Practical Theology

Iliff School of Theology

IST 2080 Practical Theology

Winter Quarter 2020 (residential: R 1:00-4:30 PM; Iliff 201)

Instructor: Rev. Dr. Rubén Arjona

Course Description

This course explores models of practical theological reflection and methods of reflective professional practice as frameworks for religious leadership in the variety of contexts in which students will work. Students will be introduced to disciplined modes of embodying the integration of theory and practice that allow them to place their coursework across the curriculum into regular conversation with their practice as religious leaders and ministry professionals in a variety of institutional and cultural contexts.

Learning Goals. Students who complete this course will be able to:

  1. Identify and evaluate several contemporary methods and approaches to practical theology.
  2. Articulate their understanding of practical theology and identify and assess their own gifts, strengths, and growing edges within the field.
  3. Locate their own particular scholarly and practical interests within the field of practical theology.
  4. Demonstrate beginning competence in theological reflection, interdisciplinary study, and intercultural capacity.

Degree Learning Goal

Theology and Religious Practices (PR): engage in analysis of contemporary religious traditions and institutions in order to assess, design, and perform meaningful leadership practices with sensitivity to contextual realities and relationships ( Master’s Student Handbook , 2016-2017, p. 5).


Required books:*

Dykstra, R. C. (2018). Finding Ourselves Lost: Ministry in the Age of Overwhelm. Eugene, OR:  Cascade Books.

Lee, B. (2013). Transforming Congregations through Community: Faith Formation from the Seminary to the Church. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox.

Miller-McLemore, B. J., ed. (2012). The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Practical Theology. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

* The required books are available through our library as ebooks. Some restrictions apply. If you rather buy any or all of these books, they are all available as hard copies or as ebooks.

Additional readings will be available on Canvas or electronically through our library.

Hard copies of the complete syllabus will be distributed in class.