Communication/Cybernetics Course Script
Class Powerpoints
Homework Assignments

Communication/Cybernetics in the Church Course Syllabus

THS Syllabus

Communication/Cybernetics in the Church


Course Number: PTH4D1803
Course Title: Communication/Cybernetics in the Church
Level: Bachelor
SWS/Credits 2
Author: Matt Rutz
Version: 1.0
Date of writing: Feb. 7. 2022


Course description

Effective communication in a group requires an understanding of both group dynamics and also how different communication practices function. This course offers insight in the importance of both the spoken and written word, and also the effects of pictures, graphics, and typography. In the area of Cybernetics, individual roles within a group and effective interventions will also be introduced. The instruction will be heavily practice oriented.


Course goal

  • The student describes the importance of communication skills of all kinds, e.g. spoken, written, graphic, media, and web.
  • The student articulates the construction and care of communication pathways, both in interpersonal relations and in church-related group work.


Course Content (20 hours)

  1. What is communication, and in which areas of my pastoral ministry this communication have a significant role?
  2. Which communication personalities are there, and with which ones do I most identify myself?
  3. What are my strengths and weaknesses in the area of communication?
  4. What is the “4-ear model” of communication?
  5. Clothing, hairstyle, auto, furniture, etc.: everything communicates, so how do I design a communicated image well?
  6. Written communication: how do I design the right text?
  7. Advertising texts.
  8. Composing a mailing so that I communicate what I really want to say.
  9. How can my communication lead a person from point A to point B?
  10. What is a negative communication?
  11. What is manipulation and communication?
  12. Applying pressure in communication: which kind of pressuring is important, and which kind is negative?
  13. How do communication paths flow in a church? Where, above all, does that flow have to be right?
  14. Which are the greatest mistakes concerning communication paths in the church?
  15. Which aspects of communication can I delegate, and which should I not delegate?
  16. What are Cybernetics?
  17. How do I assert influence?
  18. What asserts influence over me as a leader? How do I respond appropriately?
  19. How do I establish a healthy balance between critique-culture and obedience?
  20. What typical dynamics are found within a church?
  21. Which basic needs and expectations to the people in my church have concerning me, and concerning the church as a whole?
  22. What is the difference between a vision and a goal?
  23. How do I communicate a vision, and how do I care for it and follow it?
  24. How do I win others for a vision and for goal?
  25. How do I create a positive atmosphere and positive culture?
  26. What is a communication culture, and how do I care for and feed it?


Course breakdown

  • Session 1 – May 2
    • Divine Communication
    • Communicating Vision and Goals
      See reading and reading reflection
  • Session 2 – May 9
    • Shaping a communication culture
    • Using words and images powerfully
      See reading and reading reflection
  • Session 3 – May 16
    • Group Dynamics
    • Managing Group Dynamics
      See reading and reading reflection
  • Session 4 – May 23
    • Systems of communication
    • Evaluating your communication and improving your process
      See reading and reading reflection

Required tasks 

  • Required reading (20 hours).
  • Communication simulation and practice during both instruction time and private study time.


Compulsory reading

  • Saturate : Being Disciples of Jesus in the Everyday Stuff of Life by Jeff Vanderstelt (Found in the Ebook central Online Library)

    • Find the reading break down in the Homework Assignments


Homework Breakdown:

For the assignments see them in the course under Homework Assignments:

  • Assignment 1 – Due: May 7
  • Assignment 2 – Due: May 14
  • Assignment 3 – Due: May 21
  • Assignment 4 – Due: May 28


Further reading

To be determined


Late work

Unless otherwise specified in class, work will be due on the date given on the course web-page, on the assignment itself, or in the attached calendar. Late work will be accepted by the instructor at the instructor’s discretion. A late penalty of 5% per week will be applied for work turned in late. Late work must be turned in within 4 calendar weeks of the original due date, with the final cut off one week before the beginning of the next trimester. After this, late work will not be accepted. Additional points may be deducted for errors. Any late assignments over 4 weeks over-do will not be accepted. Any exceptions to this will be solely at the instructor’s discretion.


Composition of the final grade

  • Final Test (40%)
  • Class Attendance (30%)
  • Reading Assignments (30%) 


Course Hours

20 hrs: Instruction

20 hrs: Compulsory Reading

10 hrs: Other Assignments

10 hrs: Final Exam

60 hours total