for To Be Determined Department


Arts of Ministry Transfer (AM-100)

Credits:3

Leading Change; Navigating the White Waters of the 21st Century (AM-269-3)

Credits:3

Quran Recitation/Tajweed (AM-550)

Credits:3

This course is designed for Muslim leaders and chaplains and anyone who is interested in learning and improving their Quranic recitation. Students will gain important knowledge on recitation of the Quran. In this course, the instructor will focus on correct pronunciation of Arabic letters and words with consistent application of tajweed rules. Class time will be divided between teaching a tajweed lesson and group Tilawah, an exercise during which the teacher reads aloud and the students repeat after the teacher. There will be time for listening to the students’ recitations, as well. Once each student understands and is comfortable with the application of the tajweed rules, s/he can complete recitation of the entire mushaf at a better and faster pace and more independently, in sha Allah. This course may be accompanied by the spring semester course AM-551: Quran Recitation/Tajweed II.

Chaplaincy Models and Methods (AM-602-3)

Credits:3

Nitty Gritty Stewardship in the 21st Century: The App for Raising Money & Energy in Congs. (AM-607)

Credits:3

The course is a spiritual app, a metaphoric wireless connection to how to stay in nearly constant fund raising and energy raising mode, using a multiplicity of sources including your energy and that of your boards and allies. This course will address the regular routes of pledge cards and Sundays and campaigns, will imitate the successful strategies of National Public Radio, teach crowd sourcing and crowd funding and show how to raise twice the money in half the time. Yes: effort matters. You will learn the importance of branding, elevator speeches and how to say a lot about yourself in a few good words. You may learn how to rent space with acumen and vigor.You will learn to never say again, "I hate to raise money." You will learn to say, "I love to raise money." The course will link the spiritual and the psychological and the theological to the practical, going deep out of the shame we feel about asking for money.

Adaptive Leadership: Cultivating Personal and Organizational Capacities for Change and Conflict (AM-609-3)

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.

Break All the Rules – Renewing a Mainline Church (AM-612-3)

Credits:3

For the past half-a-century volumes have been written about the decline and predicted demise of mainline denominations and congregations. Scholars have performed autopsies and widely discussed the various theories of the causes for this decline. This course is not concerned with that. Rather, two professors who also pastor and consult with congregations defying the predictions of death, will explore some of the reasons they believe many, though not most, mainline churches continue to thrive. The hope of this course is that breaking the rule of denominational decline is a skill set that can be learned by contemporary church leaders.

Strategic, Whole Systems Planning (AM-618)

Credits:3

Transformational Leadership and Faith-based Community Development (AM-621)

Credits:3

Faith Communities are often the last institution left in some of the nation’s most destitute neighborhoods. This course will help participants experience what Paulo Freire refers to as, “conscientiation" or critical consciousness. As transformational leaders they will see with fresh eyes the problems that exist in their community context through reflection which leads to strategic action. This course will explore elements of the “change agent” tool kit to include: leadership framework; community organizing; asset mapping; public policy change; fund-raising and social entrepreneurship.

Turn-Around Congregations and Sustainable Institutions (AM-624)

Credits:3

This course addresses the unraveling that we see on many fronts, particularly in congregations but also in law, medicine, not for profits, clothing and food businesses. It looks at the wide use of the word "sustainable" and asks what that word means to American intermediate institutions in the 21st century. Students will learn not only the how of turn around but also its why. Why bother with congregations that seem ready to die? Why bother with end of life alternatives to the equally undesirable nursing home or living at home alone? What is changing and how can we flow with the change as well as challenge it? The course will show the eco-system of a congregation and small institution and will engage students in taking another path -- turning off the path we are now on and trail blazing sustainable futures. Sustainable futures are experimental, not realized. In this course we will learn to experiment.

The Art of Preaching (AM-625)

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.

Worship and Preaching that Renews Vintage (traditional) Churches (AM-627)

Credits:3

This course will take a look at what has been traditionally taught about preaching and worship for mainline churches and examine what is working in churches that are bucking trends of decline. How do “vintage churches” retain their practices and traditions, while at the same time find ways to connect with the “Nones” the “Dones” “and the “Reruns”? Millennials often shop in vintage clothing stores, so what kind of preaching and worship might make them take a second look at our churches? What might we learn from the culture, from other traditions, or even our own history that has been forgotten? How might we more effectively communicate our message and craft the transformational experience the “spiritual but not religious” are really seeking?

Worship and Preaching that Renews Vintage (traditional) Churches (AM-627-3)

Credits:3

This course will take a look at what has been traditionally taught about preaching and worship for mainline churches and examine what is working in churches that are bucking trends of decline. How do “vintage churches” retain their practices and traditions, while at the same time find ways to connect with the “Nones” the “Dones” “and the “Reruns”? Millennials often shop in vintage clothing stores, so what kind of preaching and worship might make them take a second look at our churches? What might we learn from the culture, from other traditions, or even our own history that has been forgotten? How might we more effectively communicate our message and craft the transformational experience the “spiritual but not religious” are really seeking?

Leading Change: Navigating the White Waters of the 21st Century (AM-629-3)

Credits:3

Bi-Vocational Ministry (AM-631)

Credits:3

Are bi-vocational ministries a cruel hoax, a bad joke or the wave of the future? When biblical people did “ministry,” didn’t they also have other jobs, like making tents? Don’t our lay people do ministry and have day jobs as well? This five day course will evaluate the trend towards part time positions (and STOP the whining over) the way things used to be, when some clergy worked full time and had benefits and parsonages. It will START teaching clergy who are vocationally called to ministry how to find a compatible second job, how to negotiate a package that can grow if the setting grows, and how to manage time within a parish or ministry setting. (Members of the parish) or setting (may need help in KNOWING how) to have a part-time pastor. This course is good for lay leaders, for bi-vocational ministers and for those considering “part-time” for their congregations.

Preparing Islamic Legal Documents (AM-639-3)

Credits:3

Resilience for Spiritual Leaders (AM-645)

Credits:3

Resilience is an essential key to overcoming adversity, being transformed by hardship, and thriving, and resilience can be cultivated. Resilience is a deeply spiritual issue, making faith leaders and spiritual mentors ideal candidates to explore this important and timely topic. This course will describe the characteristics of resilience and reflect on historic and modern-day models of resilience. It will include transferable exercises and practices that are proven to increase resilience that will serve to benefit the student as well as those they serve.

Fishing in a Shallow Sea: Church Leadership Strategies in a Secular Age (AM-648)

Credits:3

Significant research indicates that much, if not most, of the decline of the Mainline church, has been the result of the decreasing frequency of attendance. For example, many 400 member churches haven't lost members, but attendance has still declined by 50% because people simply do not attend as often. The church has failed to recognize these trends, panicked about the wrong things, and hence failed to developed appropriate leadership responses. We are offering the wrong answers because we have asked the wrong questions. We have assumed that people who are "spiritual but not religious" don't like the church and our responses have missed the mark because we have misunderstood what they are really saying. This course will explore: ways to utilize technology, social networking, a reframed understanding of ecclesiology, revitalized vintage worship, and a new understanding of missiology as ways of develop the skills to become “fishers of souls” in the shallow seas of and increasing secular culture.

Mental Health: Islamic Perspective (AM-653-2)

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-654-3)

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.

Prison Ministry: Healing From the Inside Out (AM-659-3)

Credits:3

He said, "My Lord, prison is more to my liking than that to which they invite me. And if You do not avert from me their plan, I might incline toward them and [thus] be of the ignorant." (Joseph, 12:33) This course will examine the historical, social, psychological and theological implications of incarceration in America, with a particular emphasis on ministry to women and men in these settings. Looking at the industrial prison complex through the analytical tool of intersectionality, we will analyze how race, class, gender, sexuality, dis/ability, and age operate not as discrete and mutually exclusive issues, but build on each other and work together in prisons. These interconnections in prison ministry are examined in relation to your praxis of care across domains of power, namely, structural, disciplinary, cultural, and interpersonal. Understanding the complexities of addiction, professional boundaries, correctional policies and procedures, inmate recidivism, and the particular challenges facing those who want to do ministry in our prisons. 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.

