This course is for Starr King students engaged in part-time or full-time Clinical Pastoral Education. Participate in ministry to persons, and in individual group reflection upon that ministry. Theoretical material from theology, the behavioral sciences, and pastoral care. Integrates theological understanding and knowledge of behavioral science into pastoral functioning. Upon completion, a written evaluation from the program supervisor will be placed into the student’s permanent files. Discuss first with your advisor and then faculty. Final evaluation from CPE supervisor needs to be sent to faculty by the last day of the semester to receive credit. Every year SKSM offers an orientation to CPE and to the application process; students are responsible for applying and securing a place in a CPE program. Please check the SKSM Student Handbook for more information.
Course TypeField Education
Course IDFE 4012
Course Size1 – 30
Field work describes an involvement in community work for up to 15 hours a week with the ongoing support of a mentor. Community Field Work includes work in gender, racial and economic justice, queer activism, disability advocacy, immigration issues, environmental responsibility, civil liberties protection, HIV response, youth at risk, peace building, participating in a fundraising campaign for a non for profit or grassroots organization, chaplaincy, teaching and more. Students should discuss the field work opportunity with their advisor before making arrangements with the professor. Student and community mentor should discuss and sign a learning agreement before the official beginning of the field work experience. Midterm and final student/mentor evaluations will also be required by midterm and the last day of SKSM classes. All forms available from the professor at the beginning of the semester and on the SKSM Website. Please see Student Handbook for more information.
Course TypeField Education
Course IDFE 4060
Course Size1 – 30
Community Internships involve engagement at a field site from 16 to 40 hours a week, under weekly supervision at the site and the support of the SKSM Community Intern Reflection class (an integrative seminar). Community Internships include a variety of settings, such as supervised placements in a non-profit service agency or grassroots organization, hospice work, chaplaincy, teaching and more. They can also entail creating new projects such as starting a new organization or planning a national conference with a board of mentors. Those who register for this course should also register for Community Intern Integrative Reflection Fall. Students should discuss the internship with their advisor before making arrangements with the professor. Student and supervisor/mentors should discuss and sign a learning agreement before the official beginning of the internship. Midterm and final student/supervisor evaluations will also be required by midterm and the last day of SKSM classes. All forms available from the professor at the beginning of the semester and SKSM Website. Please see Student Handbook for more information.
Course TypeField Education
Course IDFE 4220
Course Size1 – 30
Fieldwork in Unitarian Universalist congregations may include teaching a religious education class for children or adults, working with a youth group, participating in a stewardship campaign and/or more. Please arrange with the professor.
All Starr King students serving as ministerial interns in Unitarian Universalist congregations are expected to participate in regularly scheduled times of reflection on their ministerial work and the work of their intern colleagues. Participation in a two day gathering of interns and teaching ministers at the School is essential.
This is a 9 month full-time (one year) or an 18 month part-time (two year) experience in a teaching congregation under the supervision of a Minister in final Fellowship with the UUA, an intern committee, and a professor at the school. Those who register for this course must also register for Parish Intern Reflection Spring.
Course TypeField Education
Course IDFE 4210
Course Size1 – 15
Every year, Sufis from around the world gather for the annual celebration of Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi’s death. Concerts, symposia, lectures, sema (ceremony of the whirling dervishes), dhikrs (Sufi ceremony of Divine Remembrance), etc. take place throughout the day and late into the night. Rumi Immersion students will participate in sessions focusing on the study of Rumi; Islam in Turkey; dance and music in spiritual practice, etc… There will be opportunities to meet with members of Jewish, Eastern Orthodox and Muslim Sufi communities in Istanbul and Konya. Preparatory readings and videos will be required ahead of time. The group will maintain a blog with video throughout the trip so that other members of the community can experience this. Students must arrange to finish the work for their fall semester courses prior to their travels. Students are responsible for securing their own passports, and arrange for appropriate visa requirements to Turkey from your country of citizenship. In addition to tuition, the estimated additional costs will include airfare (secured by the student), plus ca. $2,500 for room, board and transfers within Turkey. For more information, email Prof Dr Ibrahim Farajajé at email@example.com.
This lively and interactive course grounds participants in philosophical, psychological, programmatic, ethical and theological aspects of youth ministry. Geared particularly toward Unitarian Universalists, this course seeks to embody a vision of youth ministry that is a vibrant, robust, and flexible part of every congregation. Topics of instruction include leadership and spiritual development, professional support for youth advisors, denominational polity, adolescent life issues, building intergenerational community, and a critical analysis of different models of youth ministry and programming. Recommended for all religious leaders, both new and old to youth ministry.
