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STH TC 909: Spiritual Autobiographies
Participants in this course will read selected spiritual autobiographies in order to gain an understanding of the varieties of religious experience and the interrelationship between spirituality, theology, and historical and cultural context. We will examine the nature of religious experience and the difficulties in translating this experience into language. Moreover, we will explore the important issue of how spirituality relates to the institutional churches, and the various shapes spirituality takes outside these institutions. Through close, empathetic, and critical examination of the texts, participants also will reflect on their own spiritual journeys and spiritual identities. They will prepare written analyses of course texts and, by the end of the course, will write a portion of their own spiritual autobiography.
STH TC 912: Classics in Christian Spirituality
This course serves as an introduction to the study of Christian spirituality through in-depth reading of selected classics in Christian spirituality as well as secondary source scholarship in the discipline. We will delve into texts by early monastics and visionary medieval mystics; look anew at Protestant hymns and poetry; go deeper into Ignatian discernment; and engage the spiritualities of Latin American liberation theologians and African American women. This interdisciplinary seminar opens up reflection on spirituality and theology; spirituality and history; spirituality, gender, race, and ethnicity; spirituality, poetics, and autobiography; spirituality and ministry; and spiritual practice. Students are encouraged to integrate the material with an eye toward their own spiritual lives and vocations. The course will integrate music, art, and poetry to offer a fuller engagement with spiritual classics.
STH TC 919: The Sacraments: Rites and Theologies
Contemporary study of the sacraments brings together ritual studies, liturgical history, the history of dogma, and systematic reflection. This course examines the baptismal and eucharistic rites of the Church, both past and present, along with theological rationales of and commentaries on them offered by ecclesiastic writers of the patristic, medieval, Reformation, and modern periods.
STH TC 937: Work and Faith
STH TC 954: Proseminar in Liturgical Bibliography
Selected classics and recent books in liturgical studies will be read in order to examine different methodologies employed in the field.
STH TC 960: Theologies of Preaching
This doctoral seminar course helps students become familiar with attempts across multiple traditions to understand what preaching is theologically. It aims to equip them to engage the theological task constructively as homiletical theologians in their own right.
STH TE 805: Growing in Faith: Ministries with Children, Youth, and Young Adults
What can we learn from the growing faith of children? And how can the church foster a Christian way of life during the hopes and challenges of adolescence and young adulthood? This is a practical, interactive course designed to equip students to lead educational initiatives with young people in diverse contexts. After discussing biblical, historical and developmental perspectives on the spiritual lives of young people, we will explore a broad range of educational strategies, from Godly Play to confirmation classes, mission trips, vocational discernment and the emerging church. Assignments will include observation in local congregations, curriculum analysis, interviews with practitioners, and a final integrative project.
STH TE 808: Creative Pedagogy
This course examines the transformative potential of creative pedagogy, in which individuals and communities learn through the free play of possibilities that deepen faith. By engaging practical, historical, theological approaches, students learn to consider the tensions, risks and opportunities of creative pedagogy, while acquiring skills to teach and learn through the body, the imagination, and the senses.
STH TE 811: Doing Theology Aesthetically
In this course learners explore the aesthetic dimensions of meaning-making through visual art and aesthetic practices. Discussion of texts, experiences of making art, and engagement in aesthetic practices shed light on the potential strengths and limitations of using aesthetic experience as an effective teaching approach in religious education.
STH TE 812: Introduction to Christian Education: Person, Community, and Religious Education
This course is a practical introduction to ministries of learning and teaching in Christian communities. It will explore the dynamics of individual and communal faith formation in diverse contexts, drawing on a range of perspectives from theology and the philosophy of education. Students will analyze the education offerings of religious communities, evaluate educational resources, practice effective teaching approaches, and design educational strategies appropriate to their community of faith.
STH TE 819: REligious Education for Social Transformation
ÃÂ This course explores a religious pedagogy that enables communities of faith to integrate the personal formation of their members with their communal public actions for social transformation. Both the history and the current practices of Christian religious education reveal a division between two educational dimensions: the formation of "self" and the transformation of society. Rather than separate tasks, participants are invited to understand these as one integrated task. The pedagogy of practicing theology will be introduced to show how it enables people in communities of faith to develop their personhoods, as they participate in the communities' actions for social transformation.
