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My Fall 2013 Required Textbooks at Bethel Seminary for Discipleship, Evangelism, and Leadership courses

Here are the textbooks I am requiring for my three Ministry Leadership (ML) courses this fall at Bethel Seminary (St. Paul, MN). I am teaching each of these courses this three times this year and I am teaching each in both traditional format as well as in an online or intensive format. I would love to have you. Registration begins today: July 1st, 2013. 


ML 506: Discipleship in Community

Parrett, Gary A., and S. Steve Kang. Teaching the Faith, Forming the Faithful: A Biblical Vision for Education in the Church. Downers Grove, IL.: IVP Academic, 2009. 

This is a thoughtful theological treatment of teaching and theological formation in the church--drawing on the richness of the literature in Christian education, social science, and spiritual formation. Parrett is known as a superb person and teacher as well as (along with Kang) being cognizant of the need to be sensitive and thoughtful about diversity in the church. This is the preeminent text today for helping pastors grasp the spiritual formation task while equipping them for teaching effectiveness. Too many pastors know nothing beyond preaching and thus try to bring the lecture method into all settings including small groups and classrooms and are oblivious of the challenges and rewards of seeing adults, youth, children really learn and grow. 


Bonhoeffer, Dietrich. Life Together and Prayerbook of the Bible. Vol. 5. Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works. Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Fortress, 1996.

Bonhoeffer's Life Together is both a classic warning against pride in ministry leadership while also being an inspirational description of a passionate, creative, ecumenical, emergency attempt to form pastors for ministry. It is a classic and it only gets richer as one learns more about Bonhoeffer's life and his theological work from the beginning of his career to the end of it which reinforces his ideas here.


ML 507: Missional Outreach and Evangelism

Bowen, John P. Evangelism for "Normal" People: Good News for Those Looking for a Fresh Approach. Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Fortress, 2002. 

Bowen, with years of experience in post-Christian university contexts with Inter-Varsity university ministry as well as steeped in the biblical and theological thoughtfulness of evangelical Anglicanism, describes the process of inviting outsiders into Christian community. This textbook in evangelism by a leading professor of evangelism sketches the biblical and theological case behind virtually all of the thriving contemporary approaches to church and ministry today.


Keller, Timothy J. The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism. New York: Dutton, 2008. 

Keller, one of our most articulate theologically-interested church leaders is also one of the best examples of an effective evangelists in 2013. Here he plies his craft--knocking down objections to the Christian faith and making his case for it so as to make intellectually plausible the winsome life with Christ which he hopes Christians live out before their non-believing neighbors. 


Newbigin, Lesslie. The Gospel in a Pluralist Society. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1989.

Newbigin, in his life and in this book, demonstrate the full scope of sophisticated philosophical reflection on epistemology in a pluralist world, strong biblical sensibilities, as well as an emphasis on the sociological demonstration of the gospel in the church. In Newbigin, we see a first-rate apologist, academic, missionary, pastor, and leader. 


ML 523: Introduction to Transformational Leadership

Northouse, Peter G. Leadership: Theory and Practice. 6th ed., Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 2013. 

Both of my colleagues teaching leadership at Bethel Seminary, Mark McCloskey and Justin Irving, also require this classic leadership textbook which familiarizes students with the latest in leadership theory and modeling.  


Wren, J. Thomas. The Leader's Companion: Insights on Leadership Through the Ages. New York: Free Press, 1995. 

This books provides readings from a variety of figures throughout history on leadership--fleshing out the analytical contemporary models and theories in the Northouse volume. 


Yoder, John Howard. Body Politics: Five Practices of the Christian Community Before the Watching World. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1992.

This 80-page gem by genius theologian and ethicist John Howard Yoder gives a compelling description of what the church should look like. A leader in the church has the task for wrestling with how this vision compares with the status quo. We'll start the course with this to catalyze our reflection.