Integrative Seminars

The Charlotte campus meets twice a year for integrative seminars to integrate the practice of community-based, theological and vocational reflection on core aspects of our seminary mission to promote life-long learning and competency in Christian thought and ministry.

All seminars available on this site are free to enjoy by the public! 

Makeup Assignments for Gordon-Conwell Students

  1. View or listen to the recording.
  2. Write a four page reflection-interaction paper (double spaced)
  3. Submit the paper with a $25 make up fee check to Dr. Steven Klipowicz (made out to GCTS). 
    Address: GCTS-Charlotte, 14542 Choate Circle, Charlotte, NC 28273
  • Registration is not required for seminar makeups. 
  • For assistance please contact Dr. Steven Klipowicz at 704.940.5830 or sklipowicz@gcts.edu

Seminars

  • Click the + for seminar descriptions. 
  • Seminars are free and available in parts. Please check the release date for the desired seminar.  
  • Click  to view the Integrative Seminar iTunes U page for available audio or video. Visit here to download the latest version of iTunes. 
  • Click  to view the library catalog entry. Seminar DVDs and CDs are available for checkout from the Lindsell Library of Gordon-Conwell-Charlotte. Up to 4 copies can be mailed upon request. To submit a mailing request please use the library contact form.  
 

Confronted by these emerging realities, what must be done to fully re-engage the American church? The spring 2014 Integrative Seminar IS506, Becoming Glocal: Re-aligning the Local Church with the Global Missionary Mandate explores the local church’s present relation to the world Christian movement.  The intent is to provide students with more accurate perceptions of global realities and current church practices.  Fresh, grounded awareness will provide wisdom to evaluate our churches’ current engagement, with the goal to align us better with what God is doing in the world.

 

The fall 2013 Integrative Seminar, Rich Church, Poor Church: Exploring Affluence and Poverty within the American Christian Community, will address this issue through a multi-disciplinary exercise in practical theology.  Practical theology is critical theological reflection on the practices of the Church as they interact with the practices of the world with a view to ensure faithful participation in the continuing mission of the Triune God (Swinton and Mowat, Practical Theology and Qualitative Research, p. 25). Our seminar will engage a four-step model of investigation and conversation suggested by Richard Osmer (Practical Theology: An Introduction) involving Descriptive, Interpretive, Normative and Pragmatic dimensions.

The following questions will guide our time of learning:

  • What is a biblical view of poverty and wealth? How does the Bible address these conditions among God’s people? (Normative)
  • How can affluent Christians better understand the world of the poor? (Interpretive)
  • What is the present experience of economic koinonia in the Christian community? What obstacles and challenges exist? (Descriptive)
  • How can churches better meet the financial needs of their own congregational members and other churches?(Pragmatic)
 

The 2012 Fall Integrative Seminar explores the use of online modali-ties as the basis for Christian spiritual formation. The following ques-tions will guide this inquiry:

  • What are the primary goals of Christian spiritual formation and how can online methods promote  these goals?
  • What are the theological issues underlying online Christian spiri-tual formation?
  • What can be learned by reflective engagement in various online forms of Christian spiritual formation?
  • What are the benefits and advantages of online Christian spiritual formation?
  • What are the limits and dangers inherent in online Christian spiritual formation?
IS503 Spring 2012 - Greening Up or Burning Out  

Pastors, teachers, and counselors face increasing complexities and pressures in contemporary helping ministries. The ongoing stress of such personally demanding vocations can deplete the minister emotionally and spiritually. Emotional exhaustion, depersonalization of the recipient of care, and diminished sense of the value of one’s ministry are warning signs of potential vocational burnout, resulting in the silent anguish of the healer.  The Spring 2012 Integrative Seminar will focus on the Christian helper’s vulnerability to burnout and the potential for vocational renewal. The following questions will guide our reflections on this theme:

  • How prone are Christian ministers to burnout?
  • Are there viable ways to avoid burnout in ministry?
  • What are the marks of people who maintain resiliency in ministry?
  • What paths are there for personal and vocational renewal that can facilitate renewed energy and commitment to ministry?
IS501 Fall 2011 - The Transforming Word

Throughout the history of the Church, the Bible has been central to its spiritual vitality. Traditionally, reading, listening to, and meditating on the Bible has been the main means of scriptural formation. Today we live in a frenetic age in which the pace of life and the ubiquity of digital technology have provided new and innovative approaches to biblical engagement.  Each day, thousands of Americans read the Bible on their cell phones, get email devotional readings, and even some access the Word through tweets!  In light of these new societal and technological factors, how does the Bible meaningfully change our lives? Conversely, how does our “wired” way of life influence our reading, understanding and response to the Bible?

