Advanced Preaching Seminar
In the past three decades, the theory and art of preaching has been
changing dramatically. Preaching has shifted from an event that
says something, conveys something, and articulates something, to
an event that evokes something, does something, and immerses the
congregation in an experience. In this seminar, preachers will have
the opportunity to experiment with sermonic form and style, preach
at least three times in the presence of colleagues, and identify
and address critical issues of concern and places of needed growth
in her/his own preaching style and ministry.
Pottery and Proclamation
The ongoing spiritual life of the preacher is of critical concern
in a preaching ministry that stays vital, passionate, and relevant.
Working with clay can directly enhance and deepen our spiritual
lives and nurture a different worldview. In this course we will
explore various religious themes and spiritual practices that emerge
as religious leaders learn the basic skills of the potter’s
craft. Students will actually learn the skills involved in a basic
wheel course: fundamental techniques of throwing basic forms on
the potter’s wheel, the process of creating surface decoration
using glazes and some applied elements, and basic firing procedures.
Celebrating and Proclaiming Resurrection
Resurrection is at the center of Christian life and faith. It is
about God’s enduring, uncompromising power of life and our
response to that passionate life. Preachers will look at the power
and possibility of resurrection life in our world today. Four questions
will shape the content of the course: What kind of spiritual and
homiletic disciplines might move preachers closer to resurrection
life? How might we resist the crucifixions that threaten to silence
or defeat resurrection life? How can we re-image the nature and
activity of resurrection life from the perspective of the oppressed?
How can we recover the radical nature of the gospel narratives in
our quest for, and commitment to, this resurrection life? Sermons
will be preached in class.
CL351 Preaching toward Social Transformation
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 deepend and expand skills in analyzing social systemic injustices, and will challenge preachers to deepend deconstructive and constructive theological thinking that undergirds a prophetic preaching ministry. Sermons will be preached in class. Justice and Peace concentration elective.
Media, Culture, and Worship
The primary text of this course will be the daily media
coverage of local and world political and cultural events. Students
will learn to locate a multitude of news sources from around the
world, gaining a fuller, culturally-conscious perspective on particular
events. Given daily events, students will reflect on these events
from critical, theological perspectives. The task is for students
to bring the events of the world into worship with liturgical, pastoral,
and theological integrity. This is not a course on how to turn worship
into a political forum. Rather, this course will explore how worship
can proclaim the Word of God amid current events vis-à-vis
Foundations of Christian Education
Barbara Anne Keely
This course explores the theories and practices of Christian Education,
including theological frameworks, faith formations, teaching methods
and models, curricular materials, and the planning and leadership
of educational programming. Particular emphasis is paid to the spiritual
life of the congregation.
Ministries with Children and Families
Barbara Anne Keely
This course explores theological, spiritual, and practical approaches
to ministry with children and families with children, including
teaching methods, curricular resources, intergenerational and broadly
graded educational ministries, parenting, and child advocacy. Particular
attention is paid to the spiritual life of the child.
Ministries with Youth
Barbara Anne Keely
Adolescence is a critical time of claiming one’s own identity
and faith commitment. This course is an overview of the Church’s
ministries with youth, including theological, spiritual, cultural,
developmental, theoretical, and practical aspects. Primary attention
is given to the spiritual life of youth and the culture in which
youth are thrust and/or create.
Teaching the Bible in the Church
Barbara Anne Keely
The Bible is the core text for teaching in the Christian Church.
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to a variety
of methods and models of teaching the Bible to children, youth,
and adults. Opportunities to teach the Bible permeate the life of
the Church, including worship and education. This course will address
these areas and also will invite students to explore ways to integrate
effective teaching of the Bible throughout Church life.
Prerequisite: One seminary-level course in biblical studies
Spiritual Life of the Congregation
Barbara Anne Keely
The spiritual life of the congregation will be explored,
including children, youth, and adults. The course will also examine
the spiritual life of the pastor and church leadership, both personally
and how it shapes their vocations. The course project is an in-depth
analysis of the spiritual life of a single congregation.
Nurturing Your Spiritual Life as Religious Leaders
Barbara Anne Keely and Martha
The purpose of this course is to engage students in a variety of
practices in spiritual life that will encourage a deepening of their
relationship with God. Students will be encouraged to engage in
spiritual disciplines that are both familiar and new, preparing
them to nurture both their spiritual lives and the lives of others.
Taught from a Christian perspective, this elective will include
readings, presentations, discussions, papers, and practices of spiritual
disciplines. Through the use of primary texts and contemporary materials,
the course will explore historical roots and current practices of
the spiritual life within the Christian tradition. This J-term course
will meet during the regular class schedule for the first two weeks.
The third week of the course will consist of a two-day overnight
retreat that will include guest presenters and student final presentations.
Unitarian Universalist Religious
Religious education from faith development to Religious Education
philosophy, from children’s worship and curriculums to the
nuts and bolts of running a Religious Education program.
