In the past few weeks we have heard alarming reports concerning several devastating events around the world. There is an Ebola epidemic in some of the poverty stricken areas of West Africa that, if not controlled, could become a pandemic. Michael Brown, an 18 year old African American male, was shot to death by a police officer in Ferguson, MO and riots have ensued. President Obama has sent weapons, drones, and jets to destroy ISIS convoys and artillery in northern Iraq. ISIS responded a few days later by sending a video of the beheading of US journalist James Foley.
As a seminary community we are keenly aware that we have been called for such a time as this. Accordingly, we have been asking the question “How can we address these events and the ethical issues they embody to help our students, our alumni, our constituent pastors, and our seminary friends weed through the conflicting ideas about these atrocities in order to develop their own conclusions and commitments that they will then act upon?”
In response to this question established courses have been tweaked and new courses created. Here are a few examples:
OT 8174 Introduction to the Old Testament (online). A socio-cultural and theological overview of the Old Testament with foci on basic content, exegetical (interpretive) methodologies, and hermeneutical
(application) approaches related to the most critical issues of our day (violence, war, poverty, immigration, eschatology, and the role of the church). Professors: Flesher/ Guerrero/ Melgar
FT1130 Church Leadership. Developing leadership by providing the tools necessary for administering the church as a transformational agent in today’s culture. Professor: Martin
ST2198 Contextual Theology. A survey of major figures, themes, methods, and theological constructions of Liberation, Black, Latino/a, as well as Mujerista and Womanist theologies. That emerge from contexts of suffering and economic, racial, social, and cultural oppression. Professor: Da Valle
NT2860 Parable Theory and African American Hermeneutics. Reading parables through the lens of African American and Womanist hermeneutics that take seriously the everyday experiences of being African American in the diaspora, and hold commitments to the survival and wholeness of African American females, males, and families. Professor: Amen
BS2??? The Bible and the Newspaper: Poverty, Violence, War and the Bible. A new course that will focus on Hermeneutics, the Bible and the daily news. Professor: Flesher
FT2537 How to Lead Almost Anything: Honing your Leadership Style and Skills to Build Consensus not Chaos. Understanding power vs influence and position vs relationship will enable students to build consensus, cohesiveness, and community. Professor: Miles-Tribble
HM2240 Theology of Preaching. What is preaching in this post-modern, multicultural, and multi-religious world? Students will be guided to formulate their own theology of preaching in their own cultural context. Professor: Park
We are living in a volatile time. The way we think, ideologically and theologically, about the events and crises of our days effects how and where we lead. People’s lives, as well as the health and well-being of our nation, have been threatened for hundreds of years.
Today’s crises are an expression of the pent up energies from injustices suffered. You are invited to join us in the conversation.