Practical Theology

The integration of sound theological method with the realities of ministry and spirituality in the contemporary world is the goal of courses in practical theology at St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute. This department emphasizes both the personal and communal implications of theological study for understanding faith development, pastoral care, ministries of the laity, and worship.

Note the following abbreviations: PR = prerequisite; CR = corequisite; PR/CR = either a prerequisite or a corequisite. Corequisites may be taken either at the same time as or before the course listed. Prerequisites and corequisites may be waived only with the permission of the Dean and the instructor.

PT512 Music in the Christian Tradition

The story of music’s place in Christian worship and spirituality from Gregorian Chant to contemporary expressions.  PR/CR = none.

PT546 Miracles in the Judeo-Christian Tradition

An exploration of the criteria that define various events as miraculous; scientific, philosophical and theological arguments for and against miracles; and miracles in the Old and New Testaments, as well as miracles in other world religions. PR/CR = none.

PT601 Foundations of Christian Ministry

A survey of the biblical, theological, and spiritual foundations of ministry, and of the expression of lay and ordained ministry in various Christian traditions. PR/CR = TH601.

PT602 Pastoral and Spiritual Care

An exploration of the theoretical and theological basis for Christian caring, with attention to practices of guiding, sustaining, healing, and reconciling. Cross-listed as SP602. PR/CR = TH601.

PT615 Theology and Sociology of the City

An examination of the city in biblical and theological perspective and an introduction to the sociology of urban systems, structures, and conditions that create problems and/or provide hope. PR/CR = TH601.

PT622 Introduction to Pastoral Counseling

An exploration of the theological foundations of counseling, classic and contemporary models and theories, and basic skills, including listening and referring. PR/CR = none.

PT626 Conflict Management in the Church

A study in addressing destructive conflict through the theory, theology, and practice of conflict transformation. PR/CR = TH601.

PT640 Spiritual Gifts for Congregational Ministry

An exploration of biblical spiritual gifts, with insights from charismatic and mainline churches, in order to enable students to recognize, develop, and share their gifts within parishes. Cross-listed as RE640 and SP640. PR/CR = TH601.

PT644 Women in Ministry

A critical examination of the tradition of women in ministry from both biblical and contemporary perspectives. PR/CR = TH601.

PT645 The Ministry of Leadership

An exploration of the theological foundations for leadership, current models of secular and church leadership, and current issues in order to develop an informed personal leadership style. Cross-listed as RE645. PR/CR = TH601.

PT646 The Spirituality of the Minister

An examination of the personal spiritual dynamics of ministry, including cultivating spiritual vitality, setting boundaries, and handling criticism. Cross-listed as SP646. PR = TH601, PT601.

PT651 Faith Community/Parish Nursing I

The first half of a two-semester introduction for registered nurses to the theory and practice of parish nursing as a ministry integrating health and spirituality, both within and outside of congregational settings. No credit is awarded until both PT651 and PT652 are successfully completed. PR = none.

PT652 Faith Community/Parish Nursing II

A continuation of PT651. PR = PT651.

PT660 Theology of Marriage and the Family

A study of marriage and the family from social-scientific, theological, and ethical perspectives. Cross-listed as MT660. PR/CR = TH601.

PT701 Biblical Storytelling: Narrative Interpretation of Scripture

A study and practicum in the theory and practice of biblical storytelling as a means of proclamation and spiritual formation. Cross-listed as RE701. PR/CR = TH601, BS600, and two additional BS courses.

PT705 Grief Counseling

An exploration of the bereavement process by examining personal stories, biblical narrative, and other resources to develop an integrated approach to persons experiencing various forms of loss and grief. PR = TH601; PT622 recommended.

PT709 Preaching in the Black Church Tradition

A theoretical and practical introduction to preaching and the role it plays in the African-American church. PR/CR = TH601, BS600, and two additional BS courses.

PT710 Word Beyond Words: The Arts and Christian Spirituality

An exploration of the theological, spiritual, and liturgical importance of art and music in various Christian traditions. Cross-listed as SP710. PR/CR = TH601.

PT712 Music in the Christian Tradition

The story of music’s place in Christian worship and spirituality from Gregorian Chant to contemporary expressions. Cross-listed as SP712. PR = TH601.

PT715 Ministry with Older Adults

An examination of the emotional, physical, and spiritual dimensions of aging in America; issues such as stereotyping, healthcare, and housing; and ministries for and with older persons. Cross-listed as RE715. PR/CR = TH601.

