Resources for faculty and adjunct faculty are compiled and updated by the dean’s office. Please contact the dean’s office for assistance should you not find what you need or have any questions.
Course webpage: (links to the course schedules/search)
All United courses are required to use online Moodle Grade Book. The seminary uses Moodle course management software for grading, to offer course websites, online discussion boards and to enable peer-sharing of student work.
Log-in to Moodle, moodle.unitedseminary.edu, with your United log-in and password. There you will find the “Topics” course which gives instructional support, tips for Moodling and more. Please contact Matt Stollenwerk, Distance Education Specialist, (email@example.com) for assistance with Moodle course design, Grade Book and tying program and concentration outcomes to courses.
After a course is set up, faculty should be aware that a rudimentary page (no frills or extras) will take approximately ten hours to create. Courses, including online Moodle components, should be ready two weeks in advance of the semester start date to allow students to self-enroll.
For visual interest and course recognition, faculty are encouraged to find at least one image that describes or is relevant to their course. Contact Cindi Beth Johnson, director of the center for arts, faith & culture, for assistance with arts-related resources.
Please note: the Dean’s office will have access to all Moodle courses in order to trouble shoot if necessary.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for technical support with Moodle.
(new template as of 8/2015)
Faculty are required to use the Syllabus template for all courses taught at United; it is a prerequisite for payroll. As part of the seminary’s assessment process, course syllabi must show degree outcomes correlated with learning outcomes, in turn correlated with course assignments and evaluations. Your grade page will also reflect this correlation. The Syllabus Template includes a section on Learning Outcomes and Grading Rubrics/Criteria for Evaluation.
To use the template: please save a copy on your computer first. Then edit by adding your course content/information. Syllabi content can be edited to fit the needs of the course, but the order of the template should be kept intact. If you have questions, please contact Deb Olsen.
Required Components of Course Syllabi
The standard template for United courses must include the following:
- The degree (M.Div., D.Min., etc) and concentration (Theology and Arts, etc.) learning outcomes the course is intended to meet. Click here for a list of required courses and their degree outcomes. Access the “Topics” course on Moodle for information about learning outcomes for all degrees and concentrations.
- The learning outcomes for the course, correlated to the degree and concentration outcomes. To do this, formulate your course learning goals as statements of educational outcomes (what a student will know or be able to do at the end of the course) that you will assess. (see below)
- The learning activities or course assignments correlated to the course outcomes.
- Grading rubrics for the learning activities or course assignments.
- Schedule of assigned topics and readings, course texts.
- Statement of the policy on extensions (see Petitions for Extensions for more details)
- Statement of expectations of auditors (see Auditors for more details)
Learning goals stated as Outcomes
- Each outcome should finish the sentence, “Students will be able to : <<action verb>> <<something>>” [Example: Students will be able to explain the difference between the Old and New Testament.]
- Action Verbs from Bloom’s Taxonomy are strongly recommended. If you are torn between two similar verbs from different orders, choose the one higher in the taxonomy.
- Each outcome will contain no more than one action verb. Having more than one action verb means that it actually isn’t a single outcome, but rather is assessing multiple things. This makes the outcome nearly unusable by faculty for assessment. [e.g., Students will be able to evaluate and compose sermons – what does it mean if a student can do one and not the other in terms of success in a class or degree program?]
- Each outcome should be learner centered and specific. It should be clear to all students what the takeaways of the course will be.
- Course activities should be correlated with degree outcomes.
Writing Assessment –
Option to assess/record writing separately from theological content
Starting in fall 2015 United faculty are strongly encouraged to assess and record writing separately from theological content. This change in policy stems from the consideration that apprehension of content does not ultimately reside in a student’s proficiency in writing academic English. From a degree standpoint, what a graduate can do (interpret scripture, integrate ethics and leadership into ministry, etc.) is more important than a graduate’s ability to write academic English. Writing is an important aspect of degree performance but it is not a degree outcome for any of our degrees.
With this assessment practice, writing would constitute 10-15% of a given course’s final grade. This means that writing can only lower a student’s final grade by a letter. Thus, students must write well to earn an “A” on a given paper, but cannot earn less than a “B” if he or she understands the content expertly and does not write well.
