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D.Min. Colleague Seminar II, Part I*
In this third semester of Colleague Seminar courses, we will explore the social and contextual challenges within American religious life for the region and nation. Through readings, guest presentations and field trips we will explore the overarching challenges facing local congregations and then discover creative, out-of-the-box realistic solutions to address these challenges. Following each of these explorations and experiences, students will reflect theologically on the relevance and salience of these approaches as well as other possible solutions, from the perspective of their personal beliefs and within their specific tradition's theological framework. The culmination of this fall semester course will be a paper in which students will provide a theology for ministry and a theological justification for a ministry plan aimed to address a practical change they propose for their ministry setting. Required of second year D.Min. students.
Retreat-Sunday evening 9/9 3:00 - 9:00 PM (3-5:00 pm class then 5:30 to 6:30 Dinner 6:30- 7:30 informal time with other DMIN students and alumni/ae, 7:30 to 9:00 pm presentation and Q&A- Bradley Wright Upside
Mondays from 9:00-5:00 on 9/10, 9/24, 10/29, 11/12, 12/3, 12/17 (Make-up day if needed)
a. To build upon the previous semester's work in understanding the challenges and possibilities for ministry in a contemporary context;
b. To explore contemporary research on social and religious trends in order more accurately to understand one's own congregation and community;
c. To engage in a sustained reflection on leadership practices and ways to approach change
within one's own congregation and community;
d. To deepen skills for critical thinking and theological reflection that are essential in the D.Min. program, including the diverse collegial relationships that enhance that program.
e. To assist the student in ascertaining and articulating the theology with which he/she does ministry
The course alternates between five class sessions (see "Schedule") and the intervening periods for individual exploration by students of the readings and their interpretive value in their respective settings. The class sessions rely on group discussions to deepen and concretize the readings, and instructor presentations to introduce further fieldwork resources for studying congregations and communities. The intervening periods rely on engagement with the readings and, for those so assigned, the development of a teaching outline for the ensuing session that draws those readings into conversation with a past challenge from one's ministry setting, showing the student's emerging role as a teacher. A final paper provides an occasion to integrate work from the entire semester by linking a newly significant challenge from one's ministry setting with insights from organizational and leadership studies that have been presented by various means during the course.
All reading assignments are to be completed in advance of the class session for which they are assigned. All teaching outlines must be sent by e-mail to the instructor and the colleague respondent by the Friday immediately before the class session for which they are assigned. All teaching responses must be sent by e-mail to the instructor and the colleague teacher by the Friday immediately after the class session in which the teaching occurred.
The topics we will address for the five class meetings include:
1) The state of American Religion -The challenges and also opportunities.
American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us by Robert Putnam and David Campbell (entire book)
2) Changing Organizational Landscape- New models of religious congregations and the ways people are getting their spiritual needs met.
Visit to Liberty Churches, Worchester MA George Cladis
Mark Chaves "All Creatures Great and Small" Review of Religious Research 2006 47:335 SonisWeb
Scott Thumma "The Shape of Things to Come: Megachurches, Emerging Churches and Other New Religious Structures Supporting an Individualized Spiritual Identity." in Faith in America: Changes, Challenges, New Directions. Charles Lippy Pp. 185-206. http://hirr.hartsem.edu/megachurch/organizationalchangechapter.doc
Surratt, Ligon and Bird. The Multi-Site Church Revolution: Being One Church in Many Locations p. 9-42 SonisWeb
David Roozen and Adair Lummis, Congregational Splits & Denominational Apostasy http://hirr.hartsem.edu/cong/congregational-splits.pdf
David Roozen & Kirk Hadaway Denominational Growth and Decline
Scott Thumma "What God Makes Free is Free Indeed: Nondenominational Church Identity and its Networks of Support" http://www.hartfordinstitute.org/bookshelf/thumma_article5.html
Diana Bulter Bass The Practicing Congregation: Imagining a new old church. Pp. 7-33, 69-90 SonisWeb
Don Miller, Reinventing American Protestantism Chapter 4 Beyond Rationality p.80 - 107 SonisWeb
3) An Increasingly Diverse Population- Migration, multiculturalism, religious pluralism and the loss of a moral consensus.
