faced by pastors and church staff. It requires the knowledge of key facets of ministry coupled with wisdom, foresight, and the ability to deal with critical issues set in a primarily volunteer setting. To be accomplished effectively, church work requires administration as well as teaching, preaching, and ministering. The purpose of this course is to facilitate an understanding of administration as an essential element to church ministry enabling a business-like approach fostering a well-organized and functional ministry capable of accomplishing its mission and vision well.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of concepts and procedures related to the effective administration of key elements of a church ministry environment.
  2. Explain the differences of the primary Church Government models, making application to present and future ministry contexts.
  3. Employ key principles for effective administration of church staff, ministry leaders, and volunteers.
  4. Produce an organizational chart demonstrating the inter-relationship of various facets of church ministry and the benefits of effective administration.
  5. Explain the benefits of financial administration including the preparation of budgets, retention of periodic financial data, and financial reporting.
  6. Explain the importance and benefit of standardized policies with application to key ministry areas with corresponding application to ministry function.
  7. Assess the level of risk protection in place in a local church.

Course Resources

Required Resources

The resources below are provided in the course at no cost to the student.

Brand, Chad O., and R. Stanton Norman. Perspectives on Church Government: Five Views of Church Polity. Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2004.

McClintock, Karen A. Preventing Sexual Abuse in Congregations: A Resource for Leaders. Herndon: The Alban Institute, 2004.

Welch, Robert H. Church Administration: Creating Efficiency for Effective Ministry. 2nd ed. Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1995.

Disclaimer: The above resources provide information consistent with the latest research regarding the subject area. Liberty University does not necessarily endorse specific personal, religious, philosophical, or political positions found in these resources.

 Recommended Resources

Berkley, J. D. ed. Leadership Handbook of Management and Administration (Revised). Grand Rapids: Baker, 2007. ISBN: 9780801068140.

Henry, Jack A. Basic Accounting for Churches: A Turnkey Manual. Nashville: Broadman, 1994. ISBN: 9781943965472.

Henry, Jack A. Basic Budgeting for Churches: A Complete Guide. Nashville: Broadman, 1995. ISBN: 9781943965489.

McIntosh, Gary L. Staff your Church for Growth. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2000. ISBN: 9781585582068.

Additional Materials for Learning

    1. Computer with basic audio/video output equipment
    2. Internet access (broadband recommended)
    3. Blackboard recommended browsers
    4. Microsoft Word
    5. School of Divinity Writing Guide: https://www.liberty.edu/divinity/index.cfm?PID=28160
    6. Course assignments require participants to utilize information from their local church and the course materials to produce and/or evaluate various church documents, policies, and procedures. Therefore, course participants will need to be actively involved in a functioning local church.

Course Assignments

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (6)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. There will be 6 Discussion Board Forums where the student will be required to write a minimum 300-word thread and reply to at least 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be a minimum of 100 words.

Organizational Chart

This assignment requires the student to construct or assess an organizational chart for his/her present church. The paper must include a 2–3 page minimum assessment of the chart. The paper must be written in Turabian format and contain at least 5–7 scholarly references that must include the textbooks, the Bible, and other scholarly articles/sources.

Policy Assignment

Using the Welch readings as well as the presentations to identify key elements to be addressed, the student will develop a policy for weddings in his/her church or evaluate an already existing policy. The policy must be a minimum of 4–5 pages. The paper must be written in current Turabian format and contain at least 3–5 scholarly references that must include the textbooks, the Bible, and other scholarly articles/references.

Church Budget Spreadsheet

The student will utilize the assigned readings to critique an annual budget for a church. The student will submit the budget and 2–3 pages of related explanatory elements. The paper must be written in current Turabian format and contain at least 2–3 scholarly references that must include the textbooks, the Bible, and other scholarly articles/references.

Church Government Assignment

The student will apply the assigned readings in order to write a 6-page paper on church government. The paper must be written in current Turabian format and contain at least 3–5 scholarly references that must include the textbooks, the Bible, and other scholarly articles/sources.

Church Risk Assignment

The student will develop a 4–5-page paper assessing the level of risk preparedness in place in his/her present church (this must be based on all the related course readings and legal presentations). The paper must be written in current Turabian format and contain at least 3–5 scholarly references that must include the textbooks, the Bible, and other scholarly articles/sources.

Church Administration Assessment Final

The student will submit an 8–10-page paper assessing the current state of administration in his/her church and providing a recommended policy and administration changes. The paper must be written in current Turabian format and contain a minimum of 10 scholarly references that must include the textbooks, the Bible, and other scholarly articles/sources.

Course Grading

Course Requirements Checklist

10

Discussion Board Forums (6 at 50 pts ea)

300

Organizational Chart

75

Policy Assignment

75

Church Budget Spreadsheet

50

Church Government Assignment

150

Church Risk Assignment

100

Church Administration Assessment Final

250

Total

1010

Policies

Late Assignment Policy

Course Assignments, including discussion boards, exams, and other graded assignments, should be submitted on time.

If the student is unable to complete an assignment on time, then he or she must contact the instructor immediately by email.

