Spring 2019, HYBRID COURSE 

Urban Ministry finds its fullest meaning within the context of Metropolitan Ministry: a vision and practice that considers and engages a myriad of systems that impact life in an ever-changing and increasingly urban world. Today’s urban contexts –local, national and global-are diverse, complex, pluralistic, entrepreneurial, innovative, trendsetting and growing. Ministries within urban contexts need to know the cultures and environments around them, interrogate their interactions and relationships with the communities they serve and affirm the multi-religious and multicultural dynamics that shape these communities. How do urban congregations relate to each other (traditional, immigrant, new church plants), other belief systems, as well as suburban and exurban congregations, agencies, and systems? What does it mean to practice ministry with faithfulness and integrity in the Northeast Corridor and beyond? What tools help course participants develop a vision and daily practice that are contextually relevant, historically grounded, culturally competent, pastoral in nature, and prophetic in witness? This course, a hybrid of on campus, online, and field research, will address these questions and will explore the resources and skills course participants will require to effectively lead congregations and social agencies in urban arenas. 


Spring 2017

Increasingly perons are taking up practices from more than one religious tradition. Some go so far as to claim “double belonging.” This course explores a range of practices and the identities that emerge from those practices. The termonilogy used for these practices and identities is quite extensive: multiple religious participation, multiple religious belonging, syncretism, hybridity, double belonging and so forth. This profusion of terms is likelt due to the fact that we are speaking about a wide range of rather different phenomena.


Spring 2018 

Over the last several decades, a substantial literature has emerged which seeks to interrogate the meaningfulness of the category “religion.” The arguments are multifarious and often motivated by powerful considerations of justice. Contributors to the literature argue that religion is a western and/or Christian and/or modern invention which has been improperly imposed across cultures and historical periods. Some go so far as to argue that the category cannot be deployed consistently and so is largely unserviceable. These arguments are also extended to the related categories, “religions,” “world religions,” and “the religions.” Questions of justice are especially prominent in postcolonial circles in which the argument is advanced that religion is a concept of Western provenance, one that is inappropriately foisted upon other cultures by the coercive mechanisms of colonialism.

Systems of Trauma Treatment

2019 Fall

Utilizing research and family systems theories, students will examine the manifestation of trauma in individual, relational, and community systems. Students will learn methods of assessment and intervention for the treatment of trauma. Students will discuss the impact of trauma on the spiritual self, and students will develop their own methods of self-care. Topics include: post-traumatic stress disorder, child abuse and neglect, elder abuse and neglect, intimate partner violence, sexual abuse, illness, grief, and loss.