PT716 Youth & Young Adult Culture & the Contemporary Church

An overview of contemporary culture, generational issues, and the church’s mission to enhance its effectiveness with postmodern youth. Cross-listed as RE716. PR = TH601.

PT718 Christian Worship

The annual Rev. Dr. George Gray Toole Course in Christian Worship is taught each spring. It provides a biblical, theological, historical, and contemporary analysis of worship in the classical Christian tradition, emphasizing commonalities, denominational distinctives, and current issues. Cross-listed as ES718. PR/CR = TH601.

PT719 Crafting the Sermon

An exploration of the creation of a sermon from Scripture text to final form, designed both for those who proclaim and for those who would be discerning listeners. PR/CR = TH601, BS600, and two additional BS courses.

PT723  Substance Abuse and the Faith Community

A study of alcoholism and other drug dependencies, their general characteristics and behavior patterns, with attention to pastoral and clinical perspectives. PR = TH601.

PT725 Problems of the Contemporary Family

An analysis of the physical, emotional, and spiritual implications of the most common problems facing U.S. families today, with attention to Christian responses that may help family members cope. PR/CR = TH601.

PT727 Small Groups in the Life of the Church

An introduction to the skills and processes needed for the ministry, learning, and fellowship accomplished through various kinds of small groups. Cross-listed as RE727. PR/CR = TH601.

PT732 Church Administration and Congregational Development

An integrated course in the processes of developing and implementing a church vision, moving a church forward, and administering the structures that support and execute the vision. PR = TH601, one prior PT course.

PT734 Ministry in the African-American Community

An analysis of historical and contemporary issues related to pastoral and lay ministries in African-American churches and communities. PR/CR = TH601.

PT741 Ministry with Families

An examination of theological and sociological perspectives on the contemporary family, as well as strategies for ministry with families as systems in everyday life, transitions, and grief. PR/CR = TH601.

PT742 Ministry to the Ill and Dying

An examination of medical, theological, and pastoral perspectives on illness and death, providing strategies for ministry to the ill, the recovering, and the dying, whether in home, hospice, or institutional settings. PR/CR = TH601.

PT746 Miracles in the Judeo-Christian Tradition

An exploration of the criteria that define various events as miraculous; scientific, philosophical and theological arguments for and against miracles; and miracles in the Old and New Testaments, as well as miracles in other world religions. PR/CR = TH601.

PT750 Urban Ministries

An analysis of the theological substructures and organizational models of various kinds of urban ministries. PR/CR = TH601.

PT751 Current Issues in Urban Ministry

A theological, theoretical, and practical analysis of urban issues and trends, and of ministry practices to address them. PR/CR = TH601.

PT754 The Hungry, the Homeless, and the Church

An exploration of hunger and homelessness, with attention to theological perspectives, sociological analysis, and models of ministry. Cross-listed as MT754. PR/CR = TH601.

PT761 Roman Catholic Sacramental Theology and Canon Law for Pastoral Ministers

A study of sacramental theology, ecclesiology, and relevant aspects of canon law for those who will engage in parish pastoral ministry. Cross-listed as ST761. PR = TH601 and either ST690 or ST691.

PT780 Health, Disease, and Spirituality

An exploration of the interdependence of body, mind, and spirit from biblical, theological, spiritual, psychological, and medical perspectives, and the implications for ministry in the church. Cross-listed as SP780. PR = TH601.

PT781 Advanced Faith Community/Parish Nursing

A seminar on the common problems and ethical issues facing the parish nurse, combined with a field placement experience or project. PR = PT652.

PT794 Clinical Pastoral Education (C.P.E.)

A nine-month (academic year) or eleven-week (summer) program of 400 hours of supervised education for hospital ministry under the auspices of the Department of Pastoral Care of The Johns Hopkins Hospital, and accredited by the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE, Inc.). Note: Reduced tuition, but additional fees charged by Hopkins apply. PR = completion of 20 credits, including BS621 and BS622 (or equivalent), PT/SP602, and one other approved PT or SP course, plus permission of Director of M.A. Ch. Min. and acceptance by the Hopkins program. Note: This course may not be applied to the M.A. in Theology.

PT797 Urban Ministry Practicum

A supervised field placement experience in urban ministry. PR = TH601, PT615, and either PT750 or PT751, and completion of additional requirements toward certificate or degree as determined by advisor.

PT799 Ministry-in-Context

A supervised field placement experience and concurrent theological reflection seminar, open only to M.A. in Church Ministries candidates who have completed at least 38 credits. PR = completion of degree requirements specified here, plus permission of the instructor and the approval of the placement experience by the middle of the term prior to enrollment in the course.