Ministry, Church, and Society course resources

Resources for the course that people often refer to as "MCS"

Are Christ-followers on a cruise ship or a battleship?

"Cruise ship versus battleship: Most of us go to church expecting it to be a cruise ship. 'Provide me with this program and that program. Cater to my every want and need.' But Christianity isn't supposed to look like that. It is supposed to be a battleship fighting the powers of darkness, and that often isn't pretty. It really messy loving our neighbor and having compassion on the forgotten ones of this world." -- Sarah Dupray

"Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy." -- Ephesians 5:25-26

Open Educational Resources

This page and the resources linked from it are Open Educational Resources (OER)

What do Nazarenes believe about the Church?

We believe in the Church, the community that confesses Jesus Christ as Lord, the covenant people of God made new in Christ, the Body of Christ called together by the Holy Spirit through the Word.

God calls the Church to express its life . . .

The mission of the Church in the world is to share in the redemptive and reconciling ministry of Christ in the power of the Spirit. The Church fulfills its mission by making disciples through evangelism, education, showing compassion, working for justice, and bearing witness to the kingdom of God.

The Church is a historical reality that organizes itself in culturally conditioned forms, exists both as local congregations and as a universal body, and also sets apart persons called of God for specific ministries. God calls the Church to live under His rule in anticipation of the consummation at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

(Exodus 19:3; Jeremiah 31:33; Matthew 8:11; 10:7; 16:13 19, 24; 18:15 20; 28:19 20; John 17:14 26; 20:21 23; Acts 1:7 8; 2:32 47; 6:1 2; 13:1; 14:23; Romans 2:28 29; 4:16; 10:9 15; 11:13 32; 12:1 8; 15:1 3; 1 Corinthians 3:5 9; 7:17; 11:1, 17 33; 12:3, 12 31; 14:26 40; 2 Corinthians 5:11 6:1; Galatians 5:6, 13 14; 6:1 5, 15; Ephesians 4:1 17; 5:25 27; Philippians 2:1 16; 1 Thessalonians 4:1 12; 1 Timothy 4:13; Hebrews 10:19 25; 1 Peter 1:1 2, 13; 2:4 12, 21; 4:1 2, 10 11; 1 John 4:17; Jude 24; Revelation 5:9 10)

    -- excerpt from the Articles of Faith, Church of the Nazarene

MCS: A course about putting your faith into action

Ministry, Church, and Society speaks to questions like:

photo of two people holding old sign that says, War declared on hell.

Cheryl and Doug Samples hold a hundred-year-old sign from the first Church of the Nazarene in Los Angeles, California

MCS was a required General Education class. Its major components:

  1. A look at some existing worldviews of our pluralist society with an eye toward being able to clearly dialogue with others about evangelical Christianity
  2. Ecclesiology (a study of the church) that includes encouragement to everyone to get involved in some kind of active ministry
  3. A look at assuring that everyone knows how to articulate their own Christian faith and the plan of salvation clearly.

The materials listed below reflect the sections of MCS as they were taught by Howard Culbertson.

"Christians have a source of water other than the world's poisoned well"
— Rodney Clapp (p. 98 of Peculiar People)

Course syllabus

Course materials

What students have said about the Ministry, Church, and Society course

"It encouraged me to be other-focused instead of inward-focused."
"It helped me understand the importance of ministry."
"It got me closer to the Lord."

External links

Resources related to the "society" and "ministry " parts of the course
Resources related to the sharing-your-faith component of the "ministry" part of the course
Telling the story of your faith journey
Links to help your articulate clearly your story

Do's and Don'ts about sharing your faith story

Most courses at SNU contain a writing component.

I expect students to produce written work that is focused, well-developed, organized, and relatively free of grammatical, punctuation, and spelling errors.

Papers falling short of this standard will not be graded. That work will be returned to the students for further revision and resubmission.
See my writing checklist.

Tempted to cheat on schoolwork? Before you do, read SNU's academic integrity policy

    -- Howard Culbertson,

Where can I do my service hours?

arrowWhat are the possibilities for getting in the required service hours? Check out the list of places where MCS students have given volunteer service.


While "church" has come to mean a building where believers gather, the word in its biblical sense refers to the Christian community itself, regardless of the physical structure. Beyond its organizational aspects, a church is a group of believers who regularly come together to express their faith, find guidance, and foster a sense of belonging. Such gatherings serve as a focal point for spiritual growth, fellowship, and the practice of shared beliefs and values.

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