Fall 2007-2008 Courses

2007-2008 Courses

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Updated: 5/7/07

Fall 2007

Monday

Ministers and Rites of the Church
9:40 a.m.-12:30 pm, Monday                                 
David Sammons
In their priestly functions, ministers are called on to perform various "rites of the church." This course will explore the history and evolution of such rites and examine how different ministers prepare for and officiate at weddings, funerals, memorial services, child dedications and services for other occasions, such as house dedications and ordinations. A class project will be the preparation of a collection of services written by class members for use by Unitarian Universalist and other liberal ministers.
LS 4280                       
3 units                       
Limit:  18                                                
Fireside Room

Theological Foundations for Liberal Ministry
2:10-5 p.m., Monday
Alma Faith Crawford

This foundational course provides students with in-depth familiarity with the primary texts of Unitarian Universalism, -- especially unitarianism, universalism, humanism, religious naturalism, neo-paganism and feminism. Through group readings of conceptual texts and collective development of sermon outlines, we will establish the theological basis for ministries that re-connect liberal congregations with their living heritages, while critically disentangling those elements deemed anachronistic, unhelpful or oppressive.
ST 4020
3 units
Limit: 15
Fireside Room

The Social Conscience of Islam:  Muslim Praxis and the Poor CANCELLED
2:10-5 p.m., Monday                                   
Danielle Widmann Abraham
This course is designed to familiarize students with the religious traditions of Islam through an examination of the question of poverty. Islamic teachings posit that care of the vulnerable, and the equitable distribution of wealth, are hallmarks of the religious life of people and communities. We will examine Muslim thought and practice surrounding the question of poverty, looking at how formal religious ethics shape religious praxis. The course is divided into two parts: the first part of the course looks at the foundational teachings about care for the poor, while the second half of the course looks at the socio-cultural experiences of Muslims dealing with poverty in the modern world. Using resources from the sociology and anthropology of religion, this course will also explore categories of analysis and prominent tensions and cultural trends that can be useful in approaching the study of other religious traditions and contexts. No previous study of Islam required for the course.
HR 4813
3 units
Limit 15
Reading Room
CANCELLED

Tuesday

Death, Dying and Bereavement
8-10 a.m., Tuesdays, beginning August 28, 2007
John Linder
This course explores the psychosocial and spiritual issues encountered by the dying and their caregivers.  The primary focus is on those deaths occurring as a predictable result of disease; these offer the greatest opportunity for constructive, proactive use of the dying process and death event.  The course contains both lecture and experiential activities exploring death from psychosocial, spiritual, cultural and philosophical perspectives.  Course emphasis is on improving dying and bereavement experiences, particularly through enhanced social work/spiritual care provider collaboration.  Practical interventions and philosophical/spiritual considerations are stressed equally.  Various materials and media will be employed:  autobiography, fiction, scholarly writing, case examples, film and large and small group discussion.  This course is co-sponsored by Starr King School for the Ministry and the University of California, Berkeley School for Social Welfare.  Note that the course follows the UC Berkeley class schedule, beginning Aug. 28, 2007.
PS 4725           
3 units                       
Limit: 15           
Haviland Hall, UC Berkeley campus

Forgiveness
9:40 a.m. –12:30 p.m., Tuesday                       
Christine Fry
“Forgiveness honors the heart’s greatest dignity.  Whenever we are lost, it brings us back to the ground of love.  With forgiveness we become unwilling to attack or wish harm to another.  Whenever we forgive, in small ways at home, or in great ways between nations, we free ourselves from the past.” --  Jack Kornfield
“Without forgiveness, there really is no future.”-- Desmond Tutu
This is a class in forgiveness.  Students will covenant to learn and practice forgiveness together.  They'll gain skills in forgiveness which have been demonstrated to improve people’s health and well-being.  They'll discover how people all over the world -- today and in times past -- have understood and used forgiveness as a tool for healing and liberation.  As a result of this class, their skills in both pastoral and prophetic ministry will be strengthened so that they might promote forgiveness in whatever settings they find themselves.
PS 4095         
3 units                 
Limit: 15                                   
Reading Room

Spirituality and Nonviolent Social Transformation: Gandhi, King, Day and Chávez
2:10 – 5 p.m., Tuesday                                   
Dorsey Blake
This course will explore the quests for justice through nonviolence of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Dorothy Day and César Chávez.  Critical to the course will be an emphasis on the connection between spirituality and social action.  What were the influences, e.g., Emerson, Thoreau, Tolstoy, DuBois, that helped shape the zeitgeist of their times?  How were strategies determined and employed?  What is essential to an effective nonviolent campaign?  What were the faith foundations of these extraordinary leaders?  What were their relationships to their communities?  How did they manage to keep their resolve in times of disappointments?  These are some of the questions the course will explore.
SPRS 4024           
3 units                        
Limit: 20                                                
Fireside Room

