Syllabus – MC 623 – Church Administration – UK

Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

Hispanic Ministries Program

MC 623 – Church Administration

Instructor: Dr. Pablo A. Jiménez



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Course description

Overview of Church administration and management of non-profit organizations. It is designed to inform and educate students regarding administration, management, and leadership principles, procedures, techniques, theology, theory, and practice for leading, administering, and managing churches and non-profit organizations. The course applies a problem-solving approach to these and other issues relevant to ministers and lay leaders.

Aim and Objectives

The aim of the course is to equip students to be efficient administrators of local congregations, denominational judicatories, para-church organizations, non-profit organizations and other religious non-governmental organizations (NGO’s).

Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Define pertinent terms, principles, and operating procedures associated with administration, leadership, and management.
  2. Describe the organization of your church or non-profit organization.
  3. Determine the place of a local congregation in the Congregational Life-Cycle.
  4. Identify the roles and responsibilities of pastors, leaders, board members, and officers for the stewardship of resources.
  5. Manage organizational conflicts efficiently.
  6. Apply management principles and strategies that assist churches, clergy and administrators to lower their risk of legal liability.
  7. Establish procedures for administrating and leading churches in a professional, efficient, and responsible manner.


Bullard, George W. Pursuing the Full Kingdom Potential of Your Congregation. St. Louis, MO: Lake Hickory Resources, 2005. ISBN: 0827229844

Rainer, Thom S. Autopsy of a Deceased Church: 12 Ways to Keep Yours Alive. Nashville: B & H Books, 2014. ISBN-13: 978-1433683923

Welch, Robert H. Church Administration: Creating Efficiency for Effective Ministry. Second Edition. Nashville: B & H Academic, 2011. ISBN-13: 978-1433673771

For Further Reading

Allen, David. Getting Things Done. New York: Penguin Books, 2015.ISBN-13: 978-0142000281

Anderson, James D. & Ezra Earl Jones. The Management of Ministry: Building Leadership in a Changing World. Nashville: Discipleship Resources, 1993. ASIN: B003DI3R8I

Bandy, Thomas G. Coaching Change: Breaking Down Resistance, Building Up Hope. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2000. ISBN-13: 978-0687090174

_____. Kicking Habits: Welcome Relief for Addicted Churches. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1997. ISBN-10: 0687049342

Banks, Robert & Bernice M. Ledbetter. Reviewing Leadership: A Christian Evaluation of Current Approaches. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2004. ISBN-13: 978-0801036293

Barna, George. The Power of a Vision. Updated Edition. Ventura: Regal Books, 2003. ISBN: 0830747281

Bolsinger, Tod. Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Books, 2015. ASIN: B018IM8JWW

Bullard, George W. Every Congregation Needs a Little Conflict. St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2008. ASIN: B001KW0AJI

Creswell, Jane. Christ-Centered Coaching: 7 Benefits for Ministry Leaders. St. Louis: Lake Hickory Resources, 2006. ISBN: 082720499X

Duhigg, Charles. The Power of Habit. New York: Random House , 2014. ISBN: 0385669763

Hamm, Richard L. Recreating the Church: Leadership for the Postmodern Age. St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2007. ISBN: 0827232535

Heifetz, Ronald A. & Marty Linsky. Leadership on the Line: Staying Alive Through the Dangers of Leading. Boston: Harvard Business School Press. ASIN: B01N1XCO0S

Herrington, Jim, Mike Bonem & James H. Furr. Leading Congregational Change: A Practical Guide for the Transformational Journey. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2002. ASIN: B01FIXWFXS

Lott, David B., Editor. Conflict Management in Congregations. Washington: The Alban Institute, 2001. ASIN: B00LWXKJGO

Rediger, G. Lloyd. Clergy Killers: Guidance for Pastors and Congregations Under Attack. Louisville: Westminster / John Knox Press, 1997. ISBN-13: 978-0664257538


This intensive course will develop in three stages:

  • Phase 1: Readings and assignments to be fulfilled before the on-site intensive meeting.
  • Phase 2: On-site intensive meeting
  • Phase 3: Assignments to be fulfilled immediately after the on-site intensive Meeting.

Phase 1:

  1. Read Welch’s Church Administration in its entirety.
  2. Read Chapters 1 to 5 of Bullard’s Pursuing the Full Kingdom Potential of Your Congregation.
  3. Read Rainer’s Autopsy of a Deceased Church.
  4. Answer the Church Questionnaire, analyzing the local congregation you attend or serve as pastor or staff member.
  5. On the basis of the Questionnaire, write a 5 pages describing the current situation of your local church or organization.

