Pastoral Theology is a specialized branch of theology that deals with the practical application of religious concepts. The Christian and Catholic religions are just way mired with the language of the clergy that there almost needs to be an intercessor who could translate the scripture, edicts and other ordinances that come from the higher offices of the church. This aspect of Christian education is a very important part of seminary training, since it gives pastors and priests the necessary skills and knowledge to be a representative of the church to the people.
Papers are usually requirements for pastoral theology classes since these papers can show how much knowledge and skill a person has gained from his training in biblical studies. Apart from religious studies that lead to priesthood, writing these articles can be good training for those who may be seeking a career as a writer of Christian books and other faith-based publications.
Here are a few tips on how you can write a pastoral theology paper.
- Try to focus on a particular passage or group of passages that may be of particular importance to people who might read your piece. Make sure that you exert the effort to make the material relatable. Not all people are well versed in the language and concepts of the church so breaking them down into components and ideas that can be understood in layman's terms can be a great idea into getting to a common ground.
- Browse through the Bible and look at the particular instances when a certain concept or rule was deemed necessary. Repetition in the paper reinforces the idea that the lesson is indeed something that is upheld by the Good Book.
- Make sure that the structure is very well made. Be direct to the point and make sure that you properly link your statements together. It would be very frustrating to read a very long paragraph that is unclear in its direction. To avoid this, make sure that you keep it clear why you're going at a certain way of explanation. You can build up your conclusions through a gradual introduction of supporting facts and analyses. In the end, this technique not only strengthens the conclusion of the case but it also makes it easier for the reader to follow the writer's flow of thought.
- Relate the lesson to a church teaching or a sacrament. This is the last link you have to make. Since the emphasis is on the practicality of the religious knowledge that is available, a minister or priest has to be able to defend why a certain ritual has to be done in accordance to the thesis of the paper.
Pastoral theology, of course, is not a hard science. When writing something that is based on faith and belief, you often don't have to write it as if it were a scientific experiment. Rather, build up your argument using faith-based analyses and arguments, but relate it with your intended reader's context.