2008-2009 Online Courses


Click for Starr King course fees.

Updated: 02/28/13

Fall

Unitarian Universalist History
Fall Semester                        
Robert R. N. Ross

This is a graduate course in Unitarian Universalist history. The course will follow Unitarianism and Universalism from the Renaissance, Reformation, Radical Reformation and their development in Europe to their history in America, and critically examine contemporary issues. This is a semester-long course designed for Unitarian Universalist seminarians who don't have access to courses in denominational history at or near their seminaries. / Robert R.N. Ross currently teaches courses in Philosophy and the Study of Religion at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and Starr King School for the Ministry/Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California; he also works with congregations in transition as an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister. Dr. Ross has been a Teaching Fellow at Harvard University, a Philosophy professor at Skidmore College, a Consulting Engineer at Digital Equipment Corporation, where he holds patents in the design of complex, heterogeneous computer networks, and a Senior Consultant at the National Academy of Public Administration, where he has worked with large-scale organizations and agencies in transition. Robert is an active surfer, kayaker, and leads the Cajun-Zydeco band les cigognes.
HS 8423
3 units
Minimum: 8     Limit: 15

Internet Resources for Preaching CANCELLED
Fall Semester         
Rita Nakashima Brock
                                                 
This internet-based online course is designed to help preachers better utilize internet resources for the preparation of sermons on social change by accessing online resources and engaging in weekly collaborative online conversation. The course provides carefully selected background reading in social ethics, theology, and public policy, focused on issues related to the common good. Through regular interaction with peers, preachers will engage in reflective interaction with colleagues to create ideas for sermons that will be relevant and authoritative. The conversational aspect of the course will use the Synanim technology, an internet-based system designed to encourage collegiality, generosity, and empathy, while enhancing leadership skills based on astute judgment, loyalty to group values, and creative thinking. These weekly online conversations create a positive effect among users and alleviates the isolating aspects of ministry while allowing participants to share ideas and insights. This course is co-sponsored with The Gather Heart Program (www.gatherheart.org). / Dr. Brock is the founding co-director of Faith Voices for the Common Good (www.faithvoices.org), an organization dedicated to creating a nationwide community of conscience. She was a Fellow at the Harvard Divinity School Center for Values in Public Life, directed the Fellowship Program at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and taught religion and women's studies at a number of colleges and universities.
HM 8410
1.5 units
Minimum: 8     No Limit
CANCELLED                      

Andalusia: Judaism, Islam and Christianity
Fall Semester

Ibrahim Abdurrahman Farajajé
This online course invites the student to engage in an interactive, multi-media process of beginning to reconceptualise the ways in which Judaism, Islam and Christianity have been heretofore studied. We are only now beginning to acknowledge the radical importance of studying Judaism, Islam, and Christianity together. Islam is often constructed as a problematic Other and therefore seen as having nothing in common with and nothing to do with anything outside of its own realm. The histories and processes of interaction between the three traditions in Muslim Andalusia will be studied through text, music, architecture, graphic art, ecology, etc. Instead of looking exclusively at three discreet and distinct traditions, we will examine how the three informed each other within the context of al-Andalus. This will provide a paradigm which we will then interrogate as we look at how historiography, geography, bodies, genders, identities, notions of race and fictions of purity, relationships of class and power intersect in the development of these religious traditions. This will lay the groundwork for further collaborative study of the three religious traditions. In addition to the work on Andalusia proper, we will also look at the implications of these intersections in the post-1492 Americas, as well as in the history of Islam in Bosnia. Where is East? Where is West? / Dr. Ibrahim Farajajé received his doctorate in Theology for groundbreaking work on the spiritual connection between the African Diaspora and Africa. Farajajé has researched Islam with an emphasis on the African American experience and Moroccan Sufism, as well as the Yoruba and Maria Lionza religions in the Caribbean and Latin America. The recipient of numerous awards and honors, Farajajé leads the school's Andalusian Project. He is applying his work in postcolonial/Diaspora studies, cultural studies, critical theory and video technologies to an investigation of 21st century Islam, the development of Islamophobia and questions of identity and diversity in Muslim communities.
HR 8480
3 units
Limit: 20           

HIV/AIDS Ministry
Fall Semester
Vilius Rudra Dundzila

A Unitarian Universalist perspective will be used to address the pastoral, ethical, political, religious, and spiritual challenges of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The course will include local, national, and global points of focus. It will look at HIV/AIDS-related social justice issues such as stigma, poverty, racism, homophobia, sexuality, disenfranchisement, and classism, as well as pastoral care concerns of grief, suffering, disease, and death. Students will formulate their own informed responses to HIV/AIDS and create a project for their area ministerial concern. / Dr. Vilius Rudra Dundzila is a Unitarian Universalist minister in preliminary fellowship and Professor of Humanities and Comparative Religion for Harry S. Truman College (City Colleges of Chicago). On a volunteer basis, he has served various HIV/AIDS service organizations for most of his adult life, both in the United States and in Europe. This includes the now defunct AIDS Pastoral Care Network of Chicago, co-sponsored by the UUA Central MidWest District. Dr. Dundzila wrote his Doctor of Ministry project on HIV/AIDS pastoral care at Meadville Lombard. It documented a Hindu-based, interfaith HIV/AIDS ministry called The River Fund in Sebastian, FL. It is the only Hindu HIV/AIDS Service Organization (ASO) in the country.
RSPS 8401
3 units
Minimum: 8     Limit: 15