Put Nature First: Becoming a Greener Congregation (AM-663-3)

Credits:3

Start where you are on the path to becoming a greener congregation. This course will teach you ways to green your church. It will examine environmental matters like the food served at congregational events, how we do liturgy in an earth-friendly manner, how to interpret the multiple scriptures on nature and environmental justice, how people are buried, and more. This course will be a stigma free experience of how to care more for the earth while also learning how to make that care more effective and more doable. This course is a pilot effort with 350.0rg on how to more fully engage people of faith in environmental action.

Strategies of Hospitality and New Member Integration (AM-664-3)

Credits:3

Nearly every congregation gets visitors, but only those who work at hospitality and new member retention will actually grow as a result. This course is a hands-on effort to learn a variety of visitor/new member approaches, engage in a first impressions audit, and carry out a project of revising your congregation’s visitor/new member strategy. Through practical readings, class lectures and discussion, an experiential project and support throughout by the professor and classmates, this course will improve a visitor’s first impression of and integration in your congregational community. Auditors and congregational teams are welcome.

Stewardship (AM-690-3)

Credits:3

Technology has brought about exponential change in our world. The church has not been left unaffected by that and no are more so than the end of our cash-based culture. The church is the only major institution to largely ignore these changes and it does so at its own peril. This course deals directly with the impact of technology on giving, as well as examining what is required to create the next generation of givers from Millennials. Sources say that they may be the most generous generation yet, but that is not a secret the church has unlocked. We will look at these two topics, plus consider how to tap into external and nontraditional funding.

Basics of Counseling Technique (AM-692-3)

Credits:3

This one 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. Prerequisite: AM-653 Mental Health: An Islamic Perspective or permission of the instructor.

Advanced Counseling Technique (AM-694-3)

Credits:3

This one-week intensive is an advanced hands-on training and supervision designed to further equip chaplains to provide counseling to individuals, couples, and families, with special attention to Muslim clients. The course will review and build upon the spiritually integrated framework to counseling discussed in AM-692. More specifically, core topics will include identification and differentiation of more complex presentations of psychospiritual issues, illustrations of how to work with psychological trauma, process oriented interventions, deepening of the introspective and emotional processes of counseling encounters, more complex dynamics of the counselor/client relationship, examination of metacommunication, cognitive restructuring, behavioral modification and spiritually oriented interventions with some attention on the role of character reformation. This is an experiential course that will involve some lecture, discussion of case vignettes, modeling/demonstrations of techniques 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. Course Pre-requisites: AM-653 Mental Health: An Islamic Perspective & AM-692 Basic Counseling Techniques or permission of the instructor.

The Vital Vintage Church – How Traditional Congregations Thrive! (AM-720-3)

Credits:3

Each week we will survey how we might adapt our ministry to the twenty-first century in ways that revitalize traditional congregations. We will examine how vital vintage congregations worship, how they are structured, how they practice stewardship, how they market their ministry, how they preach, and how they do spiritual formation. This course is designed to introduce leaders to skills that will revitalize mainline churches by helping them adapt to contemporary settings and attract a younger constituency.

Psychology of Trauma (AM-731-2)

Credits:3

This course is focused on the study of psychological trauma. It will provide students with a comprehensive review of psychological trauma and its types (sexual abuse, combat, life tragedies), using readings, lectures and clinical case discussions. The course begins with a discussion of a range of traumatic events and definitions of trauma symptoms and responses. The course will then explore etiology, assessment, identification, process exposure approaches in working with trauma, vicarious and secondary trauma, ‘spiritual’ manifestations of trauma, the physiological impact of trauma on the brain and some common comorbid conditions that accompany trauma. Other various expressions and associated symptoms of psychological trauma are discussed as it pertains to the work contexts of chaplains. Research on the relevant risk and protective factors associated with traumatic stress is also presented.

Marriage and Filiation in Syrian Hanafi Law Texts of the 17th and 19th Centuries (B-HDS3385)

Credits:3

BTI - HDS

Atheism and Theology (B-STHTT816)

Credits:3

BUSTH

Introduction to Islam for Non-Muslims (DI-501-2)

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.

Introduction to Judaism (DI-511)

Credits:3

This course examines the variety of elements that coalesce to define Judaism as both a civilization and a religion. The course uses Jewish historical phases such as the biblical, rabbinic, medieval and modern periods, as backdrops against which Judaic theology, practice and ritual are examined. The primary means by which Judaism is analyzed is via the study of biblical, rabbinic and modern Jewish texts.

Shi'i Sunni Relations (DI-522-2)

Credits:3

Dialogue in a World of Difference (DI-530-2)

Credits:3

Dialogue in a World of Difference (DI-530-3)

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.

Dialogue in the 21st Century (DI-540-2)

Credits:3

Guided by your professor—and informed by reading, viewing, or listening to a range of materials and engaging in various activities made available through a Canvas website—you will be encouraged to develop collegial relationships—indeed, a sense of community and friendship across religious, cultural, social, and gender lines—as you explore in depth the principles, models, and methods of dialogue in a pluralistic world, then are helped to put these into practice in a context of diversity. Uniquely, as it introduces dialogue theory and practice, it also familiarizes you with many members of the Hartford Seminary faculty; it also enables you to gain (or review) basic understanding of the tenets and practices of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—because such knowledge is foundational for a majority of the courses in the Hartford Seminary curriculum. (Rest assured that the course will not ignore other religions; however, it will engage them with less depth.) This course is open to all students; auditors are welcome. For students admitted into the Online MA program, DI-540 will fulfill the DI-530 requirement. All other students, residing more than 200 miles from campus, may petition the Academic Policy Committee for DI-540 to fulfill the DI-530 requirement.

Faith in the Neighborhood: Understanding and Engaging the World’s Religions in America (DI-610-2)

Credits:3

Theology of Religious Manyness (DI-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.

Forced Migration and Refugee Issues: Christian-Muslim Dialogue for Public Engagement (DI-632)

Credits:3

Religious leaders provide guidance on public issues through their spiritual authority. This course will provide students with opportunities to develop models for engaging in moral discourse and leadership on the social, ethical, or environmental concerns faced by Christian and Muslim communities as presented in the Luce-Hartford Conference on Christian-Muslim Relations, students will engage in deeper conversation and exploration of how the larger global or regional concerns impact and are lived out within a student’s own religious community, bringing the global into the local context. A seminar format will allow students to examine the topics presented early in the week. Additional material that will provide the opportunity to explore models and develop programs for practical inter-faith public engagement facing Christian and Muslim communities. Attendance and participation in the Luce-Hartford Conference on Christian-Muslim Relations is required. There will be no extra registration fee for the conference for registered students.

God’s Creation and Human Responsibility: Christian-Muslim Dialogue for Public Engagement (DI-633-3)

Credits:3

Religious leaders provide guidance on public issues through their spiritual authority. This course will provide students with opportunities to develop models for engaging in moral discourse and leadership on the social, ethical, or environmental concerns faced by Christian and Muslim communities as presented in the Luce-Hartford Conference on Christian-Muslim Relations, students will engage in deeper conversation and exploration of how the larger global or regional concerns impact and are lived out within a student’s own religious community, bringing the global into the local context. A seminar format will allow students to examine the topics presented early in the week. Additional material that will provide the opportunity to explore models and develop programs for practical inter-faith public engagement facing Christian and Muslim communities.

Black Church-Black Mosque: Christian-Muslim Dialogue for Public Engagement (DI-634-3)

Credits:3

Skills and Sensitivities for Interfaith Leadership (DI-635)

Credits:3

Skills, Sensitivities, and Resources for Interfaith Leadership (DI-635-2)

Credits:3

This course is a laboratory for exploring theoretical perspectives and practical methodologies for interfaith leadership. The overarching questions to be addressed are: What are the attributes of an effective interfaith leader, and how can they be cultivated? Participants should have prior familiarity with the beliefs and practices of Jews, Christians, and Muslims, as well as some background in interfaith encounter and dialogue. The primary focus is on developing relevant practical skills, including: facilitating interreligious encounters; monitoring group dynamics and multiple identities; comparing and connecting intra-faith and interfaith leadership challenges; planning and coordinating multi-faith study of sacred texts; designing interfaith worship; and tapping spiritual resources for conflict transformation. NOTE: This course requires participants to take part in a weekly online meeting via Zoom, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. EDT each Thursday from May 23 to June 27. In the first two weeks, accommodations will be made for students observing Ramadan and ending their daily fast at sundown. Note, also, that this course is taught on an accelerated six-week schedule, covering twice as much material each week as would be the case in a semester-long course.

