Course Information

for Graduate Program Department


Ministry in a Multicultural World (AM-520)

Credits:3

This course explores an invitation to discipleship rooted in serving others and will focus on ministry in everyday life – in the home, at work, out in the community as well as in communities of faith, and in the world beyond. It is designed for those who feel called to ministry and to service, but not to formal ordination. We will examine what ministry means from a variety of perspectives and cultivate some basic ministry skills for practical application.

Ministry in Daily Life (AM-525)

Credits:3

The Art of Preaching (AM-575)

Credits:3

Combining the substance of an introduction with the intimacy of a workshop, this course will explore theological and rhetorical foundations for preaching and provide practical experience in delivery and critique. Noting variety among denominational, theological and cultural traditions, the course will take an ecumenical approach rooted by an affirmation of the hermeneutic centrality of Scripture and the liturgical significance of preaching. Students will complete written assignments and special exercises, preach, and offer constructive critiques of sermons.

Chaplaincy Models and Methods (AM-602)

Credits:3

This course will provide an orientation to the role of the chaplain and methods suitable to the contexts in which chaplains characteristically serve including: schools, colleges, and universities; prisons; health care facilities; fire and police departments; and the military. Students will be introduced to the 29 competencies expected of board-certified chaplains (and valuable to all chaplains) and practical information for service in spiritually and culturally diverse contexts. (This course is required for all students enrolled in the Graduate Certificate Program in Chaplaincy in Multifaith Contexts.)

Growing Healthy Congregations (AM-606)

Credits:3

Adaptive Leadership: Cultivating Personal and Organizational Capacities for Change and Conflict (AM-609)

Credits:3

Adaptive leadership, that is, leading in a way that addresses the growing edges and challenges, of a congregation or organization inevitably also means orchestrating conflict and navigating change. In this course, we will gain perspectives and hone practices that allow you to cultivate your own adaptive leadership as well as build an adaptive culture. Leadership for change requires inspiration and perspiration as we help organization navigate the gap between bold aspirations and challenging realities. Expect in this course an opportunity to assess your own leadership repertoire as you also build new perspectives and practices. Dr. Lawrence Peers is a senior consultant with the Alban Institute and also providing professional education for clergy in a Pastoral Excellence Program.

Economy and Preaching (AM-610)

Credits:3

Breaking the Rules - Growing a Mainline Church (AM-612)

Credits:3

In an age when most of the news for the mainline church is bad, there are bright spots of renewal and growth. Why are some progressive churches growing in conservative cultures? One common denominator seems to be that they are breaking the rules of “accepted wisdom” of their denominational culture and violating the expectations of their sociological settings. This entrepreneurial approach to church can be replicated if leadership is willing to learn new skills and reinvent their approach to ministry. In this course we will assume the student has had adequate academic preparation and we will take a skills-based approach to topics such as marketing, fund-raising, worship, managing structures and systems, practicing radical inclusion, and celebrating genuine diversity. Churches with entrepreneurial leaders have bright futures, but this liberating hope requires leaders who will break out of their own assumptions about how to lead. Those may be the toughest rules to break.

Collaborative Team Leadership in Religious Organizations (AM-613)

Credits:3

This course explores the theological, natural and cultural support for "flatter" religious organizations and includes a thorough examination of practical examples. Former views of leadership as defined by position and authoritarian styles are no longer effective in a Post-Modern world. This course examines the theological concept of leader as one who leads by influence and builds collaborative teams and leadership groups in churches and religious organizations. Participants will learn the theoretical basis for this shift from authoritarian leadership styles to a more collaborative oriented model of ministry. They will also learn how to create effective leadership teams in religious environments. Dr. George Cladis is the Executive Pastor of the multi-site Liberty Churches in Massachusetts and the Executive Operating Officer of the faith-based New England Dream Center social service outreach.

Building Participation/Engaging Members (AM-614)

Credits:3

Organizational Development (AM-616)

Credits:3

Deep Change in Congregations (AM-617)

Credits:3

Faith in an Emerging World: New possibilities and partnerships for local Churches and Christians in (AM-619)

Credits:3

In this out-of-the-box course Doug Pagitt suggests that the last two centuries can be divided into four epochs: Agrarian, Industrial, Informational and now - Inventive. Our current reality, the Inventive Age, presents distinct opportunities for how faith communities should think, what they value, and the tools they use. Doug will offer leaders in Christian communities (and beyond) essential frameworks for participation in the Inventive Age. Rev. Doug Pagitt is the founding pastor of Solomon’s Porch, a holistic missional Christian community in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The Nitty Gritty of Managing Parish Ministry & Small Non-Profits: Admin 101 as a Spiritual Entrepren (AM-620)

Credits:3

Abrahamic Faiths in the Middle Ages (AM-622)

Credits:3

Urban Ministry and the Kingdom of God (AM-623)

Credits:3

From its beginnings, Christianity has grown largely in urban contexts. Augustine’s image of the “city of God” projects the enduring notion that divine grace permeates the common good, enlivening the religious, commercial and political life of cities across the world. Now we are living at a time when fragile communities of faith are located in urban environments that are themselves equally fragile and beleaguered. What are the hopes and dreams of God for cities and city churches alike? How does the kingdom of God continue to break through the harsher realities of urban life? What lost treasures of the gospel can be discovered and re-claimed as we seek to bear witness to the kingdom of God in our cities? Through this course we will lay claim to the joy of urban ministry, explore its opportunities and its challenges, and imagine ways and practices in which city churches can thrive within the urban contexts where they have been planted.

Becoming Agents of Reconciliation (AM-626)

Credits:3

Transformative Leadership for Smaller Churches (AM-632)

Credits:3

Two-thirds of Protestant churches in North America are smaller (having less than 100 in worship), and the number of smaller churches is growing, not declining. Whether they thrive, survive, decline, or close is significantly determined by how their leaders lead and the way they live out their congregational life. The thesis of the course is that smaller churches are both the right size to be and do all that God asks a church to be and do and they are different from other sized congregations. With this dual thesis in mind, students will be helped to understand the characteristics, dynamics, particularities, practicalities, needs, potential, and possibilities that may be addressed or realized through transformative leadership. Participants will explore a small theology and a body of theory that will provide the foundation for a faithful and effective twenty-first century smaller church. Finally, students will imagine themselves with their gifts as transformative leaders for such a church.

Adaptive Leadership for Religious Practioners (AM-633)

Credits:3

Addiction and Spirituality (AM-634)

Credits:3

This course will examine the largely unacknowledged and sorely underexamined epidemic of addiction in the United States. Statistics show that one out of every seven persons in the United States has some form of substance abuse. Every church, mosque, synagogue and temple has persons afflicted and affected by addiction. A wholistic, pastoral overview of ministry to persons with addictions will be presented through reading, presentations, research and dialogue in and outside the classroom. Using the various models of addiction - moral, mental health, medical, etc., - we will discuss the underlying spiritual issues of sin, shame, unforgiveness and the spiritual responses of healing, forgiveness and grace. Persons engaged in religious leadership and service of all types, including pastors, imams, chaplains and the regular congregational member who cares and gives care will be interested in this important course.

Cutting Edge Social Ministries (AM-636)

Credits:3

True Confessions:Practical Theology (AM-637)

Credits:3

Essential Skills in Pastoral Counseling and Ministry (AM-638)

Credits:3

This course will offer pastors, lay ministers and caregivers an opportunity to learn basic counseling skills for use in pastoral settings. Students will develop skills in assessment, honoring ethical concerns and addressing the most common diagnoses such as depression and anxiety. Attention will be given to clarifying the differences between pastoral care and pastoral counseling. Issues of referral to professional mental health resources and community agencies also will be addressed.

Preparing Islamic Legal Documents (AM-639)

Credits:3

Focused on skills needed for success in Islamic Chaplaincy and other programs where practical matters of service to Islamic communities, congregations and individuals are important, this course introduces students to a contemporary American condensed version of Ibn al-`Attar's Kitab al-Watha`iq wa'l-sijjilat. The topics under consideration include but are not limited to Islamic legal documents, writing contracts, and completing other legal obligations in the U.S. context. Students will be exposed to practical information and training in the preparation of these documents.

Social Justice in Cong & Comm (AM-641)

Credits:3

Public Ministry and Community Organization (AM-642)

Credits:3

Caring for the Dying and the Grieving (AM-643)

Credits:3

Organizational Leadership for Justice (AM-644)

Credits:3

Effective Small Churches in 21st C (AM-646)

Credits:3

Life Transitions in Spiritual Care&Counseling (AM-647)

Credits:3

Counseling Muslim American Families (AM-651)

Credits:3

Pastoral Care & Cong Ldrshp (AM-652)

Credits:3

Mental Health: Islamic Perspective (AM-653)

Credits:3

This course will familiarize students with the basic concepts of mental illness to facilitate their communication with multidisciplinary teams including both health and mental health professionals, and help them to gain an awareness of the cultural factors particular to the Muslim community. Students will obtain skills including when to make referrals and how to approaching individuals in a mental health treatment context.

Muslim Public Speaking: History and Practice (AM-654)

Credits:3

This course is an exploration in contemporary and past Muslim homiletics. Our approach is both descriptive and practical. For those who are interested in Muslim oral discourses as an academic subject, the course will offer a chance to learn about the subject from historical and anthropological perspectives. Our examples will be from the United States, Middle East, West Africa, and beyond. For those who plan to be Muslim public speakers, the course will offer an opportunity to develop and practice their skills as lecturers and khatibs.

Real. of Chaplaincy in Var Settings (AM-656)

Credits:3

Ministry Multifaith & Multicultural (AM-657)

Credits:3

Faith Form. Through Ritual & Art (AM-658)

Credits:3

Ministry to the Incarcerated (AM-659)

Credits:3

Deep Change in Congregations (AM-661)

Credits:3

Congreg. Conflict Transformation (AM-662)

Credits:3

How we respond to differences and to conflict in congregations and other organizations can help to sustain health and vitality within the congregation even in turbulent times. In this course, we will explore practical theories for understanding congregational conflict as well as looking at various practices of conflict transformation. Students will be expected to do some reflection on their own styles (using a few inventories) as well as discerning different levels of conflict and ways of responding. We will also use practices of dialogue and deliberation for interpersonal, small group and congregational settings.

