Fortress Press

Exploring Practices of Ministry

Exploring Practices of Ministry

Pamela Cooper-White (Author), Michael Cooper-White (Author)


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Fortress Press’s Foundations for Learning series prepares students for academic success through compelling resources that kick-start their educational journey into professional Christian ministry. In Exploring Practices of Ministry, Pamela Cooper-White and Michael Cooper-White share insights from their extensive experience as parish ministers, church agency executives, and seminary educators in diverse multicultural and international contexts. Pamela, an Episcopal priest who teaches pastoral theology, care, and counseling, is also a pastoral psychotherapist with an extensive clinical background. Michael, a Lutheran pastor and seminary president, is also a pilot and flight instructor and has served as a chaplain with the Civil Air Patrol.
The authors share their wisdom with seminarians and other readers seeking to deepen theological reflection and expand skills as ministry practitioners. While not all readers are preparing to be ordained ministers, most will engage in many of the practices described in the book: preaching and public speaking, teaching, leading liturgies, conducting ceremonies, counseling and offering pastoral support for persons undergoing life transitions, and serving as organizational leaders in congregations, chaplaincies, social ministries, and in the public arena. This book is a companion journal for pilgrims on the way to becoming confident practitioners of ministry.   
  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781451488937
  • eBook ISBN 9781451489736
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 120
  • Publication Date December 1, 2014


Introduction: Welcome to the Journey!: Foundations for Practices of Ministry
1. A Map for the Journey: Theological Foundations for Practice
2. Agents of Grace on the Move: The Practice of Leading Worship
3. Heralds of Truth and Transformation: The Practice of Proclamation
4. Tour Guides for Fellow Travelers: The Practice of Teaching
5. Companions in Healing: The Practice of Pastoral Care
6. Navigators into Uncharted Terrain: The Practice of Leadership
Conclusion: On Our Way to Emmaus: Formation, Friendship, and Faith 


"In this book, Pamela and Michael Cooper-White offer us a tour de force about Christian ministry. The road to Emmaus becomes the pivotal biblical text around which they explore theologically the complexity and simplicity of the church’s liturgy, preaching, administration, and mission. They prepare us to serve the world and empower us to celebrate the precious vocation of the Christian ministry."
—Cláudio Carvalhaes
McCormick Theological Seminary
"What do pastors do? Michael and Pamela Cooper-White provide a guided tour to the practices of ministry that answers this question. They make a compelling case that these practices are best engaged with a pastoral theology that unites them into patterns of meaning rather than as disjointed sets of skills. Exploring Practices of Ministry describes pastoral practices with the breadth that introductory material requires and the depth that pastoral theology demands. It will give persons considering ministry a thoughtful introduction and pastors who have been at it a long time helpful reminders and new insight."
Daniel O. Aleshire
The Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada
"When I was looking for the book to use in my class as a central text to help prepare my students for what they were going to face in the church, this was the book I choose. This is an excellent resource for students and it is something they will take with them in ministry and continue to refer to throughout their career. The book will help those in ministry navigate the journey of parish leadership with the firm foundation of a solid theology."
Ralph Basui Watkins
Columbia Theological Seminary