Pastoral studies are not only for pastors. All of our journeys involve pastoral studies to a greater or lesser extent depending on the organizer’s objectives and the constituency he or she is attempting to reach. However, if you are thinking of developing a tour for a group of professional pastors, you can emphasize skills that are useful and often specific to pastoral ministry. Journeys that emphasize pastoral studies equip participants with church life skills, such as preaching, personal and group spirituality, community building and managing differences. We study the Bible as narrative and learn to approach sermon composition and preaching as story telling. We examine the types of literature in the Bible and especially the ways in which biblical stories are constructed and passed on. We identify the elements of effective communication that are illustrated by the speakers in and writers of the Bible. We learn to use the geographical context of the biblical narratives as object lessons.
Pastoral studies also promotes a heightened appreciation for the ingredients of community building and developing appropriate interpersonal relationships. Diversity is one of the fundamental characteristics of the human family and, more specifically, of church communities. The Bible is a blue print for building community out of diversity. We study and learn biblical foundations of community building, the demands of managing differences, sensitive and mature accountability and setting appropriate boundaries.
Our journeys always involve opportunities to develop group and personal spirituality. The styles of personal and corporate spirituality are as varied as the community is diverse.
Tours can focus on topics of specific denominational interest, such as Wesleyan heritage tours in England or Presbyterian roots in Scotland.