Seven Approaches to Cong. Renewal (AM-668)

Credits:3

Congregational Studies Institute (AM-676)

Credits:3

Information Literacy for Islamic Studies (AM-677)

Credits:3

Becoming Effective Leaders (AM-686)

Credits:3

Enhancing Congregational Ministry with Social Media (and Other Internet Technologies) (AM-687)

Credits:3

Social Media and Internet technologies are an integral part of our lives in the 21st century. The same should be true of our congregations and the ministerial approaches of religious leaders. This course will describe the contemporary technological context of the U.S. in which ministry occurs. It will address potential worship innovations, community interactions and spiritual practices around the use of Facebook, Twitter, blogs, video and other technologies. The course will creatively explore the potential strategic advantages of such technology as well as ways to avoid possible roadblocks to incorporating these technological features in the life and functioning of any congregation. Guest speakers will include a number of leading authors and clergy in the field.

Practical Stewardship (AM-690)

Credits:3

Church Administration (AM-691)

Credits:3

Basics of Counseling Technique (AM-692)

Credits:3

This two week intensive hands-on training and supervision will prepare chaplains to provide basic counseling to individuals, couples, and families, with special attention to Muslim cases. The course will provide a framework for how to set up counseling sessions, effectively interact and establish a therapeutic relationship through an empathic interactional style, establish appropriate boundaries, screen and identify mental illness, offer basic interventions and refer people to the appropriate mental health professional. We will review some of the basic principles of transference-countertransference, cognitive-behavioral theory, Emotion-Focused Therapy, integrative behavioral couples therapy, rational emotive behavioral therapy, and the role of the spiritual healing in the Islamic tradition. Specific skills that will be taught include empathic listening, emotional reprocessing, facilitating introspection, mental health screening techniques, and how to deal and diffuse emotionally intense and/or volatile situations.  This is an experiential course that will involve lecture, discussion, modeling/demonstrations of technique and role-play.  While these are critical skills for Islamic chaplains to learn, chaplains from other faith traditions may benefit from learning how to counsel across cultures and faith traditions, using the Muslim tradition as a case example. Dr. Hamid will be aided in teaching this course by Hooman Keshavarzi. Prerequisite: AM-653 Mental Health: An Islamic Perspective or permission of the instructor.

Cross Cultural Family Systems (AM-693)

Credits:3

Spirituality of Teenagers (AM-695)

Credits:3

Being a Pastor/Scholar (AM-730)

Credits:3

Reclaiming the Art of Preaching (AM-750)

Credits:3

Congregational Studies Institute (AM-775)

Credits:3

Building Abrahamic Partnerships (CM-650)

Credits:3

Religion & Modernity:Chris/Islam (CM-660)

Credits:3

Indonesia: Human Rights & Democracy (CM-670)

Credits:3

Practice of Chris/Muslim Dialogue (CM-696)

Credits:3

Christianity: Rumor and Reality (DI-500)

Credits:3

Introduction to Islam for Non-Muslims (DI-501)

Credits:3

Come explore the Muslim faith, practices and local religious communities. This course is an introduction for Non-Muslims to Islam and Muslim communities, beliefs, practices, scriptures, and Muslim organizations in the Greater Hartford area. It is designed to address the significant need for basic information about Islam in this present context. Through a combination of lectures, readings, experiences and activities, the instructors will cover Muslim beliefs and practices, issues faced by Muslims living in the United States, the vital roles that women play in Muslim communities, and current interfaith efforts.

Religions of the East (DI-502)

Credits:3

Understanding Catholicism (DI-503)

Credits:3

Introduction to Christianity & Islam (DI-508)

Credits:3

Students will explore and investigate Christianity’s founding principles, major figures, seminal writings, observed practices, structural institutions, impacts on society, and recent developments. Required readings will include scriptural passages and other foundational texts, including the great ecumenical creeds as well as a variety of modern statements of belief. Besides a term paper of 12-15 pages, criteria for student evaluation will include written summaries of assigned readings submitted weekly, participation in classroom discussions, and attendance. A trip to a local Christian congregation to observe a worship service will round out the course requirements.

The Christian Mosaic (DI-510)

Credits:3

Dialogue in a World of Difference (DI-530)

Credits:3

A required course for all students enrolled in the Master of Arts degree program. Students and faculty in a collegial setting will explore in depth the principles and the practice of dialogue in a pluralistic world through dialogical listening and cross-cultural conversations in a context of diversity. Goals of the course include the development of listening and communication skills in multicultural contexts; fostering an understanding of one another through information sharing and community building action; and learning how to discuss potentially divisive issues constructively and without animosity. This course is graded on a Pass/Fail basis.

Parliament of World Religions (DI-605)

Credits:3

This course will examine different approaches to, organization of, and levels of, interfaith dialogue. It will include consideration of interfaith relations in religious congregations and faith communities, local and regional interfaith organizations, interfaith gatherings around specifric interests and themes, and international interfaith organizations of several different types. We will look at the leadership each sort of organization trains and recruits, and the academic and religious preparation of the different types of leaders. We will also study the formal and informal relationships between the various kinds of interfaith organizations, and the extent to which they work towards common or conflicting purposes. We will examine the relationships of these interfaith organizations to other non governmental organizations in several contexts. This course will include visits to local interfaith groups such as the Connecticut Committee for Interfaith Understanding, and conversations with local and regional interfaith leaders. The course will include careful preparation for, and participation in, the Parliament of World Religions meeting December 3-9, in Melbourne, Australia. Travel costs will be subsidized by a grant from the Luce Foundation to the Parliament of World’s Religions’ Task Force on Theological Education and Interfaith Initiatives.

Faith in the Neighborhood: Understanding and Engaging Religious Diversity (DI-610)

Credits:3

The purpose of this course is to introduce religious leaders to foundational information about the belief and practices of the world’s religions as part of the fabric of 21st-century America, that they might be better equipped to serve in the midst of that diversity. To these ends, students will learn the concepts, vocabulary, and practices of a number of religions sufficient for engagement in intelligent dialogue with adherents of those religions, and sufficient for being an informed visitor in those religious settings and citizen of a multi-religious neighborhood. Students will also consider a theology of religious difference which promotes neighborliness, hospitality, and mutual understanding. In addition to traditional reading and writing assignments, some online work and field research will be expected.[Students enrolled in the Graduate Certificate Program in Chaplaincy in Multifaith Contexts may take this course in place of DI-641.]

Religious Leadership in an Interfaith World (DI-640)

Credits:3

Oman: Chris/Musl Relations in Arabia (DI-645)

Credits:3

?The Sultanate of Oman is the only Muslim nation in the world that practices Ibadi Islam as the official national religion. Ibadism incorporates an austere piety with an openness to engaging in dialogue with other Islamic schools of thought and other faiths. Oman has a long tradition of religious pluralism both within Islam and other faiths, which makes it an ideal place to engage in inter-Islamic and Christian-Muslim dialogue. In this two-week travel seminar in Oman, participants will attend lectures and meetings with Ibadi imams and scholars, engage in interfaith dialogue with students in the Institute of Sharia Sciences, meet missionaries of the American Protestant Mission in Oman, and explore the interfaith context of Oman with visits to a Hindu temple; Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant worship centers; and some of the oldest mosques in Islam. This course is limited to matriculated Hartford Seminary students. All students accepted to this course will receive scholarship that will cover the room, board, and onsite costs (the cost without scholarship is $1800). Students are responsible for their own airfare. The cost of Hartford Seminary tuition for this 3-credit course is $975 (no additional aid will be given from Hartford Seminary).

Assisting the Process: Life Transitions (DI-647)

Credits:3

Religion, Conflict, & Peacemaking (DI-648)

Credits:3

This course will explore the paradox of religion as a source of division and conflict, on the one hand, and of peaceful aspirations and compassionate, sacrificial service on the other. Theoretical approaches to this paradox, drawn from the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions, will be supplemented by practical case studies, with particular attention given to the Israeli-Palestinian-Arab dispute over the “Holy Land”.

Building Abrahamic Partnerships (DI-650)

Credits:3

This eight-day intensive training program offers a practical foundation for mutual understanding and cooperation among Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Participants learn about the tenets and practices of the three faiths, study texts from their respective scriptures together, attend worship at a mosque, synagogue, and church, and acquire pastoral skills useful in interfaith ministry. Combining the academic and the experiential, the course includes ample time for socializing over meals and during breaks. Building on Hartford Seminary’s strengths as an interfaith, dialogical school of practical theology, this team-taught program is a resource for religious leaders who are grounded in their own traditions while open to the faith orientations of other communities. Due to the interfaith nature of this course, we aim for equal representation among each of the three Abrahamic traditions in admitting students to this course.

Building Abrahamic Partnerships II (DI-651)

Credits:3

Islam & Christ.-Muslim Rel Inst. (DI-660)

Credits:3

Interreligious Rdgs Job & Jonah (DI-665)

Credits:3

Job and Jonah are probably the two most “unorthodox” books in the Hebrew Bible. Their principal characters try to make sense of experiences that do not fit the images of God presented in the other books. Moreover, these challenging portrayals evoke the existential questions we all must face, in our own lives and as pastoral counselors or religious educators: Is there any meaning in suffering, and can the pain or trauma be redeemed? How do we repent, and how might we invite others, including our leaders, to repent? How can we transform ourselves and our communities to be more in keeping with God’s promises and moral imperatives? Aiming at an inclusive, interreligious method of “practical exegesis,” the course will juxtapose Jewish interpretations with teachings from the Christian and Muslim traditions. (Replaces SC-626)

Learning from Africa (DI-670)

Credits:3

Interfaith Perspectives on Poverty (DI-675)

Credits:3

Conflict Transformation and Peace Building (DI-680)

Credits:3

In light of youth-led revolutions and demonstrations in the Middle East, Africa and Asia and the U.S., what are the skills needed for conflict transformation and peace building? Using a case method approach, this course will equip seminary students, pastors and religious and community leaders with theories and practices of pro-active conflict intervention. These skills are especially appropriate for congregations, community organizations and local communities. The course also will explore important world events from the perspective of theology, ethics, dialogue and peacemaking

Peace in the Midst of Conflict (DI-681)

Credits:3

Christian-Muslim Relations in Africa (DI-685)

Credits:3

Christian & Muslims:Any More to Say (DI-691)

Credits:3

D.Min. Colleague Seminar I (DM-710)

Credits:3

The purpose of the two-year Colleague Seminar is to explore the reflective practice of ministry in an atmosphere of personal and professional sharing, eventually producing a set of analytical and theological papers as background for the Ministry Project. The goal of this first semester seminar is to ground the practice of ministry in an understanding of its contextual and organizational realities and their theological significance. Students will be introduced to various field research tools and learn to reflect theologically on the insights gathered through their use. Required of first-year D.Min. students.

