Department of Practical Theology
The Department of Practical Theology offers two majors: Christian ministries and youth and family ministries; and five minors: Christian ministries, cultural engagement, sports ministry, youth and family ministries, and youth outreach and discipleship.
Practical Theology Covenant
When students declare one of the majors in the Department of Practical Theology, they commit to participate in a community narrative that begins with the signing of a Community Covenant based on the biblical model of faithfulness and mercy. The covenant includes a commitment to integrity, appropriate conduct, local church ministry, and academic and university requirements; a submission of references; and participation in required department activities. The covenant must be submitted to the department when the major is declared.
Biblical, Theological, and Philosophical Formation General Education Requirements for All Department of Practical Theology Majors
|UBBL 100||Introduction to Biblical Literature: Exodus/Deuteronomy (do not take if transferring in 60+ units)||3|
|UBBL 230||Luke/Acts (Must take if transferring in 60+ units)||3|
|UBBL 3XX-4XX||Approved Additional General Education (Biblical Studies Course)||3|
|MIN 108||Christian Life, Faith, and Ministry||3|
|Select one of the following:||3|
|Faith and the Arts|
|Theology and the Christian Life|
|Select one of the following:|
|Core Texts in Philosophy (3 units on the Azusa campus; 4 units at the High Sierra Semester)|
|Introduction to Philosophy|
|Select one of the following:||3|
|Senior Seminar: Church and Society|
|Senior Seminar: Theology and Social Issues|
|Senior Seminar: Biblical Theology and Ethics|
Beyond core requirements, students in both majors must choose a concentration. Based on a student’s primary interests, the choice of concentration enables the student to begin to prepare for postbaccalaureate work in related ministry fields, and affords the student the opportunity to work in ministry settings that accentuate his/her strengths, abilities, and passions. One concentration must be chosen from the following:
- Church and Pastoral Ministries Practices
- Intercultural Christian Ministries
- Ministry in Urban and Social Service Contexts
- Sports Ministry
- Youth Outreach and Discipleship
MIN 108, Christian Life, Faith, and Ministry, 3 Units
The theological, educational, and social bases for ministry and service are examined. An analysis of the church's responsibility and methods for carrying out the ministry mandate of Jesus is emphasized. Meets the General Education Requirement: Christian Life, Faith, Ministry.
MIN 253, Evangelism and Discipleship, 3 Units
This class develops a biblically informed approach to evangelism and discipleship as a central purpose of the Church. Students explore these purposes in light of Jesus' mission statement, "Go and make disciples of all nations," (Matt. 28:19). This course carefully examines the necessary building blocks to produce an evangelistic, disciple-making church/community with a significant focus on understanding the process of spiritual formation individually and corporately.
MIN 300, Writing 3: Culture and Ministry, 3 Units
This course helps students understand the interplay between cultural awareness and effective ministry. Cultural forces are constantly shifting so emphasis is placed on ethnographic principles and practices as valuable to a minister in order to effectively engage people in various contexts. It will also invest considerable time inside and outside the classroom into enhancing students' written communication as an invaluable tool for expressing their ideas clearly and in a convincing fashion in contemporary cultural contexts. Meets the General Education Requirement: Writing 3: Writing in the Disciplines.
MIN 336, Family Development and Ministry, 3 Units
This course equips students to design and apply practical theology methods and programs that empower the family. Specific focus is placed upon the family in its cultural setting, and the development needs of various family members at particular stages of life.
MIN 350, Mentoring and Small Groups, 3 Units
The theology and practice of mentoring and small group involvement is studied in the context of relational discipleship and spiritual formation. Topics for study include leadership, group formation, group dynamics, small group models and purpose, program development, the range of mentoring possibilities, communication models, and models for spiritual transformation.
