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.
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 at the outset of the field work experience. Midterm and final student/mentor evaluations will also be required by midterm and the end of term. All forms available from the professor at the beginning of the semester and on the SKSM Website. Please see Student Handbook for more information.
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 Spring. 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.
Fieldwork is an opportunity to put into action the theory learned in the classroom. Working in a congregation gives the student a chance to develop their unique pastoral voice while navigating complexities of a congregation’s history, culture, systems and ethos. Fieldwork placements may include: teaching a religious education class for children or adults, working with a youth group, serving on a pastoral care team, participating in a stewardship campaign and more. Please arrange with the professor.
This is a 10 month full-time (one year) or part-time (two year) ministry experience in a teaching congregation, under the supervision of a Minister in final Fellowship (for UU students), working with an intern committee, and a professor at the school. Check with your denominational body to see if there are additional requirements for the congregational internship experience. Those who register for this course must also register for Intern Minister Reflection Fall.
For joint-program students participating in Chaplaincy Institute (ChI) modules as part of the Interfaith Studies Certificate. Each module offers contextualized immersions in the teachings and practices of a particular religious tradition as well as the embodied arts of spiritual ministry, preparing students for informed and open-hearted service to a pluralistic society. Students must register for the level of credit that reflects the number of modules completed during the academic term, at a rate of 1.5 units each. This course is only for students who have been admitted to the SKSM-ChI joint program and is not available to other SKSM students or to students from other GTU schools. This course does not count toward residency requirements.
For joint-program students participating in Chaplaincy Institute (ChI) modules as part of the Interfaith Spiritual Direction Certificate. Each intensive learning module focuses on the development of practical skills and competencies for offering spiritual direction to persons of varying religious beliefs and backgrounds. This immersion in the arts of ministry combines pedagogies of theoretical, practical, and artistic learning. This course is only for students who have been admitted to the SKSM-ChI joint program and is not available to other SKSM students or to students from other GTU schools. This course does not count toward residency requirements.
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In this on-line class, we will meet people from all over the world, from a variety of religious and cultural traditions, who have practiced forgiveness as a means of healing, reconciliation and/or liberation. We will also explore the concept of “moral repair” or how we individually and collectively might apologize, repent, and/or make amends after wrong-doing. Through readings, films, and spiritual practice exercises we will develop our “forgiveness” muscles. We will also explore ways of using forgiveness to strengthen our pastoral, prophetic and public ministries. This class will be experiential and multi-faith, drawing on personal and communal narratives, neuroscience, and psychology. Evaluation will be based on weekly reflections, spiritual practice exercises, and class discussion.
A blended learning course on the origins and development of religious liberty in the US from the colonial and founding periods to the mid-twentieth century. It offers a thorough understanding of the historical and legal foundations that currently govern the relationship of religion and government, define protection for the free exercise of religion, and provide the civic framework for living among people of all religions and none. Part of a pilot program for the Certificate in Religion in Public Life in cooperation with the Religious Freedom Center of the Newseum, http://www.religiousfreedomcenter.org/programs/religious-civic-leaders/. Online during the Fall 2017 Semester (September-December 2017) plus three day immersion at the RFC in Washington, DC. Travel expenses are the responsibility of the students. Separate application must be made to the Religious Freedom Center by July 31, 2017. Designed and administered by Rev. Nate Walker, RFC Executive Director, supervised by Christopher Schelin. (http://www.religiousfreedomcenter.org/contact/directory/?entry=18)
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. Priority given to low-res SKSM
This online pastoral counseling course will introduce students to culturally responsive counseling practices and foster multicultural awareness. Students will examine societal and institutional structures of power and privilege, and will become more aware of the biases, prejudices, and microaggressions that are detrimental to the growth of the human spirit. Students will study major counseling theories and will practice basic helping skills centered on Person-Centered (Rogerian) counseling and Bowen Family Systems Theory. Contextual pastoral elements will be included, especially in the use of Bowen Family Systems as applied to congregational contexts. This is an asynchronous course, with written lectures with links to videos and online resources. Weekly personal reflections and weekly skill practice exercises will be required, as well as some academic writing. It is an intermediate/advanced course.
In this introductory course in Quranic Studies, students will learn skills as to how to read the Quran, including structural and literary analyses of Quranic suras (chapters), and will be expected to read through the entire text of the Quran and write brief reflections on each of its suras. In class we will focus on the hymnic suras of the Quran which contain existential concerns and other passages that relate to the theme of religious freedom, pluralism and gender relations. The students will be expected to come to class having done the readings and assignments and will have time after the intensive to revise their assignments. The class will provide a learning environment that encourages diversity of points of views and respects differences in opinion. Doctoral students may take this course with the extra assignment of a 5000 word research paper. This course fulfills a requirement for the Certificate in Multi-religious Studies. This course is rescheduled from Summer 2017 to Fall 2017.
This course is a synchronous online class. Class sessions will happen online via zoom. Sessions to be held Wednesday mornings from 9:40 to 12:30.