D.Min. Colleague Seminar II (DM-711)

Credits:3

A continuation of DM-710 D.Min. Colleague Seminar I, Part I

D.Min. Colleague Seminar III (DM-720)

Credits:3

In pursuing further the training in congregational studies that began in the first year Colleague Seminar, we will explore ways of reflecting theologically on your congregation, or your ministry setting, and your practice of ministry within it. This will involve examining both classic and constructive approaches to theology. It will also involve paying close attention to personal experience and to the broader cultural environment as sources of theological insight. The culmination of this fall semester course will be a paper in which the students will work out a theology for ministry that genuinely reflects the manner in which they practice it.

D.Min. Colleague Seminar IV (DM-721)

Credits:3

The spring semester of the second year colleague group directs its full attention to students’ major project proposals. A variety of organizational change interventions and models are explored; each student prepares and shares a literature review in the anticipated substantive area of his or her major project; and each student prepares and shares a draft of a major project proposal, this draft also serving as a student’s major paper for the seminar.

Independent Study (DM-792)

Credits:3

DMin Project Colloquium (DM-795)

Credits:0

Students who have successfully completed Colleague Seminars I and II and at least four of the six elective courses may enroll in the Ministry Project Colloquium. The Colloquium, which will meet periodically during the year, will provide a supportive environment for the preparation of ministry project proposals, the execution of ministry projects, and the writing of ministry project final reports. The Colloquium, while highly recommended for those working on their ministry project, is not required. The Colloquium carries no tuition or fee; however, students participating in the Colloquium who are not registered for either courses or the Ministry Project in any given semester will be required to register for a Program Extension or Program Continuation and pay the relevant fee.

Spiritual Exercises Formation Consc (ET-520)

Credits:3

Islamic Business Ethics: Principles and Contemporary Applications (ET-521)

Credits:3

In the wake of the recent global financial crisis, we are witnessing expanding socially and ethically conscious business initiatives. The rise of Islamic banking and finance, a rapidly growing subset of these initiatives, raises interesting questions regarding the ethical dimensions of financial market activities. This course will consider Islamic ethics, spirituality, and jurisprudence and their application to business. In particular, we will study stakeholder theory, concepts of sustainability, environmental consciouness and animal welfare, food and labor. Further, we will examine contemporary Islamic finance, particularly home finance in the U.S., the landmark Dow Jones Islamic Market Indexes Fatwa, and the waqf. Finally, we will explore debates of form and substance and maslahah (welfare), among other jurisprudential issues, within the context of contemporary Islamic finance.

Introduction to Christian Ethics (ET-525)

Credits:3

Business & Non-Profit Ethics (ET-535)

Credits:3

Theological Ethics & the Personal Life (ET-545)

Credits:3

This course will examine issues of personal morality and faith. The course begins with a brief introduction to theological ethics, and then moves to practical issues in personal morality, which will be discussed in relation to family and society. The course will address issues such as marriage and commitment, homosexuality, friendship, abortion, lying, and the development of faith and virtue. Attention will be given to how one’s theological commitments transform secular moral problems and their solutions.

Theo Ethics & Public Life (ET-546)

Credits:3

Ethics involves examining life in an attempt to interpret what is going on. Theological ethics undertakes this examination with the conviction that all things exist in relation to God. In this course we will survey models of our common life that have prevailed in western Christianity in the modern period, reflect on the religious symbols, stories, practices and habits by which we make sense of what is going on in public life, and consider what possibilities exist for fostering a civil society. Issues to be considered include religion and politics, human rights, war and revolution, and the treatment of animals.

Sexual Ethics (ET-610)

Credits:3

Theology & Ethics of Relationship (ET-620)

Credits:3

Feminist Ethics in Multi-Cultural Context (ET-625)

Credits:3

Global Persp on Reprod Justice (ET-628)

Credits:3

Follow the Money: The Ethics of Money (ET-635)

Credits:3

Money is often a taboo subject in religious groups and organizations. We deal with money every day but most of us are not comfortable with the subject. And yet money, or issues related to it, is a common theme in Biblical texts and closely related to Biblical perspectives on virtues and sins. Money plays such a key role in the social world that one can hardly think about ethics without at some point thinking about money. This course is an opportunity to think about money. It will look at money through the lens of philosophers, theologians and ethicists, and also, more concretely, it will look at money from the perspective of contemporary daily life and ministry.

Introduction to Islamic Law (ET-640)

Credits:3

This course will provide a critical overview of the history and practice of Islamic law. We begin by examining the origins of Islamic law, the development of the classical schools of jurisprudence and the nature of pre-modern legal institutions, especially the courts and madrasa education. In following classes, we will explore the substance of classical Islamic law, especially in the areas of family, finance and international relations. Next, we will discuss the impact of colonialism and modernity on Islamic legal discourses and institutions and finish with a discussion of the way in which Islamic law is observed in contemporary America.

Theolgy & Eth:Case Stdy Approach (ET-645)

Credits:3

Theology & Ethics of the Niebuhrs (ET-649)

Credits:3

Contemporary Islamic Ethics (ET-655)

Credits:3

For Muslims committed to living Islam as a way of life, contemporary society offers many challenges. A commitment to the common good exists in tension with the need to protect individual rights. The desire to uphold family values may conflict with the need to defend pluralism and civil liberties. In a world threatened with violence from many sources, self-defense and security take on new meaning. In this class, we will examine these tensions and the Islamic principles that can help Muslims live ethically and with integrity in American society. Case studies will include debates about abortion, gay marriage, militarism and minimum wage.

Understanding Moral Blinders (ET-659)

Credits:3

“What were they thinking?” It’s what we often ask ourselves when people do something obviously wrong and obviously self-defeating. Examples abound in public life from politicians to financial officers to disgraced leaders of major nonprofits to failed religious leaders. Why do people who ought to know better do the wrong thing and, in many cases, fail to recognize fully what and that they did wrong? Why do people make bad decisions? Can we learn to avoid their mistakes? The answers to these questions are the focus of the course. One theological answer is self-deception that epitomizes the problem of sin. We will look at a variety of specific ways we stumble into self-deception including rationalization, indifference, arrogance, misplaced loyalty and unchallenged organizational/cultural assumptions. A combination of readings from a variety of disciplines (e.g., ethics, theology, cognitive science, organizational leadership, etc.) along with numerous examples (including those of the class participants) will inform lively class discussion as we work together to sharpen our recognition of blinders and consider how to help others and ourselves to avoid them.

Comparative Religious Ethics (ET-660)

Credits:3

This course explores the ethics of Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam. The aim is to develop the ability to recognize distinctive elements of the moral consciousness that have arisen in each tradition. This will be accompanied by a more general inquiry into the relation between religious convictions and religious ethics, as well as into the extent to which these religions might find common ground in specific areas of moral concern (human rights, the environment, the use of power).

Ethics in Religiously Plural Wrld (ET-661)

Credits:3

Life Together: Ethics in a Religiously Plural World This course focuses on ethical issues provoked by the life we lead together. It will examine such questions as how one goes about building bridges from one set of ethical assumptions to another; what must be agreed upon between religious communities in order to live in the same ethical universe, and what they can agree to disagree on; the different conceptions of what the moral responsibility is of one religious community for those within it who are physically distant, and how it views its responsibility for those outside its boundaries. The course will also look at the ethical resources in several religious communities related to central moral issues of our day such as global warming.

Understanding & Engaging Relg Diveristy (GC-550)

Credits:3

Chaplaincy Models and Methods (GC-551)

Credits:3

Chaplaincy Practicum (GC-552)

Credits:3

Reflection on Ministry Experience (GC-560)

Credits:3

This seminar is dedicated to reflection on the practice of imams and other Muslim leaders. The course will include readings on reflective practice and religious leadership, but the focus will be on peer-learning from the actual practice of Muslim leaders in their own religious communities and social situations. This process builds on the growing trust, reflective wisdom, and experience of the participants. The goal is for each participant to shape a form of reflective practice that integrates an approach to Islamic theology and thought with the daily demands of providing leadership, instruction, and spiritual care to local Muslim communities. Enrollment is limited to students in the Graduate Certificate in Imam Education program.

Field Education (GC-580)

Credits:3

Chaplaincy Practicum (GC-610)

Credits:3

An opportunity to explore a particular chaplaincy environment; or, to work with a mentor in preparation for the board-certification process recognized by the Association of Professional Chaplains, the content and setting of the practicum will vary according to the needs and goals of the student. The norm is 120 hours supervised at the practicum site, plus occasional on-campus meetings with the Graduate Certificate Program Director and student-colleagues. See the Chaplaincy in Multifaith Contexts section for more information.

Introduction to World Religions (HI-530)

Credits:3

The Early Church (HI-550)

Credits:3

This course will trace the growth and development of Christianity from its earliest beginnings in the first century to the great councils of the fourth and fifth centuries, stopping en route to examine selected texts from the New Testament, early Christian and Roman documents, the writings of the Fathers and the earliest creeds, ranging from the Gospels and St. Paul to Ignatius, Justin, Origen, Basil, Augustine, and Nicea. The course will focus on emergent Christian thought, the nature of God and Christ, the Bible, Church and sacraments, sin and grace, the relation of church and state, and the Christian way of life, toward the goal of gaining keener insight into issues of religion and faith today.

American Religious History (HI-571)

Credits:3

In God we trust. If America is the most religious country in the world, how did we get that distinction? This course is designed to offer students a glimpse at the rich diversity of religious history of the United States. The readings, lectures and online discussion will highlight major movements and religious figures that shaped the distinct forms of faith in our society. We will explore the relationship between American culture and its religious life with particular attention to New England. The course will pay special attention to the impact religion has had on our nation’s history and inversely how religious traditions have been shaped by their encounter with American culture. The will conclude with an examination of current trends and possible future forms of American religion.

UCC Polity, History & Theology (HI-576)

Credits:3

Global Christianity (HI-611)

Credits:3

During the three centuries that have passed since 1700 the size, global distribution and ethnic composition of world Christianity have been transformed. Most Christians now reside in the developing world, and statisticians calculate that the total number of Christians in Africa, Asia and Latin America increases by 70, 000 per day, or more than 25.5 million per year. Historians are now struggling to produce truly “global” histories of Christianity that explain the vast and varied mechanisms through which missionary efforts and indigenous movements have produced the present diversity. This course will help students gain a broad historical perspective on modern trends in Global Christianity. It will also provide focused introductions to the origins of historical movements of current importance, such as Pentecostalism and some of the indigenous Christian movements now flourishing in the newly developing concentrations of Christian faith.

