April 13, 2022

Summer and Fall 2022 Courses

We’re delighted to share our Summer and Fall 2022 course offerings with you! We have plenty of returning favorites as well as some exciting new courses. We’ve been conducting classes 100% online since March 2020 but beginning this Summer, some courses will have options for in-person attendance.

Early registration for both Summer and Fall semester begins April 18 and runs through April 29. General registration for Summer runs June 3-17. General registration for Fall runs August 22-September 2. Check out our full line-up below!

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.

Summer Intensives

  • Beginner’s Meditation Workshop
  • Multi-Religious Core Intensive: Theory and Method
  • UU Ministerial Leadership Core Intensive
  • UU Polity – GA Immersion
  • Writing to Counter Oppression and Create Community

Fall Semester: September 2 – December 12

  • Advanced Topics in Meditation (NEW! Just added!)
  • Introducing Hindu Doctrines (NEW! Just added!)
  • Religious Freedom, Justice, and Democracy (NEW! Just added!)
  • Adult Faith Development
  • Depth Psychology for Chaplains
  • ECO Core
  • Ecotheologies
  • Illness, Health, & Healing
  • Introduction to Hebrew Bible
  • Introduction to Preaching
  • Introduction to Islam
  • Leadership Along the Way
  • Queer Liberation Theologies
  • Roll for Enlightenment: Exploring the Spiritual Power of Tabletop Role-Playing Games
  • Transformative Ritual Craft
  • Unitarian Universalist History

Scroll down for more information about each class!

Beginner’s Meditation Workshop

Dr. Som Pourfarzaneh
Mondays, June 6-27, 5:00 – 6:30 pm PT

This online synchronous course will introduce basic meditation techniques with an emphasis on self-care. Participants will learn foundational elements of sitting meditation, including correct posture and body alignment, followed by methods for progressive relaxation and mindfulness of the breath. The series will also offer tools for setting up a daily practice and a brief introduction to moving meditation. Learn more!

Multi-Religious Core Intensive: Theory and Method

Dr. Som Pourfarzaneh
August 15-26, 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!


UU Ministerial Leadership Core Intensive

Rev. Tera Landers
Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt
August 8-12 & 22-24, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm PT

This CORE intensive course is co-taught by Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt and Rev. Tera Landers 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!

UU Polity – GA Immersion

Rev. Dr. Meg Richardson & Rev. Elz Curtiss
In Person or Online, June 22-26

The Polity Intensive Class will happen June 22 – 26 in Portland, Oregon 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 on Zoom during breaks 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. This course has rolling admission. Learn more!

Writing to Counter Oppression and Create Community

Jennifer Springsteen (Hilda Mason Scholar)
August 1-12, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm PT

Writing is a mode of communication and a means of self-discovery. In this hands-on writing class, we’ll explore both. Our community will investigate life’s milestones (love, birth, death, awaking to the Divine) in our writing and through the words of others, leaning into how writing can counter oppression and build spiritual community. We will push through our writer’s block, learn revision strategies, and see ourselves gain strength and confidence as writers. Students will explore poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction (essay, newsletter, blog), and spoken word. All experience levels are welcomed. Learn more!

Advanced Topics in Meditation

Dr. Som Pourfarzaneh
Synchronous/Asynchronous Online

This online course will build upon the basic foundations of meditation and introduce methods for developing concentration, encouraging self-care, and taking one’s practice into the workplace to be of best benefit to one’s self and others. The series will offer tools for strengthening an existing daily practice and resources for further learning and discovery. Course Format and Evaluation: synchronous monthly meetings (the second Monday of the month, 5-6:30pm PT), with the commitment to practice daily between sessions. Learn more!

Religious Freedom, Justice, and Democracy

Dr. Sabrina Dent
Wednesdays, 9:40 – 12:30 pm PT

Religious privilege has often imposed on the civil and human rights of marginalized groups in the areas of voting rights, public education, health care, and environmental concerns. The struggle for freedom and justice cannot be fully understood without acknowledging the First Amendment freedoms at the heart of these struggles. In this course, particular attention will be given to how and in what ways power, violence, identity, and pluralism form and frame the discourse of religious freedom across space and time. Students will be required to attend the virtual Religious Freedom Mobile Institute on October 27 (4pm PST – 6pm PST) and October 28 (full day). Learn more!

Adult Faith Development

Rev. Dr. Sheri Prud’homme
Thursdays, 9:40 am – 12:30 pm PT

This course provides an overview of the theory and practice of adult faith formation in progressive churches, especially Unitarian Universalist congregations. Topics include adult learning theories, including culture and context in the theory and practice of adult learning; frameworks for understanding the congregation as a multi-generational, liberatory, learning community; and the power of education and spiritual growth to address injustice and foster the wholeness and liberation of people, their communities and environment. Learn more!

Depth Psychology for Chaplains

Rev. Dr. Pamela Hancock
Thursdays, 2:10 – 5:00 pm PT

This course is intended to provide the psychological grounding for those going into Chaplaincy to understand the complexity of the human condition. Topics included will be: the religious function of the psyche, ego development, and psychological issues that may arise when ministering to people. Learn more!

ECO Core

Dr. Shannon Frediani
Tuesdays, 2:10 – 5:00 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 core synchronous online 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!