Unitarian Universalist Polity and Heritage
2:10-5 p.m., Tuesday                                               
David Sammons
In this foundational course a long-time Unitarian Universalist minister will help students look at how and why Unitarian Universalist polity has evolved the way it has and how both parish and community ministers fit into it. Included will be a discussion of the history and structure of how various other church polities came into being and why they are so different from each other. Also explored will be the various institutions in the Unitarian Universalist world, the Unitarian Universalist credentialing and settlement processes, professional responsibilities, the ministry in the context of congregational life, and the how Unitarian Universalist ministers fit into the larger religious world. A special handbook of background information will be provided and students will be asked to form teams to research a project to be presented to the class.
HSFT 4004              
3 units             
Limit: 15                                               
Reading Room

Wednesday

ECO/Threshold Seminar
9:40 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Wednesday, plus weekly discussion groups TBA
Rebecca Ann Parker,  Core Faculty and Student ECO Teaching Assistants
This foundational seminar, required of all Fall 2007 entering Starr King M.Div. and MASC students, will introduce the eight threshold areas in which Starr King students must achieve competency before graduation, as well as Starr King School's educational practice of Educating to Counter Oppressions and Create Just and Sustainable Communities (ECO). Participants will learn and practice using tools of social and cultural analysis, self-critical analysis, and leadership in their personal spheres of influence. They will experience an approach to ECO work which emphasizes creating and constructing structures of justice, in addition to countering or being "anti"-oppressions. The course will orient students to the school's educational values and the task of integrating the arts of ministry, the academic disciplines of theological and religious studies, and the professional and personal qualities needed in ministry.  Weekly small group discussion sections will be arranged and led by advanced Starr King students serving as ECO Teaching Assistants.
STFT 4067           
4.5 units                        
Limit: 30                                               
Fireside Room

Environmental Spirituality
2:10-5 p.m., Wednesday                                  
Mansurali Nurmuhammad

This course provides a foundation for the various ecological models that will be discussed in their evolutionary and historical context.  We shall begin our studies of the human being by looking at the physical and the biological evolution of the universe.  This will set up the stage for effectively placing the human where s/he truly belongs.  Then, we shall look at the cultural, societal, psychological and spiritual growth of the Homo sapiens.  Our journey of evolution will have a heavy emphasis on the aesthetics, beauty, interconnectedness, interdependence and respect for physis, conservation, simple living, harmony and peace.  We shall utilize heavily the writings from various scientific, philosophical, religious and spiritual traditions. 
SPRS  4010            
3 units                       
Limit 14                                                
Reading Room

Performance as Spiritual Praxis CANCELLED
2:10-5 p.m., Wednesday                                   
JoAnne Henry

This inter/inneractive interdisciplinary class is predicated on the notions that the performing arts help create a play space for Spirit to break through in houses of worship and in social/political movements, and the work of the performer in preparation and execution of performances can be seen as a spiritual practice.  In this foundational course we will come to our own understandings of the drama of ritual and the ritual of drama, the dramatic action in social movement actions (ie. marches, protests).  We will work on movement, vocal production—both spoken and sung, oral interpretation of written texts (Poetry and Prose of Audre Lorde, Rilke, Kabir, Sonia Sanchez, students' writings, Howell Raines' My Soul is Rested, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Bible, Winnie the Pooh, and James Baldwin) and improvisational theater techniques to build discrete pieces that can be used in worship and/or actions.  Students will gain confidence and new freedom being in front of a congregation /audience/ mass rally.  They'll find ways to allow the performing arts to crack open their work as liturgists /ceremonialists /ritualists and cultural workers, and create liberative worship experiences and dynamic social actions.  Prior experience with preaching text study or ritual or performance studies is helpful.
RASP 4050           
3 units                       
Limit: 30 Room TBA
CANCELLED

Thursday

Chapel Practicum - Fall
8:45 - 9:30 a.m., Thursday
Patti Lawrence

This practicum is for those who wish to approach Starr King chapels as a context for learning. Participants in the chapel practicum make a commitment to plan and lead a chapel service, attend each Tuesday chapel service from 1-2 p.m., and attend worship reflection every Thursday morning from 8:45-9:30 a.m.
LS 4100
1.0 unit
Limit: 12
Round Chapel

The “Allergy to the Other”
9:40 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Thursday                       
Gabriella Lettini

This advanced course will explore the claim that Western culture is characterized by an inability to think of the other as other, a tendency to erase otherness either by assimilation or by annihilation, which Jewish philosopher Emmanuel Levinas—referring to the Western philosophical tradition—aptly defined as “allergy to the other.”  Using Levinas’ critique of the totalitarian aspects of Western thought as a starting point, this course will analyze how Western modern theo/alogies have reinforced or challenged the “allergy to the other.”  The authors analyzed are chosen for the prominence that issues surrounding otherness have in their work and represent a variety of perspectives, addressing issues such as race, class, gender, sexuality, abilities and religious, cultural and ethnic diversity.  Selected philosophical writings will be engaged, as patterns of identity construction and paradigms for non-hegemonic attitudes to otherness are explored.  Cinematic representations of the “other” will also enrich our work.
CEST 4138           
3 units                       
Limit:  15                                                           
Fireside Room