Assignments that are submitted after the due date without prior approval from the instructor will receive the following deductions:

  1. Late assignments submitted within one week after the due date will receive up to a 10% deduction.
  2. Assignments submitted more than one week and less than 2 weeks late will receive up to a 20% deduction.
  3. Assignments submitted two weeks late or after the final date of the course will not be accepted outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.
  4. Group projects, including group discussion board threads and/or replies, and assignments will not be accepted after the due date outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.

Disability Assistance

Students with a disability and those with medical conditions associated with pregnancy may contact Liberty University’s Online Office of Disability Accommodation Support (ODAS) at [email protected] for accommodations.  Such accommodations require appropriate documentation of your condition.   For more information about ODAS and the accommodations process, including how to request an accommodation, please visit https://www.liberty.edu/online/online-disability-accommodation-support/. Requests for accommodations not related to disabilities or pregnancy must be directed to the Registrar’s Office, which generally handles medical needs support.

If you have a complaint related to disability discrimination or an accommodation that was not provided, you may contact ODAS or the Office of Equity and Compliance by phone at (434) 592-4999 or by email at [email protected].  Click to see a full copy of Liberty’s Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy or the Student Disability Grievance Policy and Procedures.

Course Attendance

In an effort to comply with U.S. Department of Education policies, attendance is measured by physical class attendance or any submission of a required assignment within the enrollment dates of the course (such as examinations, written papers or projects, any discussion board posts, etc.) or initiating any communication with one’s professor regarding an academic subject. More information regarding the attendance policy can be found in the Academic Course Catalogs. Regular attendance in online courses is expected throughout the length of the term. Students who do not attend within the first week of a sub-term by submitting a required academic assignment (such as the Course Requirements Checklist, an examination, written paper or project, discussion board post, or other academic activity) will be dropped from the course. Students who wish to re-engage in the course are encouraged to contact Academic Advising to discuss their enrollment options. Students who begin an online course, but at some point in the semester cease attending, and do not provide official notification to withdraw, will be assigned a grade of “FN” (Failure for Non-Attendance). Students wishing to withdraw from courses after the official start date should familiarize themselves with the withdrawal policy.

Grading Scale

A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D D- F
940-1010 920-939 900-919 860-899 840-859 820-839 780-819 760-779 740-759 700-739 680-699 679 and below

For courses with a Pass/NP final grade, please refer to the Course Grading section of this syllabus for the assignment requirements and/or point value required to earn a Passing final grade.

Add/Drop Policy

The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory.

Honor Code

Liberty University comprises a network of students, Alumni, faculty, staff and supporters that together form a Christian community based upon the truth of the Bible. This truth defines our foundational principles, from our Doctrinal Statement to the Code of Honor. These principles irrevocably align Liberty University’s operational procedures with the long tradition of university culture, which remains distinctively Christian, designed to preserve and advance truth. Our desire is to create a safe, comfortable environment within our community of learning, and we extend our academic and spiritual resources to all of our students with the goal of fostering academic maturity, spiritual growth and character development.

Communities are predicated on shared values and goals. The Code of Honor, an expression of the values from which our Doctrinal Statement was born, defines the fundamental principles by which our community exists. At the core of this code lie two essential concepts: a belief in the significance of all individuals, and a reliance on the existence of objective truth.

While we acknowledge that some may disagree with various elements of the Code of Honor, we maintain the expectation that our students will commit to respect and uphold the Code while enrolled at Liberty University.

Adherence to the principles and concepts established within facilitates the success of our students and strengthens the Liberty community.

The Code of Honor can be viewed in its entirety at http://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=19155.

Schedule

LEAD 505

Textbooks: Brand & Norman, Perspectives on Church Government (2004).

McClintock, Preventing Sexual Abuse in Congregations (2004).

Welch, Church Administration (2011).

Module/Week

Reading & Study

Assignments

Points

1

Brand & Norman: ch. 1

Welch: chs. 1–2

2 presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

Class Introductions

Discussion Board Forum 1

10

0

50

2

Brand & Norman: ch. 2

Welch: chs. 3, 4, 8

1 presentation

Discussion Board Forum 2

Organizational Chart

50

75

3

Brand & Norman: ch. 3

Welch: ch. 5

2 presentations

Discussion Board Forum 3

Policy Assignment

50

75

4

Brand & Norman.: ch. 4

Welch: ch. 6

1 presentation

Discussion Board Forum 4

Church Budget Spreadsheet

50

50

5

Brand & Norman: ch. 5

1 presentation

Discussion Board Forum 5

50

6

Welch: ch. 7

1 presentation

Church Government Assignment

150

7

McClintock: Entire Text

Welch: chs. 9–10

5 presentations

Discussion Board Forum 6

Church Risk Assignment

50

100

8

Review previous readings

1 presentation

Church Administration Assessment Final

250

Total

1010

DB = Discussion Board

NOTE: Each course module/week begins on Monday morning at 12:00 a.m. (ET) and ends on Sunday night at 11:59 p.m. (ET). The final module/week ends at 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Friday.