Intersession 2013-2014

January 2014 Intersession Courses

Early Registration: Nov. 11-22, 2013
General Registration: Jan. 6-31, 2014 (check course for dates)

Early Registration is strongly advised. Courses may be cancelled after pre-registration if there is insufficient enrollment.

Home Hospitality is available with a local Unitarian Universalist family in January. Visit this page to register -- someone will be in touch with you:  

December 20th is the deadline to request home hospitality during the weeks of Jan 6th and Jan. 13th.

January 10th is the deadline to request home hospitality during the weeks of Jan. 20th and Jan. 27th

(If your plans change after registering, please contact our Home Hospitality Coordinators at

Starr King Tuition and Course Fees.

Students enrolled in a degree program at Starr King School (or any other Graduate Theological Union school) should follow the registration processes outlined by their school’s registrar.  Starr King’s processes are listed in the Starr King Student Handbook .

To register for a course if you are not in a degree program at Starr King or the GTU, please see "How to Register for a Starr King Course".



January Week One | January Week Two | January Week Three |
January Week Four | Field Education


Week 1: January 6-10, 2014

Unitarian Universalist Religious Leadership in Historical and Theological Context
Susan Ritchie
Monday-Friday; January 6th-10th, 2014, 9:00am-5:00pm

We will examine the histories and theologies that inform contemporary Unitarian Universalist conceptualizations of religious leadership, both ministerial and lay. Our focus will be on developing the theological and historical depth that allows religious leaders to understand their authority, their accountabilities, and to act as agents for change.  This course is the M.Div. UU Ministry Core Intensive.
Syllabus (pdf) for this course or Syllabus (Word).

HRFT 4775                           3 Units
Minimum 6 Limit 30               PIN Required: Yes
Fireside Room

January Week One | January Week Two | January Week Three | January Week Four | Field Education


Week 2: January 13-17, 2014

Understanding the Bible: An Introduction for Skeptics, Seekers and Religious Liberals
John Buehrens
Monday-Friday; January 13th-17th, 2014        9:00am-5:00pm

The Bible has been said to provide the “DNA” of Western culture. No one can effectively attempt to change that culture without learning how to interpret the Bible in transformative ways. This course welcomes those who feel alienated from the Bible, or who know little of it, except as mediated through interpretations supporting oppression and the status quo. For those already familiar with progressive Biblical interpretation, it can serve as further preparation for intensive study of Hebrew and Christian texts. Advance reading will include not only the instructor’s brief (200 page) book of the same title, but also several texts introducing the development of the Biblical traditions, the Bible in relation to violence, feminist biblical interpretation and Jewish scholarship in relation to Christian origins. Course discussions will use the Beacon Press study guide to the instructor’s book prepared by the Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones. A final paper will be required on a theme or text selected by each student in consultation with the instructor.
Syllabus for this course.  

About the Instructor
John Buehrens is a Unitarian Universalist minister who has served congregations in Tennessee, Texas, New York City, Massachusetts and California, and as President of the UUA, 1993-2001. An experienced theological educator, he has taught courses at Harvard Divinity School, Andover Newton Theological School, and Starr King. In addition to Understanding the Bible, Buehrens has written A Chosen Faith: An Introduction to Unitarian Universalism [with Forrest Church 1989,1997] , A House for Hope: The Promise of Progressive Religion in the 21st Century [with Rebecca Ann Parker, 2010], and Universalists and Unitarians in America: A People’s History [2011].

BS 4070                                3 Units
Minimum 5 Limit 15               PIN Required: Yes
Fireside Room

~ New ~
Feminist Readings of the Quran
Ghazala Anwar
Monday-Friday; January 13th-17th, 2014     9:00am-6:00pm

The first part of the course will be spent in examining the basic teachings and key terms of the Quran and in identifying its ethical principles.  The rest of the course will be devoted specifically to gender related issues in the light of Quranic ethics. We shall study Muslim feminist and Queer readings of the Quran. Pre-requisite readings will be announced and written assignments will be due four weeks after the course ends.

This course is residential with Skype or Fuze participants as technology permits.
Syllabus for this course.

HRBS TBD                         3 Units
Minimum 5 Limit 25             PIN Required: Yes

Room TBD


~Canceled~ Disturbing the Peace: Art and Activism
Amir Soltani
Monday-Friday; January 13th-17th, 2014        9:00am-5:00pm

What does it take to unleash the power of creative thinkers?  Whether it is making a documentary film, writing a graphic novel, launching a campaign or creating a movement, the emphasis of the course will be on practice: the relationship between ideas, art and activism.  We will explore how artists, activists and dissidents have used their moral imagination—the power of art and activism--to expand our visions of community.  Students will be encouraged to use these models to develop their own creative projects.  How to tell the stories, build the constituencies, discover the opportunities, develop the tools, secure the resources to make the changes they seek happen. Particular attention will be give to how people create and use social media as an instrument for protest and change.

RARS 4001                           3 Units

January Week One | January Week Two | January Week Three | January Week Four | Field Education


Week 3: January 21-25, 2014

Thematic Preaching
Robert Hardies
Tuesday-Saturday; January 21st-25th, 2014, 9:00am-5:00pm

This course is designed for preachers who take life as their sacred text for preaching and who seek to practice a ministry of non-lectionary-based thematic preaching in a congregational setting. We will explore the theological foundations of thematic preaching, learn how it fits into a larger vision of congregational ministry, identify resources and sustaining practices for the thematic preacher, and—of course!—preach. Each student will write two and deliver one original sermon for the class. (Sermons must be written and required reading completed in advance of class.) This course is designed especially for preachers in the Unitarian Universalist and other progressive theological traditions. All experience levels welcome.
Syllabus for this course.

HM 4006                                 3 Units
Minimum 8 Limit 15               PIN Required: Yes
Seeley G. Mudd building, PSR. See map of PSR Campus.

January Week One | January Week Two | January Week Three | January Week Four | Field Education

Week 4: January 27-31, 2014

Multireligious Life and Learning: “Greening” and “Queering” the Studies of Religions
Ibrahim Farajaje
Monday-Friday; January 27th-31st, 2014         9:00am-5:00pm

The process of queering religious studies is profoundly intersectional, looking at the intersections of various forms of counter-oppressive praxis.   This course will “queer” the study of religions, looking at environmental issues from the perspectives of different religious traditions:  we will see how this intersects with issues of genders, sexualities, race, embodiment, class, etc.. We will pay particular attention to “greening” burial practices, an area in which contemporary religious scholars and practitioners will be sought out to provide leadership.  MDiv-MASC Core Intensive.
Syllabus for this course.

HR 4261                               3 Units
Minimum 1 Limit 15               PIN Required: Yes
Reading Room

January Week One | January Week Two | January Week Three | January Week Four | Field Education


Field Education 

Community Field Work January Intersession 2014
Kurt Kuhwald

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.

FE 4061                                  0.5-1.5 Units
Minimum 1 Limit 30              PIN Required: Yes


Clinical Pastoral Education - January Intersession
Kurt Kuhwald

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 info.

FE 4012                                  1-4 Units
Minimum 1 Limit 30               Pin Required: No
Fireside Room


Congregational Fieldwork Winter
Kurt Kuhwald

Fieldwork in Unitarian Universalist congregations includes teaching a religious education class for children or adults, working with a youth group, participating in a stewardship campaign and more. Please arrange with the professor.

FE 4051                                  1-5 Units
Minimum 1 Limit 25               PIN Required: Yes

January Week One | January Week Two | January Week Three | January Week Four | Field Education

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