Spring 2006-2007

2006-2007 Courses

Click for Starr King course fees.

Updated: 2/5/07


Spring 2007

Monday

How Did We Survive This?
2:10-5 p.m., Monday                      
David Sammons

Since the 1805 battle over whether conservatives or our forbears would choose the religious professor at Harvard, Unitarians and Universalists have been involved in a series of major conflicts, some which almost tore them apart. This course will explore some of those conflicts, including the dispute over Ultra-Univeralism, the Transcendentalists vs. old school Unitarians, the "Controversy in the West," the uprooting of women from the ministry near the turn of the century, Humanism vs. Theism, the Empowerment struggle, merger, and the transformation of LRY (Liberal Religious Youth) into YRUU (Young Religious Unitarian Universalists).
HS 4036     
3 units    
Limit: 15               
Fireside Room

Film, Race and Impossible Soul
2:10-5 p.m., Monday                                 
Leon Dunkley
This course will explore the limits that govern the spiritual possibility of our public discourse.  The measure of possibility will be determined by that which fits comfortably within the narrative structure of American popular film. Drawing heavily upon this genre of artistic expression, this course will require close reading of an array of films.  Structurally, the course will be divided into two sections -- One: The Sweet Here After and Two:  The Bittersweet Here After Heaven. We will use music and popular film to anchor our discussion about heaven, race and spiritual possibility.
RA 4899     
3 units    
Limit: 25               
Reading Room

Legislative Ministry CANCELLED
7:10-9:40 p.m., Monday                            
Jeremy T. Elliott

This course will provide an introduction to the theory and practice of social policy analysis and advocacy. The course is specifically designed for religious leaders interested in legislative and community ministries. It will explore legislative and political processes, social problems and American social welfare systems. Students will have opportunities to develop professional competencies in community organizing, fundraising, strategic alliances, lobbying, campaigning and electoral politics. 
FTRS 4073     
3 units    
Limit: 25               
Fireside Room
CANCELLED

Tuesday

Death, Dying and Bereavement
8-10 a.m., Tuesdays, beginning Jan. 16
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 with the University of California, Berkeley School for Social Welfare. Note that the course follows the UC Berkeley class schedule, beginning Jan. 16, 2007.
PS 4725    
3 units    
Limit: 15    
Haviland Hall on the UC Berkeley campus

Introduction to Preaching 
9:40 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., Tuesday                     
Alma Faith Crawford

This foundational course welcomes students into the fellowship of preachers. Together we will read books addressing important aspects of sermon preparation, living as preachers and the ontological transformations preaching can affect in the lives of individuals and congregations. Students will identify their inner and outer sources of passion, compassion and loving challenge from which their preaching energy comes. Depending upon class size, students will preach three times. Students preach to their peers whom they will provide with worship bulletins describing the hypothetical worship service or context for which the sermon was prepared. Students receive the sermons of their peers with critical affirmation and encouragement. In so doing, all will refine their abilities to structure and deliver sermons, communicating effectively in a worship setting. Students will rewrite and hand in to the instructor a revision of a sermon that they delivered in class, along with an explanation of suggestions that have been incorporated and those that have been rejected.   
HM 4002     
3 units  
Limit: 20                     
Fireside Room

Islam and the World’s Religions
2:10-5 p.m., Tuesday
Yannis Toussulis

This purpose of this course will be to provide a socio-historical and phenomenological analysis of five of world’s great religions, with a special emphasis on Islam. The worldviews of Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism will be contrasted and compared to Islam by referencing fundamental constituents, including each religion’s metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, eschatology and unique cultural psychology. Special attention will be given to how “unitive awareness,” as cultivated by each of these traditions, can foster interfaith communication and cooperation.
HR 4806
3 units
Limit: 12
Round Chapel

Dr. Howard Thurman - The Search for Common Ground in the 21st Century
2:10-5 p.m., Tuesday                                
Dorsey Blake