9/5/17 – 12/15/17
Starr King Campus (Oakland, CA)
9:40 am to 12:30 pm
Faculty Approval Required
5 – 23
This seminar in Quranic Studies has two goals: (1) To closely read Surah 33 al-Ahzab and Surah 42 al-Shura using various interpretive and hermeneutical frameworks including literary and structural analysis and (2) to read some relevant sections of select classical sources (in translation) including al-Wahidi, as Suyuti, Tafsir al Jalalain, Tafsir al-Tustari and Kashf al Asrar and contemporary Western scholars including David Powers. Our guiding question while reading the surahs and secondary literature related to them will be compare the different models of prophetic authority in the two surahs. Students will be expected to have taken at least one introductory level course in Quranic Studies and have some rudimentary knowledge of Arabic language.
This course is a blended learning course will offer the following for religious leaders and introduce a diverse group of graduate students to the challenges that the media present in communicating and engaging with belief within the context of the First Amendment and freedom of religion or belief.
In order to be an effective and authoritative religious leader in a diverse democracy, lay and ordained leaders must cultivate multiple competencies and literacies. This course will help students expand religious, media and digital literacies. These competencies will be measured via multimedia engagement, key readings, videoconferences, Socratic seminars, analysis (case studies), and media production.
Part of a pilot program for the Certificate in Religion in Public Life in cooperation with the Religious Freedom Center of the Newseum, http://www.religiousfreedomcenter.org/programs/religious-civic-leaders/. Online during the Fall 2017 Semester (September-December) plus three day immersion at the RFC in Washington, DC. Travel expenses are the responsibility of the students. Separate application must be made to the Religious Freedom Center by July 31, 2017. Designed and administered by Dr. Debra L. Mason, of the RFC of the Newseum, supervised by Christopher Schelin. (http://www.religiousfreedomcenter.org/contact/directory/?entry=24
A blended course on the evolution of the First Amendment religious Freedom principles from the 1940s, through the civil rights era, to today. Participants will address contemporary issues that concern the constitutional relationship of religion and government along with current debates over the meaning of free exercise of religion.
Part of a pilot program for the Certificate in Religion in Public Life in cooperation with the Religious Freedom Center of the Newseum, http://www.religiousfreedomcenter.org/programs/religious-civic-leaders/. Online during the Fall 2017 Semester (September-December) plus three day immersion at the RFC in Washington, DC. Travel expenses are the responsibility of the students. Separate application must be made to the Religious Freedom Center by July 31, 2017. Designed and administered Lauren W. Herman (JD, MTS) of the RFC, supervised by Christopher Schelin. (http://www.religiousfreedomcenter.org/contact/directory/?entry=23
How do those called to bless the world – to engage with the suffering and healing of others, and of the planet – ground and sustain themselves? Students will link theory, practice, and personal experience to develop their personal theologies for sustainable, resilient leadership – and learn practical tools to serve their vocations “for the long haul”. Together, we will explore concepts including compassion fatigue, measuring emotional and spiritual health, vocational burnout, trauma stewardship, boundary setting, and care for self and community. Participants will also explore how to positively influence organizational culture and build healthy, sustainable congregations and other collectives. This interactive, multi-faceted, introductory course – “Sustainable and Resilient Spiritual Leadership” combines multimedia, readings, class discussion, a praxis (action/reflection) component, and more.
The course introduces students to the human right of freedom of religion or belief (FoRB), based on a review of the conceptual and operational tools, as well as illustrative empirical evidence, necessary for advanced study of the issue. FoRB is widely recognized by scholars, policymakers, and practitioners of human rights as the oldest of the universal human rights recognized under international law. The course is designed so that students of religious studies and/or theology, as well as religious leaders, can develop an understanding of how this right has come to be defined, protected, interrogated, and addressed, in a global order that remains organized according to the (evolving and problematic) political entity known as the state.
Part of a pilot program for the Certificate in Religion in Public Life in cooperation with the Religious Freedom Center of the Newseum, http://www.religiousfreedomcenter.org/programs/religious-civic-leaders/. Online during the Fall 2017 Semester (September-December) plus three day immersion at the RFC in Washington, DC. Travel expenses are the responsibility of the students. Separate application must be made to the Religious Freedom Center by July 31, 2017. Designed and administered by Dr. Elizabeth H. Prodromou of the RFC, supervised by Christopher Schelin. (http://www.religiousfreedomcenter.org/contact/directory/?entry=25)
This experiential course is an introduction to the history and theology of Islam. It will introduce the student to Islamic religious teaching and practices. It will explore the diversities of Islam among Sunni, Shi’a and Sufi groups from multiple cultural perspectives. Students will be invited to participate in spiritual practice and community events in hopes that the combination of study and practical experience will deepen their experience.
Theater of the Oppressed is a collection of games, techniques, exercises for using theater as a vehicle for personal and social change. It uses the dynamized human body and the charged theatrical space as laboratories for exploring power, transforming oppression, and finding community-building solutions to the fundamental problems of conflict, inequality, injustice, and human suffering. Based on the radical pedagogy of Paolo Freire and Augusto Boal, it is a collective artistic exploration into the fullest expression of our human dignity, potential, and creativity.
