October 29, 2021

Intersession & Spring 2022 Courses

Although some staff and faculty at Starr King have returned to working in their offices, all of our classes have continued to be fully online. Due to the omicron variant, all courses will begin the semester in an exclusively online format and will remain so until it is deemed feasible to gather in a physical space.

We’re thrilled to announce our January Intersession and Spring 2022 course line-up! As usual, we have many returning favorites as well as some exciting new offerings! Early registration for both Intersession and Spring semester begins November 8, 2021. General registration runs January 17-28, 2022.

Intersession: January 10-28

  • Yoga: Theory and Practicum (new!)​
  • Introduction to Preaching in a Cross-Cultural Context
  • Multi-religious Core Intensive

Spring Semester: January 31 – May 6

  • The Politics of Religious Hybridity and Activism (NEW! Just added!)
  • Eco-Feminism and Indigenous Wisdom (new!)
  • The Sacred and the Substance (new!)
  • Womanist Theo-Ethics: An Advanced Introduction (new!)
  • Dynamic Youth Ministry
  • ECO Core
  • Forgiveness and Moral Repair
  • Interreligious Dialogue
  • Introduction to Pastoral Counseling
  • Power, Organizations, and Movements
  • Queer Studies: Multi-religious Perspectives
  • The 19th Century Roots of UU Prophetic Witness
  • UU Theologies

Scroll down for more information about each class!

While exploring Starr King, you can take any of these classes as a Special Student before you are fully enrolled. If you successfully complete the class and decide to enroll in one of our certificate or degree programs, this Special Student course will transfer. Spots for Special Students are limited and on an as-available basis. Learn more about registering as a Special Student here.

Yoga: Theory and Practicum

Dr. Pravina L. Rodrigues
January 15 & January 18-22, 2:10 – 3:30 pm PT

The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit root “yuj,” which means to yoke with the Supreme Divine Energy both within and without. While yoga is widely known in the West for its postural dimension, the Hindu theological ethos offers a wide range of yogic pathways to commune with ultimate reality. Adepts may tailor these modes of practice according to their own predispositions, gifts, and talents. Such pathways include incorporating mantras, devotional musical engagements, artistic activities such as paintings of ma??alas, and ritual contemplative practices. This intensive course introduces yoga in theory and practice. Learn more!

Introduction to Preaching in a Cross Cultural Context

Rev. Leslie Takahashi
January 10-14, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm PT
January 22, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm PT
January 24-27, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm PT
January 29, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm PT

This non-lectionary, thematic preaching course embraces counter oppressive ministry through worship and the arts. Hands on learning will combine the sharing and peer review of brief homilies with exercises aimed at identifying your authentic preaching voice. Each student will also deliver two full-length sermons in class. Questions of how to make our worship services more relevant in today’s culturally shifting world will be explored through thea/ological study of homiletics through a libratory lens and an engagement with issues of cultural appropriation and misappropriation in Unitarian Universalist liturgical practice. Students from all traditions welcome. Learn more!

Amidst the Blessing of the Ancestors: Multi-religious Intensive

Taya Mâ Shere
January 24-28, 9:30 – 5:30 pm PT

This intensive focuses on embodying multireligiosity in personal practice, tending multi-religiosity in spiritual leadership and public worship, and engaging multireligiosity toward countering oppression and cultural (mis)appropriation. The intensive also engages embodied practice around ancestor reverence and healing – in spiritual lineage and family / blood lineage – as a way of anchoring multi-religious expression, countering oppression, and aligning to blessing. Learn more!

The Politics of Religious Hybridity and Activism (NEW!)

Najeeba Syeed
Mondays, 9:40 am – 12:30 pm PT

This online synchronous course focuses on the ways that inter-spiritualities and religion inform and form social justice movements both historically and in our time. Religious hybridity has often been cast as an enterprise of luxury or excess. In this course, we will explore how communities have developed religiously plural models of organizing, political action and ritual based on necessity and for survival. Learn more!

Eco-Feminism and Indigenous Wisdom

Rev. Dr. María Cristina Vlassidis Burgoa
Tuesdays, 2:10 – 5:00 pm PT

This course explores the intersections of environmental justice, gender, and race, through a feminist and indigenous lens. Our readings and class discussions interrogate the impact of colonialism, white supremacy, patriarchy, and other systems of oppression, on ecological devastation. Centering indigenous/feminist voices and grounded in Liberation Theology, the course addresses the ethical dimensions of environmental justice work and provides examples of spiritual practices that challenge notions of personhood and human rights. Learn more!


The Sacred and the Substance

Ayize Jama-Everett
Tuesdays, 9:40 am – 12:30 pm PT

This synchronous online course seeks to formulate a history of psychedelia today, including modern history while at the same time attending to some of the inherent harms associated with the movement. We’ll explore how traditional communities association with sacred plants has been both respected and exploited by new practitioners, some of them with the best of intent. We’ll look at technical practices with sacred plants and explore the role of exotification and Global tourism. We’ll look at the division between the religious and the spiritual and the notion of Spiritual bypass. We’ll also pay attention to the laws governing substance use, from mandated 12 step meetings to the role of the DEA in regulating what is considered Sacred. Finally, we’ll be exploring the new crop of Guide training programs to see what they say about the future of psychedelia in the movement. This course will feature queer, indigenous, and POC perspectives. Learn more!

