Courses

  • STH TC 914: Dmin:Worship
  • 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: Vocation, Work, and Faith
    Who am I called to become? What am I called to do? What are my gifts and where will they be recognized and of service? These kinds of vocational questions are fundamental to our lives. The course seeks to open up reflection, study, and dialogue about vocation, work, and spirituality in religious traditions and in our own life experience. Work and vocation are often connected. Work too is a crucial religious question in contemporary society. Work exerts a powerful--and often unrecognized--influence on human beings. It can support life, develop talents, elicit creativity, and enable people to contribute to the common good. Work also can demean human beings, undermining their dignity, perpetuating unjust structures, overpowering values, and crowding out other important spheres of life. Labor issues are important concerns for faith communities and faith-based community organizations. This course explores vocation and work as theological/spiritual issues, including implications for ministry. We will explore themes such as: work as spiritual practice or challenge; labor and justice issues; discerning vocation; creativity; Sabbath; "time poverty"; and work-life balance. The course involves site visits, vocational mentoring, seminar presentations, and individual research/ministry projects.
  • 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 TC 978: Sabbath: Theology and Practice
    This course explores Sabbath keeping as a central practice of faith and a core practice of transformative religious leadership. Drawing upon Jewish and Christian traditions, we will study theologies and practices of Sabbath keeping and reflect upon their meaning in contemporary contexts. As part of this work, we also will explore Christian theologies of the Lord's Day, including the meaning of Sabbath in light of the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. The course will include attention to Jewish-Christian dialogue as well as consideration of debates internal to faith communities about Sabbath keeping. We also will focus attention on questions of Sabbath keeping and spiritual formation, Sabbath keeping as a dimension of pastoral excellence, Sabbath as countercultural practice, and implications of Sabbath for social justice. Students will be encouraged to cultivate a practice of Sabbath keeping throughout the semester and as the culmination of the course they will have the opportunity to design a practical theological project relevant to their own community and context of leadership.
  • 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
      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
    This seminar explores some foundational theories that have shaped the field of adult religious education, providing encounters through reading, discussion, and practice. Learners will deepen their understanding of key challenges posed by postmodernity as positivism, meta-narratives, and neo-liberalism undergo deconstruction. In addition, learners will test and refine theoretical approaches and their implications by facilitating, experiencing, and evaluating practices. Through the semester, the instructor will illustrate how to read a current research theme through the course literature and invite learners to do the same. The course is intended to provide a rich grounding for further research.
  • 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 TE 921: Adult Religious Education
    This seminar explores some foundational theories that have shaped the field of adult religious education, providing encounters through reading, discussion, and practice. Learners will deepen their understanding of key challenges posed by postmodernity as positivism, meta-narratives, and neo-liberalism undergo deconstruction. In addition, learners will test and refine theoretical approaches and their implications by facilitating, experiencing, and evaluating practices. Through the semester, the instructor will illustrate how to read a current research theme through the course literature and invite learners to do the same. The course is intended to provide a rich grounding for further research.
  • STH TF 701: Introduction to Christian Traditions
    This first course of a two-course sequence provides a basic academic orientation to the Christian movement through a survey of its history from antiquity through the Protestant Reformation. Lectures and readings on the history of Christianity will be complemented by parallel lectures and readings on great theologians of those times. Emphasis is placed on increasing students' self-consciousness of their own theological and religious identity, Christian or otherwise, relative to the first sixteen centuries of Christian history. MDIV and MTS core requirement.
  • STH TF 702: Christianity Engaging Modernity
    Continuation of TF 701.
  • STH TF 703: Practicing Faith
    Situated in the first semester of the MDiv program, the Practicing Faith courses aim: 1) to increase the student's self-awareness of lived faith in dialogue with cultural and religious traditions and with attention to formative spiritual and religious texts and practices; 2) to develop the student's ability to reflect critically about practicing faith. (MDiv Requirement) Each section of the course focuses on a different topic: A1 (Choi) Gender, Culture, and Transformative Leadership. This course will discover personal and communal practices of faith through an understanding of leadership and power in the context of culture, race, gender/sex, religious traditions, and religious communities; B1 (Goto) Addressing practices at the personal, congregational, and social levels, we will investigate the role of the physical body in welcoming and embracing God's kingdom, and our accent will be on enacting and experiencing faith. C1 (Hassinger) Integrating Spirituality and Leadership. This section examines the intersections of leadership theory and practice and spiritual practices for leaders and groups they lead. Spiritual practices are broadly examined and explored. Contexts include both congregations and non-profit organizations. E1 (Schlauch) Rather than focus on rituals expressing the beliefs of religious traditions, we consider that the faith each of us is practicing is incoherent: each of us is carrying out varied practices of multiple faiths.
  • STH TF 704: Practicing Faith II
    Situated in the first semester of the MDiv program, the Practicing Faith courses aim: 1) to increase the student's self-awareness of lived faith in dialogue with cultural and religious traditions and with attention to formative spiritual and religious texts and practices; 2) to develop the student's ability to reflect critically about practicing faith. (MDiv Requirement) Each section of the course focuses on a different topic: A1 (Choi) Personal and communal practices of faith through an analysis of leadership, culture, religious traditions, and religious communities, learning how power, authority and leadership interact and are exercised in multicultural society. B1 (Goto) The role of the physical body in welcoming and embracing God's kingdom, and our accent will be on enacting and experiencing faith. C1 (Hassinger) Leadership in the context of congregations and other organizations, grounded in group and individual spiritual practices. D1 (Schlauch) On the incoherence of faith, and moving towards an increasingly coherent faith through examining, critically reflecting upon, and consequently revising the varieties of each of our faith. E1 (Lightsey) The expression of spirituality within the cultural traditions of enslaved African people in America, their progeny and Black people who migrated to this continent, spirituality and religion, and their influence on social justice, seen through different faith traditions and historical narratives.
  • STH TF 710: Stewarding a Legacy and a Promise
    This course is required of all incoming MDiv, MTS, and MSM students, including transfer students, in the first fall semester of their degree program and aims at orienting students (1) to the legacy, faculty, curriculum, resources, and community principles of the School of Theology; (2) to a wholistic framework for thinking about stewardship of body, mind, spirit, finances, and the wider ecosphere; and (3) to a robust embrace of and engagement with social and theological diversity, power and privilege, and one's capacity to relate across difference. The individual sessions will also make room for answering questions students might have about the curriculum or the school.