Women in the Christian Tradition (HI-612)

Credits:3

The nineteenth and twentieth centuries witnessed a resurgence of interest in women and their history. Out of a growing body of research on women in the Christian Tradition, this course closely examines nine key figures/movements from various historical periods from the first to the nineteenth centuries. We will read primary texts written by women, and a range of secondary studies as well as view art and film. Classes will include presentations by the instructor and students, discussions, short exercises, and reflection. Since Christianity has been shaped overwhelmingly from the perspective of male experience, it is imperative that we become familiar with the neglected voices of women. Their inclusion will lead to a fuller understating of the Christian faith; a broader theology; a more just, inclusive church; and a more central role in all aspects of ecclesial life. Special attention is given to the historical, social, theological, ecclesial context of these figures.

Jews, Christians, & Pagans in Ancient World (HI-621)

Credits:3

Abrahamic Faiths in the Middle Ages (HI-622)

Credits:3

This course will explore the interactions of the Christianity, Judaism, and Islam in the Middle Ages. Using primary sources and contemporary scholarship, we will trace the relationships among these different communities. In the Christian West, we will study how Jews survived as part of medieval society despite persecution and violence, and how Christians and Muslims confronted each other during the Crusades. We will also explore the way the three communities lived together in Iberia—first where Islam was the dominant power, and then after the Reconquista, when Christians ruled over communities of Jews and Muslims in Spain. We will seek to understand how theological ideas shaped but did not necessarily control individual interactions among Jews, Christians, and Muslims.

Death & the Afterlife in Early Judaism & Christianity (HI-623)

Credits:3

Islamic History I (HI-624)

Credits:3

This course explores the history of Islamic societies and civilization from its beginnings in seventh century Arabia until the fall of Granada in 1492. Attention will be given to the expansion process of the Dâr al-Islâm, the changing nature of the caliphate and the development of regional powers, as well as to socio-economic realities, ideological evolutions and significant cultural achievements. Students will read selections of important primary sources available in English translation, such as Tabarî’s History, Ibn Munqidh’s Memoirs, Ghazali’s Book of Counsel for Kings, Abû Dulaf’s Qasîda sâsâniyya, Ibn Battûta’s Travels, and Ibn Khaldûn’s Muqaddima.

Islamic History II (HI-625)

Credits:3

This course continues the exploration of the history of Islamic societies and civilization, from the beginnings of the major pre-modern Islamic empires (Ottoman Turkey, Safavid Iran, Moghol India, Morocco) and Islam’s expansion into Africa and South-Asia until the colonization of most of the Islamic world by European powers, the struggles for independence and the creation of contemporary Muslim nation-states. Special attention will be given to socio-economic realities, ideological evolutions and significant cultural and artistic achievements. Students will read selections of important primary sources available in English translation, such as Dârâ Shikûh’s The Mingling of the Two Oceans, Kâtib Tchelebi’s Balance of Truth, Tavernier’s Collections of Travels through Turkey into Persia, Jabartî’s Chronicle, Khayr al-Dîn al-Tûnisî’s Sureth Path, and al-Afghânî’s Refutation of the Materialists.

Muslims in North America and Europe (HI-627)

Credits:3

This course offers a thematic and historical exploration of Muslim communities, institutions and discourses in North America and Western Europe. We will focus on a set of case studies, which will include communities in the U.S., Canada, France and the United Kingdom. While utilizing secondary literature, we will emphasize analysis of primary sources, including online, audio and video. Key themes will include: transnational Muslim discourse, locally specific interpretations of formative texts, gender, politics, and institutional life.

Muslims in American Religious History: Comparative Perspectives on Race, Gender, and Politics (HI-628)

Credits:3

What makes Muslims an American religious minority? How have they shaped American religious history together with other groups? How have religious minorities participated in the American republic? And what can they learn from each other’s experiences? This course is an exploration into the history and contemporary life of a particular religious minority in conversation with parallel stories of other groups. Spanning the period from the late 18th to the early 21st century, we will examine Muslim engagements with quintessential themes of American life, such as race, freedom, gender and politics. We will approach each of these themes from a comparative standpoint, reflecting specifically on African-American, Jewish, Catholic and Buddhist experiences.

Islamic Political Movements (HI-630)

Credits:3

Medieval Christianities (500-1500 AD): Diversity and Unity (HI-632)

Credits:3

This course will examine the global development and expansion of Christian communities, the formative doctrines and controversies, the relationships with political powers, the development of church institutions and practices, and the changing modes of Christian life in the Middle Ages. Special attention will be paid to Christian encounters with other religious traditions, such as Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism, in such places as Bagdad, Cordova, South India, and China.

Islam in Saudi Arabia Iraq &Afghan. (HI-635)

Credits:3

Islam in Iraq, Pakistan and India (HI-636)

Credits:3

Literature of the Holy Land (HI-637)

Credits:3

Major Hist Figures: Edward Said (HI-640)

Credits:3

Writing Congregational Histories (HI-645)

Credits:3

Shi'ite Islam (HI-651)

Credits:3

Arabic Bibliographic Resources (HI-652)

Credits:3

Relg & Liberal Democracy (HI-656)

Credits:3

U.S. Christianities (HI-657)

Credits:3

Islam in America & W. Europe (HI-665)

Credits:3

Modern/Contemp Islamic Thought (HI-667)

Credits:3

This course deals with Islamic thought in the modern and contemporary Muslim world (since the beginning of the 19th century). The most important movements and tendencies of Modern Islamic Thought (Revivalism, Reformism and Radicalism, but also Nationalism and the so called Islamic Left or Islamic Socialism) will be analyzed, examined through the works of their main exponents. Following the path of political Islam we will try to arrive to the current extremely diversified situation. The relationship between contemporary Muslim Thought and the West will be considered, as well as the relationship between faith and reason in 20th century Islam. The aim of the course is to gain an understanding of the broad spectrum of ideas from which Modern Islamic thought has developed.

Religion & Modernity:Christ/Islam (HI-670)

Credits:3

Women in Amer.: Religion & Reform (HI-675)

Credits:3

This course will provide students with an overview of 19th and 20th century American religious history with a particular emphasis on women’s roles in reform movements such as abolition, temperance, and suffrage. We will also address the various ways women’s piety and spirituality was made manifest including their involvement in prison reform, women’s and children’s health issues, Sunday School reform and the rise of institutions of social service.

American Literature of Reform (HI-676)

Credits:3

“In the history of the world, Reform never had such scope as at the present hour.” This course explores the social, religious and cultural contexts in which Ralph Waldo Emerson makes this statement in “Man the Reformer” (1841). We will examine the literature that ignited and spurred on the most significant and historic reform efforts in 19th-century America: abolition of slavery, temperance, household reform, suffrage and criminal justice, including prison reform and capital punishment debates. Given the religious dimensions of these reform movements, including the relationship between rhetorical strategies and theological beliefs, we will explore how sermons, essays, autobiographies, and fictional narratives shaped these reform movements. Writers studied may include Benjamin Rush on the penitentiary, Elizabeth Cady Stanton on the role of women in public life, Nathaniel Hawthorne on communal living, Frederick Douglass on abolition and African-American civil rights, and T.S. Arthur on temperance.

Religions and the Miraculous (HI-677)

Credits:3

This course is designed to study the evolution of ideas about miracles and the miraculous in western religious culture. Why did the belief in miracles become so entrenched in the religious culture of the west? What challenged that belief over the course of the Middle Ages and early modern Europe? How did the understanding of the miraculous emerge from the Enlightenment? We will read a series of monographs and articles that address the nature of belief in miracles in medieval and early modern Europe and the advent of more secular modes of thought. Ideally, this reading will provide a constructive background for your own research on topics that may extend beyond this period or European focus.

The Multi-religious Mediterranean (HI-683)

Credits:3

Hist of Jewish/Christ Misunderstand (HI-691)

Credits:3

Islam in Western Europe (HI-696)

Credits:3

Intro to Biblical Hebrew Pt I (LG-570)

Credits:3

In this course the basics of Biblical Hebrew will be introduced. The goal is to obtain a grasp of the structure of Biblical Hebrew and some of the complexities in the language; by the end of the course students will be able to work with certain texts in the Hebrew Bible.

Intro to Biblical Hebrew Pt II (LG-571)

Credits:3

A continuation of LG-570, Introduction to Biblical Hebrew.

Intermediate Biblical Hebrew I (LG-572)

Credits:3

Intro to Arabic Phon.&Script (LG-580)

Credits:3

Students will master the writing system of standard Arabic, as well as the sounds of the language. A basic vocabulary of over 100 words will be learned, and at the end of the term students will be able to engage in short, simple conversations. Both Levantine and Egyptian pronunciation will be covered. Assumes no prior knowledge of Arabic.

Introduction to Arabic Morphology and Syntax (LG-581)

Credits:3

Vernacular Arabic will be the focus of this course, with an accent on all four linguistic areas of language learning: oral, aural, reading, and listening. Basic sentence and phrase structures will be highlighted while a vocabulary of several hundred words will be built. Assumes a prior knowledge of the Arabic phonology and script. Prerequisite: LG-580, or permission of the instructor.

Intro to Arabic I (LG-597)

Credits:3

Intermediate Arabic I (LG-598)

Credits:3

Intro to Arabic, Part II (LG-598)

Credits:3

Engaging the Qur’an through the Arabic Language (LG-640)

Credits:6

This course will provide students the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of the Qur’an through intensive Arabic language study over a three week period. Reading and understanding the Qur'an in Arabic is essential for Muslims wishing to gain a deeper understanding of their faith and for students of all faiths who wish to study Islam. Anyone able to read and write the Arabic script and interested in approaching and engaging the Qur'an in its native language Arabic will benefit from this course. Through the lens of the Qur'an we will study intermediate Arabic grammar, morphology, vocabulary and eloquence. This course carries 6 credits.

Intermediate Arabic (LG-650)

Credits:3

This course is designed for participants to consolidate their knowledge of Arabic. Prerequisite: LG-581 or permission of the instructor.