How writing is assessed is up to the discretion of the professor. If you choose to assess writing separately from content, please make these measures clear to students via rubric or thorough explanation. The syllabus template has been updated to reflect the writing evaluation at 10-15% of the grade (located on the first line of the Learning Outcomes table, but faculty may vary the percentage of the grade based on writing.
Course Syllabi Collection
All syllabi are archived by the dean’s office and the library for future needs, such as students transferring courses or interviewing for jobs, and for the seminary’s assessment processes. Please email an electronic copy of your syllabus to email@example.com or 651.255.6168, two weeks prior to the start of the term in which the course will be taught. The syllabus will be distributed to the appropriate parties. The library keeps a record of syllabi being used in the current term for student and library staff use.
Masters Student Handbook
The Masters Student Handbook is available to students and faculty through the Student Services section on Moodle. Login is required. Choose “Student Services” > “Student Information” to access the Masters Student Handbook. The handbook is updated during the academic year. Please check to make sure your are accessing the most recent version.
Assignment Loads/”Credit Hour” Definition
The seminary’s Masters Student Handbook alerts students that they should expect to spend 120-150 hours outside of class per term in a 3-credit master’s course, i.e., 10-12 hours per week for a long-term course. In practical terms, this typically translates into 80-100 pages per week of reading and 20-25 pages of writing over the life of the term. For more information about the credit hour definition policy, please see the Masters Student Handbook.
Because of our block scheduling of class time, the number of experienced adults in our student body, and our educational philosophy of mutual learning in dialogue, preferred teaching methods include:
- small groups for discussion, analysis of particular texts, case studies, personal and professional sharing (please note the policy on confidentiality and disclosure in small group settings in the Masters Student Handbook);
- inviting questions and comments along the way, not just at the end of a formal presentation;
- role play and simulations, where appropriate to the subject matter and course objectives; and
- written assignments (research papers, position papers, etc.) emphasizing the ability to interpret and integrate course material.
While some faculty give final written or oral examinations or occasional written quizzes, others rely on papers or other evaluative procedures. It is expected that students will be provided with sufficient means throughout each course to assess their progress and academic standing.
Diversity in Reading Assignments
During recent years, the Academic Council, in order to promote a theological education more reflective of the gender and racial/ethnic diversity of the church, has adopted a set of benchmarks for diversity in assigned reading lists and learning activities in courses. These are:
- 30% of the required readings in all core courses required for degrees at the master’s level, when measured in aggregate as page counts, will be by persons of color.
- 30% of the required readings in all core courses required for degrees at the master’s level, when measured in aggregate as page counts, will be by women and will include a diversity of women’s perspectives (e.g., feminist, womanist, Native American, mujerista, Asian, lesbian).
- In 80% of the courses offered at the master’s level, diverse women’s perspectives will be explicitly reflected in classroom content (e.g., lectures, presentations, discussion questions, written assignments) in at least 30% of class sessions.
Each block in the weekly class schedule includes 15 minutes of break time. Typically this is scheduled as a break of 15 minutes at approximately the end of the first one-and-one-half hours of the class, although instructors are free to use a different schedule as might be appropriate for particular courses. Courses scheduled during hybrid face-to-face meetings are expected to have comparable breaks. Varying teaching methods also can help to break up the time and give students a chance to move around or engage the subject in a different manner.
Auditors are students enrolled for a course from whom regular attendance and other forms of participation are expected, but normally not the completion of written assignments. Their performance is not evaluated. Syllabi of courses open to auditors will contain a clear statement of the expectations with which auditors must comply. An instructor may bar from the course an auditor who seriously fails to comply with such expectations.A student who audits a course receives neither credit nor grade for the course; therefore, the course will not count toward a graduation credit and is not used in computing GPA. Seats for auditors are available subject to two contingencies:
- the instructor has chosen to open the course to auditors
- the number of seats for auditors is based on the size of the class
The seminary has adopted the following inclusive language policy:
Exclusive language is any form of communication which demeans, discounts or ignores the experiences and full humanity of a group of people on the basis of gender, race, ethnic group, class, age, sexual orientation or differing abilities, and hence fosters oppression and injustice. Language shapes relationships between persons and shapes the self-image of persons. United seeks to affirm the human community in all its diversity. In a tradition of seeking justice as an educational community and while embracing the diversity of faith traditions, United strongly encourages all of its members to use language in writing and speech that is inclusive in regard to gender, race, ethnic group, class, age, sexual orientation or differing abilities.
