Tuesday, May 19, 2009


DMin Module

November 16-20, 2009

Singapore Bible College
Lecturer: Danny Goh, PhD
Course Description

The work of Christian ministry has many emotional hazards. These would be examined as they pertain to a pastor’s emotional health. This course is designed to assist pastors (missionaries and other full-time workers) in identifying these psycho-emotional issues as well as the areas of potential weakness, temptation and vulnerability, and to provide resources for dealing with these concerns and issues.

Attention would be given to aspects of the minister’s personal and family life, role expectations and conflicts, anger and depression, guilt and shame, stress and burnout, self-esteem and sexuality. The minister is encouraged to exercise self-care as a means of building his/her resources and reserves, and to learn to set “margins” and boundaries so that he/she can survive and thrive for the long haul in the ministry.

Course Requirements

1. Readings. Students are required to read the standard 3000-page DMin course requirement from the Bibliography. The books in bold are required reading; however, if you have read them already you are allowed to “skip” them but must report that you have read them before. These will not count for the 3000-page requirement. Proceed to read the other books. Specify the books you have read (and the number of pages in each book). Submit a record for all the books read on a one-page paper. Due: Jan 31, 2010. [10%]

2. Reflection Papers. Write a 5-7 page reflection paper each on the following books: (a) The Art of Pastoring by David Hansen, (b) Going the Distance by Peter Brain, and (c) The Soul of Leadership by Ruth Barton. Due: Jan 31, 2010

Note: These papers are meant to be personal reflections and constructive critiques rather than a summary of the book. [10% each]

3. A Research Paper: Write a research paper on one of the following topics: Dealing with … (a) Depression, (b) Anger, (c) Guilt and Shame, (d) Anxiety, (e) Loneliness, (f) Sexual Issues, (g) Low Self-Esteem, (h) Codependency or (i) Stress and Burnout. (15-20 pages). Due: Feb 15, 2010. Note: Gear the paper to a pastoral, psycho-emotional and personal angle. [30%]

4. A Personal Paper on “My Path for Personal Growth and Ministry.” This paper ought to be drawn from personality assessments (TJTA, MBTI, DISC, etc.) that you may have done as well as from the lecture notes. You should also integrate your personal findings from the book, The Dark Side of Leadership by Gary McIntosh. In this paper you are to give an honest and realistic appraisal of yourself (personality) with its strengths and weaknesses, potentials and vulnerabilities, and chart a path or course of action to harness your potentials and passions as well as how to overcome your “dark sides” (weaknesses and vulnerabilities). (12-15 pages). Due: Feb 15, 2010. [30%]

Note: As this is a highly personal paper, it will be kept confidential.


1. Anderson, Fil. 2004. Running on empty. Waterbrook Press.

2. Anderson, Ray. 2001. The shape of practical theology. IVP.

3. Barna, George. 1993. Today’s pastors. Regal Books

4. Barton, Ruth. 2008. Strengthening the soul of your leadership. IVP.

5. Brain, Peter. 2004. Going the distance. Matthias Media.

6. Galli Richard, Galli Mark, & Ortberg John. 1994. Dangers, toils & snares. Multomah.

7. Galloway, John. 2003. Ministry loves company. WJK Press.

8. Greenfield, Guy. 2001. The wounded minister. Baker Books.

9. Hansen, David. 1994. The art of pastoring: Ministry without all the answers. IVP.

10. Kouzes, James, & Posner, Barry. 2002. Leadership: The challenge. Jossey-Bass.

11. Lamb, Jonathon. 2006. Integrity: Leading with God watching. IVP

12. Lee, Cameron, & Balswick, Jack. 1989. Life in the glasshouse. Zondervan.

13. London, HB, & Wiseman, Neil. 1993. Pastors at risk. Victor Books.

14. McBurney, Louis. 1986. Counselling Christian workers. Word Books.

15. McIntosh, Gary, & Rima, Samuel. 1997. Overcoming the dark side of leadership. Baker

16. Merrill, Dean. 1985. Clergy couples in crisis. Word Books

17. Nouwen, Henri. 1989. In the name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian leadership. Crossroad.

18. Peterson, Eugene. 1987. Working the angles: The shape of pastoral integrity. Eerdsman.

19. Peterson, Eugene, & Dawn, Marva. 1999. The unnecessary pastor: Eerdsman.

20. Prior, Kenneth. 1990. Perils of leadership. IVP.

21. Rima, Samuel. 2000. Leading from the inside out: The art of self-leadership. Baker.

22. Sciacca, Fran. 1992. Wounded saints. Baker.

23. Shelley, Marshall. 1988. The healthy, hectic home. Word Books.

24. Svenson, Richard, 1992. Margins. NavPress

25. Svenson, Richard, 1998. The overload syndrome. NavPress

26. Ulstein, Stefan.1993. Pastors [off the record]. IVP

27. Wilson, Todd, & Hoffman, Brad. 2007. Preventing ministry failure. IVP

The Emotional Health of a Pastor
November 16-20, 2009

1. Ministry Demands & Hazards

1. Why is ministry so tough today?

2. The unique crises of the ministry
3. Problems arising from the nature of the ministry
4. Problems arising from the personality of the pastor

2. Roles & Expectations: Pressures & Conflicts

3. Honesty, Authenticity & Integrity

4. Theory & Theology of Emotions

5. The Pastor & Stress/Burnout

6. The Pastor & Depression

7. The Pastor & Anger

8. The Pastor & Assertiveness

9. The Pastor & Guilt/Shame

10. The Pastor & Loneliness

11. The Pastor & His/Her Sexuality

12. The Pastor & His/Her Marriage/Family

13. The Pastor & His/Her Spirituality

14. The Pastor & Self-Care

15. Other Concerns & Issues

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