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Interaction Papers and Case Studies


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Interaction Papers in Urban Mission

Interaction papers are one- or two-page papers designed to:

  • facilitate your personal engagement with the assigned course readings
  • prepare you for class discussion of the readings
  • hold you accountable for proceeding steadily through the assigned readings 
  • enable the professor to get to know you better and to understand how you are thinking through the course material.  

As the title suggests, an interaction paper is not a summary of the course readings but a way for you to engage with what you are learning both in class and through the readings.  As you write your paper, use the assigned reading as a springboard or prompt for discussing your own questions, insights, experiences, struggles, observations, or conclusions.  The best interaction papers focus on one or two thoughts that arise from your reading. 

If you are having trouble getting started, consider questions such as these:

  • Where do you find the material helpful, confusing, or frustrating?  
  • What light does the material shed on your own experience, and vice versa?  
  • Where do you feel yourself being challenged?  
  • How does reading material relate to what is being learned in class?

Case Studies in Urban Mission

Urban mission case studies present difficult ministry situations for the purpose of prompting you to consider how the specific context of the situation should nuance your response to it. 

They require you to answer questions such as these:

  • If you are an outsider ministering to a foreign culture, how will you deal with challenges directly related to cultural difference?
  • How will you negotiate your lack of cultural intuition?
  • What new avenues of theological reflection does this culture require you to consider? 

Because case studies deal with real life situations, there is seldom a clear right or wrong approach.  Therefore, you should utilize this opportunity to develop wisdom in practical ministry problem-solving

You will generally be graded on your completion of the assignment, the thoroughness of your response, and your contribution to class discussion. 

Your case study analysis should contain:

  • clear and thoughtful restatement of the dilemma and underlying issues
  • consideration of the challenges and complications posed by the specific context
  • your suggestion for how to address the dilemma

These case studies are similar to those encountered in Mentored Ministry Integration Seminars with an added cross-cultural element. Therfore, make your writing specific, direct, and practical, not theoretical or abstract.

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