Occasional Paper: The Shape of Pastoral Ministry

By Joseph A. Sittler and Richard R. Osmer

Occasional Paper #13 reprints two significant essays that are no longer readily available. “The Maceration of the Minister” by the late Lutheran theologian Joseph Sittler is an incisive, sympathetic analysis of the plight of ministers. “The Teaching Authority of the Minister in the Reformed Tradition: A Contemporary Proposal” by Richard R. Osmer, the Thomas W. Synnott Professor of Christian Education at Princeton Theological Seminary, presents a creative understanding of the office we Presbyterians used to call “teaching elder.”

The Office of Theology and Worship believes that “The Shape of Pastoral Ministry” is a useful resource for pastors, sessions and presbyteries. We hope that it will be used by groups of ministers and elders as a means to order discussion of the perils and possibilities of ministry.