Organizational Systems Thinking for Religious Leaders
Fall Semester
Helen Bishop

This course is designed to promote understanding among religious leaders of how organizations operate on the systems level. “Systems thinking” is a methodology linking understandings of how individuals, small and large groups of people interact with the structure, policies, practices, and culture of an organization. Participants will read materials on various aspects of organizational life, examine the ways in which components interact, discuss emotional and family systems theories and their implications for congregational systems, use systems analysis and thinking to investigate congregational leadership, analyze case studies for evidence of organizational frames, and prepare a case study demonstrating systems thinking. References and examples of working to counter oppressions are foundational to this course. / Dr. Helen Bishop holds an Ed.D, in organizational leadership and has an extensive background working with Unitarian Universalist congregations, districts and affiliated organizations.  She has designed, developed and taught online courses related to all aspects of lay leadership and congregational studies, including a pilot project for Unitarian Universalist lay leaders. She also served as director of The Mountain Learning Center for Leadership in Highlands, N.C., and as District Executive for Congregational Services for the UUA’s Central Midwest District.
FT 8404
3 units
Minimum: 8     Limit: 15


Spring 2009

Our Theological House: An Introduction to Theology for Unitarian Universalists
Spring Semester                        
Holly Horn

Traversing the classical topics of systematic theology (the nature of God, humanity, Christ, Spirit, sin and salvation, and the purpose of the church), this course will introduce Unitarian Universalists and interested fellow travelers to the distinctive theological perspectives that give our theological house its shape and character. The course will include readings in the history of theology and contemporary sources, combined with online discussions and reflection papers. The goal is to deepen Unitarian Universalist theological competency and creativity in our emerging post-modern context. This course, developed by Starr King President and Professor of Theology Rebecca Parker, is open to Unitarian Universalist seminarians enrolled in schools outside the Graduate Theological Union, ministers, lay professionals and interested lay people. / The Rev. Dr. Holly Horn has served Unitarian Universalist congregations in Berkeley and Vallejo, CA, Collegeville and Philadelphia, PA as a parish minister. She has a Master of Divinity degree from Starr King School for the Ministry and a Ph.D. from the Graduate Theological Union. She is currently pursuing research for a book in feminist theology.
ST 8402
3 units       
Minimum: 8     Limit: 15
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UU Congregational Polity
Spring Semester
Mark W. Harri
s
This is a course in the history and development of Congregational Polity in the Unitarian Universalist tradition. How did Congregational Polity evolve and what were the differences in the Unitarian and Universalist approaches to governance? How have we handled issues of centralized authority and bureaucracy? We'll look at how religious communities make decisions, support their leaders and define ministry. With ministry we will ask about power, gender and ethics, the call, and the meaning and context for worship and rites of passage. / The Rev. Mark Harris is a 1978 graduate of Starr King. He has served churches in London and Sheffield, England, and in Palmer, Milton, and currently Watertown, MA. He also teaches at Andover Newton Theological School. He is a former Director of Information for the UUA, and is the author of Historical Dictionary of Unitarian Universalism.
FT 8420
3 units
Minimum: 8     Limit: 15

World Religions
Spring Semester
Tawna Nicholas Cooley et. al.

This online World Religions course is focused on major living religions. A scholar/practitioner in each religion will teach most sections, so students will learn from the experience and expertise of several professors in this course. After an introduction to the study of world religions, we will explore Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Shinto and Sikhism, including multiplicities within traditions.  Due to wide availability of other courses, Christianity is not included.  We will discuss the lens we bring in encountering world religions.  Weekly participation in online discussions required. / The Rev. Tawna Cooley, a Starr King School graduate, is overseeing this online course, and will be present for students throughout the semester.
HR 8400
3 units
Minimum: 8     Limit: 15

Islam in India: Islam in a Context of Religious Pluralism CANCELLED
Ibrahim Abdurrahman Farajajé
This online course will examine the history of Islam in India, with a particular emphasis on how its interactions with other religious traditions. We will look in particular at the dynamics of religious interactions in contexts that challenge notions of religions in neatly defined and oppositional relationships. How are religious identities articulated in colonial/post-colonial contexts? What are their implications? We will also look at how this plays out in the South Asian diaspora. For example, how are contemporary “Hosay” traditions of Trinidad connected to Shi’i Muslim practices in India? / Dr. Ibrahim Farajajé received his doctorate in Theology for groundbreaking work on the spiritual connection between the African Diaspora and Africa. Farajajé has researched Islam with an emphasis on the African American experience and Moroccan Sufism, as well as the Yoruba and Maria Lionza religions in the Caribbean and Latin America. The recipient of numerous awards and honors, Farajajé leads the school's Andalusian Project. He is applying his work in postcolonial/Diaspora studies, cultural studies, critical theory and video technologies to an investigation of 21st century Islam, the development of Islamophobia and questions of identity and diversity in Muslim communities.
HR 8429
3 units
Minimum: 8     Limit: 15
CANCELLED


Summer 2009

Children's Literature: A Religious Education
May 25-September 11, 2009                                                          
Keith Kron

A spider saves the life of a pig. A teenage girl integrates a high school in the South. Children make cranes for a sick classmate. A mouse holds memories for its community. A boy learns about the differences between his choices and his abilities. “Charlotte's Web,” “Warriors Don't Cry,” “Sadako and the 1000 Paper Cranes,” “Frederick,” “Harry Potter.” These books for children and many others contain the stories of meaning, of life, of death. Immersing ourselves in the words and pictures of books for and about children, this course will examine the religious, theological and pastoral themes found in the wide world of children's literature and how these might be of use in ministry to others. Participants will be asked to read several children’s books a week, participate in online discussions, and complete reflection papers and projects. / The Rev. Keith Kron is a Starr King graduate and Director of the UUA's Office of Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Concerns.
ED 48xx
3 units
Minimum: 8     Limit: 15


2008-2009 Starr King onsite courses:
Fall / Intersession / Spring / Summer / Saturday Intensives

2009-2010 Starr King courses:
Fall / Intersession / Spring / Summer / Online

 


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