MIN 401, Christian Ministry Internship I, 3 Units
This course develops a student's ability to blend Christian theology and Christian practice by integrating classroom learning, hands-on practice, spiritual formation, mentoring, and critical reflection on the practice of the Christian faith. Course work covers: biblical and theological foundations of Christian practice, the context in which the Christian faith is to be practiced, and the dynamic relationship between the two. Students are required to serve an average minimum of 6 hours per week in hands-on field experience. Students must also participate in small groups for reflection, mentoring, and spiritual formation.
MIN 402, Christian Ministry Internship II, 3 Units
This course is a continuation of the first semester and has a similar format in terms of classroom experience, field experience, and small groups. It further develops a student's ability to blend Christian theology and ministry by utilizing a method of reflecting theologically on the practice of Christian faith and facilitating the ability to clearly state and defend one's own theology for Christian ministry. Students are required to serve an average minimum of 8 hours per week in hands-on field experience.
Prerequisite: MIN 401
MIN 417, The Art of Leadership, 3 Units
This course teaches students to critically integrate Christian theology with best leadership practices in church ministry and non-profit ministry environments. The course equips students to create actions and practices that have a positive, transformative Christian impact in the lives of those we serve and those who serve with us. Students will learn to develop these actions and practices in their internships.
Corequisite: MIN 401
MIN 495, Topics in Ministry, 3 Units
This course engages in a focused and intensive study of particular topics of direct relevance and urgency in the practice of Christian ministry and youth ministry. Topics vary from semester to semester, and this course may be taken more than once as topics change.
MIN 496, Senior Seminar: Church and Society, 3 Units
Students use practical theology methods learned in class to create an integrated Christian response to a contemporary social issue. It considers the ethical, spiritual, and community causes and impacts of social issues and teaches students to develop informed Christian responses to them. This course is taught in a seminar format that includes major papers developed over the course of the semester, leading class discussions, and a presentation. Meets the General Education Requirement: Integrative and Applied Learning.
Prerequisite: Senior standing, Writing 3, and completion of the majority of the units required from the Biblical, Theological, and Philosophical Formation category in General Education.
MINC 105, Introduction to Global Vision, 1 Unit
Students are exposed to opportunities for Christian service abroad while gaining an overview of the present progress of the Great Commission. Does not count toward the Christian ministries major.
MINC 110, Introduction to Intercultural Christian Ministries, 3 Units
Students are exposed to intercultural Christian service opportunities while gaining an overview of the present progress of the Great Commission. Requires participation in spring or summer short-term mission experience through the Institute of Outreach Ministries or an APU sponsoring office with final grade 'In Progress' until deadline for service requirement reflection is reached. This course serves as a prerequisite for the Intercultural Christian ministries concentration. Students must complete all course requirements by the first day of the fall semester.
MINC 200, Introduction to Contemporary Christian Ministries, 3 Units
This course exposes students to various ministry contexts and vocations while they begin to form a philosophy and theology of ministry. Emphasis is on the theological, philosophical, and practical viability of current ministry models while identifying unique emphases relevant to particular contexts. Students engage in an assessment of their own gifts, personality traits, and ministry calling in light of exposure to ministry options.
Prerequisite: MIN 108 (may be taken concurrently)
MINC 318, Theology and Practice of Ministry, 3 Units
The life and work of the Christian pastor is studied with attention to the broad range of duties, rituals, and responsibilities for which the contemporary Christian pastor is expected to have competency. Topics for study include administration of sacraments, church finance, staff administration, worship, church boards, pastoral visitation, and evangelism.
MINC 326, Effective Teaching in Christian Education, 3 Units
Students study the principles and procedures involved in effective classroom teaching: philosophies of teaching, methods, the teaching-learning process, motivation, guidance, integration, and evaluation.
MINC 330, Intercultural Ministries, 3 Units
The course provides an understanding of the challenges and opportunities associated with intercultural ministry in and beyond the local church. Biblical, eschatological, missiological, socio-cultural and practical issues are explored with the goal of providing conceptual tools for analyzing, adapting, and creating practical ways to respectfully reach, embrace and engage those from diverse cultural contexts as members of the body of Christ. Meets the General Education Requirement: Intercultural Competence.
