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Andover Newton Catalogue and Courses of Instruction

PSYF/CHRS 778/878J

Grounded in God: Decision-Making and Discernment in Congregations and Organizations, Summer 2015

Margaret Benefiel

How can ancient traditions of spiritual discernment bring depth and a sense of unhurried presence into modern congregational and organizational life? How does our social location influence our discernment? How can we learn corporate spiritual discernment in the midst of an individualistic culture? This course will consider structures and processes of twenty-first-century congregations and organizations and explore how spiritual discernment practices can be integrated into decision-making processes. This will be an experiential course, in which participants’ own decision-making experiences in congregations and organizations will serve as the basis for reflection and discernment. Insights from the fields of spirituality, management, and leadership studies will be combined to consider decision-making and discernment in these settings. This course has a hybrid format: it will meet primarily online, with one required in-person day. Graded Sat/Unsat..
Permission of instructor required.

Summer - online May 25 – July 3, with one in-person day on June 22

Key to Course Listings

Key Description
EL "EL" following a course description indicates an E-Learning course.
F "F" following a course number indicates a course offered during Fall semester.
S "S" following a course number indicates a course offered during Spring semester.
W "W" following a course number indicates a course offered during Winter Session in January.
J "J" following a course number indicates a course offered during June.
"Y" following a course number indicates a yearlong course. Students must register each semester for year-long courses.

This listing is subject to change. Continue to check the school's eb site,, for current information about course listings, times and dates. All courses, including Church and Ministry Department courses, are now offered for 3 credits. Only students following the pre-2001 M.Div. curriculum may elect to take courses for other than 3 credits. Unless otherwise noted, courses are generally limited to 55 students.

Levels of Instruction

Level Description
500 Language courses or introductory courses meeting departmental requirements for either the M.Div. or the M.A. degree.
600 Meet departmental requirements for the M.Div., unless otherwise indicated, or program requirements for the M.A.
700 For advanced M.Div. and M.A. students with either background in an area or prerequisites completed. These courses meet some departmental upper-level elective requirements for the M.Div.
800 Primarily for D.Min. and S.T.M. students, although a limited number of seniors with the appropriate background may enroll with the instructor's permission.


Dual-numbered courses-e.g., [HIST 725/825] - indicate courses that serve more than one level. Students should register for the level appropriate to their program needs.

Example: an M.Div. or M.A. student would register for HIST 725, but an S.T.M. or D.Min. student would register for HIST 825.