While United does not require adherence to any doctrinal creed or stance, the general ethos at United is one of inclusivity and our policy on inclusive language has reflected this ethos. Recognizing that the use of language is a theological decision, faculty members are asked to use their language choice as a teaching opportunity for students.
Grading and evaluation of students during the semester will be managed in Moodle. In order to facilitate assessment processes, all grades must be submitted online through Moodle Grade Book and reporting of learning outcome achievement will be handled in Moodle Outcomes. Both can be found in the “Settings” menu in the left-hand sidebar of your class’ site. The Outcomes feature will be equipped with United’s learning outcomes, which you’ve used in your syllabus. They will appear in Outcomes as “Available standard outcomes” that you can select and add to your class.
Please contact Matt Stollenwerk, Distance Education Specialist, for assistance with Moodle Grade Book: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reporting of Grades
Taking weekly attendance and reporting of final grades is done through FAWeb. All faculty are provided a log-in and password to FAWeb by the registrar’s office. FAWeb through Blackbaud is not compatible with Safari. Please use an alternate web browser such as Chrome or Firefox.
Faculty access to FAWeb is at: https://63601faweb.blackbaudondemand.com/FAWeb7/forms/login.aspx
For assistance or instructions on FAWeb, contact Christian Eriksen in the registrar’s office: email@example.com; 651.255.6120.
Every faculty member, whether permanent or adjunct, is required to report grades. The grades must itemize student achievement according to learning outcomes for the course and degree. During the semester, grades are recorded on Moodle. An explanation of the grading system used by United can be found in the Masters Student Handbook.
Taking student attendance is no longer an option, as it impacts student satisfactory progress, which in turn affect student financial aid. Please use FAWeb to take weekly attendance.
Textbook List Deadlines
Institutions of higher education in the United States are required by the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) to make course textbook lists publicly available at the time registration for courses is opened. Deadlines for submitting textbook lists:
- Fall-term courses: April 15 prior to the start of the term
- Spring-term courses: October 15 prior to the start of the term
- Summer-term courses: February 15 prior to the start of the term
Email completed Textbook List Request Forms to Deb Olsen by the deadlines noted above. If your textbook is not available on Amazon, please contact Dale Dobias for assistance with your course materials.You may wish to use the Desk Copy Request Form (PDF) for assistance obtaining required textbooks for your course.
Petitions for extension
Please note the following policy regarding extensions. As required, the policy is included on the Syllabus template. Extensions for extraordinary circumstance should not be longer than four weeks after the end of the semester.
The work for a course must be completed by the end of the final class session. The performance in a course is evaluated on the basis of the work submitted by that time, unless an exception is made by the instructor. Extensions of time to complete course work beyond the end of the final class session will be approved only under extraordinary circumstances. Instructors will include this policy on the course syllabus as well as the criteria by which s/he will grant such an extraordinary exception.
If an exception is made, the instructor must agree to the extension by the end of the final class session, and the student must complete the Petition for Extension form. The Petition for Extension form (PDF) must be filed with your grade reports so the registrar can record an “I” grade for a student. If the student is unable to negotiate the extension by the end of the final class session due to critical health issues, the student is responsible for seeing that the instructor is notified as soon as possible and then negotiating the extension promptly. If no petition for extension is filed, a final grade will be submitted. The Student Review and Policy Committee shall monitor extensions. An extension may be granted for a period not to exceed four weeks from the end of the term. If the work is not completed by the date agreed upon, a final grade will be submitted. Any renewal of an extension must be approved by the instructor and filed with the registrar prior to the due date on the original petition. No extension or its renewal will exceed six months from the end of the term in question. If a student has three or more outstanding extensions, a hold will be placed on their registration for future terms until they have completed the outstanding work and grades have been submitted to the registrar’s office. For students in a degree program, if they are unable to register for a term by the second class period of the term, they will be placed on a leave of absence for that term. Please see the Leave of Absence policies in the Masters Student Handbook.
