April 8, 2021

Summer 2021 Courses!

We’re so excited to announce our Summer courses for 2021! From June through August, we have nine incredible classes to choose from:

  • Seminary 101: Group Learning for Incoming Students
  • Songs for Survival: Music and Religion
  • The Sacred and the Substance
  • Advanced Topics in Gender & Religion
  • ECO Core Intensive
  • UU Leadership Core Intensive
  • Multi-religious Core Intensive
  • UUA Polity Intensive

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.

Seminary 101: Group Learning for Incoming Students

Rev. Megan Visser
Self-paced with flexible dates

Click to enlarge!

Getting started in theological education is an exciting challenge. Why not start the journey alongside a few new friends?

This Summer 2021 course is an opportunity to orient yourself to the seminary curriculum and learning environment; discuss introductory readings (from ECO and other major courses); establish habits for critical reading and writing in graduate school; as well as understand the history, Unitarian Universalist tradition, multi-religiosity, and educational thresholds of our school. Learn how to be successful in learning online, meet seminary course requirements, and contribute as a responsible member of a learning community. Learn more!

Songs for Survival: Music and Religion

Dr. Octavio Carrasco
Thursdays, June 3 – July 22
10:00 am – 12:00 pm PT

This course explores the relationship between music and religion in human experience. In order to do this, we will start with a broad look at the development of written music in the worship setting, as well as music as a component of thought and a vehicle for ideas. We will turn to the role music plays in social movements by looking closely at the 20th century in the United States with special attention to the role of songs in the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Liberation Movement. We will also explore popular music that arises out of African American traditions of resistance and the ways it functions in society today. We will explore the religious dimensions of popular music as well as the importance of music for social movements. Learn more!


GA Polity Intensive

Rev. Dr. Meg Richardson
Wednesday – Saturday, June 23-27
Various Times

The Polity Intensive Class will happen June 23-27 online (synchronously) for the Unitarian Universalist Association’s General Assembly. Students will discover the mechanics of governance by observing Unitarian Universalist polity in action. We will attend plenary sessions, business mini-assemblies, and worship services, as well as meet as a class to process our observations, learn the history of congregational polity in contrast to other polity paradigms, and thus locate our polity in its theological and cultural contexts. We will also use the case study method to dissect recent actions of the General Assembly, using video from previous General Assemblies. We will evaluate how polity acts as it is translated from the church to a national setting: informed by social justice, our polity can have global impact. Learn more!

The Sacred and the Substance

Ayize Jama-Everett
Mondays and Wednesdays, July 5 – August 5
10:00 am – 1:00 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 community’s 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!


Advanced Topics in Gender & Religion

Dr. Ashley Bacchi
July 26 – 30 & August 4 – 6
10:00 am – 1:00 pm PT

This course will explore ancient and modern constructions of gender and how that impacts an understanding of sacred texts, not only in questions of translation and gender performance but in the pressing need for safe inclusive spaces. Trans and intersex people have been violently victimized, ostracized, and demonized by oppressive readings of sacred texts. Understanding ancient physiology demonstrates that our “scientific” or “natural” conceptions of gender change; they are not fixed but shaped by culture and society. Learn more!

UU Leadership Core Intensive

Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt & Rev. Tera Klein
Wednesday – Friday, August 11-13 & Monday – Friday, August 16-20
10:00 am – 1:00 pm PT

This CORE intensive course is co-taught by Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt and Rev.Tera Klein and focuses on the theological foundations and habits of mind necessary to be a self-defined leader among Unitarian Universalists, either in congregations or in other UU settings. Students will have the opportunity to test their current skills in a series of real-world challenges likely to be faced in parish or community settings. The goal is to allow student the chance to confront possible issues while the stakes are low. Learn more!

ECO Core Intensive

Dr. Shannon Frediani
Monday – Friday, August 16-20 & Monday – Wednesday, August 23-25
10:00 am – 1:00 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 8-day core intensive, 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!

Multi-religious Core Intensive

Dr. Som Pourfarzaneh
Monday – Friday, August 16-27
10:00 am – 12:00 pm PT

This course will present a framework for the practice and understanding of multi-religiosity, 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 understanding religious identity as non-binary and multifaceted. Students will be encouraged to participate in multi-spiritual practice and share their own multi-religious experiences and rituals to foster discussion about non-binary religious identity from a variety of perspectives. Learn more!

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