Worship in Local Congregations
2:10-5 p.m., Thursday
Alma Faith Crawford

"If what we do shapes who we are becoming, we must attend to our worship practices so as to uncover their operative theology and ethics so as to reform our rites to shape us as faithful ... in every age." -- Scott Haldeman This foundational course will use congregational studies, ritual studies, theology and ethics to augment our visits to living congregations and our creation of detailed and comprehensive worship programs for hypothetical congregations.
LS 4000
3 units
Limit: 15
Reading Room

Congregational Dynamics
2:10 – 5 p.m., Thursday                                    
Patti Lawrence
This course focuses on the many faces of Unitarian Universalist congregational life. Identity, context, leadership, stewardship, membership, outreach and governance are a few of the areas that will be addressed. What is the role of the professional minister and how can ministry be shared? This is intended as a foundational course that will give students an overall view of the congregations, using a systems approach as a basis of knowledge for field education in congregations, including internship.
FT 4184            
3 units                        
Limit: 15                                                 
Fireside Room

Friday

Ministry with Children and Youth
9:40 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Friday
Sheri Prud’homme and Laila Ibrahim
This foundational course is designed for people who want to improve their skills in working with and ministering among children and youth in the context of congregational life.  Beginning with the assumption that a vital ministry meets the spiritual needs of children and youth, coursework will include crafting children’s and intergenerational worship, building community among children, establishing expectations for behavior, engaging the interest and religious imagination of young people, creating a youth ministry program, and designing teacher training for lay leaders.  While learning some basics of educational theory and human and faith development theory, students will have hands-on experiences with children and youth through required field placements in local congregations.
ED 40313 units
Limit: 12
Reading Room

To Be Announced

Infield Assignment I: Congregational Fieldwork
TBA                                                                        
Patti Lawrence
Fieldwork in Unitarian Universalist congregations includes teaching a religious education class for children or adults, working with a youth group, participating in a stewardship campaign and more. Please arrange with the professor.
FE 4000            
1 to 5 units            
Limit:  25

Community Fieldwork
TBA                                                            
Gabriella Lettini
Community Fieldwork involves supervised placements in a non-profit service agency, hospice work, literacy counseling and more. Those who register for this course should also register for FE 4034, Community Fieldwork Reflection I. Arrangements should be made with the professor.
FE 4310            
1 to 10 units            
Limit:  25

Community Fieldwork Reflection I
TBA                                                                                   
Gabriella Lettini
All Starr King students doing community fieldwork will meet together for reflection on their ministerial work.  Arrange with instructor.  All participants will be expected to attend a gathering at the school on January 24, 2008.
FE 4034           
2 units

Clinical Pastoral Education
TBA                                                                                   
Gabriella Lettini
This is for Starr King Students engaged in part-time or full-time Clinical Pastoral Education.  Participate in ministry to persons, and in individual group reflection upon that ministry. Theoretical material from theology, the behavioral sciences, and pastoral care.  Integrates theological understanding and knowledge of behavioral science into pastoral functioning.  Upon completion, a written evaluation from the program supervisor will be placed into the student's permanent files.  Arrange with your advisor or the Director of Studies in Public Ministry.
FE 4012            
1-10 units           

Parish Internship Fall
TBA                                                                                   
Patti Lawrence

This is a 6- to10-month full-time or part-time experience in a teaching congregation under the supervision of a Minister in final Fellowship, an intern committee and the Professor of Congregational Studies.  Those who register for this course should also register for FE 4025, Intern Reflection Group.
FE 4210            
5-10 units                       
Limit: 25

Intern Reflection Group
TBA                                                                        
Patti Lawrence
All Starr King students working in Unitarian Universalist congregations are expected to participate in this time of reflection on their ministerial work. Those involved in internships away from the Bay Area will participate in an e-mail reflection group. All participants will be expected to attend the Starr King Intern Gathering on January 22-23, 2008.
FE 4025            
2 units                       
Limit:  25

MASC Project
TBA                                                                                   
Gabriella Lettini

For SKSM Master of Arts in Religious Leadership for Social Change (MASC) students only.  MASC students should sign up for this class during the semesters when they are producing their final project representative of their learning during the program.  A copy of the project will be placed in a public collection at the school.
MA 5300           
1-12 units           

In Thesis
TBA
                                                                                    Faculty
All Masters level students in the GTU community should use this designation if they are working on their thesis.
MA 5000           
1-12 units

 

2007
Summer

2007-2008
Spring / Intersession / Summer / Saturday Intensives / Student-taught Intensives / Online

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