MINC 346, Ministry to the City, 4 Units
This course provides the student with a broad introduction to the unique challenges and opportunities for Christian ministry in an urban context with special attention to some of the most effective methods and tools for doing urban ministry. Students are encouraged to reflect on their own lifestyles and future ministry choices in light of the needs of the city and the response of the gospel in meeting human need. Exposure to city life and church-based organizations working for the shalom of the city provide a dynamic context for the various learning activities in this course.
MINC 370, Introduction to Pastoral Care and Counseling, 3 Units
Pastoral counseling as a specialized ministry within the field of pastoral care will be explored didactically and practically in the preparation of persons who plan to do pastoral counseling and pastoral psychology. This course will engage in interdisciplinary examination of the physiological, cultural, theological, and biblical understanding of care and counseling. A survey of counseling theory from an integrative perspective, with attention to particular ministry issues will be incorporated into a practical format in a community setting.
MINC 405, Christian Mission in the 21st Century, 3 Units
This course is an introduction to the biblical, historical, and theological foundations of missions in a contemporary world setting, both globally and locally. The call, context, and preparation for missionary service are examined.
MINC 406, History and Philosophy of Christian Education, 3 Units
The history of educational theory, with emphasis on objective and philosophical problems and biblical bases, is covered in this course.
Prerequisite: WRIT 200
MINC 408, Principles of Preaching, 3 Units
This course offers a study of classical homiletics and a variety of sermonic methodologies. Sound hermeneutical principles in exegesis of Scripture and the worship setting of the sermon with emphasis on the delivery of effective expository sermons in the contemporary world are covered.
MINC 416, Communicating the Gospel, 3 Units
This course assists the student in following Jesus' model of a people "filled with grace and truth" (John 1:14). Special attention is given to writing, speaking, teaching, interpersonal communication, body language, problem solving, and other critical tasks necessary to being a Christian and carrying out the Great Commission.
MINC 420, Suffering: Theological and Practical Perspectives on Disabilities, 3 Units
This course examines theological perspectives to understand the role of suffering in the human experience. Focusing on persons with disabilities, students explore their personal values, gain understanding of bio-psycho-social-spiritual components of disability, access available resources, and develop strategies to help churches/agencies develop inclusive programs.
Prerequisite: 3 units of UBBL and Junior standing
MINC 446, Children's Educational Ministries, 3 Units
Childhood development, the needs of children in contemporary society, and biblical and theological perspectives on children are examined, with an emphasis on discerning the church's role in nurturing spiritual formation in the faith community.
MINC 456, Ministry Organization and Administration, 3 Units
This course examines the process of ordering the ministry of the church or parachurch community for the greatest effectiveness. This order is to be understood theologically as a means of creating the most ideal context possible for the Holy Spirit to minister to and through people. All aspects of strategic planning, church organization, and administration are addressed.
MINC 466, Adult Development and Spiritual Formation, 3 Units
The course examines the process and contexts by which adults mature engaging biblical and theological foundations for adult development and spiritual formation that takes adult characteristics, needs, life-cycle, and learning patterns into consideration.
MINC 467, Spiritual Transformation, 3 Units
The course examines the process and contexts by which persons mature, engaging biblical and theological foundations for spiritual transformation that takes developmental characteristics, needs, life cycles, and learning patterns into consideration. The course emphasizes community and individuals.
Prerequisite: MIN 300, MIN 301, or department consent
MINC 486, Urban Ministry Practicum, 6 Units
The practicum is intended to provide students with a broad understanding of urban life and ministry. The practicum develops a student's ability to interface theory and practice, theology and ministry, by integrating classroom learning, hands-on practice, spiritual formation, mentoring, and critical reflection on the practice of the Christian faith in an urban setting. During the practicum, the student is required to live, work, worship, and study in the city.