Modern Arabic Prose (LG-655)

Credits:3

Readings in the Qur'an (LG-690)

Credits:3

Qur’anic passages of varying length and complexity will be examined in such a way that students will develop deeper linguistic facility in the classical grammar, syntax, and vocabulary of Arabic. In addition, theological understandings of these passages as treated by Qur’anic commentators, both classic and modern, will be considered during the course of the term. Surahs to be studied in their entirety include 109-110, 112-114, 1, and 97; in addition, selections from Surahs 23, 24, 19, and 12 will also be read and analyzed.

Readings in the Qur'an, Part II (LG-691)

Credits:3

Surah Yusuf, the longest continuous narrative in the Qur’anic revelation, will be studied from a grammatical point of view over the entire semester. Occasional reference will be made to parallel revelations of the Hebrew Bible, as well as to Muslim commentators.

Modern Arabic Prose (LG-695)

Credits:3

Dialogue in a World of Difference (MA-530)

Credits:3

A required course for all students enrolled in the Master of Arts degree program. Students and faculty in a collegial setting will explore in depth the principles and the practice of dialogue in a pluralistic world through dialogical listening and cross-cultural conversations in a context of diversity. Goals of the course include the development of listening and communication skills in multi-cultural contexts; fostering an understanding of one another through information sharing and community building action; and learning how to discuss potentially divisive issues constructively and without animosity. This course is graded on a Pass/Fail basis.

Field Education (MA-581)

Credits:3

Independent Study (MA-593)

Credits:3

MPhil Thesis Preparation (MPH-700)

Credits:9

Trans Yr - Ind Study (PHD-693)

Credits:3

Trans Yr - Ind Study (PHD-694)

Credits:3

Dissertation Prep 1 (PHD-703)

Credits:3

Dissertation Prep 2 (PHD-704)

Credits:3

Dissertation Prep 3 (PHD-705)

Credits:3

Dissertation Prep 4 (PHD-706)

Credits:3

Dissertation Prep (PHD-710)

Credits:9

Islam: Rumor & Reality (RS-515)

Credits:3

Religion as a Social Phenomenon (RS-536)

Credits:3

All religion is a social phenomenon. Although faith has a private dimension, human beings experience religion in groups or through forms created by social organizations. Every religion creates and is maintained by institutionalized rituals or concrete organizational forms. Professed beliefs are passed down by religious traditions, and ideally, these beliefs have consequences for one’s social behavior. Religious life has spawned times of war and times of peace; changed human beings and human history. Each of these social dimensions of religion can be investigated with the research methods of the social scientist. Much can be learned about religion from a sociological perspective, from reading classical sociological theories of religious organization and practice including those of Weber, Durkheim, and Marx.

Congregations and Communities (RS-580)

Credits:3

Parliament of World Religions (RS-605)

Credits:3

Parameters of Faith in Mod World (RS-610)

Credits:3

Religion in New England (RS-614)

Credits:3

Despite great change over time, New England's religious culture has always been at the heart of one of America's strongest regional identities. This course will examine the evolution of New England religion socially and historically, starting with the Protestant Standing Order of colonial days, through the epic contentions of Protestants and immigrant Catholics, to the complexities of the present day, in which the historically dominant groups are weaker, the religiously non-affiliated (the so-called "Nones") are more numerous, conservative Protestants are reviving, and global flows of migration are bringing "new" religious bodies to the scene in some strength. The ways in which religion shapes communal identity and is in turn shaped by life in the community will be a topic of special interest, as will be the question of whether New England has evolved its own civil religion.

Religious Exp. of Indigenous People (RS-615)

Credits:3

Creating and Sustaining Innovative Faith-based Social Outreach (RS-618)

Credits:3

This course explores the theological and practical dimensions of churches reaching out to distressed communities by creating faith-based nonprofit organizations. Congregations can be the key to leading and sustaining quality community redevelopment, improving the conditions of the culturally marginalized and helping individuals and families in crises to a more stable life and employment. Community, volunteer, governmental, economic and spiritual resources are combined to create highly efficient, caring centers. Course participants will learn both the biblical and theological bases for creating community outreach centers and also the nuts and bolts “how to” strategies and methods to do so. Examples of church-based social outreach nonprofits will be examined with at least one visitation to an active facility.

Flea Market Jesus: Popular Religion (RS-620)

Credits:3

Novel Muslims (RS-622)

Credits:3

Who are modern Muslims? And how are they both Muslim and modern? This course will examine these and other questions by reading twentieth- and twenty-first-century novels by and about Muslims. Through works by writers from sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East and North America, we will trace such themes as colonialism, nationalism, globalization, diversity, memory, and tradition – all the while enjoying great literature and learning how to think counterintuitively. Note that this is an intensive, five-day seminar. The students will be required to read ALL assigned material (four novels and an article) and submit a short reflection a week BEFORE the first day of class. Our class discussions will include overviews of contexts reflected in the novels, as well as theoretical approaches pertinent to their analysis.

Living Beauty in Islam (RS-625)

Credits:3

Secularism and Religion-State Relations Around the World (RS-628)

Credits:3

The primary focus of this inter-disciplinary social science course is the evolution of political and constitutional secularism. The effort to design and justify secular governments free from religious domination first arose during the American and French revolutions. Today, because of the large powers and broad influences of governments, many entanglements arise with religious practices and beliefs. We shall examine the ways that states handle both separation and entanglement by studying selected countries around the world. The course will focus in-depth on a comparative analysis of secularism and religion-state relations in countries with historic ties to different religious traditions - U.S.A. (Protestant Christianity), France (Catholicism), Turkey (Islam), Israel (Judaism) and India (Hinduism).

Religion and the Arab Spring (RS-632)

Credits:3

The Arab Spring: Revolution & Religion (RS-635)

Credits:3

LGBTQ History & Theory and What a Movement Can Teach Congregations (RS-638)

Credits:3

LGBT History & Theory and What a Movement Can Teach Congregations.” In this course we will explore an often hidden history that resulted in a significant attitudinal shift in Americans in less than half a century. Understanding how this happened might offer helpful lessons for faith movements seeking to change attitudes and values. Different faith communities have responded differently to lesbian, gay, and transgendered people this course will assume an accepting posture, and will approach the attitudinal changes in the United States as a generally positive thing. While you do not need to agree with this value, the class will be of greatest benefit if you are able to appreciate those who have worked hard for LGBT equality. If you have concerns please feel free to contact the instructor – mpiazza@hartsem.edu

American Religious Megatrends (RS-639)

Credits:3

American Religious Trends (RS-644)

Credits:3

Evangelicalism's Influence (RS-649)

Credits:3

Max Weber: Relg & the World (RS-652)

Credits:3

World Religions & Wordly Politics (RS-655)

Credits:3

Avoiding Denominational Decline (RS-656)

Credits:3

Cont. Religion and Public Life (RS-659)

Credits:3

This course will look behind the headlines that speak of the religious resurgence in contemporary politics and examine the thorny issues that arise when the boundaries between the “church” and “state” inevitably collide. What is “religion” and what is its place in late modern societies? What is unique and problematic about religious participants in public life? And what do perceptions of religion tell us about the constantly shifting “rules of the game” in contemporary democratic societies? These questions will be at the core of our examination of theoretical engagements with the concepts of religion, secularism, modernity, tradition, democracy and human rights. Our case studies will be from American and global contexts.

Contemporary Religious Trends (RS-668)

Credits:3

The contemporary religious world is in a rapid state of flux. With increasing urbanization/suburbanization, emigrating populations and technological advances all adding to continual mission activities, the spiritual contours of the globe are undergoing significant shifts. This course will focus mostly on the pluralistic situation in North America but will also intentionally trace the major socio-spiritual transitions taking place in world religions throughout the globe. The course will reflect on how these changes are making a profound difference in how all faith communities practice their religions.

American Pluralism (RS-670)

Credits:3

Cont Issues in Mod Muslim Wrld (RS-676)

Credits:3

Islamic Congregations (RS-677)

Credits:3

Global Pentecostalism (RS-681)

Credits:3

Since the beginning of the Twentieth Century a diverse expressivist Protestant religious movement labeled as Pentecostalism has revolutionized Christian religion around the world. This movement has altered mission efforts, reshaped indigenous worship practices, reformed religious organizations and in some cases even transformed governments and the directions of nations. This course will look at the origins of this movement and then trace its effects across the continents and influences in different layers of society. It will also examine how these changes are felt in local congregations of many different non-pentecostal traditions.

Changing Nature of Relg Organizations (RS-683)

Credits:3

What Churches of All Sizes Can Learn from Megachurches (RS-686)

Credits:3

Imagine a congregation where 10,000 people gather each week for worship, where church budgets are $15 million a year and where thousands of people volunteer for programs weekly. Welcome to the world of megachurches. The past forty years have seen a proliferation of these massive congregations throughout the nation. There are over 1300 of these congregations in the U.S., and while they are less than half a percent of all congregations, they attract more attention than all other religious communities in the nation combined. This course will examine the phenomenon to understand the common characteristics of megachurches, how they function, why they are attractive and what kind of person goes to them. We will uncover what lessons can be learned from them which can be used effectively by churches of all sizes and denominational traditions. The course will be taught through a bus tour of dozens of megachurches in New England, Mid-Atlantic and Central States. We will interact with clergy and staff of these churches to explore their programs, projects and approaches to ministry from which we all can learn.

Qualities of Large and Small Congregations (RS-687)

Credits:3

Half of US churches have under 100 attenders but half of all attenders are in very large churches. What is to be made of this? Congregations of all sizes have distinctive strengths and weaknesses, but exactly what are these and can their strengths also be their detriment to reaching new persons? Using recent national surveys of congregations, this course will explore the issue of size and its effect on congregational life. Attention will specifically be paid to the role of a church’s size in relation to issues of commitment, growth, and spiritual vitality both in the national surveys and in a local congregational context.

Pagans, Witches and/or Christians (RS-690)

Credits:3

The course centers on a sociological study of contemporary paganism, witchcraft and other earth-based faiths and practices, examining how these intertwine with one another and with Christian churches in their beliefs and rituals. Can modern-day, Druid religion, Goddess Worship, Paganism, Shamanism, and Wicca be considered real religions or are these more fluid movements swirling through related religious networks? To what extent do adherents of one of these earth-based sects who worship in groups or covens have distinctive beliefs and rituals that differentiate them from one another and most Christian congregations? Neo-Pagan focused congregations and smaller groups are incorporated relatively smoothly within the theologically liberal, pluralistic Unitarian Universalists. Goddess spirituality has also seeped into the historic Christian denominations, albeit informally and with greater resistance from churches. What portends in the next decades for pagan theology and practices?

