Case Study Guidelines

Presenting the Case Study: Some Foundations

  1. We are making a commitment to learn together through a combination of action-reflection-action and case-in-point learning.
  2. What happens in the Residency Program stays in the Residency Program.
  3. Focus on listening and developing your capacity to hear what is being discussed. A goal might be a balance of listening and speaking among the whole group. Roberta Gilbert in “Extraordinary Relationships” talks about integrated conversations—thought, feelings, relationships, content all together.
  4. During each case study presentation, the student presenting a case is given clarifying, challenging and supportive feedback regarding her or his ministry.

Prior to each presentation, a facilitator and a chaplain will be named for the session. The facilitator’s role will be to move the process along. The chaplain’s role will be to pray for the work of the group and the presenter.

It is the responsibility of each presenter to make the case study available to the class prior to the presentation; please send out only the case story and the issue(s) you have identified. Please use a case study from an event over a year ago that has concluded or been resolved. Names may be changed to further protect confidentiality. We will use a Residency Program Case Study Dropbox to make the case study available ahead of time. It is the responsibility of each student to read the case prior to its presentationat the monthly meeting.

Present the Case

(10 minutes)

  1. The presenter will prepare an outline of their case and present the content of the story. It is the facilitator’s job to track the time for each segment of the presentation. All group members will listen to the presentation without question or comment.
  2. Each member of the group will write down questions or insights during the presentation.

Clarify the Information

(5 minutes)

  1. Facilitator then opens questions up to the group for clarification.
  2. Reminder to ask meaningful questions, not just a search for the scoop. Such as, where are things unclear? What were the thoughts of the presenter? What does the presenter see as the things that he/she would like to focus on? Is there an unnamed issue or avoidance happening?
  3. Focus on clarifying. Avoid interpreting or processing.

Share Personal Wisdom

(10-15 minutes)

  1. Presenter becomes a silent observer. (Ask presenter to move to an area outside the circle of discussion and take notes, but do not participate in the discussion.)
  2. Group, with help of facilitator, determines the primary issue(s) for discussion. Other issues besides the issues(s) identified by the presenter may be used for discussion.
  3. Once the issues have been named, the group is asked to connect their own experience with the issues of the case, rather than to the story itself.

Claim Wisdom of the People of God

(8-10 minutes)

  1. Presenter joins in the discussion of the group
  2. The group then asks questions and shares insights that are explicitly theological and ethical, such as:
    • How have people responded to similar situations involving the identified issue in other times and places?
    • What Biblical story, image or principle comes to mind about this case? What challenge does the group
    • observe and how might that represent God’s activity in some way?

Reflect on Presenter’s Ministry

(5-8 minutes)

  1. Reflect on the presenter’s ministry as shown in this case study.
  2. What areas of insight and identity can be affirmed? And where is there room for further growth?

Evaluate the Process

(5-8 minutes)

  1. Presenter shares with group what has been helpful.
  2. Group looks at its own process and gives feedback on how they listened to each other and participated in the session. Was there a challenge within the group? Any leadership undermined even within the group process? Was there any conflict? Misunderstanding? How could the process in this particular group be changed/helped?

*_Adapted from a case study process used in the “Pastor as Leader” course at Trinity Lutheran Seminary/Bexley Hall Seminary, Bexley OH; Professor Emlyn Ott, 2009_.