Online Courses

Current School Year

Fall 2014

Dynamic Youth Ministry

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.

Session

Fall 2014

Course Type

Online

Location

Online

Course ID

EDFT 8462

Pin Required

No

Course Size

1 – 20

Units

3

Download

Global Religious Traditions

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.

Session

Fall 2014

Instructors

Course Type

Online

Location

Online

Course ID

HR 8401

Pin Required

No

Course Size

5 – 20

Units

3

Download

Illness, Health & Healing

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.

Session

Fall 2014

Instructors

Course Type

Online

Location

Online

Course ID

PS 8450

Pin Required

No

Course Size

8 – 24

Units

1.5

Download

Intro to Systems Thinking

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.

Session

Fall 2014

Instructors

Course Type

Online

Location

Online

Course ID

RS 8400

Pin Required

No

Course Size

6 – 20

Units

3

Download

Mysticism & Social Change

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.

Session

Fall 2014

Instructors

Course Type

Online

Location

Online

Course ID

RSSP 8410

Pin Required

Yes

Course Size

4 – 15

Units

3

Download

Promised Lands and Immigrants

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.

Session

Fall 2014

Instructors

Course Type

Online

Location

Online

Course ID

RSHR 8427

Pin Required

No

Course Size

3 – 20

Units

3

Download

SKSM and Institute of Buddhist Studies: Our Co-Sponsored Courses Fall 2014

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.

Session

Fall

Instructors

TBD

Course Type

Online

Location

No Location

Pin Required

TBD

Spring 2015

Eco-Theologies

As theologians rooted in Judeo-Christian religious traditions have responded to the complex nexus of the injustices of ecological crises and social inequities, a variety of critical and constructive theologies have emerged. This course explores contemporary eco-theologies, including ecofeminist, ecowomanist, queer eco-theologies, and Native American theologies of creation. Each student will research one current ecological issue as a conversation partner for the theologies we will study. We will also be asking questions about the implications of these theological projects for liturgical practices, congregational mission, and the students’ own constructive theological work where applicable. Weekly reading and regular online participation in Moodle’s discussion board, periodic group work via synchronistic online tools, two synthesis papers, and a final project are required.

Session

Spring 2015

Instructors

Course Type

Online

Location

Online

Course ID

CEST 8450

Pin Required

No

Course Size

3 – 15

Units

3

Ethics in Movies

This course provides a general introduction to key ethical theories and methodologies as they are embodied in selected movies. Through narratives, images and sound, movies embody the complex, implicit and explicit values and decision-making processes that are part of the lives of individuals and communities. They are also the expressions of particular worldviews and the fruit of complex artistic, technical and economic decisions with deep ethical implications. The movies chosen will focus on the interconnection of issues such as race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexualities, colonialism, class, economics, abilities, and religious and cultural diversity. Movies from underrepresented minorities and international movies will be preferred. The use of movies in community settings for theological and ethical reflection and grassroots activism will also be explored. Readings from the fields of ethics, theology and film studies. Class limited to 15 people:  please write to instructor introducing yourself and motivating your reasons for taking the class. This online class is fully asynchronous.

Session

Spring 2015

Instructors

Course Type

Online

Location

Online

Course ID

CERA 8422

Pin Required

Yes

Course Size

1 – 15

Units

3

Global Religious Traditions

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.

Session

Spring 2015

Instructors

Course Type

Online

Location

Online

Course ID

HR 8401

Pin Required

No

Course Size

5 – 20

Units

3

Leadership for Social Change: Theory and Practice

Open to all, and geared toward those engaged in community organizing, activist, social work, and nonprofit settings; also a foundational course for students in the MASC (MA in Social Change) program. Topics include visionary leadership, assessing organizational and community needs, social movement history, coalition building, power and identity, theological reflection, spiritual and emotional care for social change agents, and more. This interactive online course combines web technologies with an in-person praxis (action/reflection) component to deliver a dynamic distance learning experience for social change practitioners around the world. Participants will engage in academic scholarship, professional development, and spiritual practice responding to their particular interests, gifts, and challenges. Students will build a classroom community for peer reflection and support, while articulating and advancing their unique goals for their own learning and leadership in social change.