Considered a 20th Century prophet by historian Lerone Bennett, Dr. Howard Thurman created a body of spiritual insights exploring the relation between mysticism and social action. This course will focus on comprehending the ideal of community as expressed through the thought and ministry of Dr. Thurman. A goal of this course will be the discernment of evidence of oneness across racial, sexual, cultural, religious and national boundaries. A crucial objective will be the embracing of spiritual discipline as an essential method for engaging the search for common ground in the 21st Century.
RSSP 4568    
3 units    
Limit: 25                    
Fireside Room

Best Practices In Ministry CANCELLED
2:10-5 p.m., Tuesdays, Jan. 30-March 20
Gary E. Smith
"Best Practices in Ministry: What I Wish Seminary Had Taught Me Thirty-five Years Ago." A seminar drawing on the many facets of parish ministry: teaching, preaching, pastoral care, administration, justice work, finance and fund-raising, self-care, working with volunteers, casting out a vision, dealing with conflict, congregational growth, a spiritual life. With reading and reflection, as well as dialogue with guest ministers, the class will gather some practical tools for successful ministries. Gary E. Smith graduated from the Divinity School of Vanderbilt University and ordained in 1972, was fellowshipped into the Unitarian Universalist Ministry in 1980, and has served as Senior Minister of the First Parish in Concord since 1988. He is a former president of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association, has served on the Northeast Regional Subcommittee on Candidacy of the Ministerial Fellowship Committee, and is a visiting Lecturer at Harvard Divinity School, teaching "Preaching in the Unitarian Universalist Tradition."
FT 4017
1.5 units
Limit: 15
Reading Room
CANCELLED

Spiritual Companion: Artist
7:10-9:40 p.m., Tuesdays, Jan. 30-March 20, 2007
Dody Donnelly
"Walk with me!" is the unspoken plea from patient, parishioner, friend. Walking with, not ahead, can be the rewarding art of ministry. But, some do's and don't's:  attitude and habit training, along with one-on-one class listening practice, can give us pastoral skills and remind us we're never the primary guide. Rather, the always-available presence of Spirit lights the way.  Weekly practice.
SP 4030     
1.5 units    
Limit: 15               
Reading Room

Experiencing Islam
7:10-9:40 p.m., Tuesday
Amir Kia

“If I could tell you what it meant, there would be no point in dancing it.” --Isadora Duncan.
This course engages Islam with curiosity through film, poetry, food, music, guest lectures, group practice and dialogue with the Muslim community in the Bay Area. How does this tradition from Hagar, Sarah and Abraham feel in practice, in what ways does it inform or challenge your tradition, how is this experience different than what is written.
HR 4313
3 units
Limit: 25
Fireside Room

Wednesday

Chapel Practicum - Spring
8:45 - 9:30 a.m., Wednesday                    
Alma Faith Crawford

This is a practicum for those who wish to approach Starr King chapels as a context for learning. Participants will 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 Wednesday morning from 8:45 - 9:30 a.m.
LS 4101     
1.0 unit
Limit: 12                      
Round Chapel

New Theological Work: Advanced Seminar for Liberal and Liberating Theological Research CANCELLED
9:40 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Wednesday
Rebecca Ann Parker

This advanced seminar will engage students in studying and producing new liberal and/or liberating theological work. It will be limited to those who have done previous work in Unitarian Universalist theologies and/or other progressive theological perspectives. A close and in-depth reading of James Luther Adams, William R. Jones, Sharon Welch, Thandeka and selected others will begin the semester. Each student will prepare a major research paper on a contemporary issue in liberal and/or liberating theological trends for review and discussion by the seminar participants.
ST 4061
3 units
Limit 12
Faculty Permission Required
Fireside Room
CANCELLED

Biblical Preaching for Liberal Congregations 
9:40 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Wednesday                        
Alma Faith Crawford
We will explore narrative interpretation of the Hebrew Bible as a wonderful resource for preaching about both grand and mundane passions, celebrations, betrayals, resistances and glories of life in human community.  Our sermons, developed as a group and as individual students, will connect ancient stories with those of our biblical ancestors, enhancing our capacity for joyous and just relationships.  Readings include Alter, Bal, Berlin, Buehrens, Levenson, Tamez and Weems.  
HMBS 4024
3 units     
Limit 12                             
Fireside Room