Images of Jesus in Christian and Muslim Sacred Writings (DI-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.

Understanding & Engaging Religious Diversity (DI-641)

Credits:3

Through reading, discussions, multi-media presentations, and site-visits, students will be guided toward gaining (or improving) an understanding of America’s current religious landscape, a conceptual grounding in the beliefs and practices of a number of America’s religions, some awareness of the internal diversity of these religions, and strategies for engaging this diversity—including an opportunity to clarify and articulate one’s own theological/philosophical position on the fact of religious manyness.  Students will also explore a variety of forms and methods of leadership in religiously plural contexts. (This course is required for all students enrolled in the Graduate Certificate Program in Chaplaincy in Multifaith Contexts.)

Independent Study (DM-793)

Credits:3

D.Min. Colleague Seminar I (DM-810)

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-811)

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. Within that general framework, the goal of this second course in the sequence is to ground the practice of ministry in an understanding of organizational theory and leadership strategies, as well as the theological implications of each. Building upon the preceding semester, students will also be introduced to additional field research tools, including their interpretation and theological potential. Students will also have opportunity to develop their teaching skills.

D.Min. Colleague Seminar III (DM-820)

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-821)

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.

Doctor of Ministry Project (DM-896)

Credits:3

Ethics Transfer (ET-100)

Credits:3

Introduction to Christian Ethics (ET-525-3)

Credits:3

Jewish Ethics (ET-530)

Credits:3

This course will examine the sources and development of Jewish ethics from Biblical times up to the present. Jewish ethics will be considered in light of other ethical constructs to determine what is particularly “Jewish” about them. How are they conveyed? Is there any systematic approach to this field? The connection between ethics and law and between ethics and ritual in Judaism will be studied in relation to the Jewish life cycle, the holidays and the Sabbath. The process of making ethical decisions will be looked at specifically as it relates to such modern issues such as artificial insemination, stem cell research, cloning, organ transplants, abortion, homosexuality, capital punishment, business, war and peace, as well as post-holocaust considerations, social and political issues and the State of Israel.

Theological Ethics and the Personal Life (ET-545-3)

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.

Theological Ethics & Public Life (ET-546-2)

Credits:3

Enduring Question: How Do We End Violence? (ET-615)

Credits:3

The challenge of violence has been a human question since the beginning of our existence. The story of Cain and Abel is seminal in three of the major religious traditions of the west, and the Hindu story of the Bhagavad Gita has been one of the most influential texts of the eastern world. The current world presents us daily with terrorism, murders, often massacres or kidnappings of children, the innocents of our world. The current world also continues in its racism, oppressive regimes, and genocidal actions. Despite ongoing attempts to heal humanity, the question persists: How do we end violence? Responses to this question have come from many different disciplines including criminal justice, human rights, peace studies, religious studies, psychology, anthropology, sociology, and medicine. In this course we will examine how pioneers from these various fields have helped clarify the nature of violence, and what kinds of solutions they can propose to help us rid the world of this disease.

Islamic Business Ethics: Principles and Contemporary Applications (ET-620-2)

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 consciousness 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.

Environmental Ethics (ET-631-2)

Credits:3

The Native American “Tale of Two Wolves” tells of two evenly matched wolves in a battle. One is evil – greedy, arrogant, lying, and full of fear. The other is good – filled with love, hope, compassion, and integrity. The question is: which one will win? The sage’s answer: the one we feed. The study of environmental ethics can easily devolve into a spiral of pessimism, given the unprecedented challenges we face regarding the climate crisis and other ecological threats to the well-being of our planet. We are tempted to “feed the wrong wolf” and give into despair and a fatalistic resignation. Therefore, we will explore religious, philosophical, and environmental perspectives to help us understand the roots of the crises, as well as search for resources to help us “feed the good wolf.” This course will equip students to work toward faith-based approaches to environmental ethics focused on justice and building community.

Introduction to Islamic Law (ET-640-2)

Credits:3

Contemporary Islamic Ethics (ET-655-3)

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.

Peace Capacities Colloquium (GC-100)

Credits:0

This free course is a collection of skill-building workshops, designed to sharpen your capacity to promote peace and apply what you learn in your Hartford Seminary classes. See below for descriptions of topics covered. This is a full-year sequence of workshops, structured as an ungraded course for no credit. It will appear on the transcript for those registered participants who attend four out of the five trainings listed below. Scheduling of workshops is ongoing, and will take enrolled students’ schedules into account. Two workshops will be offered during intercession week, Jan 9-12, 2017.

World Christianity I: Reformations and Transformations (HI-520)

Credits:3

This course explores the history of Christianity in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas from 1450 to 1800. During these centuries, Christianity was transformed as Christians encountered alien cultures, debated with other faiths, colonized new continents, were driven from ancient heartlands, and experienced Reformations, Enlightenments, revolutions, and wars. During this course, we will engage with important Western figures, but we will also meet a host of other Christians who have been excluded from conventional, Eurocentric histories. Designed to be accessible to those without prior background in the History of Christianity, this course will provide historical grounding for further study of Christianity and of the relations between Christians and those of other faiths. This course is designed as the first of a two-course sequence, but either course can be taken independently.

An Introduction to Christianity: Defining Moments that Shaped a Faith (HI-523)

Credits:3

Across the centuries, Christianity has been shaped and reshaped by critical moments of tension, conflict, and creativity. In this course, we will explore some of these critical moments, observing the emergence of Christian beliefs, practices and identities. Some of these moments of crisis produced shared understandings that have endured for centuries; other crises fractured Christianity and created opposing forms of the faith. To experience both the unity and diversity of Christianity, we will search out Christians of many times and places, looking in ancient Roman catacombs and North African caves, medieval cathedrals and modern megachurches. The course serves as a first introduction to Christianity, but it can also serve as a helpful overview of the History of Christianity for those familiar with the tradition.

The History of Christianity: Defining Moments that Shaped a Faith (HI-523-2)

Credits:3

his highly interactive course is brimming with fascinating and varied content. It is designed to give students a “big picture” view of the history of Christianity, from the very beginnings to the present day. Together we will visit some of the most critical moments in the History of Christianity – moments of crisis that shaped its very nature. Some of these defining moments produced shared understandings that have endured for centuries, while others fractured Christianity into divergent forms. To investigate both the unity and diversity of Christianity, we will search out Christians of many times and places, looking in ancient Roman catacombs and North African caves, medieval cathedrals, storefront churches, and open-air meetings. We will look to historical narratives, original writings, works of art, and sacred songs to help us to experience the moments that defined and diversified Christianity. This is a richly interactive course that provides constant interchange with the instructor and with fellow students. Because it provides a chronological introduction to Christianity, it is suitable for students of all faiths and all levels of prior knowledge.

Meet the Christians: A Global Family Album (HI-525-2)

Credits:3

Today Christians are found nearly everywhere on earth, saying their prayers in myriad languages and practicing their faith in vastly varied cultures. In this course we will encounter Christians from every continent, seeing their faces, hearing their voices, and exploring the ways in which they practice their faith. Christians are often so different from each other that they may regard each other as alien, or even as enemies, but we will sketch out their family resemblances and trace out some of the most important “family trees.” Together we will build a kind of composite portrait album of modern Christians, a way of seeing Christians in relation to one another that does not dismiss their serious differences. Along the way, we will take part in the scholarly debate concerning whether they even belong in the same album – whether it is more accurate to speak of many “Christianities” than of a single faith with many variations. This course is suitable for anyone interested in learning about the current state and recent history of Christianity. It provides an appropriate starting point for those beginning their study of Christianity, but it also provides students with more background a new perspective on the faith. This online course will run for a condensed term of seven weeks, and it will include a generous set of learning materials, along with plentiful opportunities for creativity, interaction, and dialogue.

Encountering World Christianity (HI-532)

Credits:3

To study contemporary Christianity – or perhaps Christianities – is to study change. Over the last two centuries, Christianity has become the largest and most diverse of the great world religions, undergoing titanic upheavals in the process. At the same time that Christian practice plummeted in Europe and was decimated in the Middle East, it grew explosively in Asia, Oceania, Latin America, and sub-Saharan Africa. To gain a “big picture” perspective on the current state and recent history of global Christianities, we will read some of the best work done in the field. At a smaller scale, we will try to sample the present diversity of contemporary Christianities for ourselves by attending to specific leaders, moments, and movements. We will listen to music, watch films, and attempt, as much as we can, to hear the voices of Christians from around the world. This course is open to all Hartford Seminary students. It does not require prior study of Christianity.

