Communication Competency

Definition for Communication Competency

“The student is able to persuade others with respect to biblical and theological truth through oral, written, and electronic media.”

Communication Goal

Because I want to improve my academic research and writing skills, I will complete two research and writing projects.

Because I want to develop skills in teaching in a higher education setting, I will help facilitate learning experiences for students in New Testament courses at DTS-DC.

Because I want to hone my skills in teaching in a local church setting, I will develop and implement a Sunday school class curriculum for New City Fellowship.

Because I want to develop my preaching skills, I will preach one or more times at New City Fellowship or a sister church.

Strategies

  • Complete two research and writing projects:
    1. I will write one book review with my Ministry Mentor for BibSac
    2. I will write one paper for presentation at a regional professional society meeting
  • Facilitate learning experiences for students in New Testament courses at DTS-DC:
    1. I will work as a grader for NT105 (Exegesis of Romans) and other New Testament courses over the year of the internship depending on student enrolment and departmental budget
    2. I will design updated Greek vocabulary lists and practice quizzes in Canvas for NT102
    3. I will teach two or more portions of class sessions of one or more NT classes
  • Develop and implement a Sunday school class curriculum for New City Fellowship:
    1. I will design a curriculum for weekly classes at my local church in conjunction with our preaching and teaching pastor
    2. I will teach a weekly class consisting of two 6 to 8-week long classes in the fall and two 6 to 8-week long classes in the spring
    3. I will train one or more church members to co-teach with me and to lead future classes
  • Preach one or more times at New City Fellowship or a sister church:
    1. I will review and critique sermons from my fall 2020 preaching class (PM5104) with my preaching and teaching pastor
    2. I will work with my preaching and teaching pastor to identify and prepare for preaching opportunities at our church or sister churches nearby

Resources

  • Complete two research and writing projects
    1. A mutually agreed upon book for review
    2. Approval of my ministry mentor to submit the book review to BibSac
    3. Time with my ministry mentor to discuss and review my writing, writing process, and writing strategy
  • Facilitate learning experiences for students in New Testament courses at DTS-DC
    1. Approval from the New Testament Studies department to be a course grader
    2. Instruction in grading policies for each course to be graded
    3. Instruction in using the backend of Canvas and access to Canvas for grading and designing quizzes and other learning activities
    4. Topic(s) and class period(s) assigned for me to present in a NT class(es)
  • Develop and implement a Sunday school class curriculum for New City Fellowship
    1. Books and curricula for classes
    2. Meeting location and time for classes
    3. Members of our church interested and willing to take a Bible study class
    4. Approval of church elders for class curriculum
  • Preach one or more times at New City Fellowship or a sister church
    1. Church(es) in need of pulpit supply and willing to take on a new preacher for this task
    2. Time set aside in ministry coach meetings to review and plan preaching engagements
    3. Approval and recommendation of church elders to preach

Measures

  • Complete two research and writing projects
    1. I will complete the book review by August 15, 2020.
    2. I will review my conference paper with my ministry mentor by October 1, 2020.
    3. I will submit papers for presentation by the appropriate deadlines between November 2020 and February 2021.
    4. If accepted for presentation, I will attend and present the paper(s) at the regional conference.
  • Facilitate learning experiences for students in New Testament courses at DTS-DC
    1. I will work with my Ministry Mentor to complete all grading for NT105 in a timely manner by the end of the Summer course session.
    2. I will review procedures for creating a quiz in Canvas with my Ministry Mentor and complete quizzes before the needed section of each course.
    3. I will plan and review lesson plans with my Ministry Mentor.
  • Develop and implement a Sunday school class curriculum for New City Fellowship
    1. I will have planned and approved Sunday school class curriculum by June 15th.
    2. I will have planned and approved the time and location for the Sunday School class with my Ministry Coach by July 15th.
    3. I will start teaching classes weekly by August 30th.
    4. I will have completed four 6 to 8-week course sequences by May 1, 2020. I will record select class teaching and review the teaching experience with my Ministry Coach.
  • Preach one or more times at New City Fellowship or a sister church
    1. By December 1, I will have preached one or more times in a local church.
    2. I will record my sermons and review them with my Ministry Coach.