Robert Wuthnow, America and the Challenges of Religious Diversity Princeton University Press, 2005. Chapter 7 p.188-229 Chapter 8 p. 230-258 SonisWeb
David Roozen, American Congregations Reach Out To Other Faith Traditions From Faith Communities Today 2010 http://faithcommunitiestoday.org/sites/faithcommunitiestoday.org/files/American_Congregations_Reach_Out.pdf
H.R.Ebaugh and Janet S. Chafetz. Religion Across Borders: Transnational Religious Networks. AltaMira Press, 2002 pp. 129-148, 165-191 SonisWeb
Robert Wuthnow and Stephen Offutt. Transnational Religious Connections Sociology of Religion 2008 69:2 pp. 209-232 SonisWeb
Nestor Rodriguez, Hispanic and Asian Immigration Waves in Houston in Ebaugh & Chafetz Religion and the New Immigrants. Pp 29-42 SonisWeb
Hoda Badr, AI-Noor Mosque: Strength through Unity in Ebaugh & Chafetz Religion and the New Immigrants. Pp.193-227 SonisWeb
Kathleen Sullivan, St. Mary's Catholic Church and Iglesia de Dios in Ebaugh & Chafetz Religion and the New Immigrants. Pp.125-151 SonisWeb
4) Individualism & Consuming Faith- Shopping for faith, an individual approach to community and religiosity
Robert Wuthnow, After the Baby Boomers: How 20 and 30 somethings are shaping the future of American religion Entire Book
Stephen Warner & Rhys Williams, "The role of families and religious institutions in transmitting faith among Christian, Muslims and Hindus in the US" in Collins-Mayo & Dandelion Religion and Youth pp.159-165 SonisWeb
Robert Bellah, et al. Habits of the Heart pp. 219-245 SonisWeb
Scott Thumma, Leadership section in The Other 80%. On SonisWeb but entire book if you want to purchase it
5) Religion in the Increasingly Secular Society- Secularism, the Nones and the challenge all religious communities are facing into the future.
Clark Roof, Spiritual Marketplace: Baby Boomers and the Remaking of American Religion (entire book)
Marler & Hadaway, "Being Religious" or "Being Spiritual" in America: A Zero-Sum Proposition? Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 41:2 (2002) 289-300 SonisWeb
Rodney Stark, "Spirituality" and "The Irreligious" in What Americans Really Believe pp.87-94, 141-146. SonisWeb
Scott Thumma, "Virtually Religious: Technology and Internet Use in American Congregations http://www.hartfordinstitute.org/research/technology-Internet-use.html
Each week, beginning promptly at 9:00AM, we will check in with each other, discuss the readings in some depth and the implications for ministry. Reading summary and guide should be used in class and then handed in at the end of class. In the afternoon we will either visit a ministry that is taking an innovation approach to the contemporary context, invite a guest in to talk about their efforts or address a case study that shows a successful ministry adaptation. Following each class, you will be asked to write a 3-4 page theological reflection on that session's topic, reflecting on what you read and hear/saw in the class and how you might understand this within your theological frameworks and implies for possible action strategies.
In order to satisfy the 45 contact hours for this course, a total of ten contact hours will be conducted online, evenly divided in the four periods between these class sessions. The online assignment will be to post your theological reflection, and then to read those of your colleagues in the class and substantively comment on at least one of these prior to the next meeting time
Please reserve December 17th on your calendar as the make-up date for this course if one of the regularly schedule sessions must be cancelled.
The required texts will be the basis for our class discussions throughout the semester, as well as being foundational for the final paper.
Throughout this course, grades are reported on an HP I P I LP basis. These grades mean:
HP Exceptional in several or most ways; such work completes all tasks, is creative and even original in content, and displays mastery of expression.
P Adequate in all basic ways; parts of the task are slighted, the content has minor weaknesses, and expression is competent yet not consistently compelling.
LP Inadequate in some ways; does not address significant tasks, shows weak or erroneous content, and expression sometimes obstructs understanding.
Class participation 25% of grade
Attendance at and active participation in every class session is expected of all students. Exceptions are only allowed if advance permission has been granted by the instructor, and only for unavoidable absences. In all cases, failure to be in attendance at more than one class session automatically precludes successful completion of the course. The participation grade includes active familiarity with all readings and completion of online contact hours.
Reading Summary- Key implications for your ministry 15% of grade
Theological reflection assignments 30% of grade
Final paper 30% of grade
·The final paper integrates the central insights and readings from the semester. This paper will present an actual challenge to the student's congregation or ministry and then analyze this in paper, including focus and format, will be provided at the 4th class session. Final papers must be sent by e-mail to the instructor by 12 Jan. 2013.
Past experience has shown that timely completion of all assignments and the entire course is essential to successful completion of the overall D.Min. program. As a result, late writing assignments are strongly discouraged and course extensions are not permitted.
Plagiarism is the failure to give proper credit for the words or ideas of another person, whether published or unpublished, and is strictly prohibited. Credit will not be given for written work in this course containing plagiarism, and plagiarism may result in a failing grade for the entire course.
Robert Putnam and David Campbell, American Grace. Simon and Schuster, 2012. Buy now
Robert Wuthnow, After the Baby Boomers: How 20 and 30 somethings are shaping the future of American religion. Princeton University Press, 2007. Buy now
Clark Roof, Spiritual Marketplace: Baby Boomers and the Remaking of American Religion. Princeton University Press, 2001. Buy now
Scott Thumma and Warren Bird, The Other 80 Percent. Jossey Bass, 2011. Buy now