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Students at commencement

Teaching Congregations program outcomes


Teaching Congregations is designed to help you develop skills and competencies essential for work as an ordained pastor. We hope that you will grow in the following set of traits and characteristics as you work with your mentor pastor and congregation. This list is not meant to be limiting or definitive, so we encourage you to think of other skills you would like to develop as you consider your learning goals each semester.

  • Developing pastoral identity and beginning to move into the role as pastor
  • Sense of God's mission and presence in life and ministry
  • Capacity to engage others in conversation about theology, faith, and life
  • Sense of God's mission and presence in congregation
  • Deep listening to context and individuals
  • Servant leadership
  • Humility and resilience
  • Sustaining teamwork with colleagues
  • Connecting coursework to congregational ministry
  • Tending to personal life and health; keeping family healthy
  • Tending to own spiritual life

Areas of ministry

Keeping these in mind as you develop your learning goals for each semester, feel free to consult the lists ofministry areas mentioned below. These lists are not meant to be limiting or definitive, so we encourage you to think and work outside of these areas as you choose.

Pastoral care

  • Visitation at homes and hospitals, places of work, schools, etc
  • Pre-marital counseling


  • Council meetings
  • Committee meetings
  • Staff meetings
  • Budget


  • Preaching
  • Planning liturgy
  • Assisting minister
  • Intercessor
  • Baptism/funeral/wedding planning


  • Adult forums
  • Confirmation
  • Sunday school
  • Bible study


  • Youth group activities
  • Men's/women's groups
  • Other groups
  • Activities in the congregation's rhythm and life


  • Explore demographics
  • Neighborhood meetings
  • Outreach services in neighborhood, i.e., food shelves, homeless shelters, etc


  • Spiritual discipline and nurturing
  • Text study
Looking For Christian Public Leader? Teaching Congregations transitioned to Christian Public Leader at the end of the 2013 – 2014 academic year. In 2014 - 2015, Teaching Congregations will be offered only to students completing their graduation requirements as per the distributive curriculum. This will remain a non-credit degree requirement. Students and supervisors should be in touch with Contextual Learning at