Psalms (SC -620)

Credits:3

This course will cover the entire Psalter, focusing on Books One and Two (Psalms 1-72). The goal is to explore the spiritual dimension of prayer as both a reaching up to God and as a reciprocal relationship wherein God pleads, challenges, consoles, and just does nothing. Selected texts will be analyzed through traditional interpretations such as Augustine, Dahood (Anchor Bible), Sarna, and traditional Jewish exegesis, especially Rashi and Ibn Ezra. Hebrew is helpful but not required.

Intro to Biblical Hebrew & Greek (SC-510)

Credits:3

Hebrew Bible Survey I (SC-519)

Credits:3

An introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures, this course will apply historical-critical methods of study to develop a framework for understanding the origins of the texts and the relationship of the texts to one another. Attention will be given to contemporary theories of biblical interpretation. Survey I will cover the materials in the Torah and Prophets (Genesis-Kings).

New Testament Survey (SC-531)

Credits:3

What is the New Testament? Who are its authors? Why these texts? What was going on when they were written? And for whom? How are these texts read today? Does context really matter? This course, which explores the New Testament texts in a broad, survey fashion, will tackle these questions (and many more!). We will read the biblical texts closely, critically, and constructively, and engage in literary and rhetorical inquiry. We will also incorporate several types of biblical methods and lenses that are used in New Testament scholarship such as feminist, womanist, and postcolonial criticism (to name a few).

Readings in Hadith (SC-532)

Credits:3

Psalms & Negro Spirituals (SC-538)

Credits:3

Hadith Methodology: History and Transmission of the Prophetic Sunna (SC-539)

Credits:3

Compilations of hadith, or words attributed to the Prophet Muhammad, are the second most important form of scripture, or religious text, in the Islamic scholastic tradition. Hadith are an essential source of deriving Islamic law and determining what is deemed as Sunna or a model of proper Islamic practice based on prophetic precedent. In addition, hadith are critical to understanding the Qur’an and many of its general injunctions which would be otherwise ambiguous without their correlating explanations found in hadith sources. This course will analyze the basic foundations of hadith studies (ulum al-adith) which are essential to a well-grounded understanding of this important field of Islamic Studies. A progression of the various elements related to hadith studies such as hadith terminology, the legislative authority of the Sunna, methods of collecting and preserving hadiths, important transmitters, canonical hadith sources, hadith classification, weak hadiths, and forged hadiths, will be presented over the course of the semester to build a solid understanding of the role of hadith in shaping the Islamic scholarly tradition. Furthermore, this study of the scholastic aspects of hadith studies will culminate with an exploration of relevant contemporary issues such as debates regarding the authenticity of hadiths in Western scholarship.

The Synoptic Gospels (SC-540)

Credits:3

The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke are the earliest surviving accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus. This course will provide a detailed examination of these texts, paying special attention to the distinctive portrait of Jesus that each gospel presents. We will study these biblical texts in their ancient contexts and discuss contemporary application. We will explore various theories regarding the so-called “Synoptic Problem”: Which gospel do you think came first? But that’s not all! We will also survey different critical methods in Gospel analysis such as literary, redaction, socio-historical, and tradition-critical. Best of all: we will have fun doing it!

Paul and His Urban Churches (SC-555)

Credits:3

Gospel of John & Johnannine Lit (SC-575)

Credits:3

Biblical Models of Leadership (SC-610)

Credits:3

This course mines the gospel stories and the letters of Paul to explore issues of leadership theory and practice in earliest Christianity with a view toward understanding the role of religious leadership in the exercise of ministry today. Jesus and Paul, as the major figures of the early years of the Christian movement, pronounced words, proclaimed teachings and took actions that formed communities of faith. Implicitly and explicitly they exemplified the type of leadership that they considered necessary for ministry in their day. We will pay particular attention to the picture of leadership presented in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) and leaders and practices which Paul discusses in various ways in his letters. What such historical, literary and theological study yields in terms of leadership and ministry today will occupy a major portion of this course.

Gender and Sexuality in the Pauline Letters (SC-615)

Credits:3

The Pauline Letters present various statements on women, men, and male-female relations, all of which have been extremely influential. Some of them have even posed particular problems for many contemporary churches, informed the formation of societal gender roles, and served as ammunition in debates on issues such as marriage and homosexuality. This class will explore these texts in detail including, but not limited to, the historical context, rhetorical analysis, and Paul’s first century audience. We will also engage secondary literature (monographs, articles, essays, etc.), and discuss the consequences (both positive and negative) of the contemporary application of these passages. (Was Paul talking to us?) It is sure to be a charged experience, with lively discussion, and “hot topic” debates that will set this one-week intensive ablaze!

Revealing Revelation (SC-618)

Credits:3

Yes, Revelation is a complex text, but it is also action-packed! It is full of imagery, visions of destruction, gender-bending, and God’s triumph over evil (to name a few). How do you think the first-century Christian inhabitants of Asia Minor may have heard or read this text? Modern New Testament scholars have tackled this question by analyzing this text in its first-century historical, social, political, and religious settings. We will explore this conversation. Do you think they got it right? We will also aim to situate the book of Revelation in our contemporary world by examining how it has been interpreted in other critical discourses such as feminist/womanist studies, masculinity studies and queer theory; liberation hermeneutics and postcolonial studies; and ecotheology and ecocriticism. Let’s reveal Revelation together!

Men, Women, and Sex in Early Christian Texts (SC-619)

Credits:3

What do Christian texts have to do with “it” - the construction of today’s social values and norms, that is? How much of their teachings have we maintained? What have we changed? This course will explore the cultural constructions of gender and sexuality in various New Testament and other early Christian writings. In dialogue with the interdisciplinary field of gender studies (including feminist theory and criticism and masculinity studies) we will analyze texts that illustrate that gender and sexuality were interrelated categories in early Christian literature. We will explore topics such as male and female roles/relations, gendered representations of God, eroticism, and virginity, etc. Interested yet? We will also deal with the “So What?” question: Why does it matter? Button-pushing conversations about women’s leadership in religious settings, violence against women and other “other-ed” individuals, and homosexuality (to name a few), should do the trick. You be the judge.

Psalms (SC-620)

Credits:3

This course will cover the entire Psalter, focusing on Books One and Two (Psalms 1-72). The goal is to explore the spiritual dimension of prayer as both a reaching up to God and as a reciprocal relationship wherein God pleads, challenges, consoles, and just does nothing. Selected texts will be analyzed through traditional interpretations such as Augustine, Dahood (Anchor Bible), Sarna, and traditional Jewish exegesis, especially Rashi and Ibn Ezra. Hebrew is helpful but not required.

Qur'an and Its Place in Muslim Life (SC-621)

Credits:3

Readings in Arabic Religious Texts (SC-622)

Credits:3

The Qu'ran and the Afterlife (SC-623)

Credits:3

Surat Yusuf (SC-624)

Credits:3

Engaging the Book of Genesis (SC-625)

Credits:3

Job and Jonah (SC-626)

Credits:3

Reading Judges for Our Time (SC-627)

Credits:3

Framed between the narratives of the conquest of the establishment of monarchy, the book of Judges gives conflicting accounts of how ancient Israelites came to occupy the land. There are other issues in the book that need attention in light of ideological, political, cultural, and religious disputes that are raging in our times. This course will identify and examine some of these concerns in Judges and reflect and engage them with issues that need our utmost attention today.

Solomon & the Wisdom Tradition (SC-628)

Credits:3

This course will examine King Solomon in the historical narrative tradition (1 Kings 1-11), which praises his wisdom but condemns his failure to live up to the standards of the scribes who advocated religious exclusivism, and the wisdom tradition, which views him as its patron saint and encourages dialogue with the intellectual and cultural heritages of Israel’s neighbors.

King David & Multicultural Leadership (SC-629)

Credits:3

Rdg New Test Eyes of Oppressed (SC-632)

Credits:3

David and His Supporting Cast (SC-633)

Credits:3

Major Themes of the Bible & Qur'an (SC-634)

Credits:3

This course will study the worldviews of the Hebrew Bible, the Christian Testament and the Qur’an through an examination of a number of common and divergent themes among the three scriptures: Monotheism, Creation, Revelation, Prophecy, Ethics, Sin and Punishment, Love, Repentance, Worship, Judgment, and Salvation. The term will begin with an examination of what scripture is, how it can be read, and some implications of intertextuality. Each unit will include a number of specific, relevant scriptural passages. A term paper will allow students to explore themes not included in the syllabus, as well as religious personages that appear in more than one of the three Abrahamic religions.

Images of Jesus in Christian & Muslim Sacred Writings (SC-636)

Credits:3

Drawing on the canonical scriptures of the two traditions (the Bible and the Qur'an) in conversation with other sources such as apocryphal gospels, Patristic writings, Hadith, and hagiographic literature, we will study the birth, mission, death, resurrection and eschatological role of Jesus in Christianity and Islam—and the closely related matter of the life and status of his mother Mary. While this is a course in comparative theology, attention will be given to the role of Jesus and Mary in personal and communal piety.

Reading David for Our Time (SC-637)

Credits:3

Reading Solomon for Our Time (SC-638)

Credits:3

Reading Scripture Jewish Eyes (SC-641)

Credits:3

Contextual Interpretation of Bible (SC-642)

Credits:3

Muslim Devotional Law: Fiqh of Worship (SC-643)

Credits:3

This course will cover the Fiqh of Worship with a focus on its major topics of ritual purity, prayer, and fasting. Fiqh or Muslim Ritual Law is an essential element of Islamic practice, history, and scholastic tradition. Its application has permeated Muslim culture from past to present and the copious works written by a rich tradition of Islamic legal scholars have played a defining role in the course of the Muslim scholastic tradition, which was a foundational element of Islamic Civilization. For this reason, the study of fiqh is both enriching from an academic perspective which seeks to understand the basis from which Islamic societies derived their understandings of the role of the divine in daily practice, as well as from a practical perspective for students enrolled in the Islamic Chaplaincy program. How does a prison chaplain negotiate the concern of inmates whose movements are limited, regarding the ritual bath preceding the Friday prayer? Does it have to be performed directly before the prayer or can it be performed any time on the day of Friday, which begins according to the Muslim lunar calendar Thursday evening? Can an inmate who missed the opportunity to perform the Friday ghusl still participate in the Friday prayer? If one is a hospital chaplain and a patient is reluctant to take an IV due to their concern over breaking the Ramadan fast, how would a Muslim hospital chaplain answer questions of such a patient regarding this matter? Do intravenous therapies and injections break the fast according Muslim ritual law? What are the integrals of the Friday Prayer, Funeral Prayer, or Eid Prayer a university chaplain will often be responsible for establishing on their campus? These are among the types of questions that are answered through a proficiency in the essentials of the Fiqh of Worship covered in this course.

