Thomas G. Rogers—Projects

A current project is to continue to develop a relatively new, required course in the PLTS M.Div. curriculum: “Public Ministry: Needs and Assessments.” This is a pre-internship course designed to introduce students to a variety of aspects of ministry not specifically covered in other core seminary courses. For example, topics include: Roles Pastors Assume in Congregations; Church Boards as Spiritual Leaders; Teambuilding; Structuring Meetings (Roberts Rules of Order); Leadership Practices; Financial Church Management; Motivation; Financial Statements & Cash Control; Working with Volunteers; Issues Related to Employee vs. Self-employed Status; Fundamental Communication Strategies; Federal/State Reporting; Listening; Financial Reviews (Audits); Giving Feedback; The ELCA as Institutional Context for Ministry; Dynamics of Stress; Church Governance (Polity); Managing Stress; Professional Ethics; Decision Making; Boundaries for Ministers; Connecting Values to Work; Evangelism; Coaching; Natural Church Development; Mentoring; Introducing and Moving Through Change; Time/Priority Management; Managing Conflict

Goals for the course are 1) to provide students with an overview and some best practices for each of these aspects of ministry and 2) to give students an opportunity to do self assessment and identify “further work needed” area(s) that can be targeted on internship, their 4th year of study, and beyond.

I am fortunate to have access to working with some cutting edge thinkers and practitioners in the field of leadership and management. I have been invited by the College of Continuing Education (California State University, Sacramento) to serve as a faculty coordinator for an executive “Leadership Training Program” and a “Management Training Program” that CCE/CSUS developed for two departments of California state government. I am taking advantage of the opportunity to facilitate programs with the California Department of Transportation and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation in both northern and southern California.

Many aspects of the leadership and management that are addressed in these training programs are very applicable to what is also needed for church professionals. Consequently, I am able to incorporate much of what I am learning from these resources into the seminary’s course on “Public Ministry: Needs and Assessments.”