STH TE 821: Adult Religious Education
STH TE 822: Spirituality and Liberative Pedagogy
The purpose of this course is to draw from the depths of Christian spirituality and liberative pedagogy to discover insights, questions, and directions for future educational practice. The course takes seriously both Christian spirituality and liberative pedagogy in their own rights, exploring practices and pedagogies in their many forms, and pays attention to the creative overlap between the two. The underlying hope is that the class will discover and construct educational practices that deepen spiritual life and contribute significantly to liberation in this world.
STH TE 845: Religion and Education
The relationship of government with schools and colleges based upon religious convictions and the efforts of educators to shape and maintain a distinctive character in such institutions. Issues of educational freedom and the rights of parents in historical and comparative international perspective.
STH TF 701: Reading the World I: History, Theology, Contexts
This two-course sequence invites students to read the world historically, theologically, and sociologically through the lens of Christian traditions. In studying challenges faced by communities of faith, both past and present, students acquire an understanding of the basic theological categories and frameworks that have guided Christians through the ages, gain an overview of the chronology of Christian history, and learn the arts of thick contextual description and analysis. MDIV & MTS CORE REQUIREMENT.
STH TF 702: Reading the World II: History, Theology, Contexts
Continuation of TF 701.
STH TF 703: Practices of Faith I
The purpose of this year-long course is to deepen participants? prehension and practices of faith in relation to the larger Christian narrative and the more particular narratives of diverse human communities and persons. To accomplish this, students will study communities of faith through reading, the arts, and observation, and they will reflect on their own faith traditions, spiritual formation, ethical commitments, and vocational discernment. Throughout the year, participants will also engage with ministering communities through guest lecturers, contextual immersions, and service in contextual placements. Such experiences will be enriched through ongoing reflection and faith sharing in weekly small groups. MDIV CORE REQUIREMENT (OPTIONAL CORE FOR MTS).
STH TF 704: Practices of Faith II
Continuation of TF703.
STH TF 801: MTS Contextual Education Project
All MTS students fulfill a contextual education requirement that incorporates 1) active as well as reflective learning; 2) out-of-classroom as well as classroom learning; and 3) self-reflective learning in which students become aware of their position in, and effect on, the contexts in which theological education and religious leadership are performed and enacted. While this may be fulfilled through a standard contextual education internship, the year-long TF 703/704 Practices of Faith sequence, or an STH course-related travel seminar, the TF 801 course affords students the opportunity to designed a customized, one-semester project that facilitates the integration of theory and practice as well as vocational discernment and leadership development in religion and theology. Guidelines for developing the project are available on the Contextual Education website at STH. Students taking TF801 meet weekly with a Contextual Action and Reflection (CAR) group throughout the semester.
STH TF 808: Travel Seminar
From time to time, STH faculty lead travel seminars that facilitate learning in contexts around the globe. Recent seminars include travel to Cuba and to Israel/Palestine. Spring 2013 Section M1: Travel seminar conducted in conjuction with Montreal City Mission, a century- old community ministry of the United Church of Canada. Students will explore culture, language, religious and ethnic identity in relation to multiple populations. Special themes to include ministry challenges and opportunities when thinking in terms of otherness and belonging. Cost is $300/student. Limited enrollment and subject to instructor's approval. Course meets at 1-4p.m. on January 15 & May 30 in Boston (room TBD). Dates of trip to Montreal are May 21-27. Spring 2013 Section M2: This course affords students an opportunity to learn first-hand about the political and religious histories of Israel/Palestine from multiple perspectives by means of direct interactions with key Israeli and Palestinian leaders, visits to important cultural sites, and in-depth discussions with members of diverse local communities. The course is configured around a trip to Israel/Palestine, May 20-30, 2013. Four trip pre-sessions are required: Saturday, March 23, Thursdays 6-8pm on April 11, 25 and May 9.