7.6.4 Urban Mission Courses

PTM 143 Contextual Theology

  • To understand some of the issues involved in contextualization
  • To sketch the history and recent developments revolving around contextualization 
  • To outline the general issues involved in contextualization with special attention to evangelism and hermeneutics 
  • To provide students with opportunities to test their understanding

Topics covered include history of contextualization, recent developments in contextualization, dangers inherent in contextualization, and models of contextualization.
  Spring semester, two hours. Mr. McDowell.

PTM 151 Mission to the City

  • To guide students in examining biblical principles as they are related to urban ministry
  • To examine and define urban ministry in missiological terms 
  • To provide firsthand experience in terms of the significance of living, worshiping, and ministering in an urban context 
  • To evaluate personal tension in cross-cultural situations 
  • To present God’s interest in the cities of his world

This is an introductory course in the urban mission program. Topics covered include assumptions for winning the city; elements necessary for urban ministry; statistics and issues in urbanization; reasons for urban growth; understanding cities; anti-urban attitudes; biblical and theological interpretation of our perceptions; incarnation; biblical background to the city; pictures and motives of the city in the Bible; summary of urban dynamics; response to urban dynamics in relationship to ministry models; transitions and the urban church; pictures of the church; models of churches in the city; the minister in the city; and the importance of youth in the city.
  Fall semester, two hours. Mr. Sarracino.

PTM 163 Church Growth and Church Planting


  • To provide the student with various aspects of church growth methods, principles, and practices
  • To review a brief history of the School of Church Growth 
  • To evaluate church growth principles and practices in order to become better equipped in the area of church growth ministries 
  • To develop skills in relationship to growing a church

Topics covered include church growth philosophy, history of church growth, organic church growth, theological presuppositions, critique of church growth, review of various urban models of church growth, and signs and wonders as a means to growth.
  Spring semester, two hours. Mr. Finn.

PTM 171 Mission Anthropology

  • To introduce students to the science of anthropology and how to utilize it for mission
  • To explain the relationship between anthropology and contextualization 
  • To make students aware of the dangers of improper contextualization 
  • To trace the development of urban anthropology as a field of study and assist students in learning how to exegete urban culture 
  • To guide students in being able to critique current theological models 
  • To give students the opportunity to develop a theological framework for evangelizing a very particular urban culture or subgroup

Topics covered include introduction to anthropology, definition of culture, how to study culture, how to do proper cross-cultural comparisons, definition of worldview, how anthropology can be useful for Christian mission, how to contextualize, dangers of contextualization, development of urban anthropology as a sub-discipline, institutional discrimination, immigrant adaptation, and poverty.
  Fall semester, two hours. (Not given in 2014-2015). Staff.

PTM 181 Religions of the World

  • To acquaint the student with the doctrine and demographics of the major world religions
  • To help students develop an evangelistic approach to members of these groups 
  • To provide firsthand encounters with people from these various groups

Topics covered include a theology of other religions and evangelistic methods. Religions covered may include Animism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism.
  Spring semester, two hours. (Not given in 2014-2015). Staff.

PTM 312 Preparation for Cross-cultural Ministry

  • To assist students in clarifying their calling to cross-cultural ministry
  • To help students assess their abilities and capacities to minister cross-culturally
  • To walk the students through the life cycle of cross-culturally ministry

Topics covered include understanding ones strengthens and weaknesses for cross-cultural living, culture shock, choosing a mission board, fund raising, team ministry, the family and oversea living, “third culture kids”, returning home, and characteristic of a cross-cultural ministry.  Prerequisite, PTM 171, completed or in progress.
  Fall semester, one hour. (Not given in 2014-2015). Staff.

PTM 353 Urban Research Methods

  • To help students understand the importance of research in preparing for mission/ministry
  • To introduce students to research methods such as participant observation, interviews, questionnaires, walk-throughs, demographic analysis, and model studies 
  • To assist students in being able to organize and analyze data 
  • To provide helpful tips on how to successfully write a major research paper, including Westminster’s format requirements

Topics covered include definition of research; use of research for mission/ministry; general research studies (model studies, community studies, people group studies, effective evaluation); specific research methods (library research, interviews, questionnaires, participant observation, walk-throughs, demographic statistics, focus groups); organization and analysis of data; Westminster’s format guidelines; and Turabian requirements. Prerequisites, PTM 143, PTM 151, and PTM 171. Corequisite, Summative Project. Limited to M.A. Urban Mission students.
  Spring semester, one hour. (Not given in 2014-2015). Staff.

PTM 373 Missions and Mercy Ministries

  • To acquaint students with biblical material in reference to doing community analysis
  • To guide students into ways of discovering the will of God for their communities 
  • To challenge students to uncover personal and systemic issues in society affecting the lives of people living in the city 
  • To assist students in utilizing demographic information for the purpose of understanding sociological realities as well as theological implications and missiological applications 
  • To provide students with field experience in assessing needs for urban ministries

Topics covered include demographics as an applied science, theological and missiological reasons for demographics and mercy ministry, definitions, community analysis, case studies, reasons for mercy/compassion ministry and community development, clarification of issues leading towards community development, liberation theology, and community development.
  Spring semester, two hours. Mr. Sarracino.

PTM 381 Theology of Mission

  • To have a thorough knowledge of the biblical teaching on the mission of the church
  • To examine historical and current issues that have shaped the mission enterprise 
  • To be able to bring that knowledge to bear on one’s own ministry

Topics covered include a biblical theology of missions, contextualization, and current trends in missions.
  Spring semester, two hours. Mr. Sarracino.

PTM 462  Understanding the Islamic Challenge

  • To look at the world of Islam, its beginning, its growth, and the doctrines of its major divisions
  • To examine the current movements and stresses in the Muslim community with the challenge they pose to the church 
  • To suggest ways the church can meet today’s Islamic challenge

Topics covered include the development and demographic profile of various American Islamic communities as well as their international connections; Muslim immigrants; the American born descendants of these immigrants; American converts to Islam; and reasons behind the rapid growth of Islam today among Americans without a Muslim background.
  Winter semester, two hours. (Not given 2014-2015). Mr. Ellis.

PTM 572  The History and Theology of the African American Church

  • To gain a better understanding of the African American church

Topics covered include the history, theology, and culture of the African American church.
  Winter term, two hours. (Not given in 2014-2015). Mr. Ellis.

PTM 651 Cross-Cultural Missions Trip

  • To give students experience in working with a team cross-culturally
  • To help students determine their calling to cross-cultural ministry
  • To increase students’ vision for reaching the world

Topics covered include pre-field orientation, cultural overviews of country to visit, and issues related to team ministry.
  Semester varies, two hours. (Not given in 2014-2015). Staff.

PTM 671 Urban Mission Seminar


  • To guide students in the use of critical analysis when evaluating ministries or strategizing for new ministries
  • To provide opportunities for students to learn from the life experiences of other students 
  • To present challenging situations facing those in ministry for students to evaluate in terms of theology, social sciences, and mission

Topics covered will change every semester so students can take the course more than once. These topics will include ministry models, mission case studies, reconciliation issues, and presentation of books for discussion.
  Fall and spring semesters, one hour. (Class is combined with one section of PT 021P). Mr. Witmer.