Our Whole Lives: Sexuality and Our Faith
2:10-5 p.m., Wednesday    
Bonnie Dlott and Betty Jeanne Rueters-Ward

Our Whole Lives (OWL) is a series of five sexuality education curricula, spanning kindergarten to adulthood, developed by the Unitarian Universalist Association in 1992. These programs present sexuality as a positive, creative force with enormous potential to enrich as well as generate life. This course, geared particularly toward Unitarian Universalists, will provide grounding in the values and assumptions of the OWL program, an overview of the content of each of the curricula, an exploration of the challenges involved in implementing the program, and practical opportunities to learn how to advocate for sexuality education as a religious professional. It may be possible to obtain UUA certification to facilitate Our Whole Lives at the end of the course (contact instructors).
ED 4375     
3 units    
Limit: 16          
Fireside Room

The Eth(n)ics of Whiteness
7:10-9:40 p.m., Wednesday                            
David Dezern

The EthNics of whiteness/The Ethics of whiteness takes up the theological challenge of examining whiteness from the perspective of critical race theory. The first half of the course is dedicated to the ethnics of whiteness and will examine the construction of white identity (or the construction of white non-identity). How does one "become" white?  How does that becoming white-wash or white-out the diversities of one's own culture and heritage? The second half of the course is dedicated to examining the ethics of whiteness and its theological effects. How does theology (and liberal theology, in particular) perpetuate a white-supremacist view of the world? How does "Western" ethics continue to value the well-being of whites over other people and the earth?  How do we change this? This class is open to people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds, but is designed especially for white people seeking to understand their own lives and become better allies to people of color.
CEST 4142     
3 units    
Limit: 15               
Fireside Room

Conversations in Moral Philosophy
7:10-9:40 p.m., every other Wednesday, beginning Feb. 7    
Jon Stanger

The study of literature provides an opportunity to challenge our notions of what is "good" and "right" within the crucible of human experience. Narrative can draw us into community, nurturing moral imagination and empathic understanding. Using selections from literature and the arts as our case studies, we will meet biweekly to talk ethics. Does good exist? How can we know the good? How do views of human nature inform our notions of justice? Can we constructively talk with one another about value-laden issues? Through our time together, students can expect to gain familiarity with basic vocabulary and theory of moral philosophy.
CERA 4017     
1.5 units    
Limit: 6                
Reading Room

Thursday

Theology and Ethics in Christian History II
Lecture:  9:40 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Thursday      
Gabriella Lettini, Randi Walker (PSR) and Mayra Rivera (PSR)
Discussion section 01:  6:40-8 p.m., Thursday, Mudd 101
Discussion section 02:  9:40 a.m.-11 a.m., Friday, Mudd 101
Discussion section 03:  9:40 a.m.-11 a.m., Tuesday, Mudd 101
The goal of this course is to help students gain a knowledge of and skill in each of the disciplines of history, theology and ethics, not simply as singular entities but also in interdisciplinary/mutual interaction.  We hope by the end of the course students will understand that an adequate approach to and knowledge of Christian history requires critical engagement with theology and ethics, of theology with history and ethics.  One 3-hour lecture plus one 1.5-hour discussion.
IDS 1022 (sections 01, 02, 03)          
Mudd 102

The Unitarian Universalist Journey Towards Wholeness
9:40 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Thursday
Sean Parker Dennison