Life of the Prophet Muhammad (HI-536-2)

Credits:3

This course is designed to critically investigate the accounts of Prophet Muhammad’s life, achievements and his relations with Jewish and Christian communities in 6th-7th century Arabia. It will expose students to “classical”, “critical,” and “revisionist” studies/views on the life of the Prophet and the early history of Islam. The course will also examine the perception of the Prophet in Europe and the legacy of the Prophet Muhammad in modern Muslim communities. The reading list includes some of the most recent, ground-breaking studies as well as the earliest sources (in translation) on the subject. By the end of the course, students will have gained an insight into one of the most charismatic figures in human history and the various methods and approaches to the study of his life. The course is suitable for beginner and advanced level students as the reading material for each module is tailored accordingly. The course instructor will provide all reading material and aside from an inquisitive mind there are no prerequisites for the course.

Children of Abraham: Explorations in Jewish-Christian-Muslim Relations (HI-539)

Credits:3

Abraham has often been called the Patriarch of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. To what extent to these three faiths claim him and share him? This course will use a social-historical approach to uncover primary models of interaction between Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities from scriptural origins and communal appropriations until today. Special attention will be given to the sacred Scriptures of each community and how those texts are utilized to provide identity, guidance and parameters for inter-faith relations.

Children of Abraham: Explorations in Jewish-Christian-Muslim Relations (HI-539-3)

Credits:3

Abraham has often been called the Patriarch of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. To what extent to these three faiths claim him and share him? This course will use a social-historical approach to uncover primary models of interaction between Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities from scriptural origins and communal appropriations until today. Special attention will be given to the sacred Scriptures of each community and how those texts are utilized to provide identity, guidance and parameters for inter-faith relations.

American Religious History (HI-571-2)

Credits:3

Women in the Christian Tradition (HI-612-3)

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.

At the Edge of Empire: The Christians of the Middle East (HI-613)

Credits:3

An investigation of the history, theology and identity of those Chalcedonian and non-Chalcedonian Christian communities outside of, or on the borders of, the Roman and Byzantine Empires; including the Arabic, Armenian, Coptic (Ethiopian), and Syrian churches. Attention will be given to how living at the edge of, or outside of, Western Empires provided unique contexts for the origin and later development of the Church under Islamic rule, the role of colonialism, nationalism, current geo-political issues of Empire in the Middle East, and immigration of these communities to the United States.

Holy Power, Holy Presence: The Holy Spirit in Christian Tradition (HI-615)

Credits:3

History of Christian-Muslim Relations (HI-619)

Credits:3

The interpretation of Islam and Muslim encounters with Christianity has become highly politicized, ideological and controversial. Islam and Christianity are religious traditions often described as either sibling children of Abraham sharing much in common, or as part of a monolithic clash of civilizations. This course will survey the history of Christian-Muslim interactions from the 7th through the 21st centuries, giving attention to the historical and scriptural sources that speak on or about each other and their usage by Christian and Muslim interlocutors. The focus of the course will be to introduce students to the origins of the encounter, the diversity of historical contexts of the Middle East, Europe and North America, and how those encounters have been interpreted. Students will engage in historical research on specific topics to develop their own critical perspectives on Christian-Muslim Relations for public engagement.

Muslims in American Religious History: Comparative Perspectives on Race, Gender, and Politics (HI-628-2)

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.

The Bible in History (HI-638)

Credits:3

Luther, the Jews and the Turks: The Reformation in its Interreligious Contexts (HI-653-1)

Credits:3

Luther, the Jews and the Turks: The Reformation in its Interreligious Contexts (HI-653-2)

Credits:3

This course will examine the 16th century Western Protestant Reformation in the context of the relations between a dominant Latin Christian culture with Jewish communities and the inter-imperial politics of European Christian kingdoms with the Ottoman Empire. Martin Luther’s life and theology will be assessed within the context of a dramatically changing Europe during the early modern period. Special attention will be given to Martin Luther’s acerbic views on the Jews and the Turks in light of previous Latin Christian adversus Judaeos and bello adversus Turcas literature. The goal of the course will be to explore how Christians have responded to Luther’s views, with a vision toward developing foundations for respectful contemporary interreligious relations.

In Progress (INPROG)

Credits:0

Classical Arabic (LG-530)

Credits:3

Classical Arabic I (LG-710)

Credits:3

Teaches intermediate and advanced syntactical, morphological and/or rhetorical concepts that are needed for understanding the Quran, and builds students' Quranic vocabulary. The aim is to develop the ability to accurately and fruitfully read and analyze the Quran and other classical Arabic texts. This course is for students who have already reached intermediate level proficiency (2 years study) or higher in Modern Standard Arabic.

Classical Arabic II (LG-711)

Credits:3

A continuation of Classical Arabic I (LG-710)Teaches intermediate and advanced syntactical, morphological and/or rhetorical concepts that are needed for understanding the Quran, and builds students' Quranic vocabulary. The aim is to develop the ability to accurately and fruitfully read and analyze the Quran and other classical Arabic texts. A This course is for students who have already reached intermediate level proficiency (2 years study) or higher in Modern Standard Arabic.

Quranic Analysis I (LG-720)

Credits:3

Close reading of selected Quranic passages, with detailed exploration of grammatical, lexicological and rhetorical dimensions of the text. Students are also exposed to extracts from the classical works of Quranic exegesis and lexicons. This course is for students who already have intermediate or advanced knowledge of Arabic.

Quranic Analysis II (LG-721)

Credits:3

A continuation of Quranic Analysis I (LG-720. Close reading of selected Quranic passages, with detailed exploration of grammatical, lexicological and rhetorical dimensions of the text. Students are also exposed to extracts from the classical works of Quranic exegesis and lexicons. This course is for students who already have intermediate or advanced knowledge of Arabic.

Arabic Philology (LG-730)

Credits:3

This course is designed to introduce students to the major disciplines in Islamic Studies (including their scope and topics as well as terminology). The course is centered around weekly reading, translation and discussion of texts from diverse genres within and relating to Islamic studies. Passages on a weekly basis. This is an advanced course, that requires students to have studied at least 3 years (or equivalent) of standard Arabic. It is primarily intended for PhD students, to help them sharpen their Arabic language skills to the academic level needed for effective PhD research in original Arabic sources.

Project in Transformative Leadership/Spirituality (MA-590)

Credits:3

Field Application: Transformative Theoretical Bases (MA-610)

Credits:3

Required course for students enrolled in the MA in Transformative Leadership and Spirituality. Schedule to be determined by participants and the instructor.

Independent Study (MA-692)

Credits:3

Independent Study (MA-693)

Credits:3

Project in Transformative Leadership/Spirituality (MA-795)

Credits:3

M.A. Final Paper (MA-796)

Credits:3

M.A. Final Project (MA-797)

Credits:3

M.A. Thesis I (MA-798)

Credits:3

M.A. Thesis II (MA-799)

Credits:3

Research Seminar in Selected Topics (PHD-730)

Credits:3

This PhD seminar is intended to provide an opportunity for PhD students to explore fields, topics and methods to develop skills in preparation for their Dissertation research. Students should propose their research topic in consultation with the instructor and will take leadership in presenting research in the various topics in a seminar format. PhD-700 is a prerequisite for this seminar.p

Research Meth and Scholar Dev I (PHD-800)

Credits:3

Research Methodology and Scholarly Development II (PHD-801)

Credits:3

IS: (PHD-892)

Credits:3

Research Meth and Scholar Dev I (PHD-900)

Credits:3

Comp. Exam - Minor: (PHD-902)

Credits:3

Comp. Exam - Minor: (PHD-903)

Credits:3

Comp. Exam - Major: (PHD-904)

Credits:3

Comp. Exam - Major: (PHD-905)

Credits:3

Religion as a Social Phenomenon: The Sociological Study of Religion (RS-536-2)

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.

Understanding Congregations: An Interfaith Encounter (RS-541-3)

Credits:3

Your congregation is a spiritual entity, but it is also a social organization, made up of human beings, with conflicts and habits, and grounded in a particular context. The more you know about the many dimensions of the congregation, the better you can make decisions, plan ministry and envision its future. The course is designed for clergy and lay leaders who wish to better understand the dynamics of their congregations. We will use a combination of lectures, readings, and field trips to study one congregation during the class meetings and then each student will explore his or her own congregation as the final assignment. We will look at the congregation’s identity and culture, its context, the material and human resources, the structures of power, the implicit theology and the leadership dynamics in an effort to understand this complex spiritual entity that is the congregation.