Session

Spring 2015

Course Type

Online

Location

Online

Course ID

RSFT 8418

Pin Required

No

Course Size

5 – 15

Units

3

Queer Liberation Theologies

What does “liberation” mean to queer individuals and communities? How do Christian traditions worldwide relate to queer issues and queer believers? For the last twenty years queer theologians and communities have been developing contextual theologies in order to challenge and critique the ingrained heteronormativity in theological thought, spiritual practices, and institutional governance. Drawing from an interdisciplinary perspective, the course aims to examine and explore the development of queer theologies in the specific contexts of Asia, Africa and Latin America. The focus of the course is intentionally non-US centered in order to offer future ministers, scholars, and activists tools to collaborate and interact with experiences, key topics and thinkers within the complex and yet fascinating world of queer liberation theologies, thus, enriching their worldview and praxis glocally.

Session

Spring 2015

Instructors

Course Type

Online

Location

Online

Course ID

HRRS 8420

Pin Required

No

Course Size

3 – 20

Units

3

SKSM and Institute of Buddhist Studies: Our Co-Sponsored Courses Spring 2015

During Spring 2015, 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 Spring 2015 Online Course listings (please check back if necessary).

  • Topics in Japanese Religion: Japanese Religious Landscape, Grumbach
  • Topics in Buddhist Traditions of Japan:  Teachings of Zen Master Dogen, Leighton
  • Psychological Aspects of Buddhism III, Bermant

Again, the Institute of Buddhist Studies and Starr King School have different requirements for registration. For example, SKSM does not accept auditors, while some IBS courses do allow auditors. Please check course descriptions carefully before registering.

Session

Spring

Instructors

TBD

Course Type

Online

Location

Online

Pin Required

No

Unitarian Universalist History

This course begins with an examination of the (alleged) antecedents to Unitarianism and Universalism in pre-Reformation Europe. We begin with development of Unitarianism in Poland, Transylvania, and England, then on to that of North American Unitarianism through its classical age, the Transcendentalist development, and the various crises of identity and purpose that develop into and through the late 19th and 20th centuries. Then we turn our attention to Universalist ascendency, decline, and then consolidation with Unitarianism. Careful attention will be paid throughout to the Unitarian/Universalist social location in relationship to class, race, and gender identities, and how these sometimes enabled and sometimes impaired social justice advances.

Session

Spring 2015

Instructors

Course Type

Online

Location

Online

Course ID

HSFT 8462

Pin Required

No

Course Size

5 – 30

Units

3

Previous School Year

Fall 2013

19th Century Unitarians and Nature

At the forefront of 19th century American liberal Christian efforts to use all of humankind’s faculties to interpret “the Divine Book of Nature” were many Unitarian ministers. This course will illuminate key aspects of Unitarian theologies in the mid-nineteenth century as they depicted the relationship among God, nature, and humankind, with close attention to the American Transcendentalists. Participants will explore the complexities of the Transcendentalists’ positions commonly seen as polarized between advancing self-cultivation and focusing on efforts for the common good. Participants will inquire how the Transcendentalists’ theological heirs translated their nature-loving theology into acts of love on behalf of actual nature and will analyze the resources inherent in this theological heritage, assessing its adequacy in light of current ecological crises. Online course using varied modalities. Weekly reading and assignments, final paper, and regular online participation required.
Click for Syllabus

Session

Fall 2013

Instructors

Course Type

Online

Location

Online

Course ID

HRST-8425

Pin Required

Yes

Course Size

5 – 15

Units

3

Download

Dynamic Youth Ministry

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.

Click for Syllabus

Session

Fall 2013

Course Type

Online

Location

Online

Course ID

EDFT-8462

Pin Required

Yes

Course Size

5 – 25

Units

3

Download

Global Religious Traditions

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 disciple of religious studies. Students will engage through weekly readings, reflection papers, 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. Priority given to off-campus SKSM students.

Click for Syllabus

Session

Fall 2013

Instructors

Course Type

Online

Location

Online

Course ID

HR-8401

Pin Required

Yes

Course Size

5 – 20

Units

3

Download

Mysticism and Social Change

This course explores 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 context of current world concerns, we will look to the example of “mystic-activists” from diverse cultures and faith traditions for insight and inspiration. Readings, audio/video resources, and class explorations will include Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, and Indigenous sources. Both pastors and prophetic activists require regular replenishment of the inner spirit as the essential “breathing in” to balance the “breathing out” of our work in the world. Through a holistic approach of head and heart, we will consider specific practices to nourish and sustain us in our ongoing commitment to anti-oppression work, justice-making, and ministerial service.

