Introducing Practical Theology by Pete Ward

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This introduction to the field of practical theology reclaims a theological vision for the life and work of the church. Pete Ward dispels the myth that practical theology is a distraction from the “real” tasks of ministry or from serious academic theological work. He argues that practical theology is part of the everyday life of the church and that there are a variety of possible approaches, helping readers evaluate the approach that is most appropriate to their ministerial context and theological tradition. This reliable, accessible resource will work well for those in training or in ministry.


Practical Theology for the Life of the Church

“An excellent introduction to practical theology that brings the church and academy together. Most importantly, it is rooted in the gospel and mission of congregations.”
Richard Osmer, Princeton Theological Seminary

Introducing Practical Theology is a rich and intellectually significant account of the fundamentally practical character of theological knowledge. Pete Ward displays this practicality through a groundbreaking exploration of theology’s biblical and tradition-shaped wisdom, its shaping by secular disciplines, and its redemptive function, as well as its grounding in God. Ward’s constructive proposal emerges from a critically respectful review of the field of practical theology, offering an account that transcends its boundaries in deeply profound ways.”
Mary McClintock Fulkerson, Duke Divinity School

Introducing Practical Theology does much more than you might think from the title. It no doubt introduces practical theology, but it goes much further, introducing a whole way of thinking about the field. Pete Ward is a unique thinker that uncompromisingly demands that practical theology attend to real people’s experiences by respecting their tacit and meaningful lived theology. Ward champions the belief that ordinary people in our churches are indeed attending to God’s action. In this volume you’ll find a beautiful way for attending to theology in the everyday.”
Andrew Root, Luther Seminary; author of Faith Formation in a Secular Age

“Grounded nicely in Ward’s expertise in ecclesial ethnography and reflecting his evangelical background, this book will especially appeal to those looking for an overtly church- and gospel-centered approach to practical theology. Written in a down-to-earth style for a wide audience, the book provides a useful guide to the field, offering novices an understanding of what has happened in practical theology, with particularly helpful advice on small-scale empirical research and theological reflection.”
Bonnie Miller-McLemore, Vanderbilt University

About the Author

Pete Ward (PhD, King’s College, London) is a professorial fellow in ecclesiology and ethnography at St. John’s College, Durham University, in Durham, England. He also teaches at MF The Norwegian School of Theology, Oslo. He is the author or editor of more than ten books.


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