Islam and Human Rights (RS-542-2)

Credits:3

There has been a tension between Islam and Human Rights theory as both present themselves as value systems that are applicable universally. This course will try to understand the nature of the tension through examining various debates on the subject, and explore the possibility of reconciliation of Islam and Human Rights theory. Upon examining the theoretical issues, the course will focus on some of the Sunni and Shi?i legal concepts that may provide a framework for reconciliation between Islam and Human Rights. Finally, it will focus on some practical issues such as ?udud (fixed Islamic punishments), women’s rights, minority rights, and religious freedom.

Contemporary Islamic Thought (RS-572)

Credits:3

This course introduces students to major concepts, trends, and issues in contemporary Islamic thought. It historicizes and analyzes the Muslim encounter with modernity and the various intellectual trends this encounter has spawned, since mid-19th century until present times. Major concepts include: taw?id (oneness of God), tajdid (renewal), i?la? (reform), ijtihad (intellectual effort; reasoning), khilafah (vicegerency), shura (consultation), and Ummah (global Muslim community). Special attention will be given to contemporary Islamic revival and reform, rise of Islamic movements, and their impact on Islamic thought. Finally, the course will introduce and assess major intellectual, political, and religious trends in contemporary Islamic thought: traditionalism, Salafism, Islamism, and intellectual reformism.

Contemporary Islamic Thought (RS-572-3)

Credits:3

This course introduces students to major concepts, trends, and issues in contemporary Islamic thought. It historicizes and analyzes the Muslim encounter with modernity and the various intellectual trends this encounter has spawned, since mid-19th century until present times. Major concepts include: taw?id (oneness of God), tajdid (renewal), i?la? (reform), ijtihad (intellectual effort; reasoning), khilafah (vicegerency), shura (consultation), and Ummah (global Muslim community). Special attention will be given to contemporary Islamic revival and reform, rise of Islamic movements, and their impact on Islamic thought. Finally, the course will introduce and assess major intellectual, political, and religious trends in contemporary Islamic thought: traditionalism, Salafism, Islamism, and intellectual reformism.

Understanding Muslim Congregations (RS-583)

Credits:3

Non-Profit Reality (RS-608)

Credits:3

Nonprofit organizations have a longstanding relationship with religion. Many religious organizations – including denominations and congregations – are registered as nonprofits; in addition, the faith-based nonprofit sector has grown dramatically since the beginning of the 21st century. Moreover, religious organizations frequently collaborate with nonprofit organizations in order to partner on community initiatives, such as operating a soup kitchen or homeless shelter. Whether one plans to work directly for a nonprofit or interact with one, it is valuable to understand how nonprofits are structured, operate, and fit into the broader U.S. organizational landscape. This course will examine the key aspects of the U.S. nonprofit sector and nonprofit organizations, including structure, management, and operations, with a particular focus on the implications of nonprofit registration for faith-based organizations. In addition, the course will cover applied aspects of nonprofits, including the nonprofit founding process, nonprofit leadership, and nonprofit tax laws and forms.

None’s Religion: Understanding and Addressing the Religiously Unaffiliated Population (RS-612)

Credits:3

The numbers of persons in America who say they have no religious affiliation has risen dramatically over the past 20 years. Currently over 20 percent of the country, and 35 percent of younger generations, are designated as the “nones.” Religious communities and leaders need to understand this dynamic and the people who hold this “fastest growing” religious identity to be effective in ministry into the future. This course will explore the phenomenon, discuss the social, psychological and spiritual research on the nonaffiliated and how they are similar and different from Atheists, Agnostics and the “spiritual but not religious.” The course will include field trips and research efforts as well as readings and guest speakers to better understand this important development on the religious landscape.

Social Research Design and Method (RS-613)

Credits:3

This course offers an introduction to the methods and principles of social research, with application to the study of religion and religious communities. As a general introduction, the course covers four broad topics: the foundations of social science, research design, data collection, and data analysis. The course presents and offers practical training in quantitative and qualitative methodological approaches relevant to studying religion and congregations, including a toolkit of methods such as descriptive statistics, mini ethnography, interviews, focus groups, and surveys. Students will complete their own research project, learning effective strategies and techniques for designing and conducting research and for writing clearly, persuasively, and scientifically. The core concepts of social research are powerful tools even for those who never do social science professionally. As such, this course will benefit students’ critical assessment of the validity and value of existing research, provide a foundation for further graduate studies, and facilitate nonprofit management and understanding congregations.

Becoming Americans: Immigration and Religion in an Era of Resurgent Nationalism (RS-616-2)

Credits:3

The United States has been the top destination for international migrants since 1960, and is home to one-fifth of the world’s international migrants. Despite its long history of immigration, the United States has oscillated between perceiving immigration as a valuable resource and as a major challenge. This course is intended to introduce students to the concepts, major trends, and critical issues associated with this reality from religious perspectives. Students will explore the historical context to current debates over immigration reform, integration, and citizenship, analyzing century-long conversations about the interplay between religion, who is allowed into the country, and what it means to be an American. The course provides a chronological overview of US immigration history, but also includes thematic weeks that cover salient issues such as border policing, deportation policy, xenophobia, religious pluralism, and transnationalism. Students will be expected to revisit current media interpretations of the place of immigration in U.S. society and study immigration from interfaith and sociological points of view, evaluating their own experiences with immigration and immigrants. Although primarily conducted online, this hybrid course includes a 2-day experiential learning trip to New York, with visits to sites such as immigration court, a detention facility, Ellis Island, and other relevant sites. This course will help religious leaders and activists in their advocacy, public discussions, and religious framing about immigration in the United States historically and today.

Shia Islam: Beliefs, Practices, and Traditions (RS-617)

Credits:3

This course provides a robust introduction to the beliefs and practices of Shia Muslims, especially within the Imami Shia, also known as the Twelver Shia, tradition. Prior knowledge of early Islamic history is welcomed but not required.

Authority in Shi'i Islam (RS-621-2)

Credits:3

In general, the concept of authority is one of the most central components of lawmaking and implementation. Authority is more crucial in the case of Shi?i legal theory as according to Shi?i theology, only the Imams have absolute authority over Shi?is, and during the absence of the Twelfth Imam, there is no clear religious guideline as to what extent the authority of Imam may be practised by Shi?i scholars. Therefore, in Shi?i legal theory, the extent of the legal authority of jurists has direct consequence over their legal edicts, and the legal authority of jurists plays a central role in the process of responding to the exigencies of the time. This course aims to examine the source and scope of the religious authority of Shi?i Imams and will examine the views of some of the most influential classical and contemporary Shi?i scholars against the backdrop of key historical events. The course will study the following question: What is the influence of socio-political context on the scope of legal authority of jurists? Why did Shi?i jurists take drastically different views on the legal authority of jurists? What are the practical implications of the relation between the law and the exigencies of the society for the current Shi?i states and communities?

Immigrant Youth in the Contemporary US: Trajectories, Identities, and Faith (RS-623-3)

Credits:3

America is often described as a nation of immigrants. Immigrants and their American-born children now represent over one-quarter of the US population, and children or youth living in immigrant families represent the fastest growing group of American children. This course is specifically focused on what is called the “new” second generation—the over 20 million American-born or raised (youth and adult) children of post-1965 immigrants—and highlights intersections of race, ethnicity, gender, and religion for these new Americans. In light of growing concerns about the rescinding of DACA, immigration travel bans, and the rise of the religious “nones,” this course provides theoretical and empirical foundations for understanding how today’s second generation is shaping a new America. To do so, we will explore second generation identities and faith trajectories and analyze nuanced views on assimilation and incorporation, transnational family ties, intergenerational relations, language, and religious, racial, ethnic, and gender identities covering a broad range of immigrant and second generation populations. Intended to have practical relevance, students will engage with changing demographic characteristics and social, economic, and cultural contexts that require new thinking and paradigms for chaplains and faith community leaders.