Womanist Theo-Ethics: An Advanced Introduction

Rev. Dr. Joanne Braxton
Wednesdays, 2:10 – 5:00 pm PT

This online synchronous advanced seminar will offer multi-disciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches to the roots of Womanism and the study of Womanist theology and ethics, through the lens of literature as well as trauma-informed methodologies grounded in the experiences of Black women in the Diaspora created by the Middle Passage and the transatlantic slave trade. Works of Womanist scholars such as Emilie Townes, Katie Cannon, Delores Williams, Monica Coleman, and Angela Sims become tools for cultivating transdisciplinary counter-oppressive perspectives on moral questions as well as healing and transformative praxis for the dismantling of myriad forms of intersecting oppression. Literary works by Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, Zora Neale Hurston, Ida B. Wells, and others highlight the inter-religious and prophetic origins of Womanism in Afra-American spirituality, politics, and aesthetics. Learn more!

Dynamic Youth Ministry

Betty Jeanne Rueters-Ward
Asynchronous Online

This lively and interactive course grounds participants in philosophical, psychological,
programmatic, ethical and theological aspects of youth ministry. Asynchronous online modality. Geared toward Unitarian Universalists, but open to all religious or secular affiliations, this course seeks to embody a vision of youth ministry that is a vibrant, robust, and flexible part of every congregation and community. 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. A foundational course recommended for all religious leaders, both new and old to youth ministry. Learn more!

ECO Core

Rev. Dr. Gabriella Lettini
Wednesdays, 9:40 am – 12:30 pm PT

Educating to “Create Just and Sustainable Communities that Counter Oppressions”(“ECO”) is a core goal of Starr King’s M.Div. and M.A.S.C. degree programs. In this required core synchronous course, M.Div. and M.A.S.C. students work together to form a framework for counter-oppressive spiritual leadership. We will ask: how can spirituality, ministry, and religious activism respond to the multiple and intersecting realities of injustice, suffering, and oppression in our lives and our world? What models of justice and sustainable community invite our commitment? Drawing on Unitarian Universalist and multi-religious sources, we will explore how in the midst of a world marked by tragedy, sorrow and injustice there remain abiding resources of beauty and grace that nourish resistance, offer healing and call us to accountability and community building. Learn more!

Forgiveness and Moral Repair

Rev. Pamela D. Hancock
Asynchronous Online

In this online, asynchronous course we will encounter people from all over the world, from various religious and cultural traditions, who have practiced forgiveness as a means of healing, peace, and liberation. Through readings, films, spiritual practice exercise, and projects we will develop interpersonal and pastoral skills in forgiveness. We will also explore moral repair: how we individually and collectively might apologize, repent, and make amends after wrong-doing. This class will be multi-religious and counter-oppressive. It will draw on personal narratives, neuroscience, psychology, practical theology and religious traditions from around the globe, including earth-based traditions. This course is especially suited for those preparing for ministry, chaplaincy, interfaith work, and/or sacred activism. Learn more!

Interreligious Dialogue

Dr. Som Pourfarzaneh
Mondays, 2:10 – 5:00 pm PT

This course will present a framework for the practice of interreligious dialogue, in a collaborative and pluralist environment. It will draw upon contemporary texts and guest lectures representing a diversity of faith traditions to provide an integrative context for building bridges between and among religious boundaries, as well as addressing conflicts that arise through interreligious encounters. Students will be encouraged to share their interreligious experiences to foster discussion about ways in which to engage in interfaith work among and between different traditions and understand interreligious dialogue from a variety of perspectives. Learn more!

Introduction to Pastoral Counseling

Rev. Pamela D. Hancock
Asynchronous Online

This asynchronous online course introduces students to culturally responsive counseling practices and multicultural awareness.  Students examine societal and institutional structures of power and privilege, and become more aware of biases, prejudices, and micro aggressions detrimental to the growth of the human spirit.  Students study major counseling theories and practice basic helping skills centered on Person-Centered (Rogerian) counseling and Bowen Family Systems Theory. Pastoral elements will include individual, family, and congregational contexts. Learn more!

Power, Organizations, and Movements

J. Tyson Casey
Mondays, 2:10 – 5:00 pm PT

The rationale of this synchronous online course is to engage the interdependence of internal and collective power in contributing to organizations, movements, regeneration, and liberation. The course will explore specific approaches to social change through various perspectives of power, organization, and movement. Participants will have the opportunity to develop their connection to collective liberation by: studying power, organizations, and movements; working with concrete tools and practices that deepen internal, interpersonal, and institutional relationships with power and social change; reflecting upon the wisdom of spiritual and secular sources; and collaborating in the equitable cultivation of community. Learn more!

Queer Studies: Multi-religious Perspectives

Hugo Cordova Quero
Asynchronous Online

In an increasingly changing and globalized world, the intersection of religious and queer studies is vital for understanding the construction of identities. This asynchronous online course is designed to introduce you to the place given to gender, sexuality, sexual orientation, the sexual division of labor, gender role expectations, race, and ethnicity 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. Learn more!

The 19th Century Roots of UU Prophetic Witness

Rev. Dr. Meg Richardson
Asynchronous Online

This asynchronous online course will locate the roots of Unitarian Universalist Prophetic Witness in nineteenth century social justice concerns: abolition, education, prison reform, utopian communities, suffrage, temperance, humane treatment of animals, civil disobedience, and poverty. We will also explore the nineteenth Unitarian and Universalist influence on Biblical Criticism, literature, philosophy, music, and art. Learn more!


UU Theologies

Rev. Dr. Sheri Prud’homme
Asynchronous Online

This online course introduces the student to distinctive theological perspectives present within Unitarian Universalism. Especially oriented to students who identify as Unitarian Universalists, this course encourages participants to form a practice of engaged theological thinking within the context of Unitarian Universalism’s particular perspectives, resources, limits and possibilities. Students who do not identify as Unitarian Universalists will become acquainted with this expression of American progressive post-Christian Protestantism as a site in which to engage theological issues critical to post-modern religious communities. Learn more!

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