Student Evaluations of Course and Instructor
United administers student evaluations of courses and instructors via Survey Monkey. An email with a link to the online form is sent to each student after the last scheduled class. After the instructor submits the grades to the registrar, they receive an electronic compilation of the data from all evaluations and any written comments. The surveys are completely anonymous, unless a student provides their name in a comment box. The dean reviews the evaluations.
Reserve Books in the Spencer Library
The Library sends a reserve book memo to all instructors in advance of each term. Every effort is made to put a copy of all required texts on reserve. When you notify the dean’s assistant of your textbook list, a copy is sent to the library to ensure all the books are in the library by the time classes begin. If you would like supplementary resources on reserve, please include those on the list you send. The library staff will do their best to acquire any books we do not have, either through purchase or Inter-Library Loan. The library does not yet offer electronic reserves, so all materials will be available in hard copy for students to either read in the library or photocopy. The “default” reserve period is four hours. You may ask the library staff to designate heavily used books for two–hour reserve or whatever interval makes sense for your class.
Personal copies of hard-to-find items listed in the syllabus assignments may be put on reserve, at your risk (library resources do sometimes disappear, even in a seminary). Personal copies of resources not listed in the syllabus reading assignments are limited to five per course. We are grateful for gifts, but ask that you do not purchase any materials for the library with the expectation that you will be reimbursed without first talking with the library director.
Faculty Requests for Library Book Purchases
Faculty Book Borrowing
Adjunct faculty have term-borrowing privileges during the terms when they teach. At all other times they have Extension Borrower privileges, with a 6-week check-out period. Books are checked out through the automated self-check system at the library circulation desk. To use this system, you need a Spencer Library card with a bar code ID, which may be obtained at the library circulation desk. The computer will automatically assign the correct borrowing period. Please be sure to identify yourself as a member of the United adjunct faculty. Other library policies are detailed in the Masters Student Handbook.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) requires all teaching faculty to use both the faculty member and the student’s seminary email (firstname.lastname@example.org) when communicating with students. Seminary email accounts are created and managed by
Adam Pfuhl, email@example.com, manager of information services.
Payroll payments are available by live check (the default option) or direct deposit. If you’d like direct deposit, please contact Barbara Carlson, firstname.lastname@example.org 651.255.6114, to request the authorization form.
- McMillan Center
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday—7:30 AM – 10:00 PM
Wednesday and Friday—7:30 AM-6:30 PM
Saturday and Sunday—CLOSED
Seminary Holidays 2016-2017
Building access changes for holidays, special events, class schedules, etc. Check Monday Morning for updates.The seminary will be closed for the following holidays:
- Monday, September 5—Labor Day
- November 24-25—Thanksgiving
- December 19 thru January 2—Christmas break
- Monday, January 16—Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday
- Monday thru Friday, April 10-14—Holy Week break
- Monday, May 29—Memorial Day
- July 4—Independence Day
Adjunct faculty teaching on the United campus share the use of an adjunct office and lounge located in the classroom wing. Adjunct faculty often find it convenient to schedule brief periods of office time before or after their class sessions but are not obligated to do so. No office hours should be scheduled after the 9:00 PM adjournment of classes.
AV/Media Equipment and Studio Procedures
Please reserve equipment at least a week in advance by contacting AVsupport@unitedseminary.edu Those who reserve equipment have priority for its use. In most cases, the equipment is used on a self-serve basis. If you need assistance with setup or training, contact Avsupport@unitedseminary.edu at least one week in advance. The LCD projection system is kept in the library and must be reserved by signing up at the library Circulation Desk.
- To check out equipment for on-campus use, sign out a studio key at the library Circulation Desk.
- Equipment should be returned to its designated place in the AV studio or library and the key returned to the library as soon as you are finished using it.
- Equipment should not be left in classrooms or conference rooms overnight.
- Report any problems with equipment by contacting AVsupport@unitedseminary.edu
- Permission to disconnect or alter any mobile cart setup must be obtained from AVsupport@unitedseminary.edu
Guest Lecturers, Classroom Resources
There is a small budget for honorariums for guest lecturers, video rentals, etc. Please request permission for disbursement of these funds from Deb Olsen, Assistant Dean of Academic Administration before you commit to guest lecturers or classroom resources. If you submit a payment request without such preapproval, it may be rejected if the budget has already been expended. Once you have a payment preapproved and when it comes time to request a check for the honorarium, rental, etc., please complete a Check Request Form. Submit the signed Check Request Form to the dean’s office for processing. Check requests for honorariums paid to individuals must include the recipient’s home address and a Social Security Number must be provided to the Business Office.