Overall Reflection Statement for Communication

For my competence in communication, I am submitting four academic writing projects, which demonstrate my ability to communicate biblical and theological arguments to a knowledgeable audience and to present information in a cogent, thoughtful, and winsome way. I am also submitting videos of select portions of church-based classes I taught over the course of the year and some samples of my preaching. Covid restrictions made all of these projects very challenging and required creativity and perseverance in the face of new and unique circumstances and settings. I was also not able to get help and feedback from others as easily as I would have under normal circumstances. I had to constantly rely on God for help to persevere through the challenges of putting these materials and classes together. At the same time, I learned that I enjoy creating resources to help people understand the Bible and grow in their faith, I also had the opportunity to practice and grow in communication areas where I know I struggle, like staying on track and keeping to a time limit.

Artifacts With Descriptions

Two book reviews in Bibliotheca Sacra to demonstrate my ability to analyze an academic work and write a publishable academic book review. See documents here.
PDFs of the papers I presented to regional professional society meetings and a recording of my presentation (if able to present and record) to demonstrate my ability to research, write, present, and defend ideas in a collegial academic setting. See documents here.
Recordings of class sessions I teach for New Testament classes to demonstrate my teaching skills in a higher education classroom setting.

For this requirement, I was able to engage with several New Testament course sections (NT101—Beginning Greek 1, 102—Beginning Greek 2, and 103—Intermediate Greek). Rather than teaching a class module, I facilitated exam review sessions with these class sections. Because these were almost exclusively discussion-based, we did not record these class sessions.

Video recordings of me teaching the class at New City Fellowship to demonstrate my teaching skills in a local church setting.

The following videos show me teaching class sessions over Zoom for New City Fellowship in Manassas, VA, either to a mixed in-person/Zoom class or to a fully online class. The Acts and Paul class videos also give a sample of the handouts I created for these classes since I use them in these class sessions as a visual aid to work through the material.

Acts and Paul Class: Paul’s Third Missionary Journey and 1 & 2 Corinthians
(In-Person & Zoom)
Acts and Paul Class: Paul’s Prison Epistles (Zoom)
Spiritual Disciplines Class: Engaging Scripture
(In-Person & Zoom)
Spiritual Disciplines Class: Prayer (Zoom)
Video recording of a sermon I preached to demonstrate my preaching ability.
Mark 5:21–43: Jesus Meets Us in Our Greatest Needs
(Recorded at Home)
Genesis 29: A Strange Tale of God’s Provision and Discipline
(Recorded at Home)

Learning Reflection

As I developed and demonstrated communication,  I have learned I learned that I enjoy creating resources to help people understand the Bible and grow in their faith. I was able to create robust resources for my classes that were very helpful according to my students. However, I realized that it may be helpful in many cases to refrain from distributing more dense informational handouts until the end of a class since I can often get off track going over details of a handout during a class. I thoroughly enjoyed teaching, even though much of it had to be conducted over Zoom or in a hybrid format. At the same time, I had the opportunity to practice and grow in communication areas where I know I struggle, like staying focused, keeping to a time limit, and maintaining awareness of students’ interest level while teaching. In preaching, I became more comfortable with the medium of preaching and was happy with the overall structure and presentation of my sermons. However, I learned that I tend to under-personalize my illustrations, choose opening images that may be too intense, and overuse gestures. Though the video production is not great, there is significant improvement between my first sermon example above and the last one in terms of illustrations, application, and gesturing. I also felt confirmed in that, although I can preach a sermon without notes, this may not be feasible for me for longer sermons with short preparation time that would be the normal circumstance for preaching in a local church context. Seeing these sermons, though there is much room for me to improve, has given me a desire to see where the Lord might give me opportunities to grow in this area and use the skills I learned here to minister to the church.

Lifelong Development Statement

As a result of the experiences documented by these artifacts, I will continue to develop in communication by seeking opportunities to teach and lead groups in which I can practice attentiveness toward students’ needs during class and tighten up my presentation skills and use of relevant illustrations. I also hope to find opportunities to improve my skills in preaching, where I do not feel naturally gifted, but now see how the Lord could use this on occasion in my local church and various other ministry contexts.