This course will examine the major global religions from a cross-cultural, multi-religious perspective. Taking into consideration that a course that explores many religions cannot be comprehensive, we will consider the religions from a thematic perspective by analyzing fundamental beliefs and practices in the various religious traditions. In addition, we will also examine assumptions underlying the discipline of religious studies. Students will engage through weekly readings and forum discussion, as well as other interactive learning activities, as part of the online learning community. Students of all faiths and backgrounds are invited and encouraged to enroll.
Illness is both soul-shaking and soul-evoking for the patient and for all others for whom the patient matters. We lose an innocence, we know vulnerability, we are no longer who we were before this event, and we will never be the same. We are in uncharted terrain, and there is no turning back. Illness is a profound soul event, and yet this is virtually ignored and unaddressed.
– Jean Shinoda Bolen, Close to the Bone
Illness, Health & Healing is a two-semester on-line course in which students (1) listen deeply to the voices of the ill and their caregivers; (2) explore ways of fostering health and healing in their congregations and communities; and (3) develop practices to aid in their own healing and well-being. During the Fall of 2014 students will focus on poetry, illness and pastoral care. Students will work with healing stories, both contemporary and ancient, from a multi-religious perspective, and craft their own. They will develop and/or deepen their pastoral skills and personal spiritual practices through weekly exercises.
This is an introductory course in “systems thinking,” a leadership model that recognizes that people, structures, and processes interact within organizational systems to foster organizational health. Wherever your ministry takes you: serving a congregation; working as a hospital chaplain; supervising volunteers in a voter registration drive; even living in an Occupy encampment, knowledge about systems thinking offers you tools to respond appropriately to the needs of the system in which you find yourself.
Our study of congregations and other organizations will be rooted in anti-oppressive understandings of the interconnections of systems and ethnicity, class, gender, age, and disability. Our work will also take us into uncharted territory to explore systems thinking in relation to social media and non-hierarchical organizational systems. This class has been designed to meet Unitarian Universalist fellowship requirements, but all are welcome.
This course will explore the powerful synergy between mystic spirituality and social activism. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote, “Only through an inner spiritual transformation do we gain the strength to fight vigorously the evils of the world in a humble and loving spirit.” In the urgent and troubling context of current world events, we will look to the example of “mystic-activists” from diverse cultures and faith traditions for inspiration. Readings and class explorations will include Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, and Indigenous sources. Through a wholistic approach of both head and heart, we will consider specific tools and practices to nourish and sustain us in our ongoing commitment to anti-oppression work and ministerial service.
This online course will focus on the cases of Latina/o immigrants in the United States and Japan in relation to their experiences of faith, ethnicity and gender. The approach is interdisciplinary as we will draw from several fields for the analysis of the class topics. The goal of the course is to provide grounds for students to acquire tools for understanding the different realities of immigrants. Issues of faith, race/ethnicity, gender and migration will be constantly connected to pastoral reflection throughout the course, especially since our world is increasingly becoming multicultural, multiethnic and multi-religious.
During Fall 2014, the Institute of Buddhist Studies will offer the following courses. Please note ~ we participate in the same GTU registration periods. To register for an IBS course, follow the same instructions as registering for a Starr King course. See How to Register. Most, but not all, IBS courses do not require a PIN, so pay close attention when registering. View IBS Fall 2014 Online Course listings.
- Topics in Japanese Religion: Buddhism and Shinto in Japanese History, Grumbach
- Readings in Early Buddhist Texts: Middle Length Discourse, Fronsdal
- Critical Historiography of Buddhism, Amstutz
Again, the Institute of Buddhist Studies and Starr King School have different requirements for registration. For example, SKSM does not accept auditors. Although sponsored by SKSM, IBS courses follow IBS rules. Please check course descriptions carefully before registering.
Course is for students wanting to equip themselves to address the critical issues of our time. It will focus on the prophetic sermon within liberal religious contexts. The content of student sermons will concentrate on our current global unraveling/revolution. Realistic assessment of the cascading crises and active hope grounded in sustaining and resilient theology-cosmology will be our guiding ethos. Readings on the multiple dimensions of global unraveling/revolution, as well on preaching will form the textual base of study.