Religion and Social Movements (RS-624-2)

Credits:3

Religion and social movements have long had a close connection. Individuals might participate in a movement because they wish to act on their religious convictions. Social movements that do not look overtly religious on the outside may rely heavily on religious networks for mobilization. Overtly, some religious groups have created social movements as a vehicle for advancing their beliefs and causes. Moreover, the organizational dynamics and life cycle of social movements are useful for understanding dynamics of religious organizations that seek to respond to an ever-changing social environment. This course will examine all of these factors, embedded in the history and theories of social movements, to better understand the efficacy of social movements and the unique role religion has played for social movement actors and organizations.

Race, Religion & Politics (RS-631)

Credits:3

All Americans, wrote Derrick Bell, are “imprisoned by the history of racial subordination.” How have the dynamics of racialized class prejudice played out in American religious history? Is there a way out? While paying attention to global histories and theoretical reflections, students in this course will examine and draw lessons from case studies that highlight the problematic interweaving of race, religion and politics in the lives of human beings designated as minorities, including African-Americans, Asian-Americans, American Jews, Catholics, Hindus, Buddhists, and Muslims.

Arabian Nights (RS-633-3)

Credits:3

Interfaith and Civic Engagement (RS-634-3)

Credits:3

LGBTQ History & Theory and What a Movement Can Teach Congregations (RS-638-3)

Credits:3

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 LGBTQ equality. If you have concerns please feel free to contact the instructor – mpiazza@hartsem.edu

Changing American Religious Landscape (RS-653)

Credits:3

Women, Religion and the Future of Faith Communities (RS-661-2)

Credits:3

Tackling the Issue: Retaining Young People in Faith Communities (RS-672-2)

Credits:3

“Why are there so few youth and young adults now in this congregation? What can we do?” This is a familiar plaint in many congregations and echoed in their denominations’ national offices. Recently there have been many articles and books on the spiritual culture(s) of young people, what they seek, where they look, and what might keep them within their church’s folds. Denominational offices are continually trying various programs and ways of reaching and keeping their young people. Students will be asked to discuss course reading on line, and write a final paper applicable to their individual experiences or their congregational programs for those under thirty.

Textual History of the Qur’an (SC-515-2)

Credits:3

The Qur’an is the believed to be God’s message to all humanity. It is the most central text in Islam and Muslims strive to shape their religious and social lives according to the principles and rulings derived from the Qur’an. Yet the textual history of the sacred text has often been taken granted. Questions and various theories regarding how God’s revelation was recorded, collected and preserved by early Muslims are often overlooked. This course aims to study the textual history of the Qur’an by investigating these questions. The course examines various academic studies and their arguments on the subject such as studies based on the literary analysis of the Qur’an, based on the Muslim traditions (ahadith), based on non-Islamic sources and based on archaeological data. At the end of the course, the students will gain access the theories that have been developed in the last two centuries and will have a clear view of the current state of the field of the qur’anic studies.

There's Something About Mary (SC-518)

Credits:3

Yes, there certainly is something about Mary! But which one? The Virgin Mary? Mary Magdalene? Mary of Bethany? Who are they? How are they presented in New Testament texts and other early Christian writings? What was their relationship with Jesus? How are these Marys depicted in art, music, film, and other forms of contemporary culture? What is her legacy? That is, how have these Marys been interpreted, and what are the implications thereof? How do these women influence issues concerning the construction of gender and sexuality, surrogacy, rape culture, martyrdom, motherhood, women’s roles in both secular and sacred spaces, unjust social systems, etc.? But it’s never just Mary, is it? What is that something about you that you bring to the discussion? Do you have any biases or assumptions? Would one of these Marys give you the side-eye for judging them when you…? We will engage these questions and more employing critical methodologies such as historical, literary, rhetorical, and postcolonial criticisms, and gender studies including, feminist theory, womanist biblical hermeneutics, and masculinity studies. There is something extraordinary about Mary. And we will love her!

There’s Something About Mary (SC-518-2)

Credits:3

Yes, there certainly is something about Mary! But which one? The Virgin Mary? Mary Magdalene? Mary of Bethany? Who are they? How are they presented in New Testament texts and other early Christian writings? What was their relationship with Jesus? How are these Marys depicted in art, music, film, and other forms of contemporary culture? What is her legacy? That is, how have these Marys been interpreted, and what are the implications thereof? How do these women influence issues concerning the construction of gender and sexuality, surrogacy, rape culture, martyrdom, motherhood, women’s roles in both secular and sacred spaces, unjust social systems, etc.? But it’s never just Mary, is it? What is that something about you that you bring to the discussion? Do you have any biases or assumptions? Would one of these Marys give you the side-eye for judging them when you…? We will engage these questions and more employing critical methodologies such as historical, literary, rhetorical, and postcolonial criticisms, and gender studies including, feminist theory, womanist biblical hermeneutics, and masculinity studies. There is something extraordinary about Mary. And we will love her!

Hebrew Bible Survey (SC-522)

Credits:3

This course will examine the content and theology expressed in the Hebrew Bible. We analyze scripture using historical-critical methodologies that consider the biblical material in light of its ancient Near Eastern context. We also investigate how the Hebrew Bible has been interpreted by different faith communities.

Hebrew Bible Survey (SC-522-2)

Credits:3

This course will examine the content and theology expressed in the Hebrew Bible. We analyze scripture using historical-critical methodologies that consider the biblical material in light of its ancient Near Eastern context. We also investigate how the Hebrew Bible has been interpreted by different faith communities.

The Torah (SC-523)

Credits:3

For Jews, the Torah, is the holiest section of the Hebrew Bible. It begins with Creation and concludes with the Israelites at the brink of entering the Promised Land. In this course we will study the five books that comprise this narrative through a variety of lenses. For example, we will consider the origins of the Torah, the historical influences of the Torah, the literary styles of the Torah, Jewish methods of interpreting the Torah, as well as how modern Jews regard the Torah today.

Images of God in the Hebrew Bible (SC-524)

Credits:3

The Hebrew Bible offers a great deal of diversity in its portrayal of God. God relates to the people of Israel variously as a parent, a spouse, or a king. God behaves, at times, as a bellicose warrior and, at times, as a wise lawgiver. Emotionally, God can be angry, jealous and vengeful, or loving, gracious and merciful. On the one hand, God is anthropomorphically embodied, but on the other hand, God is adamantly incorporeal. Moreover, while the embodied God is typically male, sometimes God possesses stereotypically female attributes. In this course, we will explore the diverse images of God with the goal of better understanding the biblical concept of the divine.

Introduction to the Sciences of Shi'i Hadith (SC-528)

Credits:3

The Sciences of Hadith (pl. Ahadith) in the traditional realm of Islamic Scholarship are many diverse sciences which can be classified into one, these sciences are all pertaining to one thing and one thing alone namely the safeguarding and authenticity of religious scripture; whilst the hadith are not part of the Qur’an according to all classical schools of Islamic theology- they carry the same weight. The sciences of Hadith serve as unique because they highlight that whilst others attempt to gather as much information about and from their Prophetic figures as possible, the Muslims were concerned with minute details such as compiling as much information about people who merely transmitted the statements of and about their Prophetic figures to ensure a degree of rigour in authenticating religion.

New Testament Survey (SC-531-2)

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).

Intro to Shi'i Islam (SC-533)

Credits:3

This course provides a historical study of the development of Shi?i Islam against the backdrop of key events such the succession crisis and Occultation (Ghayba), and the formation of Shi?i states such as the Buwayhids, Safavids, Qajars and Modern Iran. It will introduce students to various theories and debates regarding the origins of Shi?i Islam through examining primary (in translation) and secondary sources. There will be a specific focus on Shi?i jurisprudence, theology, hadith and Quranic studies, including the Shi?i approach to the textual history of the Qur’an and its alleged distortion (tahrif). The course will also examine contemporary Shi?i communities around the world. By enabling students to develop a systematic understanding of the evolution of Shi?i Islam, the course will serve as a basis for more advanced courses. No previous knowledge of Islam or Arabic is required.

Intro to Shi'i Islam (SC-533-2)

Credits:3

This course provides a historical study of the development of Shi?i Islam against the backdrop of key events such the succession crisis and Occultation (Ghayba), and the formation of Shi?i states such as the Buwayhids, Safavids, Qajars and Modern Iran. It will introduce students to various theories and debates regarding the origins of Shi?i Islam through examining primary (in translation) and secondary sources. There will be a specific focus on Shi?i jurisprudence, theology, hadith and Quranic studies, including the Shi?i approach to the textual history of the Qur’an and its alleged distortion (tahrif). The course will also examine contemporary Shi?i communities around the world. By enabling students to develop a systematic understanding of the evolution of Shi?i Islam, the course will serve as a basis for more advanced courses. No previous knowledge of Islam or Arabic is required.