Paul's Corinthian Correspondence (SC-646)

Credits:3

A Political Reading of Paul's Let. (SC-647)

Credits:3

Pastoral Reading of Paul's Letters (SC-648)

Credits:3

Relevance of Biblical Women (SC-653)

Credits:3

Faces of Jesus: Christology (SC-655)

Credits:3

Psychological Insight into Scripture (SC-660)

Credits:3

An introduction to psychological biblical criticism, exploring the contributions of C. G. Jung, Sigmund Freud, and Viktor Frankl, along with insights from cognitive , developmental and behavioral psychology, toward an understanding of the human psyche (soul) and its role in the history of the Bible and biblical interpretation. It will examine biblical stories (from Adam and Eve to the Wedding at Cana) , biblical religious experience ( dreams, visions, conversion, speaking in tongues) and biblical portraits (Ezekiel, Paul, Moses, and Jesus). It will also study the transaction between biblical texts and readers, noting therapeutic and pathogenic effects. Activities include sessions with Walter Wink’s “transforming Bible study.”

Leadership in the New Testament (SC-675)

Credits:3

Pauline Theology & Ministry (SC-740)

Credits:3

Systematic Theology (TH-500)

Credits:3

Starting with the questions of why do systematic theology and how to do systematic theology, students will be invited to look at the Trinity, Creation, Sin, Evil, Providence, Incarnation, Atonement, Ecclesiology, Sacraments, and Eschatology (and on the way learn what all these words mean). Different approaches to systematic theology will be described. And at the end, students will be encouraged to have formulated their own views on these issues.

Christ. Theology to Middle Ages (TH-501)

Credits:3

The History of Christian Theology: From the Rise of Christianity to the Middle Ages This course examines the development of western Christian reflection from the early church through the Middle Ages. Attention will be given to the Council of Nicaea, Augustine, Celtic monasticism, Pope Gregory, the secrets of the “Dark Ages,” Anselm, the Crusades, Francis of Assisi, Thomas Aquinas, the Scholastics, late medieval mysticism and the early Renaissance. Key texts will be read and considered in light of their surrounding social and intellectual milieus.

Introduction to Christian Theology: The Basic Components of Christian Faith and Life (TH-505)

Credits:3

This course comes as a continuation to the course on the nature of theological reasoning. It aims at getting students into a comprehensive survey of all the major dogmatic elements in the Christian confessions and theological discourses: the doctrine of revelation, the doctrine of God/Trinity, Christology, soteriology, Christian anthropology, pneumatology, hamartiology, ecclesiology, eschatology, etc. It aims at providing students with basic, yet coherent and accessible, knowledge about every basic element in Christian faith. This survey will be pursued by relying on Daniel Migliore’s book, Faith Seeking Understanding, and other readings whenever this is necessary.

Thinking About Religion in 21st C (TH-520)

Credits:3

Introduction to Black Theology (TH-526)

Credits:3

This course will examine the human condition in light of God’s liberating activity. Liberation theology, womanist theology, and the theologies of oppressed peoples will be explored as a method of investigating, explicating, and critiquing religious thought.

Christian Theology: Historical Intr (TH-530)

Credits:3

Emerging Voices in Theology (TH-535)

Credits:3

Modern Theology (TH-541)

Credits:3

The Problems of Evil (TH-546)

Credits:3

Theology of Popular Culture (TH-550)

Credits:3

Intro to Islamic Theology (TH-553)

Credits:3

This course explores the content and structure of Islamic belief, as elaborated by Muslim classical thinkers (7th-15th centuries), in relation to a selection of representative texts. The Introduction questions the nature and modalities of theology in Islam. History studies the origins and growth of the science of Kalâm in its interaction with the other major religious disciplines of Sunnism -- exegesis, Prophetic tradition, jurisprudence, sects, Sufism and philosophy (falsafa). The Creed is then analyzed more theoretically in its major components: the lordship and divinity of God, the mediation of the Messenger, the servitude and ethics of the believers. Society offers a last avenue for enquiry, in so far as it was shaped by particular theological doctrines. The Way/Law (sharî’a), power, love, innovation, and alterity -- religious or other -- are among the topics envisaged. No knowledge of Arabic is required for this course.

History of Christian Spirituality II (TH-586)

Credits:3

Theology and Contextuality (TH-605)

Credits:3

This course aims to introduce the multifarious hermeneutics of the relationship between theological knowledge and cultural contexts in Christian thought. It does this by (1) presenting the major contemporary Christian approaches to the Gospel-culture or theology-context question, and (2) displaying literature on theological discourses that come from different cultural and intellectual contexts around the world. In every session, the students and the instructor will read, discuss, and assess classical and contemporary theological texts and apprehend some forms of theology done in the light of the questions and challenges of cultures and contexts from the non-western world. At the end of the course, the students will acquire basic knowledge about the nature of contextual theological reasoning. They will also have the chance to evaluate and learn about how western and non-western Christians think theologically in relation to their particular contextual inquiries and how they understand the relation between faith and culture or theology and context.

Looking at Jesus Christ in the Context of The Modern World (TH-606)

Credits:3

This is a study of the person and work of Jesus Christ in the theological literature and within the various intellectual contexts of the modern period. The course will begin by briefly introducing the classical/patristic confessions on Jesus Christ (Nicene and Chalcedonian Christologies) to set before the class the foundational and principal components of the Christian belief in Christ. The remainder of the course will then be spent primarily and more closely looking at the basic presumptions and claims behind various modernist philosophical, biblical, and systematic interpretations of Jesus Christ during the last two hundred years or so. The course critically analyses these various trends and assesses their theological value for the faith and life of the Christian church.

Systematic Theology (TH-607)

Credits:3

The Triune God (TH-608)

Credits:3

For many non-Christians, and sometimes Christians as well, one of the most puzzling and controversial teachings in Christian faith is the claim that God is triune in nature: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This course aims to explore the biblical, historical, and philosophical contexts that drove Christians to develop an understanding of God as Trinity. It first unpacks the biblical roots of the church’s encounter and experience of God as creating Father, redeeming Son, and sanctifying Spirit. It then traces the historical development of this churchly spiritual experience into an intellectual trinitarian theology by investigating some major Christian discourses and trends considered to be milestones on the long historical track of the doctrine of the Trinity in Christianity. The course will also try to look at the relation between the doctrine of the Trinity and some contemporary issues pertinent to today’s world. This will be pursued by discussing carefully and arguing critically some primary theological texts on the Trinity and reflecting on their implications for today. (Replaces TH-654)

Christian-Muslim Dialogues in Early Christian Theology (TH-609)

Credits:3

This course aims at visiting some of the earliest Christian-Muslim theological debates by looking specifically at the Arabic apologetic theological texts of the famous mutakallim, Theodore Abu Qurrah, one of the earliest original theological writers in Arabic, who belonged to the Melkites community during the Abbasid kingdom in the Ninth century. The course aims at taking the students through some of the major theological texts which Abu Qurrah wrote in Arabic to defend Christian faith and to respond to critical questions against Christian theology from the Muslims. The course is going to focus on the Arabic texts (English translations) in Abu Qurrah’s literature and visit major theological and doctrinal themes therein. Knowledge of Arabic is not required.

Religion & Conspiracy Theories (TH-610)

Credits:3

Theology of Religious Manyness (TH-612)

Credits:3

What is the nature of the divine-human relationship? What happens when we die? (And, what will happen to my other-faith neighbor?) That is, what is the status, according to “my” religion, of other religions’ adherents? For millennia, worldview questions such as these have been the topic of much debate and written discourse. Making use of the emerging discipline of comparative theology and working from the premise that “theology of religious manyness” is a better formulation than “theology of religions,” this course will explore a range of theologies of interreligious engagement from Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and Christian points of view.

Understanding Catholicism (TH-615)

Credits:3

Narrative and Testimony (TH-617)

Credits:3

Edward Said: Religion, Islam, &the Secular (TH-623)

Credits:3

The New Atheism (TH-624)

Credits:3

Ecclesiology for Our Times (TH-625)

Credits:3

Christian Theology of Other Religions (TH-635)

Credits:3

Pluralistic Monotheism (TH-636)

Credits:3

Introduction to the Theology of Religions (TH-637)

Credits:3

In the light of the multi-religious and multi-faith worldly context wherein we live today, the questions of how the Christians view other religions and how they view God’s stance on other faiths become of a crucial importance and primary relevance. This course attempts, first, to introduce students to the main exclusivist, inclusivist, and pluralist trends of thought on other religions within the field of study called “theology of religions.” Second, it takes them more specifically into the question of the salvation of the non-Christians and explores with them a possible pneumatological-trinitarian hermeneutics of Christian soteriology that endeavors to exceed the theologically narrow, and seemingly inter-religiously controversial boundaries of Christocentric theology.

Interfaith Perspectives on God & Salvation (TH-638)

Credits:3

The Hardest Doctrines (TH-641)

Credits:3

Theology of Popular Culture (TH-642)

Credits:3

Readings in Islamic Theology (TH-646)

Credits:3

Reading Classical Islamic Texts (in Arabic): Philosophy and Theology (TH-647)

Credits:3

This high level course offers an in-depth exploration of the philosophical and theological writings of some of the central thinkers of classical lslam: Abû Ma‘shar al-Balkhî, Abû l-Hasan al-Ash’arî, Ikhwân al-Safâ’, al-Fârâbî, Avicenna, Qâdî ‘Abd al-Jabbâr, Ibn ?ufayl, Averroes, Fakhr al-Dîn al-Râzî, Rashîd al-Dîn Fadl Allâh… Key texts will be read in the original Arabic, translated orally, explained grammatically, commented on ideologically, and discussed, by the students as well as by the professor. A good knowledge of Classical Arabic is required to maximize the learning in this course. Bibliographical references will be provided.

