Written by Mark Van Steenwyk : July 13, 2005

As I promised, here’s the working draft of the syllabus for the course I’ll be team teaching this coming school year.  I’d love to hear your constructive crticisms and/or anything you think really works. 

for further reading . . .

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8 Responses to “Sill-a-buss”

  1. toddh on July 13th, 2005 10:31 am

    I think it all looks really good. The books look great and the seminar format for the class seems to fit really well. My only comment is more of one of personal preference - I always hate those assignments that are very abstract. I once wrote a “process of ministry” paper that I tried to implement in a later, concrete setting. It was marginally successful at best, I think because I started from abstraction and then tried to move to an existing context. I don’t know how you would do it, but I would tie the last assignment into some context, church, or place or something that actually exists to ground it for the students.

  2. Bernie on July 13th, 2005 11:52 am

    congrats on getting the class approved!!!!

  3. Van S on July 13th, 2005 1:11 pm

    Todd, I really want to be sensitive to that reality. I think that I’ll have students find a particular location that they know something about and get them anchored in that before they delve into the “what does that look like?”

    Thanks Bernie…get the word out among sem friends. I’d hate to have this die due to lack of registrations.

  4. Gregg on July 14th, 2005 11:07 am

    Mark, maybe one way to get them “anchored” into a context would be some kind of systems-oriented survey about that context. In other words, what are the various subsystems of that context and then–what’s often missed–how do they interact (do they complement ea other, simply coexist, do they sort of battle over resources, etc.). That way, the student is forced to consider everything from demographics and neighborhood to the type of Christian Ed curriculum or policies around recruiting children’s min volunteers. You know there’s a dialectic here of BOTH concrete situation AND an interactional dynamics (the ‘what it is’ and the ‘how it functions within the church’).

    Anyway, I have always struggled with being asked to picture a context, but I tend to only picture that which SEEMS relevant to me. A fuller systemic context might force me to rethink some things. Just a thought (or a rant, since you know my bent)…

  5. Jeremy on July 14th, 2005 12:15 pm


    Sorry to clog you blog with what is actually an email, but I couldn’t get your “contact us” page to work at the Missio Dei sight.

    As a fellow churchplanter, I’d like to know more about your denominational ties. Who are you connected to? What is the relationship like? What do you get? What do they expect? Do you have a parent church? etc.

    ps-I find your blog consistently helpful/edifying. Keep it up.

  6. Van S on July 14th, 2005 1:33 pm

    Gregg, could you flesh out that with an example? I think I hear you, but would like you to flesh out your idea a bit more.

    Jeremy, I’m sending you an email…

  7. Jeff on July 17th, 2005 3:08 pm

    Mark, congrats!
    I would also have students visit those churches that they are doing a web analysis of to help them go from abstract to concrete.
    Also, I know you’ll resist this but Doug’s book “Reimagining Spiritual Formation” might be a helpful text. It shows how an “ecclesiology of participation” plays out in one context.

  8. Van S on July 17th, 2005 4:19 pm

    Thanks Jeff…it makes a lot of sense to have students visit a church they are studying. I’ll check out Doug’s book. I am open to it, but I am worried that the book advocates a particular way of doing church, and I want to shy away from being too prescriptive with the course.

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