Multicultural Foundation for Helping
and Healing Practices
Multicultural foundation for helping and healing practices, and religious education. Study and application of culture and intercultural communication theory and practices in support of helping and healing professions. Historical-political context underlying helping and healing practices with attention to socialization and racialization experiences of U.S. Indigenous Peoples, African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, and European Americans. Applications to interracial dialogue, pastoral care, counseling, catechesis, small group facilitation, and social organization in congregations. Instruction through dialogue circle approach. Development of cultural competence for helping and healing professions.
Practicum on Antiracism Dialogue
Provides facilitator training and supervised co-facilitation of
Antiracism Study Dialogue Circles being held in various contexts.
Prerequisites: TR331, two of the electives for a certificate
or concentration in Leadership Toward Racial Justice
Empowering Lay Leadership
Jean Morris Trumbauer
An emerging paradigm of church requires us to move beyond our view
of members as “volunteers,” or satisfaction with “maintaining
church programs,” and our reliance on “time and talent”
forms to invite laity to ministry. Leaders of the church are challenged
to re-envision the foundations and practice of sharing the ministry.
This course explores a holistic approach to gifts-based ministry
and the multiple components of a shared ministry system for today’s
CL549 Urban Social Justice Ministry
The course will examine how parishes and local agencies implement and support social outreach programs, which include direct aid ministries such as homeless shelters, prison ministry, food pantries, as well as social justice initiatives that address systemic social, political and economic realities that affect housing, poverty, employment, education and health care.
No prerequisites. Justice & Peace Studies elective course; Leadership towards Racial Justice elective course.
CL550 The Emergent Church Movement and a New Ecclesiology
For the past 15 years, the nascent Emergent Church Movement has been challenging many of the traditional conceptions of both "theology" and "church." Only very recently has a literature on (and by) the movement become available for study. In a seminar setting, this course will critically investigate the movement, looking particularly at the ways that ecclesiology is being reshaped in non-denominational settings, and renegotiated in denominational settings. The class will include field trips to local emergent congregations and meetings with the leaders of those churches.
Ministry and the Rural Church: A Travel Seminar on Changing Religious
and Cultural Realities in Rural America
Taught in conjunction with the Northland Partnership for Town and
Country Ministry, the course examines key issues churches address
in their ministries in small town and rural communities. A special
focus of the course will be several immersion trips to rural communities
to meet with church and community leaders.
Unitarian Universalist Social Action
What is the good news which Unitarian Universalists bring to the
broken, hurting world in which we live, and how does the larger
world continually reshape and redefine Unitarian Universalism? We
will explore the intersections between social justice and Unitarian
Universalism from many perspectives — theological, historic
— as they are experienced in congregations and in the larger
liberal/ progressive/prophetic religious movement. Topics covered
will include: theology of liberal family values, Universalism for
the twenty-first century, effective congregational activism, public
ministry skills for religious leaders (media, advocacy, organizing,
coalition building, partnerships, education), the UU Social Witness
process, UUA, and other resources for justice making. The course
will ground participants in a living faith which is expressed through
working towards well being for all.
The Public Witness of Congregations
This course will examine models for the church’s
ministry within wider society. Attention of the course will focus
on local and congregational levels of social engagement/disengagement
as well as on wider denominational and ecumenical patterns of public
witness. Particular models of congregational ministries will be
analyzed as examples of public theology.
CL580 Theology, Ministry and People with Developmental Disabilities
There are many unique and challenging issues surrounding the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. As with all people, these issues involve personal faith and faith communities. Leaders of faith communities and spiritual guides need to be aware of the implications of disability in the lives of all people they support. This course introduces students to issues that confront people with developmental disabilities, their families and faith communities. Through lectures, assigned readings, conversations with advocates and self-advocates, and active engagement, we will explore the multiple issues facing people with developmental disabilities and their loved ones. The course will specifically focus on the implications for ministry. Students will be challenged to think theologically about a variety of issues related to developmental disability including issues of embodiment, justice, and inclusion.
Chaplaincy in a Pluralistic Age
Chaplaincy is a specialized ministry of the church that
seeks to address human need in the context of varying human situations.
It is a ministry distinct from that of organized faith communities,
therefore meriting special attention. This course will consider
the historical roots and development of chaplaincy and ask
students to articulate a theological and ecclesiological rationale
for this specialized ministry. It will consider the varying expressions
of chaplaincy as well as the unique challenges and opportunities
inherent in this ministry. Current practitioners will participate
in the teaching/learning experience, as the integration of theory
and praxis unique to chaplaincy from varying perspectives will be
Ministry to Persons with Mental Illness and
The phenomenon of mental illness is pervasive in its various manifestations
among all people. Effective ministry is contingent upon having accurate
information concerning these illnesses as well as appropriate pastoral
responses to those afflicted and those affected. The course will
consider the major mental illnesses as outlined by the Diagnostic
and Statistical Manual with a major emphasis upon depression as
the most common of mental illnesses in this society. The biblical
and theological foundations informing the caregiver will be considered,
as well as practical means for effective caregiving.