Click for Syllabus

Session

Fall 2013

Instructors

Course Type

Online

Location

Online

Course ID

RSSP-8410

Pin Required

Yes

Course Size

4 – 18

Units

3

Download

Progressive Educational Theory

Can schools build a new society? Or is education an agent of cultural reproduction? Seminary students need to know about progressive educational philosophies and methodologies if they are interested in secular or religious teaching; in higher education; or in working with children, youth, young adults. What is the purpose of education? Is it to liberate the poor, to resist, or to teach a “hidden agenda” that will inculcate attitudes and values to support the hegemony? This course will offer a deeply nuanced understanding of education — our most important and least understood social institution.

Click for Syllabus

Session

Fall 2013

Instructors

Course Type

Online

Location

Online

Course ID

ED-8403

Pin Required

Yes

Course Size

6 – 20

Units

3

Download

Queer Studies from a Multireligious Perspective

In an increasingly changing and globalized world, the intersection of religious and queer studies is vital for understanding the construction of identities. This online course is designed to introduce you to the place given to gender, sexuality, sexual orientation, the sexual division of labor and gender role expectations within world religions’ theo(ideo)/logical discourses. Drawing from an interdisciplinary approach you will develop a self-critical perspective on the way that sacred texts and dogmatic corpus influence the lives and spiritual practices of queer individuals and communities. Together we will explore the mutual constitution of queerness and subjectivity of religious experiences and their social and political implications towards the deconstruction of stereotypes, power dynamics, and marginalization.

Click for Syllabus

 

Session

Fall 2013

Instructors

Course Type

Online

Location

Online

Course ID

HRRS-8421

Pin Required

Yes

Course Size

5 – 15

Units

3

Download

SKSM and Institute of Buddhist Studies: Our Co-Sponsored Courses

During Fall 2013, the Institute of Buddhist Studies will offer the following courses. Please note ~ we participate in the same GTU registration periods, so General Registration for Fall ’13 is Aug. 19 – Aug. 30, 2013. 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. IBS Fall 2013 Online Course listings are here.

  • Readings in Early Buddhist Texts:
    Middle Length Discourses, Gil Fronsdal
  • Topics in Buddhist Thought:
    Buddhism, Meat and Vegetarianism, Lisa Grumbach
  • History of the Shin Buddhist Tradition:
    Premodern, Galen Amstutz
  • Buddhist Japanese I, Yufuko Kurioka

Again, the Institute of Buddhist Studies and Starr King School have different requirements for registration. For example, SKSM does not accept auditors, while some IBS courses do allow auditors. Please check course descriptions carefully before registering.

Session

Fall 2013

Instructors

TBD

Course Type

Online

Location

Online

Pin Required

TBD

Spiritual Practices for These Times

During this year-long, on-line course, students will deepen their understanding and practice of eight ancient, intersecting spiritual practices helpful in these times: mindfulness, self-compassion, gratitude and Sabbath rest (fall); compassion, equanimity, kindness and joy (spring). The class will be experiential and inter-spiritual, drawing on the wisdom and practices of Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Buddhism, as well as positive psychology, neuroscience and poetry. Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 (1.5 units each semester).
Click for Syllabus

Session

Fall 2013

Instructors

Course Type

Online

Location

Online

Course ID

SPFT-8400

Pin Required

Yes

Course Size

5 – 24

Units

1.5

Download

Turkish-Sephardic Culture: History, Language, Music & Cuisine

The Turkish-Sephardic Culture is about the history, language, music and cuisine of the Turkish Jews, who were exiled from Spain by the Spanish Inquisition and arrived in the Ottoman Empire in 1492. During the 520 years that they lived in the Ottoman Empire and later on in the Turkish Republic, the Sephardic Jews, as they called themselves after the Hebrew word for “Spain” – “Sefarad”, were able to preserve most of the cultural elements and traditions they brought with them until the last few decades. This type of preservation is a very rare phenomenon especially in the language domain. In this course we will be examining the historical factors that made this rare phenomenon possible, the language called “Ladino” or “Judeo-Espanyol”, the religious traditions past and present, the music and the cuisine. Students will have to do a little research, read, sing songs and cook the delicious recipes in order to provide the class with feedback!