Phase 2:

  1. Participate actively in the on-site intensive course.
  2. Answer an Online Test about the content of Welch’s book.

Phase 3:

  1. Read Chapters 6 to 12 of Bullard’s Pursuing the Full Kingdom Potential of Your Congregation.
  2. Write a 15 pages paper on The Present and Future of your Congregation. The monograph must have, at least, two parts:
  • A diagnosis section, identifying the place of your local church on the Congregational Life-Cycle.
  • A vision section, writing the Future Story of your Congregation that will accurately portray your dreams, aims and goals for your organization.
  • A strategic section, describing how to implement, at least, three strategies for improvement effectiveness, organizational change and growth.


General Information:

  1. All written assignments should be typed, double-spaced and written in a 12-point font such as Arial, Helvetica or New Times Roman.
  2. All papers must be original, citing the references according the Turabian format. Students who copy, forge or pay for term papers will be referred to the Judicial Committee for adjudication and may fail the course and even be suspended from the HMP
  3. Formats: Send your paper in MS Word (extension doc or docx) or Adobe Acrobat (extension pdf).
  4. All assignments will have a maximum value of 100 points.
  5. No late work will be accepted. If you experience illness or emergency, you must request an extension, sending an email to the instructor. Your email on this issue must be an official extension petition, filed by 4 pm on the day of the deadline for written work.
  6. The HMP does not accept a grade of “I” or Incomplete. Students requesting extensions will receive a grade of “EX”, to be removed when the Instructor submits the final grade.
  7. Students will receive an extension of no more than 90 days—counted from the first day of the course—to complete all coursework. Any papers or exams not submitted within 90 days will have an automatic “F”, earning no points toward the final grade.
  8. In case of medical emergency, the HMP office may grant a longer extension, up to a year from the first day of the course. Proper documentation of the medical emergency must be provided to the HMP office in a timely manner.

Grading Scale:*

Grade Percentage Points
A 100 – 95 % 500-475
A- 94 – 90 % 474-450
B+ 89 – 87 % 449-435
B 86 – 84 % 434-420
B- 83 – 80 % 419-400
C+ 79 – 77 % 399-385
C 76 – 74% 384-370
C- 73 – 70% 369-350
D+ 69 – 67 % 349-335
D 66 – 64 % 334-320
F 63 – 0 % 319-0

*Master degree level students may request to be graded on a “Pass/Fail” grading basis, using the link below (this option is not available for Diploma students): 

Assignments for this course:

As stated earlier, the assignments for this course will be:

  1. A 5 pages paper describing the current situation of your local church or organization, written on the basis of the Church Questionnaire supplied by the Instructor. Deadline: February 15, 2018
  2. Attendance and active participation in the on-site intensive course.
  3. Online Test about the content of Welch’s book. Deadline: February 18, 2018
  4. A 15 pages paper on The Present and Future of your Congregation. The monograph must have, at least, three parts:
  • A diagnosis section, identifying the place of your local church on the Congregational Life-Cycle.
  • A vision section, writing the Future Story of your Congregation that will accurately portray your dreams, aims and goals for your organization.
  • A strategic section, describing how to implement, at least, three strategies for improvement effectiveness, organizational change and growth.

Deadline: March 2, 2018


Topic Readings Timeframe
Introduction – Reading Syllabus Course Syllabus Thursday, February 15, AM
An Introduction to Administration Welch, Chapter 1 Thursday, February 15, PM
Basics for Administration Welch, Chapters 2 & 3 Thursday, February 15, PM
Analyzing Organization & Structure Bullard, Chapters 1 to 5


Welch, Chapter 4

Friday, February 16, AM
Managing Personnel Welch, Chapter 5 Friday, February 16, PM
Managing Finances Welch, Chapter 6 Friday, February 16, PM
Managing Properties Welch, Chapter 7 Saturday, February 17, AM
Assessing Risks Welch, Chapter 9 Saturday, February 17, AM
Managing Conflict  To be supplied Saturday, February 17, PM
Planning & Programming Welch, Chapter 10 & 11 Saturday, February 17, PM
The Future Story of your organization  Bullard, Chapter 6 to 12 Sunday, February 18, AM
Closing Sunday, February 18, AM

Church Administration UK

Discipleship & Theological Education

Discipleship & Theological Education

On Mark 10.46-52

By Pablo A. Jiménez

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Miracle stories are about God’s mercy and power.  However, Mark 10.46-52 is much more than a miracle story; it is a story about discipleship. We know it because twice we find the word “road” or “way” (Gk. “hodos”, vv. 46 & 52) and we also find the verb “to follow” (Gk. “akolutheö”) which in the Gospel of Mark are the hallmarks of discipleship: following Jesus on the Way.

