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Online · School of Divinity · Christian Leadership & Church Ministries

Theology of Pastoral Ministry

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

Course Description

A study of the different phases of the daily work of the pastor. Attention is given to the call, character, leadership, and responsibilities of the pastor. Opportunities are also given for the student to practice methods of pastoral work.





The calling and responsibility of a man of God is one to be taken soberly. LEAD 635 prepares the pastoral student so that he can successfully fulfill his role in the sight of his Lord and His people.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Explain the biblical concept of pastoral ministry.
  2. Articulate the elements related to the call to pastoral ministry.
  3. Evaluate their qualifications for pastoral ministry in light of Scripture.
  4. Determine personal theological positions for use in pastoral ministry.
  5. Construct scripturally-based responses to typical pastoral ministry scenarios.
  6. Apply course principles to actual church situations.

Course Resources

Required Resources

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

Earley, Dave. Prayer: The Timeless Secret of High-Impact Leaders. Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2008.

Fearon III, H. Dana, and G. Mikoski. Straining at the Oars: Case Studies in Pastoral Leadership. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2013.

MacArthur, John. Pastoral Ministry: How to Shepherd Biblically. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2005.

Spurgeon, Charles. Lectures to My Students. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1979.

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 Resource

Groeschel, Craig. Dare to Drop the Pose: Ten Things Christians Think but Are Afraid to Say. Colorado Springs, CO: Multnomah Books, 2010. ISBN: 9781601423146.

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:

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 (4)

The student will post a thread of at least 400 words to the forum topic presented for the assigned module/week. In the following module/week, the student will reply to the threads of at least 2 classmates using at least 200 words for each reply to complete the discussion for the topic of the previous module/week. Discussion Board assignments are required in every module/week. Please read the instructions included in the Assignment Instructions section of the Course Content carefully.

Pastoral Interview

The student will interview a pastor with significant experience, either as a senior pastor or as an associate or youth pastor, and provide a transcript of the conversation (3–5 pages), listing the questions and describing the pastor’s responses. The student must also include a 1-page summary of what he/she learned through the interview. (Syllabus Outcomes: E, F)

Call and Qualifications Analysis

Using the MacArthur text, the student must submit a well-written 5-page document analyzing his/her personal call to ministry according to the instructions provided. (Syllabus Outcomes: A, C)

Personal Prayer Analysis

The student must submit a well-written 3–5-page to include a table analysis of chosen Scripture as it relates to prayer according to the instructions provided. (Syllabus Outcomes: C, E)

Book Critiques (2)

The student will read assigned chapters of the Spurgeon and MacArthur texts and submit a well-written, 3–5-page critique on each book according to the instructions provided. (Syllabus Outcomes: A, B, F)

Course Grading

Course Requirements Checklist


Discussion Board Forums(4 threads at 35 pts ea; 4 reply sets at 25 pts ea)


Pastoral Interview


Call and Qualifications Analysis


Personal Prayer Analysis


Book Critiques (2 at 95 pts ea)





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 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


LEAD 635

Textbooks: Earley, Prayer: The Timeless Secret of High Impact Leaders (2008).

Fearon & Mikoski, Straining at the Oars (2013).

MacArthur, Pastoral Ministry: How to Shepherd Biblically (2005).

Spurgeon, Lectures to My Students (1979).


Reading & Study




MacArthur: chs. 1, 2, 4–8

1 presentation

Course Requirements Checklist

Class Introductions

DB Forum 1 Thread





MacArthur: ch. 3

Spurgeon: chs. 1–7

1 presentation

DB Forum 1 Replies

Pastoral Interview




Spurgeon: chs. 12, 14–15, 21, 24

1 presentation

DB Forum 2 Thread

Call and Qualifications Analysis




Fearon & Mikoski: chs. 1–5

MacArthur: chs. 9–13

1 presentation

DB Forum 2 Replies

Book Critique: Spurgeon




Earley: All

Fearon & Mikoski: chs. 6–10

1 presentation

DB Forum 3 Thread



Fearon & Mikoski: chs. 11–15

MacArthur: chs. 14–18

1 presentation

DB Forum 3 Replies

Personal Prayer Analysis




Fearon & Mikoski: chs. 16–20

MacArthur: chs. 19–22

1 presentation

1 website

DB Forum 4 Thread

Book Critique: MacArthur




Fearon & Mikoski: ch. 21

1 presentation

DB Forum 4 Replies




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.