The Unitarian Universalist Association has been on the "Journey Toward Wholeness" for at least a decade. The journey began when delegates at the 1997 General Assembly passed a resolution creating a committee to monitor and assess the "transformation of the UUA into an authentically anti-racist, anti-oppressive, multicultural association." This noble goal led to one of the most controversial programs in our history. What are the reasons for the programs successes and failures? Why has our "journey" been full of fits and starts, potholes and pit stops along the way? In this seminar, we'll investigate the Journey Toward Wholeness, paying special attention to the theo/alogical aspects of the program itself and the debates surrounding it. What is the theological point of our journey? What is our Unitarian Universalist vision of "wholeness?" What language best describes our intentions and our vision? How might we better ground the work of countering oppression in our sources and history? How might we inspire our predominantly white, privileged congregations to own the necessity, importance and transformative possibility of this work? Using both historical and contemporary resources, participants will reflect upon and articulate their own thea/ologies of wholeness.
EDRS 4162
3 units
Limit: 15
Reading Room

Ministers and Rites of the Church CANCELLED
9:40 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Thursday
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: 25
Fireside Room
CANCELLED

Mysticism and Social Change
2:10-5 p.m., Thursday                        
Liza J. Rankow

This course will explore the powerful synergy between mystic spirituality and social activism. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote, "Only through an inner spiritual transformation do we gain the strength to fight vigorously the evils of the world in a humble and loving spirit." In the urgent and troubling context of current world events, we will look to the example of "mystic-activists" from diverse cultures and faith traditions for inspiration. Readings and class explorations will include Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and indigenous sources. Through a wholistic approach of both heart and head, we will consider specific tools and practices to nourish and sustain us in our ongoing commitment to anti-oppression work and ministerial service.
SPRS 4085     
3 units    
Limit: 25               
Fireside Room

Stewardship: Generous Spirit
2:10-5 p.m., Thursday                
Donna Sequeira

In this course, we will explore our personal attitudes about money, examining the relationship between our values and how we spend our resources. We will look at historical trends around charitable giving and, in particular, giving to Unitarian Universalist churches and organizations. And, finally, we will examine the role of religious leaders in fundraising in a multitude of ministry settings, including congregations and non-profits. Students will create their own set of practical tools for fundraising within a theological framework that supports generosity.
FT 4066     
3.0 units    
Limit: 15               
Reading Room

Introduction to Sufism
7:10-9:40 pm, Thursday                             
Yassir Chadly

Sufism, a holistic path of mystical union in Islam, is an inner reflection of the outer shari'ah (the Revealed Law). Islam was carried to many parts of the world through Sufi practice. In addition to an historical overview of Sufism, this experiential course will include a study of narratives about the lives of Sufi saints and their teachings. Central to Sufism is the practice of dhikr Allah (the remembrance of Allah) through the recitation of the Divine Names and certain prayers. The daily practices of ritual ablutions, prostrations, recitations, etc., make up the dhikr of the body. Since it is of vital importance to experience lived Sufism, the class will participate in a collective practice of dhikr. Students will also have the opportunity to experience a local Sufi mosque.
HR 4825    
3 units    
Limit: 25                    
Fireside Room

Friday

Seeing Ourselves in Youth Lit
9:40 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Friday                         
Sunshine Snider

Teenage literature has developed a body of work that questions and challenges our modern society in spiritually powerful ways. From cloning to mental health to LBGTIQ and beyond, youth literature faces the world with unyielding challenge. This class will focus on reading youth literature as a way of exposing our world and questioning our paradigms. Topics will include identity, social justice, "otherness," beauty and transformation as written for and by the youth of today. Work will include reflection papers, reading and a final course presentation on a favorite youth book. 
EDRA 4033     
3 units    
Limit: 15                 
Fireside Room

To Be Announced

Infield Assignment III: 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, full-time internship and more. Please arrange with the professor.
FE 4002    
1 to 10 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. Participation in theological reflection groups is necessary. Arrangements should be made with the professor.
FE 4310     
1 to 10 units     
Limit: 25

Community Fieldwork Reflection II
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 Jan. 25, 2007.
FE 4035
2 units

Student Teacher Reflection Group
TBA                                                  
TBA

This reflection group is intended for all SKSM student teachers during the semester in which they teach. The class will meet six times.
ED 4055     
1 unit    
Limit: 10

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.
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.
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

2006-2007
Fall / Intersession / Summer / Saturday Intensives / Online

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