Introducing Our Emergent Educational Design

Message from the President e-newsletter, March 20, 2013. Join our email list

Message from the President banner Rebecca Parker

Dear Starr King Friends,

Over the past five years, we at Starr King School have been applying our imagination and energy to create a new approach to theological education for the 21st century.

All the components of our new approach are now in place and I’m writing today, with joy, to announce the formal launch of our Emergent Educational Design.

Five years in the making, our Emergent Educational Design

  • Advances Starr King’s mission to educate people for Unitarian Universalist ministry and progressive religious leadership for society
  • Opens Starr King School to students living and working in settings across the continent as well as in Berkeley
  • Employs new modes of relational and constructive learning and new educational technologies
  • Embodies the School’s Unitarian Universalist commitments to education that counters oppressions, creates just and sustainable communities, and cultivates multi-religious life and learning.

Ibrahim Farajaje

I congratulate and thank our Provost, Dr. Ibrahim Farajajé, for conceptualizing our new approach and for shepherding its implementation every step of the way.  To develop our Emergent Educational Design we have:

  • brought together a distinguished Unitarian Universalist and multi-religious faculty
  • integrated on-line and hybrid courses into our degree programs
  • developed immersion courses in sites around the globe
  • increased intensive courses in January and August
  • inaugurated the August Symposium for all students, faculty, staff, graduates and friends
  • established cohort groups to connect students at a distance with one another
  • enhanced our approach to personalized advising

As each component of our Emergent Educational Design has come into play, we have assessed, adjusted, and fined-tuned the new component.  This process will be continuing: going forward, we will be listening to and learning from our students and the communities of accountability to which we relate, as we further refine our approach.

In the coming weeks and months, my President’s Messages and our Starr King Snapshot newsletters will introduce you in more detail to our Emergent Educational Design.  You can read now about the Design, the Flow of the Academic Year, and the concept of Relational/Constructive learning which our approach advances.

chart Emergent Educational Design – Flow of the Academic Year

I invite your support.  Tell potential students you may know about Starr King’s Emergent Educational Design and the opportunities it affords people with a calling to ministry or religious leadership.  Invite them to be in touch with me (, with members of our core faculty, and with our Admission’s Director Becky Leyser (see her web page).

We are receiving applications now for Fall admissions to our Emergent Educational Design degrees: the M.Div. and the M.A. in Social Change.

As ever, I welcome your comments.  Please don’t hesitate to be in touch!  (

In grace and gratitude,
Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker  President and Professor of

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