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Joseph Bush Jr.
Associate Professor of Life and Leadership of the Congregation in the Schilling Chair of the Church and Economic Life
Director of Masters Studies
Ordained elder in the United Methodist Church
Appointed 2002


B.A. Grinnell College
M.Div. Wesley Theological Seminary
M.Phil. Drew University
Ph.D. Drew University

Teaching and Research

administration and leadership of religious organizations
understanding the nature and dynamics of congregational life and mission
urban and rural church life and leadership
environmental studies
pastoral ethics

Courses Offered in the Current Academic Year
CS251 Religious Leadership, Organization, Administration and Finance in Context I
course description|syllabus
CS252 Religious Leadership, Organization, Administration and Finance in Context II
course description|syllabus
IS151 Theological Interpretation: God, Community and Transformation (co-taught with Chris Smith)
course description|syllabus
Other Courses Offered 
CL896 Theology & Practice of Stewardship
course description|syllabus
IS152 Integration of Ministry and Local Theologies (co-taught with Sharon Tan)
course description|syllabus
TR341 Land: Ecology, Politics, Economics, and Spirituality
course description|syllabus 
TR744 Theology of Urban Ministry (offered jointly by United, Luther Seminary, and Bethel Seminary)
course description|syllabus  
    For further information about courses CS251, CS252, CS253, CS254, and CL663 check the Contextual Studies pages at: http://moodle.unitedseminary.edu/context/.


Gentle Shepherding: Pastoral Ethics and Leadership
St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2006






“Pastoral Confidentiality.” Business & Professional Ethics Journal - Incorporating Professional Ethics: A Multidisciplinary Journal 22, no. 4 (Winter 2004): 67-92.

“Informed Consent and Parish Clergy.” The Journal of Pastoral Care and Counseling 57, no. 4 (Winter 2003): 427-436.

“Playful Prayer: A Way to Worship While Preparing to Lead.” The Preacher: Quarterly Journal of the New Zealand Lay Preachers Association (October 2002): 9-14.

“Natural Ambivalence.” Stimulus: The New Zealand Journal of Christian Thought and Practice (January 2001) .

“Genetic Modification: Theological and Ethical Issues.” Will the ENZ Justify the Genes? Wellington: Capital City Forum (August 2000).

“New Cosmology and Old Questions: Reflections on Fifty Years of Thinking about Christianity and Ecology.” Colloquium: The Australian and New Zealand Theological Review 32, no. 1 (2000): 51-70.

“Land and Communal Faith: Methodist Belief and Ritual in Fiji.” Studies in World Christianity 6, no. 1 (Edinburgh: Spring 2000).

“Rhetoric and Risk in Genetic Modification.” Wellington: Crosslink (November 1999). Reproduced at www.casi.org.nz/issues/science/ge/gebush.htm.

“Reactionary Methodism and the Rule of Law in Fiji.” In Religion and Law in the Global Village. McGill Studies in Religion, edited by D.E. Guinn, C. Barrigar, K. Young (Atlanta: Scholar’s Press, 1999).

“Defining Group Rights and Delineating Sovereignty: A Case from the Republic of Fiji.” American University International Law Review 14, no. 3 (1999).

Regular Topics for Presentation

Upcoming Presentations


Contact Joe at 651.255.6140.

After having lived and taught in Fiji and in New Zealand, I am now enjoying being back in the upper Midwest where I can visit easily with family and friends. I like hiking and birdwatching, playing folk music and bluegrass, tending to my tropical fish, and attending an occasional baseball game.
I also like to cook.

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“I am excited by a holistic understanding of stewardship as gratitude and care - involving our capacities for love and service as well as our finances - in home, neighborhood, church, society,
and the natural world.”

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“My passion for teaching is God’s love - not only for the students but for those who will be their parishioners. We must keep in mind God’s love and care for those whom we don’t know and never see but who will be the recipients of our students’ ministries.”

* * *

“All creation is called to glorify God. All humanity is called to work for justice. The church participates with others in these vocations by virtue of being a part of creation and a part of human society.”

Denominational Commitments/Other Pertinent Activities

My congregational membership is in Community United Methodist Church in Columbia Heights. My primary conference membership is in the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, but I participate regularly as an affiliate member of the Minnesota Annual Conference.


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