2015-2016 Courses

Introduction to Counteroppressive Sociologies (Fall 2015)

Online, full semester. Starr King School for the Ministry

Rich sociological traditions offer tools and knowledge for dismantling systems of oppression, creating social change, and building just faith communities. This course offers an introduction to critical analysis of social behavior, organization, and institutions for faith leaders and religious scholars. Students engage foundational texts and empirical research relevant to religious tradition and experience in order to develop theoretical and substantive bodies of knowledge as well as interpretive skills. Focus areas include feminist theory, affect, postcolonial thought, biopower, social movements, and critical race theory, among others. In each weekly unit, central questions address the nature of human action; the role of State power and ideology; notions of self, “other,” and agency; and systemic oppression and social change. The course requires weekly on-line discussion and live video sessions. Students may complete a final research paper or a community-engaged research project.

Community Internship Integrative Reflection Seminar (Fall 2015 & Spring 2016)

Students involved in community internships will meet together for reflection on their work, as it is only through the processes of theological reflection and critical reflection on experience that field work becomes field education. This class includes readings, discussions and writings and is designed to broaden and to deepen students’ analytic perspective on their field site contexts and on their roles as religious leaders and professionals. Students will be grow in their ability to think and learn in a praxis oriented way, that is, allowing situations of practice to deepen and challenge their academic knowledge about theo/alogies, and allowing their academic knowledge of theology to deepen and challenge their practice of leadership. In field-based experiences the depth of students’ learning depends entirely upon how well they can implement praxis oriented learning.

Health Ethics (January 2016)

Week-long intensive, Starr King School for the Ministry.

Health and medicine lie at the intersection of thea/ologies, morals, and our bodies. This course provides a foundation in bioethics and the complexities of health, illness and health care. Students develop the ability to apply ethical theory and biopolitical knowledge to public health and clinical issues. Topics include: end-of-life decision-making, the care of vulnerable populations, genetic/reproductive technologies, and organ donation. The course includes a laboratory component, in which students lead analysis of key concepts and ethical problems in order to produce valuable arguments for bioethical debate as well as pastoral leadership. This course has four components: (1) pre-reading and assessment; (2) a collaborative story-catching project; (3) week-long January intensive; and (4) a final research paper, or case analysis on three bioethics topics due early February.


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