Women in the Qur'an (SC-556)

Credits:3

This course is a thorough investigation of the female figures who are mentioned in the Qur’an. In this context, we give attention to the wide-ranging depictions of femaleness, including in sexual relations, in kinship relations, in divine-human relationships, and with regard to female embodiment and social roles. We explore how females—old, young, barren, fertile, chaste, profligate, reproachable, and saintly—enter Qur’anic sacred history and advance the Qur’an’s overarching didactic aims. We cover narratives of sacred history, parables, and stories that allude to particular events said to have occurred in the nascent Muslim polity. With this deep dive, students will gain a greater facility with the Qur’an’s overarching didactic themes as well as probe core issues related to gender and sexuality, including as they intersect with contemporary discourses. The course is particularly suited to those who have prior Qur’anic studies exposure; however, accommodations will be made for those who are newer to the discipline who would still like to take the course.

Gospel of John (SC-611)

Credits:3

This course is offered as an introduction to deeper study of the fourth gospel in its content, context, historicity – as well as its relationship to the New Testament canon and to early Christian literature. In their reading of the gospel, students will be introduced to techniques of exegesis – pulling out deeper meanings of the text, and comparing their findings with a selection of the many ancient and contemporary studies of it. Students will gain a better understanding of how early Christians read the gospel (and scripture as a whole). In their review of more recent scholarship, students will be exposed to discourse analysis, social science commentary, redaction criticism, among other topics. Brief, weekly exegetical assignments will be made, as well as a midterm and final paper.

Reading Jewish Texts: The Attributes of God (SC-612)

Credits:3

In this course we will study Jewish texts that deal with key attributes of God. Analyzing texts from the Hebrew Bible and later Rabbinic literature, we will discuss, for example, God’s anger, love, hate, and mercy. We will consider how anthropomorphism – the attribution of human qualities to God – is expressed throughout these corpora of material as we ask questions such as: To what extent is God’s hate similar to human hate? Does God’s mercy overwhelm God’s anger? How does the Jewish understanding of God’s love change over time?

The Pauline Letters (SC-617)

Credits:3

Men, Women, and Sex in Early Christian Texts (SC-619-3)

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.

The Foundations of Qur’anic Studies:The History, Form, and Content of Islam’s Holy Book (SC-630)

Credits:3

This course explores tafsir literature from the classical period to modernity. Students will investigate the evolution of Qur’an commentary, the sub-genres of tafsir literature, the biographies of some great scholars of Qur’an commentary and their methodologies. Selected verses of the Qur’an will be read with commentaries about the following topics: God’s existence and attributes, determinism, sin and divine mercy, prophethood and Muhammad, Jesus and Mary, heaven and hell, war and peace, Shari’a and politics, pluralism, men and women, etc. Knowledge of Arabic is not required but several texts unavailable in English will be translated orally during this course and students knowing Arabic will be invited to read them in the original language. A basic knowledge about Islamic theology and the history of Muslim societies would be useful.

She Did That!: Women’s Agency in New Testament Texts (SC-635-2)

Credits:3

The depiction of women in New Testament texts…well, for many, it just ain’t right! And with its ongoing influence on the lives of women today it’s time we set the record straight. One may perceive that there are but two types of women presented – good or evil, pure or impure, wife or whore, and so on. There doesn’t seem to be any ambiguity…but is there? Beauty – feminine beauty – is in the eye of the interpreter. Is a woman with initiative a bad thing? Is a woman who “stays in her place” a good thing? Let’s talk about it! We will do a critical examination of select biblical texts that capture the dynamic function of women and gender. We will consider the ancient socio-cultural context, and also engage contemporary malestream, feminist, and womanist interpretation. But don’t think you’re off the hook! You will be amazed at how much of yourself you will uncover in this class. Reading for women in texts written by men is sure to challenge some of our learned traditions and cultural assumptions about women. So who’s in?!

Images of Jesus in Christian and Muslim Sacred Writings (SC-636-2)

Credits:3

Drawing on canonical scriptures (the Bible and the Qur?an), in conversation with other primary and secondary sources, aided by critical investigations, and making use of the notion of “images” both literally and metaphorically, we will study the birth, mission, death, resurrection, and eschatological role of Jesus in Christianity and Islam—plus the closely related matter of the life and status of his mother Mary. Attention will also be given to the role of Jesus and Mary in personal and communal piety. As an online graduate seminar in scripture study and comparative theology, this course will make use of various modes of online presentation and interaction. Substantial reading and writing will be expected. Auditors are welcome.

The World of the Prophets (SC-639-3)

Credits:3

In this course we will study prophecy in the Hebrew Bible. We will explore the historical and political settings of Israel’s prophets and we will consider how major events that occur in the lives and ministries of the prophets are reflected in the diverse themes and theological perspectives operative in prophetic books. We will delve into themes such as social justice, divine anger, and adultery as a metaphor for idolatry. A number of the prophets we will study include Hosea, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Huldah, Ezekiel, and Jonah.

Gender, Power and Women (SC-715)

Credits:3

The Hebrew Bible appears to talk to men about men. Biblical narratives describe men activing heroically and piously or sinfully and immorally; biblical law codes employ male gendered nouns and verbs throughout. And yet, the Bible also offers a number of accounts of women doing things. Moreover, the Bible’s law codes are replete with rules governing women’s behaviors and bodies. Significantly, models of heroic and immoral women deviate a great deal from their archetypal male counterparts. Moreover, laws governing women are quite distinct from laws governing men. In this course we explore biblical texts about women, in order to parse out these differences. In so doing, we aim to understand the female social identities and gendered power dynamics advocated by the Hebrew Bible, as well as the social realities that governed living as a woman in ancient Israel. Some women we will explore include Eve, Ruth and the prophetess Huldah (among many others). Some laws we will examine address marriage and divorce, rape, and menstruation.

Understanding Shi’i Islam (TH-515)

Credits:3

This course will take a systematic approach to Shi’i Islam in exploring its main distinctive features, including creed, ethics, politics, and jurisprudence. We will also examine three major characteristics of Shi’i Islam: rationality, the search for justice, and spirituality. The meaning and significance of these three characteristics will be discussed as well as the role they play in defining the Shi’i approach to theoretical and practical issues. We will also discuss how each of these characteristics is manifested in Shi’i thought and practice, for example, how spirituality has led to interest in supplications and mysticism.

Theology and Contextuality (TH-605-2)

Credits:3

Theology of Religious Manyness (TH-612-2)

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.

Philosophy of Religion (TH-613)

Credits:3

Is God-Talk Still Possible Today? The Problem of the Quest(ion) of God After Kant (TH-626)

Credits:3

Theological Issues in Christian-Muslim Relations (TH-631-2)

Credits:3

Interacting with the theological perspectives of Muslim and Christian scholars, students will respond to theological categories and themes, examining areas of convergence, overlap, and divergence. Topics to be addressed include the doctrine of God, revelation, prophethood, the human condition, the authority of Scripture, and communal ethics. Students should expect to develop a coherent understanding of their own faith and respectfully articulate this in the midst of inter-faith conversations and relationships.

Reading Classical Islamic Texts (in Arabic): Philosophy and Theology (TH-647-3)

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.

Shi`ite Islam: Thought and History (TH-651)

Credits:3

Major Islamic Thinkers-Rumi (TH-683)

Credits:3

Muslim Political Theology in the 20th and 21st Centuries (TH-692-2)

Credits:3

This course offers an in-depth exploration of geographically and thematically organized case studies that address Muslim theological approaches to politics in the 20th and 21st centuries. Our case studies will include political discourses from Egypt, Iran, Turkey, India, Pakistan, and the United States. Our thematic exploration will range from theories of withdrawal from and the shaping of modern political systems. Particular attention will be paid to the analysis of discourses on modernity, gender, memory and uses of tradition, and Muslim minorities’ participation in in public life. A background in modern world history, particularly of Islamic countries, would be very helpful. Please note that this course is a seminar, which means that all students must contribute to each class discussion, both orally and in writing. The format of analyzing case studies has the specific aim of refining each student’s written and oral interpretative skills.

