Learning to shepherd from the Good Shepherd
There are many ideas about what a pastor should be: some view the pastor as the CEO of a corporation, while others see them as the one who gets paid to do the work of the ministry. At Lancaster Bible College, we believe in training up pastors to become shepherd leaders. Here’s what we know to be true: the gospel is the only hope of humanity. God’s church is God’s plan to reach the world with the hope of the gospel. That’s why we need pastors.
LBC’s pastoral ministry degree is grounded in the authority of Scripture and places a strong emphasis developing church leaders to become faithful pastors that lead fruitful churches. From a biblical foundation, students learn about the nature of ministry, discipleship and leadership within the context of the local church. Through our robust curriculum that integrates Bible classes, general education courses, classes focused on the science and art of expository preaching and internship and practicum opportunities that give students a chance to engage in local church leadership and development, our students graduate prepared to enter into ministry. Students who study pastoral ministry at LBC also learn about the importance pastoral counseling and care within the context of the church, all grounded in the example of Jesus and relying on empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Through careful training, you will learn how to apply the Scriptures to the problems of life and to extend loving care to your members. All of our classes are taught with an emphasis on engaging the present culture with knowledge of historic orthodoxy and practice. Students who complete this program will earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in both Pastoral Ministry and biblical studies.
“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” – Ephesians 4:11-12
Carl Edwards is a proud graduate of LBC’s Church & Ministry Leadership department and currently serves the director of Cross Connection Youth Center in New Holland, Pennsylvania. “Handling the word is very important. I want to do justice to the text,” said Edwards of his ministry and education at LBC. “That was one of the biggest things to me – learning how to read the word, learning how to study it, looking it as literal text and applying it. Next is the relational side of ministry – that’s where disciples are made. LBC modeled that for me by having people who poured themselves into me.”
Dr. Matthew Lynskey
Director of Pastoral Studies
“All good shepherds are in the one Shepherd; they are one. They feed the sheep, and Christ feeds them.” Augustine, “On Pastors”Read Bio
Dr. Rick Rhoads
Chair of the Church & Ministry Leadership Department
“Who we are and how we live together is what we teach.” — Dr. RhoadsRead Bio
This introductory course orients students to the Pastoral Ministry program. Through mining biblical principles from 2 Corinthians, students explore the biblical, theological, and practical foundations of pastoral ministry. As they engage biblical wisdom, historical exemplars, and contemporary voices, students will explore their own calling to pastoral ministry, clarify the basic duties involved in the vocation, internalize essential attitudes to faithfully embrace this vocation, and grow familiar with the ethos and curriculum of the Pastoral Ministry program.
This course explores the evangelistic undertaking of pastoral ministry set within the backdrop of God’s worldwide mission. Rooting the discussion in a biblical-theological study of the book of Acts, this course will trace the global progress of the gospel from the nascent years of the early church, through the subsequent centuries of church history, and within the contemporary missiological scene. In particular, this course will help students set the pastoral vocation within a global and local context as they build a biblical theology of mission, fortify their understanding of the gospel, and come to terms with the centrality of the church in God’s cosmic purposes.
This course exposes students to the importance of being meaningfully integrated in the life of a local church community as a foundation for vocational service. Students will be challenged in character formation, ministry competency, practical theology, and community participation through active involvement in the life of a local church, meaningfully engagement in mentoring relationships, and regular rhythms of self-reflection.
This course highlights the catechetical duty of pastoral ministry in establishing believers, families, and churches in the essentials of the faith. Through a selective biblical-theological examination of Paul’s prison epistles (i.e., Colossians and Ephesians), students will identity the core elements of Christian moral formation, survey general trends of Christian education in church history, evaluate biblical principles of discipleship in light of contemporary learning theory, and pay special attention to discipleship as a churchwide community enterprise. Specifically, this course underscores maturity as the overarching goal of Christian instruction.
This course orients students to the homiletical task of pastoral ministry: rightly handling the Word of God. By means of constructing a biblical theology of preaching focused in the Book of Hebrews, students will understand the role of preaching and teaching within the framework of God’s greater purposes, expand upon their skills in biblical exegesis and textual exposition, and develop basic competencies in sermon design and delivery. With the addition of a preaching lab, students will gain experience in preaching sermons, benefit from timely and evaluative feedback, and discover the importance of sermon assessment in a charitable and interactive class setting.