All SKSM students involved in community internships will meet together for reflection on their work, as it is only through the processes of theological reflection and critical reflection on experience that field work becomes field education. This class includes readings, discussions and writings and is designed to broaden and to deepen students’ analytic perspective on their field site contexts and on their roles as religious leaders and professionals. Students will be grow in their ability to think and learn in a praxis oriented way, that is, allowing situations of practice to deepen and challenge their academic knowledge about theo/alogies, and allowing their academic knowledge of theology to deepen and challenge their practice of leadership. In field-based experiences the depth of students’ learning depends entirely upon how well they can implement praxis oriented learning.
This course provides a broad introduction to the theory and practice of liberal religious education, with an emphasis on Unitarian Universalist congregations. Students of all religious traditions are welcome. Topics include an overview of the history and philosophy of UU religious education, teaching methods and learning processes, theories of human development, the congregation as an educating community, current approaches and innovations in religious education for all ages, collegial relationships and professional standards for religious educators, and curriculum resources. Coursework includes a field placement (approximately three times a month) in a local congregation’s religious education ministry, weekly journaling, two reflection papers, responsibility for leading class openings and discussions, and a final project of significance to the student’s future ministry.
Please note: this course does not require prior coursework or knowledge of Islam to register as previously stated. (Updated Aug. 29, 2014)
“If you remember Me, I will remember You” ~Qur’an 2:152~
Throughout the world Sufism is identified as the mystical dimension of Islam emphasizing the student’s journey towards higher states of consciousness and unity with The Divine. Just as the surfer becomes one with the wave so does the human heart become one with The Eternal through the practice of Dhikr, remembrance of The Divine.
In this experiential course students will explore the many facets of Dhikr, including chanting, prayer, meditation, Qur’anic recitation, movement, and music. Sufi communities, or “tariqas,” are found throughout the world and vary from country to country. This course will touch upon many different traditions and focus primarily on the Naqshbandi tradition from Dagistan.
This course is designed to impart the fundamental journalistic and production skills of media activism as a tool for political transformation: to break corporate control of information, to give voice to the voiceless, and to organize for social change.
Students will learn skills in technical production, the art and science of interview journalism, the power of language & art to bear witness, as well as the history, philosophy, strategies, and the power of alternative media to shape current affairs.
Live interviews with key working journalists, as well as extensive case study and historical context will be presented.
Students will also collaboratively create and produce in-depth/interview stories (of varying lengths) for a weekly radio news magazine, some of which will be broadcast on the Daily Newsmagazine Flashpoints on KPFA Radio.
Students will be expected to make several studio visits to KPFA to study production in practice. Access to a 3G/4G phone will also be necessary.
Clarence Jordan was a scientific farmer and Christian Scriptures Greek scholar. In 1942, he founded Koinonia Farm, an experiment in interracial living, in Americus Georgia. Such audacious living was based upon Jordan’s understanding of the demands of Jesus. Utilizing Clarence Jordan’s Cotton Patch Version of the Scriptures, the class will examine how to read the parables of Jesus in the context of today. Jordan’s parables were written during a time of great racial division and conflict. How do we re-contextualize the revolutionary message of Jesus to empower today’s needs and insurrections? Who are the players today? The course is particularly relevant for preachers, religious educators, and leaders of secular movements.
The “Negro Spirituals” grew out of a people’s determination to build beloved community and assert the divine spirit of their humanity under brutally dehumanizing conditions. In doing so, these people also breathed new life into a religious tradition that had been de-spiritualized by the debauchery and greed of their oppressors. These same enslaved Africans also launched a renaissance of arts and culture in the dominant society that still continues, centuries later. Similarly powerful assertions of music, spirit, and community can be observed throughout the worldwide African Diaspora, and traced to deep and ancient roots on the African continent. This Sankofa workshop looks back at such cross-generational movements of “grass-roots” social and spiritual change to retrieve time-tested conceptual frameworks for wading in the troubled waters of today, such as school-to-prison pipelines in communities of color, which seem to flow from sources similar to those addressed in the Spirituals.
For SKSM Master of Arts in Social Change (MASC) students only. MASC students can split this course over two semesters or sign up for it during their last semester. This final project can take a variety of forms and should be representative of the student’s learning and creative work in the MASC degree. Projects include research thesis, public presentations, designing and implementing educational curricula, organizing local/national conferences and special events, multimedia art-work, writing a book and more. The thesis topic, proposal and final draft need to be discussed and developed with the faculty. The project can have a public presentation. A total of 3 MASC Project credits are required for graduation in the MASC degree. Please discuss with instructor.