While parish life, in its ideal, can be bliss, at its worst it can be fraught with power struggles, abuses of authority, political divisions, and characterized more by hurt than Christ’s love. The point of this course is to equip participants with some means of recognizing and addressing issues of conflict, power abuse, and unethical behavior in their parishes. In addition to the core of the class, which centers on weekly case studies from real parishes (balanced between clergy and laity behaving badly), we'll be looking at some elementary power theory, and some theories of ethics that translate well to parish life, including Niebuhr's Responsibility Ethics, Habermas' Dialogical Ethics, and interrelational/interdependent Feminist Ethics.
The Rev. Austin Leininger has been an Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Northern California since 2006, and is working toward completing a PhD in Ethics and Social Theory at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. He is husband to Jane, and papa to their three children (Marie – 7, Anthony – 5, and Lily – 3 ½), and to their three furry companions Ginger (canine), Fred and Pele (feline).
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This continuing education experience will provide an opportunity to reflect on our vocation; what we've learned and where we're still headed in ministry. We'll consider vocational development in the form of personal assessment of our lives in ministry. Peer mentoring means that we'll be reflecting with other participants, receiving feedback, ideas and affirmation from them. In online courses, participants meet others from many geographical areas and ministry backgrounds. As they share diaconal hearts, prophetic and interpretive roles, and serve as animators of the diakonia of all believers, it's good to compare notes, share learning plans, and take time to renew commitments. People who have been ordained for a while often take heart to hear the fresh perspectives of those in formation, and those in formation benefit by some of the mentoring that occurs from more experienced deacons. Class size is limited to 20.
Ordained for 24 years as a deacon, Susanne served until recently as Executive Director of the Association for Episcopal Deacons. She began her work in ministry development in 1988, was a co-designer of the watershed "Living the Covenant" Consultation in 1999, and has served on the Primates' task force for Theological Education in the Anglican Communion (TEAC), as well as the Episcopal Church task force, "Proclaiming Education for All."
This course surveys Paul's Letters as pastoral responses to situations in congregations of his own time. Since, many of these situations resemble situations today, the lectures will invite students to reflect on what is still relevant in Paul and what is no longer applicable two thousand years later.
Scott Sinclair is an Episcopal Priest with a doctorate in biblical studies with an emphasis on New Testament and has written a number of books. He teaches at Dominican University in San Rafael and at the School for Deacons at CDSP. He is especially interested in Christology and in healing prayer.
The focus of this course is the early development of the Church in the East and West until about 800 CE. Participants will discuss the early theological debates that led to the first ecumenical councils and creeds. Readings will include both primary texts and historical analyses of the period, with an eye toward how Anglicans have understood the life and work of early Christians.
Dr. Ferguson is currently the Dean of Bexley Hall in Columbus, OH. He received his Ph.D. from GTU/ CDSP in 2002 in the History of Christian Life and Thought and has taught extensively for CDSP in the graduate level programs and the CALL program. Formerly, he served as Deputy to the Presiding Bishop for Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations.
Anglican worship is a broad and varied tradition of relationship to God. Using the 1979 Book of Common Prayer as our primary reference, we will be experiencing and exploring this way of prayer in our own worship life. You’ll be introduced to some of the theological and historical thinking which has grounded Anglicans in our thinking about this community gathered to worship God and sent out to do God’s work in the world.
The Rev. Dr. Walter Knowles lives in Seattle, WA and studies, writes and teaches in the intersection of the arts (particularly music), history, and liturgy. He earned his Ph.D. in Liturgical Studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA in 2009. Please see his web site at www.liturgicalstudies.org.
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