The Fall 2011 Integrative Seminar will address key questions related to this theme:

  • What are Bible reading practices of contemporary Christians in an electronic age?
  • How does our mode of Bible engagement influence the reception of the Scripture and the process of faith formation?
  • How can reading the Bible most effectively change our lives?
IS506 Spring 2011 - Conversing with Lausanne

The heart of Christianity has shifted to the global south over the last few decades with unprecedented church growth in Africa, South America, and the Far East. The Christian faith is no longer predominantly a reflection of Euro-centric values and perspectives. The emerging church has a powerful voice that needs to be heard in the world-wide context of faith and mission.

The recent event, Cape Town 2010 held on October 16 -25, 2010 in South Africa was the third global international conference on world evangelization held in the last 40 years (Lausanne, 1974, Manila, 1989) drawing over 4,200 participants representing over 200 countries. This epic event provided a platform for all the members of the world Christian movement to converse and reflect on the most pressing issues of faith and mission facing the Body of Christ in our generation.

The Spring 2011 Integrative Seminar, Conversing with Lausanne: Reflections on the Christian Movement from a Global Perspective, invites you to join in this vibrant discussion on the nature and execution of the Great Commission in light of the complex and challenging political, social, economic, and cultural factors shaping our mission to the contemporary world.

IS505 Fall 2010 - Maintenance or Mission

The 21st century has set the stage for a paradigm shift that has dramatically changed the way the Church views itself. The era of the Christian West has passed, ushering in a society that values connectedness, ambiguity, and above all tolerance. Many churches have viewed this as a call to "circle the wagons" and more closely guard their own traditions and beliefs, while other fellowships have marked this shift as a new opportunity to understand and connect with the world in ways they never have before. The question then becomes, how should we as Christians view this new era in which we live -- and how can we remain culturally relevant while still retaining the essentials of our faith?

The fall 2010 Integrative Seminar will seek to explore these questions through the lenses of church history in terms of St. Patrick and the Celtic Missionary Impulse. The goal of this event is to reflect on potential strategies for a new post-Christian mission in North America, and to spur our missional imaginations so that we can better extend the gospel in a changing culture.
IS504 Fall 2009 - Seminary or Cemetery

Although students and faculty continually discuss and reflect upon topics of biblical, theological, and spiritual importance, the pursuit of theological education can be hazardous to one’s relationship with God. Overexposure to sacred stories and symbols can create spiritual “dead zones” in some people’s lives where vital communications with the Lord drops off to nothing. Constant analyses of Scriptures for exegetical assignments often leave scant fragments of the Bread of Life to feed the souls of the learner. In addition, a life of extreme busyness can almost eliminate the quietness, patience, and attentiveness essential to cultivating a life in the Spirit of Jesus.

This fall’s integrative seminar will explore how students perceive the influence of seminary education on their sense of spiritual vitality. The basic source of data will be a simple online survey. The results of this study will provide the basis for a forum of discussion regarding the states of our souls as ministers and leaders- in- preparation.
IS503 Spring 2009 - How High Are Your Fences

According to Dr. Henry cloud, boundaries are the limits of your personal identity that define where you end and someone else’s life begins.  Like a property line they indicate what you own and when you are entering into someone else’s domain. Boundaries, like fences, may be too weak and invite trespassing or they may be too strong and keep out even those you need in your life.

People in ministry and the helping professions need to have very clear understanding of boundaries, their own and those they serve. Healthy fences promote respect and integrity while dysfunctional boundaries can invite abuse or isolation. How high are your fences? The spring 2009 Integrative Seminar explores the concepts of personal and professional boundaries with the hope you will gain a clearer understanding of what defines you as a minister and a child of God.

IS501 Fall 2008 - Sweet and Sharp

The GCTS mission statement begins with a strong commitment to the Bible as God’s inspired written revelation and our need to rightly divide it. Too often we stop at admiration of the Bible without adequate appropriation of it for the work of building up the church and its members. The Seminary may provide excellent preparation to master the Word through academic excellence but fail to equip students as faithful stewards of the Word’s dynamic power. In order to broader our awareness of the Scripture’s vitality and potency, the Fall 2008 Integrative Seminar will focus on practical and applied uses of the Bible in various ministerial contexts and situations. The goal is to help us explore and struggle with issues arising from the dynamic nature of Scripture and how it can be used appropriately to bring spiritual health and vitality in believers and churches.

IS506 Spring 2008 - The Church in the Global Community

The global mission of Christ is to bring the gospel to all people groups. This requires the ability to translate the biblical message and its implications across a multitude of cultural and ideological contexts in a manner that faithfully maintains the authentic core of biblical truth yet communicating and embodying it relevantly within specific cultural groups. This is the process of contextualization.

