Communication in Christian Ministry – COMS 542

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 08/30/2021

Course Description

A practical and theoretical course designed to strengthen communication competencies of students in the Christian ministry environment. Concepts of communication theory are applied to ministry contexts.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.

Rationale

In is important that effective communication skills be used in the ministry context. Specific concepts of theory will be applied from communication theory in general, interpersonal communication, small group communiation, listening, language use, nonverbal communication, leadership, public speaking, and organizational communication in the ministry contexts of personal evangelism, small group communication settings, public speaking settings, and work in the ministry based organization.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify and explain the relationship that exists between effective ministry and effective communication in ministry contexts.
  2. Identify where they are spiritually and apply this knowledge to communicating their spiritual journey to others in a dyadic situation.
  3. Classify effective methods of communication to use when presenting the Gospel of Christ to different people.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module 1: Week 1.

Discussions (2)

Students will be required to post at least two discussions during the semester.  The first discussion is an introduction of themselves to the rest of the class worth 10 points.  The second discussion comes as a take-away on what was learned through participation in the small group problem solving activity in week 6 and is worth 20 points.  Both discussions must be completed by students and includes an initial posting of 400 words and two responses of 200 words each. 

Reflection Papers Assignment (4)

Students will write four 3-page reflection papers based on the reading assignments. The topics are as follows: Personality-based Evangelism, Falling In Love With God’s Word, The Critical Journey, and Preaching That Connects. These papers will be due throughout the duration of the course.

Inductive Bible Study Preparation Assignment

Students will select a passage of scripture and prepare notes for an inductive Bible study. This assignment will walk the student through the process of framing scriptural context, analyzing key words, researching other scholarly materials, internalizing the passage, and actualizing scripture in order to change behavior. This assignment is due by the end of Module 2: Week 2.

Research Paper Assignment

Students will write a 10-page paper that addresses the question: How can I reach people for Christ who have a post-modern mindset? Each student will read ten total articles from the D.A. Carson text and use these writings as a base for the discussion in the paper. This assignment is due by the end of Module 3: Week 3.

Small Group Assessment Assignment

For this 6-page paper, students will be reviewing a video-tape of a Bible study. Students will be categorizing communication behaviors, both verbal and non-verbal, and come to conclusions about the role each plays. Goals for improving communication will be developed. This assignment is due by the end of Module 4: Week 4.

Peer Interview: Sharing Your Spiritual Journey Assignment

Students will take turns interviewing one other classmate regarding their spiritual journey. The interview will involve answering questions about spiritual experiences and future goals, as well as where the student is currently in his or her spiritual development. The interviewer will compile his or her notes into a 1-page summary for submission. This assignment is due by the end of Module 5: Week 5.

Spiritual Growth Evaluation Assignment

Students will write a 3–5-page analysis which summarizes their personal spiritual journey and includes a reflection on the peer interview. The paper will analyze the student’s level of self-disclosure, comfort zone, and preferred communication techniques. It also requires the student to consider whether or not the peer interview could serve as a tool for spiritual growth and development if converted into a long-term accountability scenario. This assignment is due by the end of Module 5: Week 5.

Group Project: A Church In Transition Assignment

Beginning in Module/Week 3, students will take on the role of member of an ad hoc committee commissioned by the church in order to develop a five year plan in which they address where the church will be in five years. The group will also create a methodology with a time-line on how to get there. Using the Group Discussion Board, the committee will analyze the problem(s) presented, identify solutions, and create a plan for implementing the best answer to the church’s dilemma. By the end of Module 6: Week 6, one representative will submit a 5-page summary of the group’s ideas and decisions.

Informative Speech Assignment

Students will give an 8–10-minute informative speech in front of a small group from church or in front of the congregation. The student will record the speech with a digital video recorder and post it on YouTube for the instructor to view. As a visual aid, students will also create a PowerPoint presentation to accompany the speech. Students will also provide an outline and reference page that includes at least six sources. This assignment is due by the end of Module 7: Week 7.

Persuasive Speech Assignment

Students will give an 8–10-minute persuasive speech in front of a small group from church or in front of the congregation. The student will record the speech with a digital video recorder and post it on YouTube for the instructor to view. As a visual aid, students will also create a PowerPoint presentation to accompany the speech. The assignment requires an outline and reference page with at least 6 sources. The purpose of this speech is to help people recognize a need in the church, community, etc., and persuade a certain course of action within the church to fulfill that need. This assignment is due by the end of Module 8: Week 8.

Quizzes (2)

Students will take a Quiz: Midterm Exam and Quiz: Final Exam over selected reading from the Wallace text. The exams will be open-book and open-notes, containing fifty true/false and multiple-choice questions.  Students will have 90 minutes to complete each exam.