Two-Week Intensive Courses

Two-week intensives meet four hours per day for two consecutive weeks.  These intensives are offered in August, January, and May.

August 1-12, 2016

The following courses are offered by the Earlham School of Religion.

Spiritual Formation and Personal Practice, FC 101   Jim Higginbotham

This course seeks to help students integrate their own spiritual formation with the development of skills for public ministry as well as to assist them in ongoing discernment around particular gifts and skills for ministry. The course is relational at its core; the student’s relationship with God, self, and others—as well as with communities beyond the seminary walls—are the primary resources for formation. 3 semester credits.

Writing the Story, WR 220   Ben Brazil

An introduction to, and practice in, the basic techniques used to write good stories, whether fiction or nonfiction. Such techniques include but are not limited to development of spiritual and religious content, character, narrative structure, plot, conflict, point of view, setting, and theme. 3 semester credits.

New Frontiers in Spirituality, SP 350   Michael Birkel/Carole Spencer

New class; course description to follow.

Constructive Theology, TS 375   Grace Kim

As a capstone course for all students, you are invited—and required—to reconstruct your systematic theological vision in relation to all your coursework. Further, you will relate your theological vision to a specific question for your anticipated ministry. The primary task is for you to bring together your work in seminary in a systematic way. 3 semester credits.

John, BS 390   Tim Seid

Reading and research on selected topics from the Bible, including both book studies from different parts of the Old and New Testaments and topical studies, e.g., Women in the Old Testament, Apocalyptic Literature, Old Testament Theology, Jesus as Sage, Gospel of John, Romans, Philippians, Hebrews, James. Different topics are considered in subsequent offerings; therefore this seminar may be taken for credit more than once. Prerequisite: BS 101/101-O or B 102/102-O. 3 semester credits.

January 3-13, 2017

Gospel of Peace, P 204   Dan Ulrich

This seminar offers a survey of biblical texts related to peace and violence. We will interpret these texts collaboratively, paying attention to their historical and literary contexts and to their meanings for readers today. We will also explore the implications of this biblical background for our understandings and practices of peacemaking. 3 semester credits.

Religion as a Source of Terror and Transformation, P 228   Scott Holland

Since September 11, 2001, there has been a renewed awareness of how religion and religious discourse can become a source of both terror and transformation. This relationship between terror and transformation is especially challenging and complicated when religion “goes public.” How do particular and prophetic religions enter pluralistic, public squares and contribute to social and political understanding and policy? Can there be credible expressions of public theology in our late modern, postmodern age? This course will explore the problems and possibilities of religious language and practice with the hope of what the prophet Jeremiah called “the peace of the city” in view. 3 semester credits.

The following courses are offered by the Earlham School of Religion.

Emergency Pastoral Care, PC 328   Jim Higginbotham

This course examines life events and precipitating factors that lead persons and families into emergencies and crises. Guidelines for identifying signs, causes, and stages of crises are addressed. Theological questions elicited by crises, the process of referral, and various types of emergencies are also explored. Prerequisite: PC 101/101-O. 3 semester credits.

Christian Ethics, TS 336   Grace Kim

An examination of the Christian moral life and the theological convictions that animate it, including its understanding of the good, conscience, the nature of humanity, and the faith community’s public witness. These proposals are considered in conversation with selected issues requiring careful and responsible Christian engagement—for example, war and peace, the environment, and genetic engineering.  Prerequisite: TS 101/101-O or T 101/101-O. 3 semester credits.

Quaker Beliefs, QS 340   Steve Angell

This course seeks to provide working definitions of some of the particular terms used in Quaker discourse, such as light, testimony, distinctives; an understanding of the reasoning behind Quaker doctrines and practices; and an assessment of how Quakerism relates to Christian theology more generally. Underlying these elements are the wider questions of whether there is or could be a “normative” Quakerism, and what the authority of tradition is among Friends. It needs also to explore contemporary varieties of systematic examinations of Quaker beliefs from both the evangelical and liberal parts of the spectrum. Prerequisite: TS 101/101-O or T 101/101-O or HS 107. 3 semester credits.

The Spirit of Islam: The Qur’an and Its Interpreters, SP 360   Michael Birkel

Course description to follow.

Interfaith Dialogue, TS 360   Lonnie Valentine

This is an introduction to concepts and practices of world religions and to theological reflection upon the relationship of Christianity to other faith traditions. As such, the course will touch upon Hinduism, Buddhism, Chinese traditions, Judaism, Islam, and primal traditions. There will be some introduction to how these faith traditions express themselves in the United States. Prerequisite: TS 101/101-O. 3 semester credits.

May 15-26, 2017

Evangelism in a Postmodern Context, M 222   Tara Hornbacker

This course will introduce students to the recent developments ineEvangelism and missiology due to the shifts in North American and global cultures. Topics for discussion will include local, contextual, and missional church evangelism with attention to Anabaptist-Pietist understanding. Authors studied will include Bosch, Newbigin, and writers from the Gospel and Our Culture Network. Successful completion of this course will necessitate student interpretation, integration, communication, and anticipation of the work of evangelism and missiology in their own ministries in light of emerging cultural structures. 3 semester credits.

Theological Imagination, T 311   Nate Inglis

The work of theology has always been an imaginative and constructive process, and increasingly, theologians are embracing the imagination as an important source for theological reflection.  This course will consider the role that imagination plays in theological construction, and its possibilities and limits as a theological category.  After reflecting on what the human imagination is, the first part of the course will focus on a close reading of the theology of Gordon Kaufman, whose influential work on theology as imaginative construction remains pivotal for many constructive theologies today.  The second part of the course will focus on ways that imagination has informed other approaches to theology, such as feminist, womanist, black, postcolonial, and other theological perspectives.

The following courses are offered by the Earlham School of Religion.

Work of the Pastor, PM 250   Phil Baisley

This course emphasizes the day-to-day ministry of pastoring. Primary foci are the candidating process, visitation ministry, weddings and pre-marital counseling, and funerals and grief care. Discussions of principles as well as opportunities for practice are integral to this course. 3 semester credits.

Writing Midrash, BS 337   Nancy Bowen

This is one of several courses that considers the intersection of biblical interpretation and MDiv-area emphases. Midrash is a form of interpretation that developed in Judaism. It expands upon the biblical story by imagining what might fill or trying to explain the gaps in biblical narrative. Midrash becomes a way to retell the story, either to reinforce an older interpretation or to pull the text’s meaning in a new direction. Students will be introduced to the methods of midrash by reading various midrashim, ancient and modern. Students will then engage in writing their own midrash to interpret a biblical text. Prerequisite: BS 101/101- O or B 102/102-O. 3 semester credits.

Discernment of Calls and Gifts, FC 339   Stephanie Crumley-Effinger

In this course students explore ministry, vocation, and Quaker methods of discernment; listen for God’s leadings; learn and apply various ways to understand, discern, name, and nurture gifts and callings of others; identify their own and class members’ gifts for ministry; gain insight into related challenges and limitations; and test with others their sense of calling and gifts for ministry. Prerequisite: FC 101/101-T and FC 102/102-O. 3 semester credits.

Quaker Processes for Leadership, LS 374   Jay Marshall

This course focuses upon specific Quaker practices related to leadership, such as clerking, eldering, recording, and committee formation. Non-Quaker students would be expected to consider how these leadership practices might translate to their respective traditions. 3 semester credits. Prerequisite: LS 101-O.


Course listings are subject to change.  Please be sure to check the Registrar’s current course schedule on the Seminary Academic Services website for possible additional courses or corrections.