Theology of Ministry

A Reformed Contribution to an Ecumenical Dialogue


Theology of ministry has always been a controversial issue in the relation between churches, especially with its juridical approach that concentrated on authority. In recent decades the secularization and individualization in the Western world have intensified the challenge to reformulate the mission of the church and its ministries. Building on the Reformed theology of the 16th century (Zwingli, Calvin and confessions) and on the results of the ecumenical convergence on ministry (BEM) in the 20th century, this study presents building blocks for a renewed theology of ministry in the 21st century.
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Biographical Note

Eddy A.J.G. Van der Borght, Ph.D. (2000) in Theology, Leiden University, is Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. He has published on theology of ministry, ecclesiology and on faith and ethnicity.

Table of contents



Ministry in the Reformed Tradition of the 16th Century

1. Martin Luther and the Church's Ministry
2. Huldrych Zwingli and Ministry within the Church
3. John Calvin and Ministry within the Church
4. Calvin's Understanding of Ministry within the Church
5. Calvin's Assessment of Ministry: Its Historic Development and Its Sacramental Nature
6. The Church's Ministry in a Number of Reformed Confessions of Faith
7. Ministry in the Reformed Tradition of the 16th Century: Conclusions and Perspectives

Baptism, Eurcharist, and Ministry: An Ecumenical Challenge to the Reformed Tradition

8. The Ecumenical Convergence Text of BEM
9. The Calling of the Whole People of God (Art. 1-6)
10. The Church and the Ordained Ministry (Art. 7-18)
11. Forms of the Ordained Ministry (Art. 19-33)
12. Succession in the Apostolic Tradition (Art. 34-38)
13. Ordination (Art. 39-50)
14. Towards a Mutual Recognition of Ordained Ministries (Art. 51-55)
15. Baptism, Eucharist, and Ministry: Questions by and for the Reformed Tradition

Building Blocks for a Reformed Theology of Ministry

Selected Bibliography

Index of Names
Index of Subjects


Academic theological libraries, seminary libraries, all those training to become minister, ministers in the church, church officials.


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