Theological Education for the 21st Century

snapshot_bannershaykh_yassir_chadly_et_al-smStarr King students and faculty discussing new modes of theological education

Religious intolerance is fueling many of the world’s most bitter conflicts. Knowing this, Starr King Professor Ibrahim Farajajé has been working for the past two years, as director of the school’s Luce Project for Multi-Religious Theological Education, to create an educational response to the problem.

Working from Istanbul, Dr. Farajajé has designed an array of online classes — and is developing course content for the classroom — that explores the historical and theological interconnections of Islam, Judaism and Christianity. Using Andalusia, Spain as a lens for his scholarship, his research reveals how these three seemingly distinct religious traditions have actually been shaping and influencing each other for centuries. In his classes, seminarians learn ways of positively engaging in multi-faith and multi-cultural conversation and activism.

67The teaching methods emerging from the project have been invaluable as Starr King redesigns its education model for preparing 21st century Unitarian Universalist ministers and liberal religious leaders.

On September 5th, Dr. Farajajé, back in Berkeley for the start of the fall semester, presented his latest research in a seminar attended by more than 100 students and faculty of the Graduate Theological Union. Listen to a podcast of his lecture, “Andalusia and Beyond: Interrupting Epistemologies of Surprise,” or read about Starr King’s recognized leadership in multi-faith theological education in the on-line magazine, In Trust.