Click for Syllabus

Session

Fall 2013

Course Type

Online

Location

Online

Course ID

HR-8481

Pin Required

Yes

Course Size

10 – 15

Units

3

Download

Spring 2014

Environmental Ethics and Liberation

This online course grounds its exploration in the fundamentals of environmental ethics, starting with the work of Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic and the following generations of ethical systems based in notions of an earth community, and progressing to debate over whether nonhuman nature has natural rights. From these fundamentals the class will expand its scope to specific liberation traditions within environmental ethics, covering moral questions posed by ecofeminism, indigenous human rights debates, liberation theology, and issues of environmental racism. The class will be broken into four main areas of work, with each week containing a lecture and readings that center around one or two main scholars. The texts will be excerpted, and supplemented with both writings (and other types of materials) from other thinkers as well as a multilayered ethical problem for the class to wrestle with in relation to the materials of the week.
Click for Syllabus

Session

Spring 2014

Instructors

Course Type

Online

Location

Online

Course ID

CERS-8400

Pin Required

Yes

Course Size

8 – 16

Units

3

Download

Global Religious Traditions

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 disciple of religious studies. Students will engage through weekly readings, reflection papers, 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. Priority given to off-campus SKSM students.
Click for Syllabus

Session

Spring 2014

Instructors

Course Type

Online

Location

Online

Course ID

HR-8401

Pin Required

Yes

Course Size

5 – 20

Units

3

Download

Mental Disorders and Oppression

Students taking this course will gain an understanding of contemporary meanings of mental disorders and our institutional systems. We will examine the troubling hegemonic framework of what the US considers “mental disorders” and how we treat people who are “mentally ill.” We will use race/ethnicity; class; age; gender; and institutional power as the anti-oppression framework with which to examine cultural definitions and treatments of people with “mental disorders.” History; therapies/treatments; pharmaceuticals; criminal justice; mental health policies; children/youth; returning soldiers; elderly; globalization – these issue will help us examine the interlocking oppressions.
Click for Syllabus

Session

Spring 2014

Instructors

Course Type

Online

Location

Online

Course ID

CEPS-8499

Pin Required

Yes

Course Size

6 – 20

Units

3 (or 1.5 Units by Request)

Download

Our Theological House: An Introduction to Unitarian Universalist Theologies

Many progressives do not realize that they even have a theology, much less that there is a systematic theological worldview that is characteristic of the liberal/progressive tradition. This course, developed by Starr King President and Professor of Theology Rebecca Parker, has now resulted in a book, published in early 2010, co-authored with John Buehrens. Using readings from the history of American liberal theology and contemporary progressive sources, those enrolled–ministers, religious educators, lay leaders, and seminarians–will have a chance to deepen their theological competency and creativity, to reflect on the dynamic post-modern context, and to engage in online discussion with others exploring a progressive approach to the classic issues of systematic theology, including the nature of God and humanity, the purpose of religious community, issues of salvation, worship, Christology, and Spirit.
Click for Sample Syllabus

Session

Spring 2014

Instructors

Course Type

Online

Location

Online

Course ID

ST-8402

Pin Required

Yes

Course Size

3 – 16

Units

3

Download

SKSM and Institute of Buddhist Studies: Our Co-Sponsored Courses

During Spring 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. Tentative Spring 2014 IBS Online Course listings are not listed yet; around October 2013, try clicking here.

  • Topics in Buddhist Thought:
    Japanese Buddhism through Personal Perspectives, Lisa Grumbach
  • Psychological Aspects Buddhism I:
    Foundations in Buddhist Psychological Thought, Gordon Bermant
  • Buddhist Japanese II, Yufuko Kurioka
  • Readings in Mahayana Texts:
    Zen Classic Sayings and Their Use as Koans, Taigen Leighton, PIN required – 15 students max.

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.

Session

Spring 2014

Instructors

TBD

Course Type

Online

Location

Online

Pin Required

No

Sowing Seeds of Gladness: Church Planting and Entrepreneurial Leadership

In collaboration with Harvard Divinity School and the Unitarian Universalist Association Growth Strategies office, this online seminar is designed for students interested in new church planting and entrepreneurial leadership in congregations and beyond. Course material will include historical and theological reflections on when and how new faith communities have been seeded and cultivated in Unitarian Universalist contexts. Participants will design a research project that could take the form of a comprehensive plan and prospectus for their own future church plant project, a survey of recent UU church plants and best practices, a comparative theology of progressive and evangelical church planting; all which would add to a growing body of knowledge in this field. Students interested in enrolling should submit a brief introduction and project proposal with PIN request. Meetings of the course will take place online. / Click to see bio for The Rev. Michelle Favreault.
Click for Preliminary Syllabus

Session

Spring 2014

Instructors

Course Type

Online

Location

Online

Course ID

IDS-8450

Pin Required

Yes

Course Size

4 – 6

Units

3

Download

Spiritual Practices for These Times

During this year-long, on-line course, students will deepen their understanding and practice of eight ancient, intersecting spiritual practices helpful in these times: mindfulness, self-compassion, gratitude and Sabbath rest (fall); compassion, equanimity, kindness and joy (spring). The class will be experiential and inter-spiritual, drawing on the wisdom and practices of Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Buddhism, as well as positive psychology, neuroscience and poetry. Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 (1.5 units each semester).
Click for Syllabus