Religion, Conflict & Peacemaking (TH-648)

Credits:3

This course will explore the paradox of religion as a source of division and conflict, on the one hand, and of peaceful aspirations and compassionate, sacrificial service on the other. Theoretical approaches to this paradox, drawn from the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions, will be supplemented by practical case studies, with particular attention given to the Israeli-Palestinian-Arab dispute over the “Holy Land”.

Readings in the Shi'a Tradition (TH-652)

Credits:3

This seminar will examine the Shi’ite tradition from within. We shall read and discuss primary-source materials in English translation including samples of Qur’an exegesis (tafsir), hadith tradition, philosophy, mysticism and theology. Additionally, we will examine some of the writings of Imams Khomeini and Ali Shari’ati, the two most important makers of modern Shi’ite thought and history.

Foundations of Christology (TH-655)

Credits:3

Philosophical Theology (TH-656)

Credits:3

Rehabilitation of Mission (TH-657)

Credits:3

God: Environment & Justice (TH-659)

Credits:3

Interfaith Dialogue (Ucko) (TH-662)

Credits:3

Interreligious Dialogue (TH-662)

Credits:3

Theology and the Movies (TH-668)

Credits:3

Major Religious Figures: Bonhoeffer (TH-670)

Credits:3

A study of the major writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Attention will be given to the autobiographical dimension of his theology as a representative “modern” person, to the political context of his opposition to National Socialism, and to the ethics of pacifism and his role in the resistence movement. Bonhoeffer’s postwar influence on Judaism and liberation theology, his assessment of modernity, and his relevance to the church today, will also be studied.

The Theology of the Wesleys (TH-672)

Credits:3

Major Relg Figures: Paul Tillich (TH-676)

Credits:3

Exploring the World of C.S. Lewis (TH-678)

Credits:3

Classical Islamic Philosophy (TH-684)

Credits:3

This course explores the evolution and main debates of Islamic philosophy (falsafa) from the great translation movement of ancient Greek texts under the ‘Abbâsid dynasty (8th-9th centuries) until the golden age of inter-disciplinary intellectual, scientific and spiritual debates under the Mamlûks of Egypt and the Mongols of Iran (13th-14th centuries). Besides the major falâsifa known to the medieval Latins (Kindî, Fârâbî, Avicenna, Ghazâlî, Averroes…), attention will also be given to several other thinkers, generally less famous in the West, but nevertheless important: The Ikhwân al-Safâ, Miskawayh, Ibn Tufayl, Râzî, Tûsî, Qûnâwî… A selection of representative texts will be read in English translation and commented on. A basic knowledge of Greek philosophy, Islam and the history of Muslim societies (7th-14th centuries) would be useful for this course.

Deep Growth: Mission & Ministry (TH-685)

Credits:3

Renewal of Muslim Theology (TH-686)

Credits:3

Reason & Revelation: Jewish Perspectives (TH-687)

Credits:3

Learning from Others (TH-690)

Credits:3

Major Theo Fig: Ibn Taymiyya (TH-691)

Credits:3

Major Theological Figures: Ibn Taymiyya This course explores the life, ideas, influence and image of one of the most fascinating—and controversial—thinkers of classical Islam: the Mamlûk mufti and theologian Taqî al-Dîn Ibn Taymiyya. Already considered qualified to give fatwas at 17 years old, he fought the Mongols and, also, innovating or dissident Muslims, dialogued with a crusader king and pushed for the destruction of churches, opposed al-Ghazâlî and Ibn ‘Arabî but commented on Aristotle, al-Hallâj and Avicenna, forbade the veneration of graves and defended women’s right. Repeatedly jailed for his fiercely independent way of remaining theologically faithful to the Qur’ân and the Sunna, he died in a prison cell of the citadel of Damascus in 1328. Ibn Taymiyya left his mark on later Islamic reformist spirituality, puritanism or extremism, from Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya to the Ottoman Mehmed Birgivi or, even, modern Islamism and Osama Ben Laden. The texts read in this course will hopefully contribute to a correct understanding of his ideas and actions, as this is not just a medieval affair but is of direct relevance for our time. No knowledge of Arabic is required for this course. Some background information about the history of the Middle East since the Crusades would be useful. Bibliographical references will be provided.

Jesus for the Non-Religious (TH-696)

Credits:3

Transfer Credit - Electives (TRA-E-E)

Credits:3

Turkey: Faith, History & Beauty (TS-600)

Credits:3

Oxford Travel Seminar (TS-610)

Credits:3

Morocco Study Tour (TS-620)

Credits:3

Indonesia: Development & Democracy (TS-650)

Credits:3

South Africa Travel Seminar (TS-651)

Credits:3

Transition&Democracy:China Trip (TS-651)

Credits:3

Transit.& Devel.:China & Hong Kong (TS-652)

Credits:3

Brazil (TS-653)

Credits:3

Fundamentals of Worship (WS-500)

Credits:3

Improving the Worship Experience (WS-530)

Credits:3

Women's Lead. & Spirituality I (WS-551)

Credits:3

A year-long six credit course in leadership and applied spirituality rooted in women’s experience and from a feminist perspective that meets monthly from September through May and requires a separate admissions process. Prerequisite: enrollment in the Women’s Leadership Institute.

Women’s Leadership Institute II (WS-552)

Credits:3

A year-long six credit course in leadership and applied spirituality rooted in women’s experience and from a feminist perspective that meets monthly from September through May and requires a separate admissions process. Prerequisite: enrollment in the Women’s Leadership Institute.

Women's Leadership Institute (WS-553)

Credits:6

A year-long six credit course in leadership and applied spirituality rooted in women’s experience and from a feminist perspective that meets monthly from September through May and requires a separate admissions process.

Rituals & Resp of Muslim Leaders (WS-601)

Credits:3

Spiritual Resources for Muslim Chap (WS-602)

Credits:3

Transformative Spirituality: Living In and Through the Spirit (WS-610)

Credits:3

This newly designed course will focus on the potentially transformative wisdom embedded within personal experience, while exploring cosmological, mystical, and multicultural elements central to an emerging planetary spirituality. Evocative resources will contribute to discerning the path of the Spirit within ourselves and the world around us as we reflect together on the following: As it was … as it is … as it may well be: re-imagining and re-inventing ourselves and the world we live in.

Spiritual Autobiography (WS-615)

Credits:3

Have you ever wished you could tell your story in such a way that your experience of God and your grappling with grace were the primary storyline? Guided by selected readings and literary examples, we will explore depths that underlie and thin places that surround the bare bones of biographical data, revealing a testament to faith and an evolving spirituality. Participants will creatively chronicle their spiritual autobiographies in ways that are individually fulfilling as a keepsake of the past and a legacy for the future.

Holiness in Time and Space: An Introduction to Jewish Tradition and Spirituality (WS-623)

Credits:3

The Jewish people is called to consecrate both time and space, the two pillars of a this-worldly spirituality. After an introduction to Jewish identity and vocation, the focus will shift to the Sabbath and other holy days in the Jewish calendar. The metaphysical dimension of these holy times will be examined along with the behavioral norms and rituals associated with the festivals. Next, the sacred dimension of space/place/land will be addressed, with specific reference to the “Holy Land,” Jerusalem/Al-Quds, and Hebron/Al-Khalil. The political disputes over holy places and cities in Israel/Palestine will be considered from aspiritual perspective linking the Jewish experience with Christian and Muslim sensibilities.

Art of Spiritual Direction (WS-625)

Credits:3

Maidservants of Allah: Women and Gender in Islam (WS-630)

Credits:3

In this class we will explore the spirituality of Muslim women past and present. We will begin with a study of the lives of female companions of the Prophet Muhammad. How did their concerns and perspectives affect the process of revelation and the spiritual development of the early Muslim community? Over the centuries, what roles did women play in the establishment of religious institutions and spiritual orders? What challenges have Muslim women faced in fulfilling their spiritual needs? What forms does female spiritual leadership take across diverse Muslim societies and cultures? Wise scholars, Medieval saints and contemporary Qur’an reciters will be our guests in chronicles and in person as we share in the spirituality of Muslim women.

Readings in Spirituality (WS-636)

Credits:3

Secular Journeys on Sacred Paths (WS-637)

Credits:3

Islamic Spirituality (WS-639)

Credits:3

This course explores Islamic spirituality by going through mystical interpretations of both the Qur’an and sayings of the Prophet. We will also look at the development of Islamic spiritual thought and practices in history. The course will remain anchored by focusing on important personalities in the mystical tradition of Islam through their literature and poetry.

Spirituality in a Quantum Universe (WS-641)

Credits:3

How do we live in a world of chaos, where everything is in flux, and still remain rooted in that which is everlasting? When we are attuned to the song of the universe, when cosmic rhythms resonate within us, shaping who we are and are becoming, we are saint in the making, mystic on the move, experiencing more often and in many more ways the synchronous presence of God-with-us in our everyday lives.

Resurrecting Jesus: Quantum Spirit, Inclusive Spirituality (WS-642)

Credits:3

As we struggle to adjust to a world that is continually changing, it is vital to revisit inherited assumptions and traditional perceptions foundational to our faith. In this course we return to Jesus, the Jewish mystic at the core of Christianity, to wrestle once again with such challenging questions as: “Who do people say that I am?’ and “Who do you say that I am?” Together we will seek to discern his 21st-century spirit as we shape an emerging spirituality made visible through a quantum lens.

Spirituality and Work (WS-650)

Credits:3

Reading Classical Islamic Texts (in Arabic): Spirituality (WS-652)

Credits:3

This high level course offers an in-depth exploration of the prose or poetry of some of the central spiritual masters of classical lslam: Ka‘b b. Zuhayr, al-Hallâj, al-Ghazâlî, ‘Abd al-Qâdir al- Jîlânî, Ibn al-Fârid, Mehmed Pîr ‘Alî Birgivi. Key texts will be read in the original Arabic, translated orally, explained grammatically, commented on ideologically, and discussed, by the students as well as by the professor. A good knowledge of Classical Arabic is required to maximize the learning in this course. Bibliographical references will be provided.

Prayer in a World of Diversity (WS-657)

Credits:3

Daily Space with God (WS-659)

Credits:3

Celebrating Eucharist w/a Small e (WS-661)

Credits:3

Living Liturgy (WS-667)

Credits:3

Liturgy in an Age of Transition (WS-676)

Credits:3

Spirituality as a Source of Hope (WS-689)

Credits:3

Integrating Science & Spirituality (WS-692)

Credits:3

Dreams as a Ministry Resource (WS-697)

Credits:3