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New and Revised Courses 2013-2014


CH212 Justice & Peace: New Testament Perspectives
Marilyn Salmon
In this course we will consider New Testament literature as a source for constructing a theology of justice and peace. What do the gospels tell us about Jesus as an advocate for justice? Do the letters of the Apostle Paul disclose a commitment to justice and peace in his mission? We will study the narrative of Acts with an ea and eye for communities committed to right relationships. In examining New Testament perspectives, we will be mindful of the continuity between Older and Newer Testaments.
No prerequisites; CH161 and CH261 recommended. Justice and Peace Studies elective.

CL678 Caring for Families and Relationships
Trina Armstrong
At every stage of life, family, spouses/partners and significant others are among our most formative and influential relationships. They present us with both joys and challenges. Pastoral caregivers are frequently called to ministry with couples and families seeking to enter relationships, resolve difficulties and improve their relationships. In this course, you will be introduced to various theories and you will develop the skills and techniques necessary to provide pastoral care and counseling to a diverse and broad range of marriages, families and relationships. This includes interviewing and gathering information and understanding the impact of your own relationships on your pastoral identity and approach. Throughout the course, the role of culture and religion will be considered in how we shape expectations in marriages, families and other important relationships.
Prerequisite: CL670. Pastoral Care elective

CL679 Pastoral Care in Grief and Loss
Trina Armstrong
One of the tasks of pastoral/spiritual care is to aid people during major life transitions and losses such as relationship loss (divorce and break-ups), illness and death. In this course, we will review the history, theory and purpose of pastoral care in the context of various types of losses. We will also explore cultural and interfaith theories of end-of-life issues and the role of ritual in grief and loss towards the goal of developing the foundational principles and skills necessary to compassionately serve individuals and families in churches, hospitals, hospice and nursing homes.
Prerequisite: CL670. Pastoral Care elective

TR250 Bearing Witness: The Power of Story
Sarah Bellamy
How are artists conduits for healing, awareness raising, and action around issues of race and social justice? This course will look at the power of theatre to promote social justice and equity through story, performance, and post-play dialogue. We will focus on the plays slated for Penumbra Theatre Company’s upcoming season, looking specifically at the American 1950s and 1960s and the monumental change of the Civil Rights Movement. Penumbra is one of the nation’s leading African American theatre companies. Participants will study the scripts, accompanying theoretical and situational texts, and engage with special programming at Penumbra.
No prerequisites.

TR736 Introduction to Judaism for Christians
Amy Eilberg
This course will offer Christian students an introduction to Judaism tailored to their particular needs for Jewish knowledge. The course will focus primarily on post-Biblical Jewish sacred text, theology, and practice, as well as a brief overview of Jewish history Aden contemporary trends in the American Jewish community. Emphasis will be placed on the recognition and transformation of the supercessionist narrative, replacing it with a view of Judaism as a separate, authentic, and evolving religion.
No prerequisites. Non-Christian religion(s) elective.

TR522 Theories of Justice and Reconciliation
Phil Stoltzfus
This course is designed to be the foundation course for the Justice and Peace Studies concentration. It will cover philosophical, theological, legal and economic conceptions of justice and reconciliation and will explore the relationship between justice and reconciliation.
No prerequisites. Required course for Justice & Peace Studies; Leadership Toward Racial Justice elective


CL685 Short Term & Crisis Models of Pastoral Care
Trina Armstrong
As pastoral leaders, we often find ourselves beside people in crisis. Unfortunately we cannot plan for crisis because they are unexpected and unique. In this course we will use insights from theology, spirituality, and psychology to increase our readiness to provide short-term pastoral care for people in crisis.
No prerequisites

CL351 Preaching toward Social Transformation
Christine Smith
This course will enable preachers to develop effective homiletical skills and strategies for preaching toward social transformation. It is for preachers who want to shape new maps for living and preaching that will engage congregations in issues of oppression, injustice, and radical cultural change. This course will explore what the preacher can learn about justice and change from the innovative cultural ministries of the emerging and emergent communities and church movements that exist nationally and internationally. The course will challenge preachers to examine their own social locations, will offer tools to deepen and expand skills in analyzing social systemic injustices, and will challenge preachers to deepened deconstructive and constructive theological thinking that undergirds a prophetic preaching ministry. Sermons will be preached in class. Justice and Peace concentration elective.
Prerequisite: CL336


