Our Educational Model

Our abiding mission is clear: educating people for Unitarian Universalist ministries and for progressive religious leadership for society. Our modes for fulfilling that mission were re-designed through a comprehensive process of evaluation and planning. Our re-designed educational model was unveiled in the spring of 2008.

Our educational model has positive advantages for students and for the excellence of education that they can receive through Starr King. Starr King is a school with moveable walls — people can study "at" Starr King from their computer at home, in local churches across the country, in community settings around the globe, and in Berkeley.

The Starr King learning community is multi-local. We maintain a center in Berkeley for residential study, but students are engaged in multiple sites of learning, while remaining connected to one another and to the faculty through the use of new educational technologies and opportunities for the whole learning community to gather for shared intensives one or two times each year.

Our model embodies Unitarian Universalist values in the way we do education, as well as in the content of our curriculum.

It is grounded in the importance of congregational life and oriented to ministries that touch the heart, enliven the mind, heal the soul, solace the brokenhearted, and advance justice for the oppressed.

It gives special emphasis to advancing our Unitarian Universalist commitments to the "journey towards wholeness" — to education that promotes wholeness and liberation, counters oppressions, and prepares leaders who for the work of creating just and sustainable communities.

The model makes multi-faith engagement and understanding foundational to our curriculum.

Our model is oriented to the preparation of religious leaders from diverse, progressive faiths along with Unitarian Universalists.

It carries forward Starr King's long heritage of education that is personally transforming for our students, and socially relevant to the issues of the day and the challenges of the future.

The model offers a radical yes to each person's gifts and calling, and empowers agency, creativity, and responsibility within the interdependent web of life.

Through our redesigned educational model, Starr King is able to serve a greater number of Unitarian Universalists who wish to receive a UU theological education. Our approach makes a Starr King education more effective and more accessible for those who cannot afford the expense of uprooting themselves and their families to move to Berkeley for three or four years of a traditional residential seminary program.

Beyond Unitarian Universalist students, this model allows Starr King to be an excellent choice for progressive people from a diversity of faiths who would benefit from education at a seminary such as ours that is explicitly committed to multi-faith understanding, and to education that counters oppressions and promotes just and sustainable community.


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