Roll for Enlightenment: Exploring the Spiritual Power of Tabletop Role-Playing Games

Session: Fall
Type: Online, Synchronous
Units: 3
Days: TUE
Time: 9:40am-12:30pm
Academic Year: 2022 - 2023
Approval Required: Yes

ECO Core 

Humans have been creating games, telling stories, and searching for the Divine since the beginning of time. In 1974, Dungeons and Dragons gave us a new opportunity to do all three at the same time and changed the world of gaming forever. Tabletop role playing games (TTRPG) offer a unique opportunity for communities to explore collective action, shared narratives, and community values; this course invites you to relentlessly explore these deep possibilities.

Designed both for those who are already familiar with role-playing games and those who consider themselves brand new, this seminar course gives space for religious leaders to explore the power of TTRPGs as a way of deepening personal and community faith development. With a learning experience built on a foundation of multimedia resources, class discussions, and actual play opportunities, students will be able to explore these games as scholars, players, and spiritual leaders. We will engage with the industry of TTRPGs supported by a counter-oppressive framework that constructs gaming spaces geared towards addressing injustice. Assignments – including a final project motivated by individual student’s professional and spiritual goals – will empower participants to apply the learnings of this course to their specific path of spiritual leadership.

Online synchronous format. Appropriate for both MDiv and MASC students. SKSM Thresholds: 5. Spiritual Practice and the Care of the Soul 6. Thea/ology in Culture and Context, and 8. Embodied Wisdom and Beauty. MFC Competency: 3. Spiritual Development for Self and Others, and 7. Leads the Faith into the Future.

Prerequisite: Completion of the ECO Core course. Previous experience playing TTRPGs helpful but not required. Faculty consent required. Maximum enrollment of 14 students.