March 30, 2023

Summer & Fall 2023 Courses

We’re thrilled to share our upcoming Summer and Fall 2023 courses with you! We have a great line-up of diverse offerings.

General Registration (Summer): June 2-16.

General Registration (Fall): August 21 – September 1

Late Registration for Summer is the first day of the course, unless there is pre-work. Late Registration for Fall runs September 5-15.

Check out the full line-up of courses 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: June 5-August 25

  • Beginner’s Meditation Workshop
  • UU Polity: GA Immersion
  • UU Ministerial Leadership Core Intensive
  • Multi-Religious Core Intensive: Theory and Method

Fall Semester

  • Advanced Topics in Meditation
  • Congregation and Nonprofit Administration
  • ECO Core
  • Forgiveness and Moral Repair
  • Indigenous Traditions, Healing, and Genders (Just added!)
  • Introduction to Christian Scriptures
  • Introduction to Islam
  • Introduction to Pastoral Counseling
  • Introduction to Preaching in a Cross Cultural Context
  • Introduction to Religious Education
  • Leadership Along the Way
  • Magic, Sex, and Liberation in Hindu Tantra (Just added!)
  • Paths for Liberation: An Introduction to Buddhism (Just added!)
  • Promised Land and Immigrants
  • Religious Freedom, Justice, and Democracy (Just added!)
  • Revolutionary Witchcraft
  • Transformative Ritual Craft
  • Unitarian Universalist History

Scroll down to learn more about each course!


Beginner’s Meditation Workshop

Dr. Som Pourfarzaneh

Mondays, June 5-26, 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!

UU Polity: GA Immersion

Rev. Dr. Meg Richardson

June 21-25, Various Times

The Polity Intensive Class will happen June 21 – 25 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for the Unitarian Universalist Association’s General Assembly, as well as online. 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. Learn more!

UU Ministerial Leadership Core Intensive

Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt & Rev. Tera Landers

August 7-11 & 21-23, 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!

Multi-Religious Core Intensive: Theory and Method

Dr. Som Pourfarzaneh

Monday-Friday, August 14-25, 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!


Advanced Topics in Meditation

Dr. Som Pourfarzaneh

Synchronous Online – Second Monday of each month, 5:00 – 6:30 pm PT

This online synchronous 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 oneself and others. The series will offer tools for strengthening an existing daily practice and resources for further learning and discovery. Learn more!

Congregation and Nonprofit Administration

Rev. Dr. Sheri Prud’homme

Synchronous Online – Thursdays, 9:40 am – 12:30 pm PT

Organization and administration can propel a congregation or nonprofit organization to thrive or wither. This course equips ministers and other religious leaders to provide effective and informed leadership in collaboration with staff and volunteers. Topics include fundraising and stewardship, budgeting and financial statements, recruiting and working with staff and volunteers, organizational systems and leading for growth and change, governance models, facilities and safety, and time management. Learn more!

ECO Core

Dr. Shannon Frediani

Synchronous Online – Wednesdays, 9:40 am – 12:30 pm PT

In this required synchronous online core course, MDiv and MASC 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? Learn more!

Forgiveness and Moral Repair

Rev. Dr. Pamela Hancock

Asynchronous Online

In this asynchronous online class, we will meet people from all over the world, from a variety of religious and cultural traditions, who have practiced forgiveness as a means of healing, reconciliation, and/or liberation. We will also explore the concept of moral repair or how we individually and collectively might apologize, repent, and/or make amends after wrong doing. We will also explore ways of using forgiveness to strengthen our pastoral, prophetic, and public ministries. Learn more!

Indigenous Traditions, Healing, and Genders

Dr. Gabriel Estrada

Synchronous Online – Tuesdays, 2:10 – 5:00 pm PT

“Indigenous Traditions, Healing, and Genders” is an online synchronous course based upon research, discussions, and reflection assignments. There will be assignments on Indigenous religious traditions, healing in media, and two-spirit/LGBTQ/feminist genders. Learn more!

Introduction to Christian Scriptures

Dr. Ashley London Bacchi

Synchronous Online – Mondays, 3:10 – 5:00 pm PT

There is no single “correct” interpretation or reading of Christian Scriptures. There are interpretations that have become dominant over time or in certain communities, but the Bible has meant different things to different people across time and geographical location. This course will engage with the Synoptic Gospels, Johannine literature, Pauline and deutero-Pauline Epistles, Revelation as well as the Apocrypha and an assortment of pseudepigraphal texts with an emphasis on their cultural, historical, and literary contexts. In addition, feminist, postcolonial, and queer methodologies will be introduced in order to equip students with liberating readings of passages that have been interpreted in order to justify violence as divinely sanctioned. Learn more!

