Take a Course with Starr King – Message from the Provost

Ibrahim Farajaje

Ibrahim Farajajé Provost, SKSM

Spring & Intersession ’14 Courses

Dear Starr King Friend,

On Monday, November 11, Early Registration begins for our January Intersession and Spring 2014 online classes.

These courses may be used towards the Starr King Certificate in Unitarian Universalist Studies or the Starr King Certificate in Multi-Religious Studies. They are vibrant and vital parts of the Starr King Emergent Educational Design. Please consult How to Register for a Starr King Course for registration details.  Early Registration is open from November 11-22.

The January Intersession period is an excellent time to participate in Starr King’s practice of intensive learning from a widely diverse group of professors representing Unitarian Universalism as well as other religious traditions.

The Spring Online classes are a great opportunity for experiencing and practicing the School’s diversity of learning opportunities and its commitment to teaching and learning from multiple locations.

You are warmly invited to share this announcement with others, share it in your congregations’, communities’ and organizations’ websites and other social media. Join us in sharing our excitement around our Emergent Educational Design which allows students, grads, members of the wider SKSM community and other communities to join our community of learners in a variety of ways.

INTERSESSION Intensive Courses – JANUARY 2014

Unitarian Universalist Religious Leadership in Historical and Theological Context
January 6-10, 2014

Instructor: Susan Ritchie 

We will examine the histories and theologies that inform contemporary Unitarian Universalist conceptualizations of religious leadership, both ministerial and lay.

Understanding the Bible: An Introduction for Skeptics, Seekers and Religious Liberals

January 13-17, 2014

Instructor: John Buehrens

This course welcomes those who feel alienated from the Bible, or who know little of it, except as mediated through interpretations supporting the status quo.

Feminist Readings of the Quran

January 13-17, 2014

Instructor: Ghazala Anwar

We will examine the basic teachings and key terms of the Quran and identify its ethical principles. Much of the course will be devoted specifically to gender related issues in the light of Quranic ethics.

Thematic Preaching

January 21-25, 2014

Instructor: Robert Hardies

This course is designed for preachers who take life as their sacred text for preaching and who seek to practice a ministry of non-lectionary-based thematic preaching in a congregational setting.

Multireligious Life and Learning: “Greening” and “Queering” the Studies of Religions

January 27-31, 2014

Instructor: Ibrahim Farajajé

This course will “queer” the study of religions, looking at environmental issues from the perspectives of different religious traditions:  we will see how this intersects with issues of genders, sexualities, race, embodiment, class.


SPRING Semester 2014 Online Courses  
Instruction Begins February 3, 2014
Click on course title to view the full description.

Toward Collective Liberation: Theories and Practice for Social Change
Instructor: Betty Jeanne Rueters-Ward  
Open to all, an online course geared toward those engaged in community organizing, activist, social work, and nonprofit settings; also a foundational course for students in the MASC (MA in Social Change) program.

Betty Jeann Reuters-Ward introduces

Betty Jeanne Rueters-Ward introduces “Toward Collective Liberation” (1m:13s)


Sowing Seeds of Gladness: Church Planting and Entrepreneurial Leadership
Michelle Favreault
In collaboration with Harvard Divinity School and the Unitarian Universalist Association Growth Strategies office, this online seminar is designed for students interested in new church planting and entrepreneurial leadership in congregations and beyond.

Global Religious Traditions
Instructor: Cassie Lipowitz
This online course will examine the major global religions from a cross-cultural, multi-religious perspective.  We will consider the religions from a thematic perspective by analyzing fundamental beliefs and practices in the various religious traditions.

Our Theological House: An Introduction to Unitarian Universalist Theologies
Instructor: Sheri Prud’homme
An online course developed by Rebecca Parker. Many progressives do not realize that they even have a theology, much less that there is a systematic theological worldview that is characteristic of the liberal/progressive tradition.

Sheri Prud'homme introduces

Sheri Prud’homme introduces “Our Theological House” (2m:47s)


Unitarian Universalist History
Instructor: Susan Ritchie
This online course begins with an examination of the (alleged) antecedents to Unitarianism and Universalism in pre-Reformation Europe. We move on to trace the theological and then institutional emergence of Unitarianism out of the Radical Reformation and developments into the 20th century.

Mental Disorders and Oppression
Instructor: Devorah Greenstein
Students taking this online course will gain an understanding of contemporary meanings of mental disorders and our institutional systems. We will examine the troubling hegemonic framework of what the US considers mental disorders and how we treat people who are mentally ill.

Devorah Greenstein introduces

Devorah Greenstein introduces “Mental Disorders and Oppression” (2m:8s)

Environmental Ethics and Liberation
Instructor: Sofia Betancourt 
This online course grounds its exploration in the fundamentals of environmental ethics and expands its scope to specific liberation traditions within environmental ethics, covering moral questions posed by ecofeminism, indigenous human rights debates, liberation theology, and issues of environmental racism.

Universalism: History, Theology, and Practice
Instructor: Jeff Wilson
In many congregations, Universalism seems to be the unknown half of UU denominational heritage. This online course will help contemporary Unitarian-Universalists better understand the history of their Universalist ancestors and discern how Universalism lives on within and beyond the combined denomination

Spiritual Practices for These Times
Christine Fry
During this year-long, online course, students will deepen their understanding and practice of eight ancient, intersecting spiritual practices helpful in these times. (Part two of two-semester course.)

Starr King and Institute of Buddhist Studies
During Spring 2014, the Institute of Buddhist Studies will offer the following online courses co-sponsored with Starr King School:

  • Topics in Buddhist Thought: Japanese Buddhism through Personal Perspectives, Lisa Grumbach
  • Psychological Aspects Buddhism I: Foundations in Buddhist Psychological Thought, Gordon Bermant
  • Buddhist Japanese II, Yufuko Kurioka
  • Readings in Mahayana Texts: Zen Classic Recorded Sayings, Taigen Leighton

Early registration is open November 11 through 22. See How to Register for a Starr King Course for details. Early registration is strongly encouraged, as many classes do fill up early.

Note: Starr King also offers residential full-semester courses in Berkeley open to special (non-degree) students. See our full listing of courses. Degree students have free cross-registration access to all Graduate Theological Union member school courses – see the GTU course listings.

To paraphrase the words of Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi:

If you are in Torino, Italy, Singapore, or Santa Barbara, CA: Come, yet again, come!

If you are Unitarian Universalist, Jain, Buddhist, Sikh, Jewish, Neo-Pagan, Muslim, a combination of any of the above, or if you do not identify with any particular religious tradition:  Come, yet again, come!

If you are attracted by learning in a community that is seriously committed to educating to counter oppressions and to building just, sustainable, resilient and vibrant communities:  Come, yet again, come!

If you are interested in one of our Certificate programs, if you are interested in applying to one of our 3 degree programs; if you are interested in developing a grounding for activism in the world: Come, yet again, come!

Our degree programs are the M.Div., M.A.S.C. (Master of Arts in Social Change), and the M.A. degrees: If you know of someone whom you think might be interested in applying to Starr King, please direct them to Jeremiah Kalendae, Starr King’s Admissions and Recruitment Director.


Ibrahim Farajajé
Provost and Professor of Cultural Studies and Islamic Studies Starr King School for the Ministry | 2441 Le Conte Ave. | Berkeley | CA | 94709