This course enables students to be actively and meaningfully involved in church life and ministry as an emerging pastoral leader. Students will be challenged in character formation, ministry competency, practical theology, and community participation through active involvement in the life of a local church, meaningfully engagement in mentoring relationships, regular rhythms of self-reflection, and exposure to ministry responsibilities.
Greek Grammar I is a course of study in the fundamental morphology and syntax of Koine Greek, the language of the New Testament. This course emphasizes vocabulary, the form and function of basic Greek nouns, and the form and function of basic Greek verbs.
Greek Grammar II is a sophomore level language elective study of Koine Greek. Building upon LAN 211 Greek Grammar I, the grammar and syntax of the Koine Greek verb system is learned; basic grammar and syntax of nouns and adjectives is reviewed; a foundational vocabulary list is memorized.
This course examines the caretaking responsibility of pastoral ministry set within the ministry context of the local church. Reflecting on Paul’s own efforts of pastoral care through the lens of his Thessalonian correspondence, students will identify the foundational elements that comprise a basic theology of pastoral caretaking, examine the historical development of shepherding care, assess various types and approaches of pastoral counseling, and develop basic skills of a holistic caring ministry. This course will encourage the importance of the self-care of the pastor, boundaries of life and ministry balance, and mobilization of the church community in the care process.
This course equips students to skillfully demonstrate pastoral aptitudes by implementing such skills in hands-on, real-life ministry situations. Students will be challenged in character formation, ministry competency, practical theology, and community participation through active involvement in the life of a local church, meaningfully engagement in mentoring relationships, regular rhythms of self-reflection, and practical experience in pastoral responsibilities.
A development of the grammar skills acquired in Greek Grammar I/II. Advanced Greek Grammars are studies and application of the grammatical discussion is made by applying exegetical methods to selected sections of the Greek New Testament.
Learning the elements of the biblical exegetical process that are foundational for exposition of the text is the focus of this course. Topics include text criticism, lexical studies, discourse and literary analysis.
This course underscores leadership dynamics of pastoral ministry with a particular consideration for leadership that supports sustainable church ministry and accelerates gospel expansion. Based upon an investigation of the Pastoral Epistles, students will secure leadership wisdom through Paul’s final correspondence with his emerging leaders. This course collates biblical principles of authority together with an exploration of various leadership positions and approaches throughout the history of the church. During the tour of this class, students will build a biblical theology and philosophy of leadership, develop basic habits for sustainable leadership, reflect on their own leadership capacities and tendencies, and connect leadership principles to real life scenarios.
This course surveys the liturgical function of pastoral ministry in the context of the local church. Launching a biblical theology of worship from Paul’s instructions in 1 Corinthians, students will consider the pastoral vocation of leading God’s people from a doxological perspective, valuing the liturgical calling of pastoral ministry as the communal reenactment of the kerygmatic drama which refreshes, enlivens, and establishes the people of God. Specifically, this course aids emerging church leaders to explore the biblical basis of worship, trace various expressions of worship throughout church history, and evaluate contemporary innovations.
This course culminates the foundational fields of study related to pastoral ministry. In particular, this course will help students collate their thinking on pastoral ministry over the course of the entire program. Attendant with discussions and reading, this course will provide seminar-style space for students to work on their main documents for pastoral ministry (i.e., philosophy of ministry, doctrinal statement, ethical/position papers, conversion, call narrative, resume/CV, etc.), enhance their thinking on various pastoral issues, prepare for mock ordination, reflect on meaningful insights and progress throughout the time in the program, and anticipate the transition of life and ministry after graduation from the program.
This course empowers students to make a meaningful contribution in pastoral work by being uniquely invested in hands-on, real-life ministry situations. Students will be challenged in character formation, ministry competency, practical theology, and community participation through active involvement in the life of a local church, meaningfully engagement in mentoring relationships, regular rhythms of self-reflection, practical experience in pastoral responsibilities, and ownership of a ministry initiative.
Communicating biblical truth is both an art and a science. Consequently, the science of hermeneutics is applied to a text to mine its truth. Delivery of that truth is the art of skillful and creative communication. Students will practice the principles and begin discovering their own unique style of exegetical preaching.
Pastors have a unique opportunity to shepherd those who seek personal spiritual direction. With spiritual transformation as the ultimate goal, students are equipped with biblical counseling skills to guide and disciple those who seek assistance.