Introduction to Islam

Dr. Som Pourfarzaneh

Synchronous Online – Wednesdays, 2:10 – 5:00 pm PT

This online synchronous 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!

Introduction to Pastoral Counseling

Rev. Shane Nelson

Asynchronous Online

Pastoral counseling is a unique form of counseling which uses spiritual resources as well as psychological understanding for healing and growth. It is provided by certified pastoral counselors, who are not only mental health professionals but who have also had in-depth religious and/or theological training. In this course, we will explore the opportunities and limits of Pastoral Counseling, what it is, and what it is not. We will trace the history of pastoral counseling as distinguished from psychotherapy, pastoral care, chaplaincy, and spiritual guidance. Learn more!

Introduction to Preaching in a Cross Cultural Context

Rev. Leslie Takahashi

Synchronous Online – Thursdays, 2:10 – 5:00 pm PT

This non-lectionary, thematic online synchronous 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 liberatory 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 Religious Education

Rev. Dr. Sheri Prud’homme

Synchronous Online — Wednesdays, 9:40 am — 12:30 pm PT

This online synchronous course provides a broad introduction to the theory and practice of liberal religious education, with an emphasis on Unitarian Universalist congregations. Topics include an overview of the history and philosophy of Unitarian Universalist children’s religious education and ministry, teaching methods and learning processes, theories of human development, the congregation as an educating community, current approaches and innovations in religious education for children and youth including multigenerational ministries and worship-centered models, collegial relationships and professional standards for religious educators, and curriculum resources. Learn more!

Leadership Along the Way

J. Tyson Casey

Synchronous Online – 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!

Magic, Sex, and Liberation in Hindu Tantra

Dr. Pravina Rodrigues

Synchronous Online – Mondays, 9:30 am – 12:40 pm PT

While New Age Tantra seems to be fixated on its sexual dimensions, in South Asia Tantra is stigmatized as black magic. Tantra is a protean phenomena. There are Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain forms of Tantra, with practitioners spread out in India, China, Japan, Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Korea, and Mongolia. This course introduces and examines the themes of magic, sex, and liberation in Hindu Tantra. Learn more!

Paths for Liberation: An Introduction to Buddhism

J. Tyson Casey

Synchronous Online – Thursdays, 2:10 – 5:00 pm PT

This course will introduce some of the core teachings of the Buddha, by entering through perspectives and practices within the three most prevalent paths of Buddhism — Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana. The course will consider some of the historical and cultural movements, adaptations, actions, and distinct positionalities that arose in relationship with the teachings of the Buddha and the innumerable lineages that followed. Learn more!

Promised Land and Immigrants

Dr. Hugo Cordova Quero

Asynchronous Online

This online asynchronous course will focus on the cases of Latina/o immigrants in the United States and Japan in relation to their experiences of faith, ethnicity, and gender. The approach is interdisciplinary as we will draw from several fields for the analysis of the class topics. The goal of the course is to provide grounds for students to acquire tools for understanding the different realities of immigrants. Issues of faith, race/ethnicity, gender and migration will be constantly connected to pastoral reflection throughout the course, especially since our world is increasingly becoming multicultural, multiethnic and multi-religious. Learn more!

Religious Freedom, Justice, and Democracy

Dr. Sabrina Dent

Synchronous Online – Wednesdays, 2:10 – 5:00 pm PT

Religious privilege has, and continues to, shape the discourse about public policies in the United States. Too often this imposes 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. 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. Learn more!

Revolutionary Witchcraft

Rev. Dr. Pamela Hancock

Synchronous Online – Every Other Thursday, 9:40 am – 12:30 pm PT

Students in this course will learn the history of Pagan traditions and how to utilize Witchcraft to strengthen their personal spiritual practices, future ministry, and activism. We will be exploring the history of Grimoires; as well as understanding the roles of witches, midwives, and nurses from the Middle Ages to modern times and how women were/are demonized; and finally how Witchcraft can be used for liberation and subversive tactics in ministry. Learn more!

Transformative Ritual Craft

Taya Mâ Shere

Synchronous Online – Tuesdays, 9:40 am – 12:30 pm PT

This synchronous online 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 asynchronous online 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. Along the way we will consider various theological developments within this tradition, as expressed through various identities and the challenges presented by new modalities of faith including Transcendentalism and Humanism. Learn more!

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