Enrollment Levels (course headcount)
The high percentage of part-time students in the seminary’s student body results in a pattern of last-minute registration. Enrollment numbers are seldom final until shortly before a class’s first meeting; thus, we do not decide whether a course “makes” until late in the week before a term starts. Please assume your course is regarded as “making” until you hear to the contrary from the office of the dean.
It is the policy of United that its faculty, staff and students shall comply with all applicable laws pertaining to intellectual property and copyright including full exercise of Fair Use provisions in the law (see especially Title 17, Sections 107, 108, and 110). Faculty, staff and students are expected to seek permission from the copyright owner to use any type of material when Fair Use clearly does not apply, or they are not able to make a good faith determination that it does. Faculty, students, staff and others to whom the seminary provides access to copyrighted resources are individually responsible for any willful infringement of copyright. Willful infringement includes failure to consider the law and the seminary’s policy in making a determination that a given use is Fair Use The complete copyright policy is available in Spencer Library. adjunct faculty copyright excerpts 10-15
Classrooms are assigned at the beginning of each term by the dean’s office. The official list is posted at various sites in the classroom wing (Gunnemann Hall). Any shifts or exchanges of class location should be requested through the Assistant Dean of Academic Administration a week prior to the beginning of the term to ensure the desired new room is actually available for your class’s use. Small discussion groups may be held in the assigned classroom, classrooms not in use or the Study Rooms in the library. However, these must be formally reserved. If you plan to use such rooms, please contact Deb Olsen about reserving them.
Bigelow Chapel is a multiple-use space and it is especially important that instructors wishing to use the chapel for some portion of their class time reserve that space for the times desired. Faculty who think the Bigelow Chapel might be an appropriate venue for some portion of their course should reserve use of the chapel through the registrar. Please take care to return the room to the state in which you found it (see also below). It is important that all evening classes adjourn promptly at 9:00 PM so maintenance staff have time to clean the building and complete lock-up procedures on time.
Use of the Bigelow Chapel
The Bigelow Chapel, located on United’s grounds, is a sacred space to be used for worship, spiritual formation, educational and fine arts events, and religious services by the United community and the broader community which the seminary serves. The following excerpts from the Bigelow Chapel Use Policy (see the Masters Student Handbook) govern its use for courses:
- All internally sponsored events, including regular Community Worship services, appropriate sessions of educational classes such as worship and preaching, and workshops and Community Programming events, must be placed on the calendar as soon as they are known to prevent conflict with other events being held in the chapel.
- Bigelow Chapel is smoke-free and alcohol-free. Firearms are not permitted in the building.
- No food or beverage is permitted in Bigelow Chapel (sanctuary, narthex or processional).
- All events should conclude within the time frame specified when reserving the space.
Logging on to the adjunct office computer
All computers at United require you to log-on in order to use them. To log-on:
- Press the Ctrl – Alt – Delete keys at the same time (this step is not needed with the computer in Room 230)
- Enter the log-on information and select “OK”
- User Name = Adjunct
- Password = password (all lowercase)
- Domain = UTS
When you are done with the computer, you need to log-off. To log-off:
- Go to Start >> Shutdown
- Select “Close all programs and log-on as a different user”
- Turn off the monitor (we leave the computer turned on so virus scanning and updates can happen overnight)
Saving documents and files
There are two preferred locations for saving documents:
- I: drive – The I: drive is a space on the network reserved for adjunct faculty. From any computer at United, when logged on as “Adjunct,” you can access documents in the I: drive. The I: drive is backed up nightly.
- To a USB or thumb – This works well for taking your documents with you.
- Do not save documents to the C: or G: drives. These drives are not backed up, and if there was a problem with the computer, your documents would likely be lost.
The adjunct office has a printer. Instructions are posted in the office. If faculty require assistance with duplication of teaching materials, please see faculty support for more information.