Rev. Dr. Sheri Prud’homme
Wednesdays, 9:40 am – 12:30 pm PT

As theologians have responded to the injustices and harm of human-made ecological crises, climate catastrophes, and social inequities, a variety of critical and constructive theologies have emerged. The theologians studied in this course are rooted in Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish traditions, with an emphasis on ecofeminist, ecowomanist, queer ecotheologies, and Native American theologies. Learn more!

Illness, Health, & Healing

Rev. Dr. Pamela Hancock
Asynchronous Online

This course invites students to listen for the voices of the ill, even when those voices are full of pain or have been long ignored. Students will develop spiritual care skills and practices to promote health and healing in their ministries and their lives. The course will draw from narrative medicine as well as scriptures and healing stories from a variety of religious traditions. Learn more!

Introduction to Hindu Doctrines

Kali Tanikella
Mondays, 9:40am – 12:30pm PT

This online synchronous course will introduce Hinduism, the world’s third largest faith, and a five-thousand-year history through a multi-disciplinary lens focusing on Hindu theological doctrines in diverse aspects of sacred art, ritual, semiotics, and contemplative practice. As such, it will examine both the theory and practice of Hindu theological themes in the context of art, ethics, and psychology. These themes will be examined through readings, audio-visual presentations and visits to Hindu places of worship. Learn more!

Introduction to Hebrew Bible

Dr. Ashley London Bacchi
Mondays, 3:10 – 5:00 pm PT

This course is a survey of the Hebrew Bible. The Tanakh, as the Hebrew Bible is known in Hebrew, is a canon of literature that can be seen as a library of narrative texts, law, prophetic poetry, and wisdom literature. It holds a multitude of voices and students will explore its genres, institutions, and ideas. Students will learn basic principles of biblical interpretation as well as issues related to reception history in a variety of historical and religious contexts. Learn more!

Introduction to Preaching

Rev. Leslie Takahashi
Thursdays, 2:10 – 5:00 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!

Introduction to Islam

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

This course will give an introduction to the Islamic tradition in its religious, historical, and cultural contexts, paying particular attention to the diversity of expressions of Islam within each of these categories. The course will discuss the theological foundations of the tradition, the history of its development, and different expressions of its praxis that have evolved out of Muslim cultures and societies. It will also present contemporary issues related to Islam and Muslims, particularly in their representation throughout different types of media. Learn more!

Leadership Along the Way

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

The rationale for this course is to develop one’s own life-regenerating leadership along the long arc of social change and transformation that existed before our time and will continue after us. We will explore ways of engaging and directing energy within an ecosystem so as to encourage diversity and distribution of leadership. This includes rediscovering our agency in challenging environments while leading in a way that honors the leadership present in any given moment, as well as the leadership that preceded and will follow such moments. Learn more!

Queer Liberation Theologies

Dr. Hugo Cordova Quero
Asynchronous Online

What does «liberation» mean to queer individuals and communities? How do Christian traditions worldwide relate to queer issues and queer believers? For the last twenty years queer theologians and communities have been developing contextual theologies in order to challenge and critique the ingrained heteronormativity in theological thought, spiritual practices, and institutional governance. Drawing from an interdisciplinary perspective, the course aims to examine and explore the development of queer theologies in the specific contexts of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The focus of the course is intentionally non-US centered in order to offer future ministers, scholars, and activists tools to collaborate and interact with experiences, key topics, and thinkers within the complex and yet fascinating world of queer liberation theologies, thus, enriching their worldview and praxis glocally. Learn more!

Roll for Enlightenment: Exploring the Spiritual Power of Tabletop Role-Playing Games

Sara Elizabeth Dyer-Santa Cruz (Hilda Mason Scholar)
Tuesdays, 9:40 am – 12:30 pm PT

Designed both for those who are already familiar with role-playing games and those who consider themselves brand new, this seminar course gives space for religious leaders to explore the power of TTRPGs as a way of deepening personal and community faith development. With a learning experience built on a foundation of multimedia resources, class discussions, and actual play opportunities, students will be able to explore these games as scholars, players, and spiritual leaders. Learn more!

Transformative Ritual Craft

Taya Mâ Shere
Tuesdays, 9:40 am – 12:30 pm PT

Transformative Ritual Craft is an exploration into the art and technology of ritual craft. This course supports students in developing a nuanced understanding of successful ritual structures and empowers students in cultivating skills to create and guide ritual. The course itself is a ritual immersion, with each class meeting structured as a ritual experience. Students are encouraged to deepen their own ritual practices, to experience rituals in contexts new to them and to craft and guide ritual for community. Students will identify their strengths and edges in ritual craft and leadership and will receive structured support in enhancing their existing ritual strengths and in nurturing arenas in which they seek additional growth and experience. Learn more!

Unitarian Universalist History

Rev. Dr. Meg Richardson
Asynchronous Online

This course begins with a discussion of recent historical developments in Unitarian Universalism and then extends back through time to the various antecedents of Unitarianism and Universalism in pre-Reformation Europe, all the way back to the early church and the Council of Nicea. Students will have the opportunity to explore Unitarian Universalist heritage, as well as different historical approaches. We will examine social location in relation to class, race, and gender identities, and how these enabled or impeded social justice advances. We will discover the origins of our faith by progressing from our known contemporary experience to the unknown, and perhaps unknowable. Learn more!

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