Facilitating Community is designed to provide a foundational understanding of leadership as ministry development and introduces participants to a learning community approach to religious leadership. Participants will examine what leadership means to them in relation to the Christian story and the missional church. This course includes readings, reflections and practice with group decision-making/participatory processes.
Kaner, Sam, and Lenny Lind. Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision-making. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: New Society, 1996.
Block, Peter. Community the Structure of Belonging. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 2008.
Online: Monday October 12 to Monday November 30, 2015
In person: Saturday, November 7, 8:30am - 3:30pm at the ECMN Retreat Center, Faribault MN
The Old Testament is perhaps one the most fascinating yet misunderstood parts of the church's heritage. Many of us--both in and outside of Christianity--are somewhat familiar with particular stories from the Old Testament, but we lack a clear portrait of the Old Testament as a whole. Additionally, modern approaches to studying history have revolutionized our understandings of ancient Israel, early Judaism, and the formation of the Old Testament, but these new perspectives are not widely known or understood.
This class is designed to empower students to teach, preach, and live the Old Testament scriptures as a theological story. To do this we will utilize the metaphor of "layers” to describe the development of the Bible and the effects of readers who have read, interpreted, and lived the text throughout history and today. As each new layer is added, the old layers still remain, creating a new composition--a new story--that no individual or community ever quite owns or controls alone.
Layers: Creation, Israel, Law, Exile, Empire, Apocalypse
Rather than concentrating on a particular corpus or a quick overview of the contents, this class emphasizes six key "layers” in the Christian story of the Bible, providing students with a framework for understanding the Old Testament as a whole. It is hoped that as students continue to encounter the Bible after this course through worship, group Bible study, and independent reading, the framework will remain as a helpful tool.
Doctoral Student in Hebrew Bible at Harvard Divinity School
- Teacher: Pat Taylor Ellison
Book of Common Prayer
Book of Occasional Services
Changes: Prayers and Services Honoring Rites of Passage (Church Publishing, 2007)
Enriching Our Worship 5: Liturgies and Prayers Related to Childbearing, Childbirth, and Loss (Church Publishing, 2009).
Gatta, Julia and Martin L. Smith, Go in Peace: The Art of Hearing Confessions (Morehouse, 2012).
Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, "I Will Bless You and You Will Be A Blessing”: Resources for the Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant in a Same-Sex Relationship. Liturgical Resources 1 (Church Publishing, 2012).
Additional short readings posted to Moodle.
- Teacher: Roger Ferlo
Creeds encapsulate Christian beliefs; they also attempt to quell theological controversy. This course examines the historical origins of the Nicene and Apostles Creeds with special attention to the theological conflicts that animated their formulations. After treating the original contexts in which the creeds were developed, the course will investigate contemporary Christian attitudes toward the creeds. During the term, we will see that creeds function as brief "systematic theologies.” In other words, creeds succinctly express intricate understandings of God and God's relationship with human beings. Topics covered include Christology, Pneumatology (Doctrine of the Holy Spirit), Trinitarian Theology, Doctrine of Creation, Anthropology, Sin, Grace, Soteriology, Atonement, and Eschatology. It will be evident during our explorations that the creeds not only articulate what Christians believe; they also shape Christian life.
Instructor: Mark McInroy, M.Div, Th.D. Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology, University of St. Thomas