MINC 487, Exegeting the City, 3 Units
This course explores the development of a "hermeneutic" for understanding the built environment as a means to engage the city and enhance ministry opportunities. Discussion centers on physical, sensory indicators of community needs and resources. The goal is to more adequately contextualize Christian urban ministry. Topics include community mapping, needs assessment, resource identification, measurement of change, and strategic ministry development. Course work is taught at a graduate level, but undergraduates are welcome.
MINC 497, Readings, 1-4 Units
This is a program of study concentrating on assigned readings, discussions, and writing arranged between, and designed by, a student of upper-division standing and a full-time professor. May be repeated for credit. An independent study fee is assessed for each enrollment in this class.
Prerequisite: WRIT 200
MINC 498, Directed Research, 1-4 Units
This course provides instruction in research design and technique, and gives students experience in the research process. The one-unit expectation encompasses no less than 30 hours of work with accompanying reading, log, writing, and seminar presentation within the department or in a university research symposium. No more than one unit may be used to fulfill preparatory readings requirement. An independent study fee is assessed for each enrollment in this class. May be repeated for credit.
Prerequisite: Junior or Senior Standing
MNCE 310, Practical Theology and Contemporary Issues, 3 Units
Students in this course learn to apply specific methodologies associated with the discipline of practical theology to reflect on and respond in appropriate ways to a contemporary issue, informed by significant theological reflection and cross-disciplinary insight. The specific topic addressed varies each semester based on issues arising in contemporary culture that require careful theological reflection.
MNCE 415, Practical Theology and Vocational Engagement, 3 Units
This capstone course for the cultural engagement minor enhances a student's ability to identify and skillfully utilize principles characteristic of the discipline of practical theology to develop a theologically informed perspective regarding issues related to their chosen major or perceived vocational aspirations. Students engage in a cross-disciplinary research project in order to demonstrate their ability to relate methodologies and perspectives associated with practical theology to a specific issue or experience they will encounter in the context of their professional lives.
MINY 172, Foundations of Youth Outreach and Discipleship I, 1 Unit
This course provides an introduction to YoungLife, as well as a theological and practical foundation for students interested in Young Life leadership. Students investigate the theology of the incarnation and evangelism, and begin to develop a personal theology of ministry. Site visits to local schools and YoungLife clubs, coupled with relevant readings, will expand students' understanding of the complexities of current adolescent culture.
MINY 174, Foundations of Youth Outreach and Discipleship II, 2 Units
Building upon MINY 172, this course further equips YoungLife leaders by challenging students to engage various theological topics, promoting their own understanding and spiritual formation. Students will develop the ability to articulate their own faith, as well as the theological foundations informing it. Following the YoungLife format, students will construct and deliver several club talks. Practical issues such as time management, logistics, legal issues, and dealing with difficult adolescent/family issues will be addressed.
Prerequisite: MINY 172
MINY 203, Introduction to Contemporary Youth and Family Ministries, 3 Units
This course exposes students to conceptualizations of local church youth and family ministries in a variety of forms, in an effort to engage students in the process of beginning the formation of their own philosophy and theology of youth and family ministries. Emphasis is on the theological, philosophical, and practical viability of current ministry models, while identifying unique strategies relevant to particular contexts. Students take part in an assessment of their own gifts, personality traits, and ministry calling in light of exposure to ministry options.
Prerequisite: MIN 108 (may be taken concurrently)
MINY 226, Studying and Teaching the Bible, 3 Units
This course helps students develop skills in biblical exegesis and teaching biblical principles to youth. Emphasis is placed upon evaluating students' ability to teach the Bible in settings both inside and outside the classroom.
MINY 301, Adolescent Development and Family Ministry, 3 Units
This course equips students to design and apply practical theology methods and programs that empower the family. Specific focus is placed upon the behavioral characteristics and the social development of adolescents, including identity, cognitive, moral, emotional, and spiritual development, and faith formation.