CH110 The Orphan, the Widow, and the Immigrant: Scripture & Social Justice
Katherine Brink
What is a scriptural ethic of justice? How does the ancient context of scripture help us define the contours of God’s justice in the contemporary life of the church? How can thoughtful interpretation of scripture empower us to mobilize on behalf of women, immigrants, and other groups who suffer injustice in our communities? Drawing upon historical, comparative, ideological, and sociological approaches, students in this class will interpret select biblical passages relating to social justice. With careful exegesis as a foundation, students will 1) explore how biblical texts have been and are used and misused as tools of oppression, and 2) generate and articulate a personal ethic of justice and avenues for self and community mobilization based on their ethic of justice.
No prerequisites. Global Justice track; Women's Studies elective; Justice and Peace Studies elective.

CH474 Intro to Modern Theology and Modern Religious Thought
Paul Capetz
This course introduces students to the issues and figures of Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment theology and religious thought in the West. Topics include the challenge posed to theology by the rise of modern science and the historical-critical method of biblical study as well as the emergence of a non-theological study of religion. Figures include Spinoza, Hume, Kant, Schleiermacher, Hegel, Feuerbach, Marx, Strauss, Harnack, and Troeltsch.
No pre-requisites. 

CL686 Pastoral Care and the Shattered Soul
Trina Armstrong
In this introductory course, we will examine the role of pastoral caregivers, faith communities and faith-based organizations for providing pastoral care in the aftermath of traumatic experience. We will explore relevant theories and theologies for understanding the spiritual, psychological and emotional impact, as well as coping responses, to interpersonal violence (sexual trauma, child abuse and domestic violence), historical-cultural trauma, intergenerational trauma, vicarious and witness trauma, crime-victim trauma and war trauma on individuals, families, cultures and communities. We will also focus on: the meaning and place of trauma-informed pastoral care and the nurturing of your pastoral caregiving skills to the traumatized, and we will explore response models and collaborative efforts between mental-health professionals, faith-based communities and other community organizations.
No prerequisites. Pastoral Care elective

TR249 Imagining God through Art: Engaging Theology and Religious Imagination through the Arts ONLINE
Paul Myhre
Humans have used art to express religious beliefs and practices throughout history. In art, people can explore their theological and religious beliefs, and ask questions about their beliefs and practices.  Art can help us understand and grow spiritually, morally, and theologically.  For example, contemporary graffiti artists around the planet are exploring social justice issues through the visual arts in public spaces. This course will explore ideas associated with theology, religion, spirituality and ethics in contemporary and historical art. It involves required readings, exploration of regional arts, online assignments and threaded conversations. We will engage with the arts as religious expressions, spiritual explorations, ethical declarations and theological efforts to connect the sacred with personal and communal experience. We will explore the arts in relation to spirituality and as sources for imaginative theological reflection. We will visit churches, museums and other locations where art involving religious, theological, spiritual and ethical connections might be found. In addition to a final research paper, students will be required to write short weekly reflection papers about what they see or experience in relation to the readings for the week. The required papers, online postings and online discussions will comprise the graded components for the course.
No prerequisites. Theology and the Arts elective; Non-Christian Religions elective

CH440 Introduction to the Reformed Tradition: Theology & Confessions REVISED
Paul Capetz
This course will examine the distinctive themes of Reformed theology as it has taken shape beginning with the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century and continuing into the present day. Special attention will be given to classic confessional statements and to the understanding of their proper role and authority in the Reformed churches.
Prerequisites: CH461

TR749 Buddhism in America
Ted Tollefson
This course will explore the influx of traditional forms of Buddhism into America from 1842 to the present, as well as the emergence of what appears to be a new form of socially engaged, ecologically aware "American Buddhism."
No prerequisites. Non-Christian religion(s) elective.


TR421 Black Theology and Womanist Theology
Linda Thomas
The purpose of this course is to develop a critical understanding and interpretation of black and womanist theologies; to become familiar with their intellectual traditions; to put both disciplines in critical dialogue; to examine their commonalities and differences; and to see how they challenge our own perspectives.
No prerequisites. Woman's Studies elective.


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