Course Offerings

Core Course

Students will enroll in the following course at Boston University School of Theology in the fall:

Course: STH TS 805, Mondays 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Title: The Spirituality and the Art of Conflict Transformation: Creating a Culture of JustPeace

Description:  This core course for the Religion and Conflict Transformation Program will introduce students to the theology, theory and practice of faith-based conflict transformation, preparing students to become religious leaders equipped with fundamental tools and skills for engaging conflict and transforming conflict in a way that advances God’s goal of shalom, a culture of JustPeace. This course will go beyond the theology and theory to specific practices with training through weekly exercises.

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Other classes that count as core electives include:

ECW-Tom

Spring 2017 RCT Course Offerings

Please note: Other courses can count towards the RCT certificate, too. Please let us know if you have ideas or questions about specific courses you are taking or wish to take!

1. TS 861, all day Jan. 8-13: Skills, Tools & Sensitivities for Interfaith Leadership with Yehezkel Landau


This course is a laboratory for exploring theoretical perspectives and practical methodologies for interfaith leadership. It is designed for students aspiring to be congregational leaders, interfaith educators, or community-based activists. It presumes a basic familiarity with the beliefs and practices of Jews, Christians, and Muslims as well as some experience in interreligious dialogue. (Students who lack knowledge or experience in a particular area can contact the course instructor to inquire about making up for it before the course). The primary focus is on developing skills and tools for interfaith leadership, including: compassionate communication; facilitating interfaith encounters; joint study of sacred texts; tapping spiritual resources for conflict transformation; and designing interfaith devotions.

2. TS 806, all day Jan. 20, 21, 27 & 28 (Feb 3rd & 4th snow dates):

Introduction to Mediation Theory and Practice (Bickford & 3 other women from Cape Mediation)

This course will present theory and practice on mediation through interaction with the instructors, course readings and practical experience. The course utilizes a lecture/discussion format interwoven with role play experience to help students form a strong foundation in the practice of mediation. Students will learn theory as well as practical skills and in the process, they will learn how to engage themselves in an appropriate way in the mediation process. In addition to classroom experience, students will complete an 8 hour practicum in the Barnstable Courts under the supervision of Cape Mediation staff.

3.  TT 827, Thurs. 6:30-9:15PM: Jewish and Christian Justice with Dean Moore and Rabbi Or Rose of Hebrew College


In this jointly-taught seminar, we will explore the lives and work of six influential Jewish and Christian figures involved in social and environmental activism in the 20th and 21st centuries. We will delve into the autobiographies, biographies and writings of six selected figures, encountering and analyzing the social-religious contexts in which they lived, their theological and ethical commitments, and the dynamics of individual and communal transformation revealed in their lives. Further, we will analyze how the ideas and experiences of these individuals illumine contemporary social and environmental issues and point to potential responses by religious seekers and leaders, with particular attention to Jewish and Christian communities. The seminar is designed as an interreligious, cross-cultural encounter, and will encourage students to explore the values, ideas and practices of their own communities; to share in a common meal each week and other traditional practices; and to explore resonances and differences across communities and contexts, as revealed in the individuals we study and in our own lived experiences.

4. TS 807, Thurs. 12:30-3:15PM: Transitional Justice and Reconciliation: Healing Collective Wounds with Dr. Judith Oleson (new RCT Clinic Co-Director)


The first half of this course will compare transitional justice processes in the Balkans and Rwanda. The second half of the course will compare reconciliation processes between Indigenous communities, mainline churches, and governments in Australia, Canada and the US, to address one hundred years of child removal, institutionalization and cultural genocide of Indigenous communities. The historical role of the Church as advocate, bystander or perpetrator, will be explored, and more recent forms of public apology, reparations and attempted healing between communities. Students will have an opportunity throughout the course to apply frameworks of transitional justice and reconciliation to their own contexts.

5. TS 877, Mon. 6:30-9:15PM: The Principles and Practices of Restorative Justice with Tom Porter


This course explores the needs of key stakeholders in a justice system (victims, offenders, communities, government officials), outlines the basic principles and values of restorative justice with comparisons to the principles and values of retributive justice, and introduces some of the primary models of practice. It also identifies challenges to restorative justice. These discussions will takes place in the context of secular and religious understandings of justice. The course is organized around the issue of crime and harm within a western legal context. However, attention is given to applications and lessons from other contexts. Of particular interest is the contribution of traditional or indigenous approaches to justice as well as applications in post-conflict situations, such as South Africa. The class will include presentations by the instructor, class discussion of the assigned reading, conversations with victims, offenders and community members, and role plays of different practices. The class meets at the School of Theology and will include students from both the Law School and the School of Theology. Students will be graded on the basis of their written work and classroom performance. There will be no final exam.

6.  TS 855, M-F Jan. 9-13: Sexuality Issues for Religious Professionals with Dr. Alford

This course is designed to offer students the knowledge and skills they need to address sexuality issues in their future ministries. The course will begin with opportunities for students to reflect on their own sexuality attitudes, values, and beliefs, as well as how their sexual identity and personal sexual history may affect their ministry. The course will cover the foundational knowledge about sexuality issues, the interrelationship of sexuality and religion, and opportunities for the development of skills to provide counseling, education, preaching, and public witness on sexuality issues.

For more information, email rct@bu.edu