Clinical Pastoral Education (non-practicum)
Clinical Pastoral Education is a form of theological and pastoral
care education usually (though not always) done in an institutional
chaplaincy context. This 400-hour course involves pastoral care
visitation, group supervision and interaction, one-on-one supervision
with a certified CPE instructor, and didactic presentations. The
sites available for CPE are off campus and are certified through
the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education. Application to
CPE programs (both full-time and extended types) needs to occur
well in advance of the actual dates for the unit. This is a separate
application and enrollment process than for regular courses at United.
Consultation with the CPE coordinator is essential for those planning
to enroll in CPE.
Pastoral Care in Grief and Bereavement
One of the primary pastoral care ministries of the church
is to care for people as they reach the end of life and develop
appropriate rituals to make meaning throughout this process. In
this course we will explore the dynamics of grief that occur during
the dying process and in the face of a loss by death. We will look
at anticipatory grief of both the dying person and family/friends,
and the role of the pastoral caregiver in that process. We will
look at the expected patterns of grief after a death and the different
patterns of grief that emerge in varying situations. We will investigate
our own feelings and beliefs about dying and death, knowing that
our own perspectives about grief greatly influence the way that
we are able to offer pastoral care to the bereaved. We will place
these perspectives and investigations in the context of our theological
positions and develop an appropriate working theology for pastoral
care in the midst of bereavement.
Introduction to Pastoral Care
Pastoral care is one of the central ministries of the whole church—both clergy and lay. In this course, we will explore what it means
to create communities of care. Through readings, lectures, discussions,
case presentations, and verbatim reports, we will focus on the actual
practices of pastoral care and the theologies and theories of
the field. Students will become familiar with the shape of contemporary
pastoral care as they develop the important skills, attitudes, and
knowledge to empower ministries of care and counseling.
Pastoral Care with Couples and Families
Our primary work in this course will be to explore the theory and
practice of pastoral counseling in the context of the family. A
Family Systems perspective, which focuses on relationships between
people rather than on the individuals themselves, will be introduced,
although other perspectives for approaching couples and families
will also be employed. The processes of working with families through
their life cycles, with the various issues and problems that may
arise, will be a central focus for the class.
CL674 Addiction and Recovery
Designed to help individuals explore their own attitudes, skills,
and knowledge regarding chemical dependency, family systems, and
their role as pastors or concerned laity in ministry to the chemically
dependent and their families.
CL677 Ministry with Older Adults
The inevitability of aging is a reality of the human condition. The impending retirement of the “baby boomer” generation compels those involved in religious leadership to address this growing number of people in society and the faith community. The course will give consideration to both the problems as well as the potential that comes with aging, particularly in the retirement years and beyond. Attention will be given to the physical, emotional, developmental, and spiritual concerns that arise as a consequence of the aging process. The impact of culture, context, and community are core issues that will be studied in relationship to the phenomenon of aging. Biblical, theological, and pastoral perspectives in this course will provide multiple lenses and angles of vision for ministry with this segment of the population.
CL678 Caring for Families and Relationships
CL679 Pastoral Care in Grief and Loss
CL680 Short Term Narrative Methods for Pastoral Counseling (Narrative Approaches to Pastoral Counseling)
Religious leaders have consistently experienced a dilemma in terms
of their pastoral counseling work. On the one hand, ministers have
multiple roles and functions and are trained as generalists in ministry.
They often feel poorly equipped to do pastoral counseling because
it has been seen as a specialty in ministry. On the other hand,
pastoral counseling is an integral aspect of ministry, a central
dimension of nurture and empowerment in the church. Narrative counseling
theory offers one way to resolve this dilemma by providing a short-term,
well-boundaried, teachable, and effective way to help people who
are experiencing distress in their lives and relationships. In this
class we will explore narrative theories and theologies of pastoral
counseling so that churches can better claim this dimension of ministry.
Pastoral Care through the Life Cycle
Pastoral care is a ministry to people, relationships, and communities
that extends throughout the good times, the bad times, and the ordinary
times of life. In this course we will explore particular life cycle
moments in the lives of people and communities where intentional
pastoral care might be important. These could include births and
adoptions, important developmental moments in childhood and adolescence,
new family formation, family transitions and dissolution, re-commitment
of life partners, and end of life processes. Attention will be given
to both pastoral care needs and ritual possibilities.
CL685 Short Term & Crisis Models of Pastoral Care
CL894 Evangelism through the Arts
Cindi Beth Johnson
Students will be introduced to evangelism through a variety
of faith traditions. They will then be asked to articulate their
own theology of evangelism in conversation with their traditions.
Students will learn how the arts can be a significant means for
evangelism. A variety of church settings will be explored showing
arts as an important tool for evangelism such as church galleries,
drama, poetry, sacred art shows, and other arts related events.
Students will also visit congregations with arts outreach programs
and learn how the arts provide a unique means for congregational
CL896 Theology and Practice of Stewardship
The course addresses a wide range of issues related to the theology
and practice of Christian stewardship. While considered within the
broader context of the whole ecology of stewardship, the course
focuses on economic issues of money and exchange in human communities
and their impact on human interaction, generosity, and mercy. Students
will develop a theology of stewardship and place it in the context
of ministerial and congregational practice.