This introductory class will cover the theory, application and facilitation of TO, including:
- Image Theater
- Forum Theater
- Rainbow of Desire/Cop-in-the-head
- Theory & Pedagogy
These techniques will be introduced with the goal of understanding their application as practical and essential tools for artistic development, creative expression, social engagement, and personal transformation, while developing spontaneity, fluidity, presence, and critical intelligence.
The workshop will be 80% experiential and 20% reflective/didactic. No prior theater or performance experience is necessary, but willingness to engage actively/physically is important.
Elements and theories of related counter-oppressive approaches will also be introduced, and important practitioners of TO, popular education, or related fields may be guest facilitators.
Ritual Craft as Transformative Practice is an exploration into the art and technology of ritual craft. This course supports students in developing a nuanced understanding of successful ritual structures and empowers students in cultivating skills to create and guide ritual. The course itself is a ritual immersion, with each course meeting structured as a ritual experience. Students are encouraged to deepen their own resonant ritual practices, to experience rituals in contexts new to them and to craft and guide ritual for the community. Students will identify their strengths and edges in ritual craft and leadership, and will receive structured support in enhancing their existing ritual strengths and in nurturing arenas in which they seek additional growth and experience.
The official title of this class is “Unravelling the Black Girl Magic in Lemonade: An Introduction to African Spirit Religions, Black Spirit Themes and the Spiritual Social Justice Messages in Beyonce’s Visual Album.” In the context of this course, “Black Girl Magic” will represent many of the metaphoric ways that black women are “magical.” However, the emphasis on “magic” here is related to the African Spirit Religions and Black Spirit themes represented throughout Beyonce’s visual album “Lemonade.” Students will be asked to engage various sources of learning that will provide an intro level knowledge of African Spirit religions, African Spirit Deities and Black Spirit themes and to consider the ways that these religions have been or could be strategic and intentional conduits for the black woman’s reality of self-healing, self-actualizing, radical self-love in an Anti-Black oppressive system, and for manifesting veritable social justice realities within her community, historically and in the future. This is a 3 unit Hybrid/Residential class.
9/4/17 – 12/15/17
Starr King Campus (Oakland, CA)
Faculty Approval Required
3 – 25
This peer group seminar assists the intern doing fieldwork in a community field site. It offers theo-ethical reflection, linking the experience in the internship to the student’s broad educational and vocational goals (praxis). The class is designed for students to assess their personal progress, gather support from peers and the instructor, integrate their internship experience into their degree program, and deepen practices to sustain religious leadership in community ministry. Students gather multi-religious sources of wisdom, which serve as touchstones for group reflection. Weekly hybrid sessions engage these sources and yields new “truths” to introduce into personal spiritual practices. The course includes a required weekly live web-based video seminar and frequent online discussion postings; readings and discussion are in service of the professional experience in the internship as well as creating lasting tools and knowledge for a career in community ministry.
“Thinking begins in provocation” (Gilles Deleuze). Rich theoretical traditions call forth questions for religious leaders about how we make meaning, interpret history, form opinions, understand ourselves in relation to the world around us, and decide how to act. In this introduction to critical theory, students engage key thinkers on contemporary culture, religion, and social change, as well as each other, in order to develop a theoretical toolbox and skills needed to read, think, and write effectively. After closely reading major texts in feminist thought, postcolonial thought, critical race theory, and queer theory, students practice how to reconstruct arguments, consider historical/cultural context, develop one’s own position, and apply theory to religious leadership. This is a hybrid course, in a live video session, open to both high and low-residence students.
Shake My Future: Readings in Climate Justice is a hybrid seminar course intended for advanced masters students. The class can be elevated for doctoral students with additional work in conversation with the instructor. Students will be expected to engage in critical close readings of seven texts, assist with leading portions of class discussions, and complete a final research paper. This course focuses on recent writings in relation to climate change and climate justice, and works to situate an interdisciplinary approach to the subject within a broader exploration of religion, ethics, and society. Authors include: Pope Francis, Stacy Alaimo, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Robert Vitalis, Amitav Ghosh, Geraldine Terry, and Willis Jenkins.
While serving as an introduction to orthodox and heterodox Hindu religious experiences, this course will also catalyze further discourse with Christian and Islamic wisdom traditions. We will explore interreligious dialogue, hybrid spiritual identities, and transreligious mysticism, thea/ologies, and philosophies. A multireligious, counter-oppressive soteriological analysis will ground this spiritual exploration, cultivation, and formation process. Students will gain an understanding of the Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavad-Gita, Yoga Sutras, and Tantras, in addition to deepening their understanding of intersections with Torah, the Gospels, and Quran. The devotional writings of the mystic Poet-Saints will further illuminate this class. Coursework will include embodied ritual, spiritual exercise, scriptural study, poetry immersion, sufi sohbet, group processes, scholarly research, and class presentation. A learning immersion will be required.
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.
9/4/17 – 12/15/17
Faculty Approval Required
5 – 10