MASF Course Descriptions

APPL 512 Worship: Theology and Praxis (3 credits)
This course examines the biblical origins, theological foundation, historical development and contemporary trends in Christian worship. Students will be given opportunities for planning and leading worship and performing Christian ordinances.

APPL 695 MASF Practicum (6 credits)
A six-credit hour practicum will be designed to enable students to gain both practical skill and vocational discernment. Practica may be completed in a variety of settings, including but not restricted to congregational ministry, retreat settings, and the public work of the church. Students wishing to focus on learning to accompany persons in the ministry of spiritual direction will be encouraged to complete their practica in a context that focuses on this role.
Prerequisites: CSF 500 and a total of at least 24 credits either completed or in progress. Prerequisite or Co-requisite: CSF 610. In addition, if the practicum is in spiritual direction, SPIR 588 is a prerequisite.

BIBL 503 Reading & Speaking the Text (3 credits)
This is an introductory course in which the student is exposed to the basic steps and some of the tools and methodology for interpreting the Bible. The course emphasizes hands-on experience in exegetical method. At the same time some of the preliminary questions of hermeneutics are also addressed.

BIBL 512 New Testament I: Jesus and the Gospels (3 credits)
Within the Christian Church and secular society we see renewed controversy concerning Jesus. One’s perception of Jesus is contingent on which sources one views as genuine. The course starts with a survey of the non-biblical sources for the life, ministry and teaching of Jesus. It then provides an historical overview of the most influential interpreters of Jesus. With this background, the student is prepared for a detailed study of the four New Testament Gospels. While attention is given to the first century, the focus is on the contemporary relevance of Jesus’ ministry and teaching for the life of the individual and church.
Prerequisite: BIBL 503

CSF 500 Awakening to the Inward Journey (6 credits)
Spiritual formation is the process of being formed by the Holy Spirit through God into the likeness of Christ. It involves both an inward journey of a deepening life with God and the outward expression of that life in compassion. This course will lay a foundation for the inward journey through focusing on biblical movements in relation to one’s personal story, Christian spiritual formation through the ages, self-understanding and practices that cultivate God-attentiveness.

CSF 600/CSF 610 Living in the Outward Journey (6 or 9 credits respectively)
Relationality is at the heart of God and thus the heart of Christian spirituality. We do not become spiritually mature without others. Christian community within which and through which we live out the spiritual life is a reflection of our relationship with God and others. Ours is a shared journey. As we willingly open ourselves to the transformative movement of the love of God, we open ourselves to the world around us. The inward/outward spiritual experience is a participation in Jesus’ incarnational presence, through the Spirit, giving flesh to God’s compassionate love of humanity and all creation. The outward journey takes into consideration the persons we are, our interests, our personality, and our unique relationship with God and weaves that uniqueness into the fabric of community, the people of God. Together we are entrusted with the challenge of embodying the values and vision of God’s kingdom. The Spirit of God invites us to be an attentive and responsive presence as we listen for and respond to the guidance of that “still small voice” guiding our journey together; a journey that promotes and establishes healing and hope, compassion and justice, peace and reconciliation, in the world … on earth, as it is in heaven.
Prerequisite: CSF 500

FORM 500 Character and Call I (3 credits)
The essential foundation of Christian ministry is one’s “character and call.” Skills, knowledge, ministry practices and spiritual gifts are built on this essential and personal core. The purpose of these course is to assist students in discerning their call to vocational Christian ministry and to explore with them the essential spiritual, familial, personality, emotional and character issues that enable a lifetime of faithfulness and enjoyment of Christian ministry. As such, the course serves to focus and strengthen the student in pastoral ethics. Our learning will be highly personal, dialectic and discovery focused, where more than academic competency is required.

HIST 503 Historical Insights for Contemporary Issues (3 credits)
A survey of the history of Christianity from the end of the New Testament era (ca. 100 C.E.) to the present through an examination of both primary and secondary texts with an emphasis on Christian theology, spirituality, ethics, institutional developments, and the interaction between culture and faith, in a global context.

SPIR 588 Introduction to Spiritual Direction (3 credits)
Spiritual Direction is the simple gift of offering to another person the gentle but tenacious encouragement to open oneself fully to God’s loving presence and to co-discern God’s action in every aspect of life. In receiving spiritual direction, we learn to open our hearts more deeply in trust and surrender. Spiritual direction provides a safe and yet challenging place where our story can be honoured as the raw material in which we learn to discern the signs of God drawing us into the intimacy of loving union and intimacy with God. Through spiritual direction we also learn to follow the Spirit’s guidance as we discover how to integrate and express God’s presence in our everyday choices.
Prerequisite: CSF 500; Prerequisite or Co-requisite: CSF 610.

SPIR 690 Leading Spiritual Formation Ministries (3 credits)
In this course, students will gain experience and knowledge in designing, leading and evaluating spiritual formation ministries. Particular attention will be given to the context of each student’s anticipated ministry context.
Prerequisites: CSF 500 and a total of at least 24 credits either completed or in progress. Co-requisite: CSF 610.

THEO 520 Doctrinal Heritage of the Church (3 credits)
Effective Christian pastoral ministry demands that we live and minister “theologically,” that is, that we view life and ministry through the lens of Christian commitment. To do so requires a solid theological foundation consisting of an informed understanding of the core convictions that we share as Christians, from which we draw implications for living. This course surveys the central Christian doctrines as set forth in the biblical message and taught in the church throughout its history, and views them in the context of the contemporary world in which God calls us to live and minister. In so doing, the course seeks to help participants develop expertise as theologically informed Christian ministers who can connect stated beliefs with life and ministry.