Longing for God? Christian Spirituality in Theological Perspective (WS-511)

Credits:3

This course endeavors to introduce the broad traditions of spirituality from different historical eras in Christian history; from Antiquity, to Medieval time, through to Renaissance/Reformation and then to Modern time. It aims to achieve this by exposing the students to primary spiritual texts and then trying to highlight and extract the theological foundations and dimensions of the spiritual orientations in these texts, so that students will be introduced to theological hermeneutics in the study of spirituality. The primary goals of the course are for the students to learn what are some of the basic spiritual trends in Christianity, and to be able to assess every trend from a theological perspective and in light of the Christian theological tradition as a whole.

Islamic Spirituality and Virtue Ethics in Today’s World (WS-536)

Credits:3

The Islamic faith has often been characterized by Muslims as consisting of outward practice, theology, and inward virtue known as ihsan. Considering the emphasis that the Islamic scriptures and Muslim figures of piety placed on the “soundness” of what is known in the Islamic tradition as the spiritual heart, Islamic spirituality and virtue ethics developed as an independent field of study under various names such as Sufism (tasawwuf), tazkiya, ihsan,and 'irfan. This science was taught as part of the core curriculum of classical institutions of Islamic learning alongside Islamic law (fiqh) and theology (kalam) as an essential complement and integral element of Islamic practice. This course will introduce students to this third dimension of the Islamic faith through examining the core elements of how many Muslim specialists understood Islamic spirituality and virtue ethics, while also exploring how it can be applied today to many contemporary issues such as social justice, environmental stewardship, and personal development. Both classical and modern texts related to Islamic spirituality will be studied and discussed in this course.

The Spirituality and Practices of Asian Religions (WS-540)

Credits:3

This course is intended for students to be introduced to religious life and spirituality throughout Asia, with a focus on daily practices. One way to approach religion is through doctrinal, theological, or philosophical studies, but there should also be other paths toward understanding living religions through other ways of interpretation. For example, there are rituals, exercises, and asceticism, on the one hand, and symbolism, iconography and iconology, on the other, especially those experienced in people’s physical performances and practices. This course will emphasize in particular these latter approaches to understand the spirituality and practices of Asian religions. Each instructor is a specialist in one tradition of Indian, Chinese, or Japanese religions, and will introduce the class to not only scholarly reading materials, but also some material objects, images, or videos, and in some cases lead the students into an example of performance or practice to reach some understanding.

Longing for God? Christian Spirituality in Theological Perspective (WS-611)

Credits:3

This course endeavors to introduce the broad traditions of spirituality from different historical eras in Christian history; from Antiquity, to Medieval time, through to Renaissance/Reformation and then to Modern time. It aims to achieve this by exposing the students to primary spiritual texts and then trying to highlight and extract the theological foundations and dimensions of the spiritual orientations in these texts, so that students will be introduced to theological hermeneutics in the study of spirituality. The primary goals of the course are for the students to learn what are some of the basic spiritual trends in Christianity, and to be able to assess every trend from a theological perspective and in light of the Christian theological tradition as a whole.

Longing for God? Christian Spirituality in Theological Perspective (WS-611-2)

Credits:3

This course endeavors to introduce the broad traditions of spirituality from different historical eras in Christian history; from Antiquity, to Medieval time, through to Renaissance/Reformation and then to Modern time. It aims to achieve this by exposing the students to primary spiritual texts and then trying to highlight and extract the theological foundations and dimensions of the spiritual orientations in these texts, so that students will be introduced to theological hermeneutics in the study of spirituality. The primary goals of the course are for the students to learn what are some of the basic spiritual trends in Christianity, and to be able to assess every trend from a theological perspective and in light of the Christian theological tradition as a whole.

Spiritual Foundations for Social Change (WS-613)

Credits:3

Justice and compassion (kindness or mercy) are cornerstones of the spiritual life and the foundations of social transformation. As spiritual values, these are understood in the context of covenants of mutuality, inclusion and egalitarianism that foster right ordering of relationships. As transformative practices, they encompass a dialectical relationship between individuals and society, within which is an awareness of ways in which the dominant culture could be reordered to reflect life-enhancing values and just social systems. Underlying these is the virtue of humility and its practice in contemplation. Thomas Merton described it as gratitude for life, awareness of being, and a recognition of their Source who calls us into its very own Life and life in the world. In this course, we will contemplate our explore how these values and virtues cooperate in an engaged spirituality – i.e. grounded in the Holy One and attentive to the needs of a suffering world – in both personal and political contexts: 1) contemplating how they are embodied and operative in our own spiritual lives, and 2) analyzing a situation of oppression and injustice with a critical and compassionate eye, and proposing solutions which are transformative, life-giving and just.

Spiritual Foundations for Social Change (WS-613-2)

Credits:3

Justice and compassion are cornerstones of the spiritual life and the foundations of social transformation. As spiritual values, these are understood in the context of covenants of mutuality, inclusion and egalitarianism that foster right ordering of relationships. As transformative practices, they encompass a dialectical relationship between individuals and society, within which is an awareness of ways in which the dominant culture could be reordered to reflect life-enhancing values and just social systems. In this course, we will explore how these values and virtues cooperate in an engaged spirituality – i.e. grounded in the Holy One and attentive to the needs of a suffering world –by contemplating how they are embodied and operative in our own spiritual lives, and analyzing a situation of oppression and injustice with a critical and compassionate eye, and proposing solutions which are transformative, life-giving and just.

Leading with Spirit: Transforming Leadership for Social Change (WS-619)

Credits:3

Leading with Spirit: Transforming Leadership for Social Change (WS-619-2)

Credits:3

We live in challenging times. Changes in our country’s economic, moral and cultural landscape have impacted individuals and communities in ways that have sapped physical and economic resources, demoralized spirits, and fractured the social bonds that order civic life based on the common good, community needs, and a commitment to life-giving values. It is clear that the traditional model of technical (“fix-it”) leadership is no longer adequate in addressing these challenges. Today’s leaders are called to reconceptualize their work: to create new ways of learning, leading and working that empower those they serve to become leaders themselves. This kind of leadership requires a courage, conviction and compassion that arise from a place deep within a person’s spirit. This course offers those in leadership positions the opportunity to cultivate their inner lives: to take time apart for spiritual deepening, for building transformational leadership skills and considering practical application of what leadership arising from a core of spiritual groundedness might look like.

Worship Renewal in a Changing World (WS-632)

Credits:3

In congregational worship, our joys, sorrows, and hopes as a community – as the Church – are given their true and proper place, which is at the feet of Christ. We do not come to congregational worship merely to “feel good” or anesthetize ourselves against the stormy billows of life, but to enter more deeply and honestly into the mystery of God-with-us. Yet, worship is always situated in different times, places and cultural contexts. This class explores how the content, form, and styles of worship are enlivened through intentional and theologically-grounded worship design. We will explore a variety of perspectives on issues such as music, the use of visual arts, the use of technology in worship, the church year, worship and evangelism, sacraments and ordinances, worship and conflict, worship and social justice, and liturgical spirituality. Worship renewal is not about just “performing it better” but about walking with our congregations into transformative encounters with God and with one another. We’ll learn from the past and from each other as we all work towards this goal.

Islamic Spirituality (WS-639-2)

Credits:3

In this course we will investigate the historical origins of Sufism and the construction of authority and piety in the Sufi tradition. We will also chart the evolution of Sufism from personal spiritual practice and experience to the establishment of mystical brotherhoods in which, depending on time and place, a large portion of Muslim society participated. Finally, we will turn to the continued importance that Sufism has played in the contemporary Muslim-majority world as well as in North America.

Cosmic Spirit, Planetary Spirituality (WS-643)

Credits:3

This course will wrestle with contemporary issues and perennial themes from the perspective of an emerging cosmology that is affecting life on planet Earth far more than we realize. Together we will explore how transformative energies are redefining our approach to the Sacred, challenging us to see in the wisdom of the ancients how we might develop new paths of our own in these tumultuous times. The 20th century theologian Pierre Charles offers this encouragement: “Like the root which runs towards the center of the earth, hiding itself that it may be more useful and be able to nourish better, drawn by the mysterious power which is its law, and becoming more strongly attached the longer it advances – thus it is that I should be; winning each day nearer to the deep of God, sinking more into Truth and Justice, attaching myself more and more, through all my actions and all my desires, without weakness and without wavering, to the Eternal which feeds us.”