MINY 305, Integration of Faith and Sports, 3 Units
This course examines biblical, theological, philosophical, and psychological foundations of sports ministry. The course includes a brief history and philosophy of sports ministry, including successful and unsuccessful models beginning with New Testament models for using sports in ministry to the present formation of the National Association of Church Sports and Recreational Ministries (CRSM). Theology foundations include a theology of competition, victory, unity, character formation, and sportsmanship.
MINY 320, Organization and Administration of a Sports Ministry, 3 Units
This course provides students with the practical and theoretical resources to be an effective leader of sports ministry programs in church and parachurch settings. Students are provided with academic experiences both inside and outside the classroom to be proficient in program development and implementation, budgeting, goal setting, ministry evaluation, and staffing.
Prerequisite: MIN 108
MINY 400, Christian Values and Human Sexuality, 3 Units
This course involves an interdisciplinary examination of physiological, sociocultural, psychological, and theological bases of human behavior with attention devoted to student's development of a personal perspective toward sexuality that integrates Christian values and moral integrity. Students learn to assess and understand an adolescent's sexual develoment, problems, and issues that relate to sexological and moral development.
MINY 403, Adolescent Issues and Intervention, 3 Units
This course introduces the student to the basic skills and practice of counseling adolescents. The course serves as counseling "first-aid", meaning that students learn basic helping skills but do not qualify as professional counselors. Students are exposed to counseling issues and problems that grow out of the development process, disorders that begin with/are unique to adolescence, and intervention, prevention, and referral strategies. Students also examine a philosophy of counseling from a practical theology and biblical perspective.
Prerequisite: MINY 301
MINY 451, Sports Ministry Field Experience, 3 Units
This course integrates theories and praxis learned in course study with hands-on leadership experiences while under the supervision of an APU professor and ministry professionals. Students serve in a sports ministry setting (either church or mission agency) at least 72 hours during the semester while also participating in a small group to facilitate reflection, mentoring, and growth. For the Sports Concentration, this course must be taken before senior year.
PHIL 301, Practical Ethics, 3 Units
In this course, students both (1) learn the fundamental theories and principles that influence contemporary ethical discourse, and (2) develop the ability to apply these theories and principles to contemporary moral problems. Meets the General Education Requirement: Civic Knowledge and Engagement.
THEO 303, Theology and the Christian Life, 3 Units
The course provides an introduction to the doctrines of the Christian Church, focusing on the Christian life and its relationship to theology. The course approaches theology using an inductive method in the Wesleyan tradition, helping the student learn to think theologically from the Scriptures, orthodox ecumenical tradition, experience, and reason. Meets the General Education Requirement: Theology.
VOC 200, Exploring Vocation, 3 Units
This course seeks to clarify the assumptions that undergird the Interdisciplinary Major by introducing students to the concept of vocation from a Christian perspective. By developing a theology of vocation, students will see how God calls Christian disciples to engage in work, across the domains, in individualized, ethical, and strategic ways. The class prepares students to engage their academic study with an eye to becoming well-prepared for faithful service in the field of work to which God is calling them. Meets the General Education Requirement: Civic Knowledge and Engagement.
WRIT 200, Writing 2: Writing for Christian Practice, 3 Units
In this course, students will critically assess the writing styles, questions, and arguments of one or more disciplines in order to better understand what is considered persuasive and effective writing in those fields. Students will respond to and evaluate writing, methodologies, ideas, and arguments and practice rhetorical strategies being employed in their own field. Meets the General Education Requirement: Writing 2: Genre, Evidence, and Persuasion.
Associate Dean for Curricular Assessment and Strategic Initiatives
John Ragsdale, Ph.D.
Matthew Elofson, Ph.D.
Director, Youth Ministry Program
Cheryl Crawford, Ph.D.
Cheryl Crawford, Ph.D.
Matthew Elofson, Ph.D.
Kirsten Oh, Ph.D.
Paul Shrier, Ph.D.
Michael Bruner, Ph.D.
Gregory Moder, D.Min.
Jennifer Buck, Ph.D.