This is also the last story before Jesus’ “Triumphal Entrance” to Jerusalem. Jesus goes into Jerusalem in order to face the cross. Therefore, this is a key text for understanding Mark’s view on discipleship. 

As Jesus reaches the town of Jericho he finds that, on the roadside of that tourist town, there are people who are willingly giving wealthy people the opportunity to help them. In Judaism, to give to the poor is a “mitzvah,” it’s a good deed. So, in Jewish Rabbinical theology, beggars were important because they allowed you to have “mitzvoth”, good deeds that would account for salvation. This explains why Jesus finds on the roadside a long row of beggars with various ailments.

But there is one beggar called Bartimaeus. It has always puzzled me that the text says “Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”).” (v. 46) “Bar” means “the son of.” Having grown up in the Caribbean, I know by experience that in poor communities people who had ailments were treated differently. Usually, they were not addressed by their proper names but by nicknames based on their ailments or on their family relations. This man probably had another name, but people just called him “the son of Timaeus” because he was “invisible” to the community. He was considered “the other.”

Bartimaeus learns that Jesus is coming his way. By this time Jesus’ fame has grown and he walks surrounded by a large entourage of people. It is impossible to miss him. So, Bartimaeus hears that Jesus is coming and he–who is sitting by “the way”–begins to cry out: “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Now, his theology is faulty. Yes, Jesus is “Son of David”, but not necessarily in the militaristic way many expected during the First Century. Bartimaeus does not call Jesus “the Christ” nor “the Messiah.” He has an inkling of who Jesus is, but he needs better theology in order to fully understand his divine identity.

Mark 10.46-52 points to another important aspect of discipleship, namely, how the disciples treated “the other.” Jesus closest followers go to the blind man and “rebuke” him. (v. 48) Here Mark employs the Greek verb “epitimaö”, which is used elsewhere in the Gospel to describe the actions of rebuking unclean spirits and casting out demons. (Mark 1.25, 4.39, 9.25) Are the disciples treating Bartimaeus as demonic? Are they looking down on him? Where they influenced by Rabbinical Theology, according to which an ailment is a sure sign of sin and, therefore, a valid reason for exclusion?

In any case, the disciples do not give Bartimaeus access to Jesus. They block Bartimaeus access to Jesus. I think that this was a test. Jesus gave an “exam” to his disciples. Have they learned anything? Have they understood Jesus’ mission?

If you read Mark you will soon realize that no, they had not understood Jesus. For example, earlier in chapter 10 the disciples are bickering, debating about who was going to be “greater” in the kingdom. So, Jesus gave them a test, and they failed it when they said to the beggar:  “There is no grace for you.”

  • You are too poor.
  • You are too sick.
  • You may even be demonic.
  • You are “the other.”
  • We rebuked you, in Jesus’ name!

But Jesus had other plans. He called his disciples and told them to go and bring the blind man to him. I imagine that this was not the most comfortable moment for the disciples. Having “crow” as the main dish for dinner is never comfortable!

Following Jesus’ instructions, the disciples return to the same man that they had previously rejected, excluded and demonized. They say to him: “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” (v. 49) Notice how the role of the disciples has changed. Instead of blocking access, now they are giving access to Jesus!

In response, Bartimaeus does two things that clearly illustrate his enthusiasm. First of all, he throws away his robe (v. 50,) which he was probably using to catch the coins tossed at him. I imagine the robe flying through the air, the coins falling to the floor, and the other beggars fighting for the easy money.

Bartimaeus jumps to his feet and goes to Jesus, who proceeds to give him another test, asking “What do you want me to do for you?” (v. 51) The beggar responds: “Rabbi, I want to see” (literally, “to see again, Gk. “anablepö”.) Therefore, the man in need asks for the gift of vision.

Remember that the disciples didn’t understand fully who Jesus was. Why? Because they lacked vision. Bartimaeus asks for vision and he receives it. And his vision, in many ways, was clearer than the disciples’ vision.

Jesus tells the healed man that he could leave. Bartimaeus could go back home. He could go back to his family, get a job, and become part of the community again. But this man chooses another path. He decides “to follow Jesus on the way”. (v. 52) That is, on the way to the cross.


Theological education is just a higher level of discipleship. Evangelism, Christian education, spiritual formation and theological education are on a continuum. In many ways, theological education begins the day that someone tell us: “Jesus is LORD.” In this sense, everything we do at a theological school, even at the doctoral level, is just a form of Christian discipleship.

Those of us engaged in theological education have the opportunity to be in a role similar to Jesus’ disciples in this text: We can grant others access to Jesus. 