The adjunct office computer has dedicated high-speed Internet access. United uses Microsoft Internet Explorer for web browsing. To access the Internet, double-click the Internet Explorer icon on the desktop. Questions or problems? Contact Adam Pfuhl at 651.260.7438 or email@example.com.
Every teaching faculty member has a mailbox in the Commons (located on the second floor of the McMillan Center). Unless the dean’s office receives a request in writing that communications be sent to the adjunct instructor’s home address, all official seminary communications (including the salary check) will be placed in faculty boxes.
Student mailboxes are in the downstairs hallway. Please Note: the mailbox is below the box number. Notes, papers, evaluations and other messages for students are placed here. Each student has a box number; student names and their respective box numbers are posted near the mailboxes.
Campus mail requiring postage is placed in the wire basket next to the scale in the Work Room/McMillan Room 218 (seminary business only, please). Stamped mail may be placed in the post office mail basket also found in the Work Room, located on the floor to the right as soon as you enter the room. Mail is picked up in the morning every business day.
Faculty Support Services
Faculty support is available for copying, printing, scanning, proof-reading, ordering supplies, getting organized, etc. Please send requests to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or call 651.255.6161 and leave a message.
Requests for duplicating or secretarial services are made by emailing faculty support at email@example.com. Please attach your document and note in the message the time/date you need the work back. All efforts will be made to give same-day attention to the work requested; if it is a large project, please allow up to 48 hours for the work to be finished. Hard-copy requests can be placed in the “Faculty Support” mailbox in the Commons. If you have an emergency, please discuss the situation with one of the office staff or the dean’s assistant. If you wish to copy your own materials, ask a member of the United staff to give you basic instruction in copier operation. Adjunct faculty copier code is 6004.
Snow Emergency/Blizzard – School Closing
- United will close for inclement weather this winter if Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) close. Should MPS close for inclement weather, United will send an automatic phone message to employees and students as quickly as possible. However, if you hear via radio or TV that MPS has closed for inclement weather before receiving United’s notice, you can be certain that the seminary is closed.
- The seminary will call the latest preferred phone number we have on record. It is your responsibility to contact the H.R. Office if your number has changed.
- If you’d like to know how MPS decides to close for inclement weather, visit http://www.mpls.k12.mn.us/school_closing. Tip: “Like” MPS on Facebook or follow on Twitter to receive immediate school closing announcements from MPS.
Food Service Regulations
Regulations by the county food health inspector prohibit potlucks on campus when the Context Café is open or has been open during the day. Potlucks are allowed when the Context Café is closed (generally Wednesdays and Saturdays) and must be approved by the director of food service. Potlucks must be held in a space OTHER than a classroom. No dishes or silverware can be used from the Context Café for a potluck. Hours of operation for the café are posted in the seminary’s e-newsletter, Monday Morning.
Seminary Participation of Adjunct Faculty
Adjunct faculty are always welcome at seminary events and encouraged to participate as time allows. Adjunct faculty are specifically invited to join the faculty procession at Fall and Spring Convocations and Commencement. Please feel free to discuss with the dean of the seminary other possible involvements you might find of interest and/or material benefit; e.g., leading a community worship service, attending faculty discussion groups, etc.
Policies on Boundaries and Sexual Harassment
United has established a policy defining appropriate norms for faculty-student relationships and a policy for responding to allegations of sexual harassment or other forms of sexual misconduct. These are found in the section of the Masters Student Handbook entitled “Seminary-wide Policies and Procedures.” Please take the time to make yourself familiar with these policies.
Drug-free workplace and related policies
United has policies defining the seminary as a drug-free workplace and governing the use of alcoholic beverages. These policies are found in the section of the Masters Student Handbook devoted to “Seminary-wide Policies, Procedures and Information.”
Possession of firearms, explosives or other dangerous and unauthorized materials is prohibited in seminary buildings, including Huenemann Hall (student housing), or at any officially sponsored seminary program or group off campus. This prohibition applies even if the employee or student has a legal permit to carry firearms or other materials. Violation of this prohibition normally results in expulsion of a student or termination of an employee
Assistant Dean of Academic Administration
Vice President for Academic Affairs/Dean
Sharon M. Tan
Paul E. Capetz