Discernment: Theology and the Practice of Ministry

Discernment is a journal of practical theology. In language accessible to the church, it presents peer-reviewed work by scholar-practitioners describing Christian ministry in a broad array of contexts, exemplified by: congregational life; a particular ministry within a congregation (children’s ministry or youth ministry, for example); mission contexts, whether single or multi-congregational; ministry in cross-cultural settings; or Christian ministry in an extra-congregational environment (for example: disaster relief, care for the poor, or care for children and families). See the Aims and Scope for more information about the journal's coverage.

Current Issue: Volume 4, Issue 1 (2018)


It is no mystery that language is important in ministry. This issue will contain works that demonstrate the power of words used to describe a ministry practice, a communal virtue, or a congregational narrative. Essays will be added to this issue as they emerge from the publication process. In the first essay, Steve Cloer explores the concept of "placing membership" and finds it to be lacking; he proposes alternative language and practices that lead to missional partnership at the local congregation. Jason Locke discusses the importance and power of congregational narrative; although congregations sometimes choose stories that are self-deceptive, hope lies in a narrative that calls a church toward life-giving identity and mission.