In order to fulfill this role faithfully, we must remember who Jesus is calling:

They may be people with faulty theology.

They may be people with problematic backgrounds.

They may be people totally different to us.

But they are crying out for Jesus. We have the wonderful opportunity of receiving them and of discipling them. And they will have the wonderful opportunity to suffer for Jesus, walking along him on the way to the cross.


The Hispanic Ministries Program at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

The Hispanic Ministries Program (HMP) at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (GCTS) is an excellent educational opportunity for you. The HMP offers a range of courses in both English and Spanish, in different parts of the United States of America, South America, Central America and the Caribbean, leading to a Masters. Students without a qualifying college degree may apply to a Diploma, which may qualify them to enter the Masters program. 

You can find further information about the HMP through the following links: 

You may also find more information about the HMP in our Facebook page:; of follow us on Twitter at

If you have any specific questions, feel free to email us at or call us at 978-646-4303 (English) or 978-646-4302 (Spanish). 

In Christ,

Rev. Pablo A. Jiménez, D.Min.

Associate Dean for Hispanic Ministries


A Generation in Transition – 2012 Millennial Values Survey

Millennial Survey

A GENERATION IN TRANSITION: Religion, Values, and Politics among College-Age Millenials. Findings from the 2012 Millennial Values Survey, by Robert P. Jones, Daniel Cox, and Thomas Bancroff. Public Religion Research Institute, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs. Georgetown University.

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Powerpoint Presentation (PDF)

Millennial Survey
Millennial Survey


Vision & mission for revitalizing existing congregations and for planting new churches, based on George Barna’s THE POWER OF VISION

Barna's The Power of Vision
Barna’s The Power of Vision

Leadership: Explained to a Child

Leadership: Explained to a Child

by Pablo A. Jiménez

In 1999, when my daughter Paola was 2 years old, I accepted an appointment to be the new National Pastor for Hispanic Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada. For six years I served in a position that required me to travel for over 100 days a year and to be “on call” everyday.

A cross, built by children!
A cross, built by children!

My daughter, Paola, interrogated me after every trip. At the beginning, her typical questions were: “Where have you been?,” “What was the name of the hotel where you stayed?” & her favorite, “What was the color of your rental car?” However, soon her questions became tougher: “Why is our house always full of people I have never seen before?,” “Why do you have to travel so much?” and “Why are you always talking to large crowds?”

Given that Paola could not understand my title, I used common words to answer her tough questions. I told her: “I am a leader”. Taking this idea as a point of the departure, I explained to her that other pastors had asked me to be their leader, that I traveled to visit those pastors and that they asked me to speak to large crowds because they valued my leadership.

Of course, my answers only triggered more questions, such as: “Do people always do what you tell them to do?” My response was swift: “No, because leaders live to serve, not to boss people around.” My words shocked her. In her mind, leaders were like fairy tales’ kings and princesses who had to be obeyed at all costs. The idea that service is the purpose of leadership was totally new for her.

I explained to her that Jesus Christ, who lived to served others, is my model of leadership. I further explained her that leadership does not necessarily bring fame and fortune. And I taught her that leadership is not hereditary: “I am the leader now, but someday another person will take my place. Maybe one day you will become a leader, but you will have to earn it through hard word, commitment and dedication.”

Paola also learned that leadership can bring much pain. She often saw me sad, concerned and even angry. She soon understood that all my promises were conditioned to events out of our control, given that emergencies constantly forced me to travel on short notice.

It was precisely soon after failing to attend one of her school events that I decided to step down, seeking a new ministry that allowed me to spend more time at home. “I will no longer be the leader, Paola, it is someone else’s turn,” I told her. Surprisingly, her response was very mature. “Ok, I understand.” Our many conversations about leadership had bore fruit. She had learned that true leaders do not hold on to leadership.

Finally, she asked me about my core values: “What is your main goal in life, Dad?” I looked at her with much pride and responded: “My personal mission is to bless as many people as I can reach during my ministry”. My by then nine-year-old girl smiled and said: “That is a good philosophy for living”.

The process of explaining the meaning of leadership to my daughter helped me to clarify my own vision of Christian leadership. Through our dialogues, I became her student and she became my teacher. The process gave me much hope: If a child can learn the meaning of leadership, maybe church leaders, both lay and ordained, can learn it too.

See also: On Church Revitalization and Developing a Mission-Focused Congregation

The Aroma of Christ (2 Corinthians 2.12-3.6)

An inductive & expository on 2 Corinthians 2.12-3.6, addressing how to transform congregational conflict into opportunities for spiritual growth. Visit #wsymp2015

Symposium 2015
Symposium 2015