The challenges of contextualization are significant and require critical theological reflection and sensitivity; skills which are valuable for all Christian ministers. The Spring 2008 Integrative Seminar invites students to wrestle with the issues of contextualization through a significant case study issue regarding planting an indigenous community of faith in a Muslim context.

IS504 Fall 2007 - Revive Us Again

Since the church should always be in a process of “constantly reforming” the Christian community needs to reflect intentionally and prayerfully about the process of renewal. The focus of the Fall 2007 Integrative Seminar is on an inter-disciplinary inquiry on revival and renewal from biblical, theological, practical, and historical perspectives with the following focal questions:

  1. What is revival?
  2. What are the precursors of revival?
  3. What are the marks of genuine revival?
  4. What has God done in past revivals?
  5. What does revival accomplish in history and in the church?
  6. What does God want for Gordon- Conwell?
IS505 Spring 2007 -  Ministry to Broken Bodies

Often the church is blinded to its attitudes and actions towards specific people and groups within the congregation. As a result, individuals can be hurt by feeling alienated from the vital life of the Body of Christ. On e particular group that often experiences alienation is people with physical handicaps. The Spring 2007 Integrative Seminar seeks to explore the dynamics of alienation and affirmation with a focus upon people with physical disabilities. This inquiry will examine both the subjective experiences of the disabled and other members of the church community.

IS503 Fall 2006 - Money Matters

The Bible makes it clear in both Testaments that those who serve God vocationally should be financially compensated for their labors.  It is right to be paid for ministry. Yet little is said regarding the form and amount of such support. How much does money matter? In our complex world of retirement plans, rising health costs, and changing tax laws, how ministry is paid can have a direct influence upon clergy motivation and effectiveness. Yet many congregations find it difficult to evaluate ministerial practice in light of compensation or even talk about it, This often leads to frustration and misunderstandings. The Fall 2006  Integrative Seminar explores the trends in ministerial compensation and presents guidelines to help provide perspective on this critical but often difficult issue in the life of the church.

IS501 Spring 2006 - Not the Way It's Suppose to Be

Christians do sin and it should not be astonishing that we repeatedly hear stories of the moral collapses and unethical behaviors of Christians. What can be more surprising and devastating to novice ministers or leaders is when they experience evil and sin as a reality within the life and dynamics of their congregations or ministries. Such encounters can be painful and ultimately lead to ongoing disillusionment or a watchful pessimism about leading God’s flock. Whoever said that sheep don’t bite!

The theme of the Spring 2006 Integrative Seminar focuses on the reality of sin and evil in the congregation and the dynamics of their operation. The primary goal is to help Christian leaders develop understanding and discernment of sin’s impact in order to become more effective and enduring leaders in a fallen world. Few theories of leadership and ministry deal with the consequences of a radical theology of sin within organizational life (most are humanistic or rational in orientation), yet our fallen-ness, manifested in a surprising array of attitudes and behaviors, lies at the heart of most congregational dysfunctions. 

IS505 Fall 2005 - The Sexually Healthy Congregation

For the average church, human sexuality has been often been viewed warily as a source of trouble and temptation. In spite of the poignant problems associated with sexuality, God meant it to be a significant source of blessing and human connection. This Integrative Seminar explores in an appreciative mode the question of how congregations can function to help form Christian believers into healthy sexual beings.

IS505 Spring 2005 - The Church of Many Colors  

The world is changing before us in a dizzying pace. The recent catastrophe generated by the Indonesian tsunami reveals that the world is quickly becoming a global community. No one can stay isolated to its needs. The towns and cities of America are rapidly becoming mirrors of our world, reflecting its cultural diversity and need for interconnectivity—a mosaic and no longer a melting pot. This Integrative Seminar will explore the Church’s calling to diversity, not simply as a response to changing demographics, but in heart-felt obedience to the call of God to be a people conforming to His eternal plan for the Body of Christ. Participants in today’s events come as disciples and scholars seeking to learn together and from each other what it means to minister in a church of many colors and cultures.

IS504 Fall 2004 - Building Community  

How important is community to the effective ministry of the Church? Can community be used as a strategy to promote ministry in contexts outside of the Church? These and other challenging issues will be the center of the Fall 2004 Integrative Seminar, Building Community: Establishing a Base Camp for Ministry. The focus is on an intriguing case study presented by Jan Mullis and Steve Shores of Integrity Enterprises.  The case centers on an ongoing effort to use community building as a means for organizational development in a manufacturing company.