Session

Spring 2014

Instructors

Course Type

Online

Location

Online

Course ID

SPFT-8400

Pin Required

Yes

Course Size

5 – 24

Units

1.5

Download

Toward Collective Liberation: Theories and Practice for Social Change

Open to all, and geared toward those engaged in community organizing, activist, social work, and nonprofit settings; also a foundational course for students in the MASC (MA in Social Change) program. Topics include visionary leadership, assessing organizational and community needs, social movement history, coalition building, power and identity, theological reflection, spiritual and emotional care for social change agents, and more. This interactive online course combines web technologies with an in-person praxis (action/reflection) component to deliver a dynamic distance learning experience for social change practitioners around the world. Participants will engage in academic scholarship, professional development, and spiritual practice responding to their particular interests, gifts, and challenges. Students will build a classroom community for peer reflection and support, while articulating and advancing their unique goals for their own learning and leadership in social change.

Please listen to an introduction to this course. The speaker is Betty Jeanne Rueters-Ward, the course instructor:

Betty Jeanne Rueters-Ward, MASC helped pioneer the Master of Arts in Social Change program at Starr King School for the Ministry, and has served on the adjunct faculty since 2007. As a community organizer, she has built powerful campaigns and coalitions for causes including racial justice, universal healthcare, youth empowerment, and civil and human rights. Betty Jeanne has supported thousands of leaders in achieving goals, maintaining balance and developing emotional resiliency amid the often fast-paced, high-stakes, stressful environments in which social change efforts happen. Her graduate research on “Personal Sustainability and Mental Health in Social Movements” explored professional and personal struggles of social change leaders, along with strategies for long-term success. Her reflections on “Rethinking Work Culture and Self Care in the Nonprofit Sector” have been featured nationally by Idealist and the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network.
Click for Syllabus

Session

Spring 2014

Course Type

Online

Location

Online

Course ID

RSFT-8420

Pin Required

Yes

Course Size

5 – 15

Units

3

Download

Unitarian Universalist History

The course begins with an examination of the (alleged) antecedents to Unitarianism and Universalism in pre-Reformation Europe. We move on to trace the theological and then institutional emergence of Unitarianism out of the Radical Reformation. The Unitarian churches in Poland, Transylvania, and England will be considered in detail with attention to issues of sameness and difference in their development and declines. Special focus will be given to the relationship of these communities to their Jewish and Islamic contemporaries. We will also look at the universalism of 18th century England, and the current state of Unitarianism in Europe. Then we cross the ocean to examine the emergence of Unitarianism from developments within Puritan Congregationalism. We explore the uniquely North American institution of Universalism as response to the same cultural setting. Next: the major themes and developments of North American Unitarianism through its classical age, the Transcendentalist development, and the various crises of identity and purpose that develop into and through the late 19th and 20th centuries. Then we turn our attention to Universalist ascendency, decline, and then consolidation with Unitarianism (perhaps the most misunderstood aspect of Unitarian/Universalist history). Careful attention will be paid throughout to the Unitarian/Universalist social location in relationship to class, race, and gender identities, and how these sometimes enabled and sometimes impaired social justice advances.
Click for Syllabus

Session

Spring 2014

Instructors

Course Type

Online

Location

Online

Course ID

HSFT-8462

Pin Required

Yes

Course Size

5 – 25

Units

3

Download

Universalism: History, Theology, and Practice

In many congregations, Universalism seems to be the unknown half of UU denominational heritage. This course will help contemporary Unitarian-Universalists better understand the history of their Universalist ancestors and discern how Universalism lives on within and beyond the combined denomination; for non-UUs, the course will introduce important theological perspectives that are often marginalized at other seminaries, some of which have a major role in current religious debates. We will discuss early Christian Universalism, Universalist ideas among the Unitarians, the creation and history of the Universalist Church of America, Universalist themes within other major religions, and much more. The focus will be on historical development, theological issues, and shared praxis. Students will read widely from important primary sources, as well as being introduced to major secondary resources.
Click for Preliminary Syllabus

Session

Spring 2014

Instructors

Course Type

Online

Location

Online

Course ID

HSST-8424

Pin Required

Yes

Course Size

5 – 20

Units

3

Download