Academics

ACADEMICS

Course Catalog

This course introduces the field of Christian ethics by (1) studying major theoretical approaches, in particular focusing upon Anglican and Lutheran conceptions, and (2) exploring how Christians might address contemporary ethical issues. The course thus aims to advance students' historical and theoretical knowledge but to do so in a way that provides resources for contemporary moral decision-­‐making and pastoral leadership. The course will be conducted online and asynchronously. Students will be required to read assigned texts, submit reflection papers on a regular basis, participate in online discussions, and write a final paper. NOTE: Participants are expected to complete the Orientation to Online Learning offered on Moodle prior to the first class session.

This course provides a survey of the Old Testament, focusing on the texts in their historical and literary contexts. Students will learn to read the texts from various perspectives and evaluate the notion of the literature as sacred texts both for ancient readers as well as contemporary faith communities. Evaluation will be based on participation in interactive discussions, content quizzes, written assignments and examinations. This course meets in a blended format. Content for the course will be delivered online. The online format will cover 49% of the class experience. The remaining 51% of the course will occur in weekly face-­‐to-­‐face sessions. Course offered jointly by PLTS and CDSP.

This online course provides a survey of the Old Testament, focusing on the texts in their historical and literary contexts. Students will learn to read the texts from various perspectives and evaluate the notion of the literature as sacred texts both for ancient readers as well as contemporary faith communities. Evaluation will be based on participation in interactive discussions, content quizzes, written assignments and examinations. Course offered jointly by PLTS and CDSP.

This is an introductory course in practices of care and theology for ministry in communities of faith. While the primary focus of the course is the local congregation the material will be relevant to other settings as well. The course begins with the assumption that practices of care are not exclusively one-to-one interactions that occur in the pastor's office. Care involves the whole community of faith as it is called to create and nurture the faith and wellbeing of all people. Throughout the course pastoral and prophetic points of view will be held together as we explore the needs of people in diverse settings. Walter Brueggemann says, "There are no personal issues that are not of a piece with the great public issues. To divide things up into prophetic and pastoral is to betray both." This implies that as pastoral theology reunites with its prophetic legacy it will become a public pastoral theology.

We will look at various contexts for pastoral care and how they inform the issues facing people. This means our pastoral practices will attend to the societal pressures that impact people's lives. This means that pastoral listening cannot just be listening; rather it needs to be just listening – or justice oriented listening. We will ask what is required of religious leaders to be able to engage situations for personal and communal wellbeing. With this "double vision," the individual person and the person’s context, we will explore some of the critical issues facing people today and how the pastoral practices of faith communities can be mobilized to respond to them. Throughout the course we will be asking what difference does race, gender, class and culture make in the way we understand the meaning and practice of care in a world hungry for just and compassionate communities?

As a backdrop to our work together, we will be guided by two questions: What is our vision of a just and compassionate world? How is this vision expressed in pastoral practices and celebrated in worship?

This is an introductory course in practices of care for ministry in communities of faith. While the primary focus of the course is the local congregation the material will be relevant to other settings as well. This is not a course in pastoral counseling.  The aim of this course is broader and at the same time limited. It begins with the assumption that practices of care are not exclusively one-to-one interactions that occur in the pastor's office. Care involves the whole community of faith as it is called to create and nurture the wellbeing of all people. Throughout the course pastoral and prophetic points of view will be held together as we explore the needs of people in diverse settings. Walter Brueggemann says, “There are no personal issues that are not of a piece with the great public issues. To divide things up into prophetic and pastoral is to betray both.” This implies that as pastoral theology reunites with its prophetic legacy it will become a public pastoral theology.

We will look at various contexts for pastoral care and how they inform the issues facing people. This means our pastoral practices will attend to the societal pressures that impact people's lives. This means that pastoral listening cannot just be listening; rather it needs to be just listening – or justice oriented listening. We will ask what is required of religious leaders to be able to engage situations for personal and communal wellbeing. With this "double vision," the individual person and the person’s context, we will explore some of the critical issues facing people today and how the pastoral practices of faith communities can be mobilized to respond to them. Throughout the course we will be asking what difference does race, gender, class and culture make in the way we understand the meaning and practice of care in a world hungry for just and compassionate communities? 

As a backdrop to our work together, we will be guided by two questions: What is our vision of a just and compassionate world? How is this vision expressed in pastoral practices and celebrated in worship?

During this second half of the course we will be looking at representative pastoral issues and situations to ground a liberation perspective for pastoral care and theology.

This course is based on the premise that how people have interpreted and been influenced by an ancient text like the minor prophets is often as interesting and historically important as what it originally meant. The course focuses on the analysis of the minor prophets to gain a respect for the antiquity and cultural remoteness of these prophetic writings and to grapple with the variety of their possible meanings; to fathom a long history of interpretation in which these texts have been wielded for causes both beneficial and harmful, and to develop hermeneutical skills and voices as responsible interpreters, aware of our social locations in relationships to power and privilege. Prerequisite: an introductory course in Old Testament/Hebrew Bible.

The purpose of this course is provide the student with a working knowledge of Biblical (Classical) Hebrew; by the end of the course, the student will be able to read any passage of narrative in the Hebrew Bible with the aid of a lexicon (dictionary).

The ability to reach this goal is dependent upon three primary areas of comprehension:

1) Knowledge of the Hebrew writing system (consonants and vowel points),

2) Knowledge of Hebrew grammar and basic syntax, and

3) Knowledge of Hebrew vocabulary

Classroom time will be primarily devoted to introducing and reviewing these various facets. The primary place where the student will learn the language is in his or her own private, independent study. The learning of a new language is extremely time-intensive. The student should be prepared to spend 6 to 7 (or more) hours every week in preparation. Success in this program is almost solely dependent upon the dedication of the time and energy of the student to this class. This requirement of the class cannot be emphasized enough.

A basic course in the theory and practice of preaching. Practice preaching, hearing and critiquing sermons. Emphasis on preaching from a lectionary in a eucharistic context.

An introduction to the theory, approaches and methods of practical theology, including critical reflection on and examination of case studies. During the second week, students will have the opportunity to present and discuss cases based on their own ministry context. Pre-course readings, discussion, role-play, case studies. Evaluation: Class participation, short in-class writing assignments, final post-class paper. Intended audience: Low-residence students. [advanced work required: see CDSP registrar]

A lecture course for first-­‐year students (MDiv and MA/MTS) who are preparing for ordination and/or liturgical leadership in the Episcopal Church. This course introduces students to the study of liturgy and its practice in worshipping communities. We will examine the nature of ritual; dimensions of Christian liturgy, including symbol, space, time, and texts; and the historical development of Christian liturgy, with particular attention to the development of Anglican worship. Evaluation includes participation based upon assigned readings and written assignments.