Thursday, September 4, 2014

Ecumenism divinity course opportunity--January 2015 short term

Peter and Andrew Embracing, icon
presented in 1964 by Ecumenical
Patriarch Athenagoras to Pope Paul VI

In the January 2015 between-semesters term at Gardner-Webb University School of Divinity in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, I will be teaching a Master of Divinity course titled "Special Topics in Theology: The Quest for Christian Unity" (DSTH 401). The course will meet in a one-week intensive format January 5-9 (Monday-Friday), 8:00 A.M.-4:30 P.M. each day, on the Boiling Springs campus.

For M.Div. students at Gardner-Webb, the course will fulfill the Historical/Theological Studies Electives requirement for the Pastoral Studies concentration and the General Electives requirement for all concentrations. The course is also open to transient students who are enrolled in a degree program at another institution and wish to arrange transfer credit, as well as to non-degree students and registered auditors.

By the course's conclusion, students should be able to meet these objectives:
  1. Be familiar with the broad outlines of the history of ecclesial divisions and efforts to overcome them.
  2. Consider the current divisions of the church in light of the biblical imperative for Christian unity.
  3. Articulate a theological rationale for ecumenical engagement.
  4. Offer informed responses to some of the key proposals and agreements of the modern ecumenical movement.
  5. Appreciate the quest for Christian unity as central to the task of congregational ministry.
  6. Propose concrete practices of grassroots ecumenical engagement.
In addition to various ecumenical documents available online, the following are the required texts:
Students will also select one of the following books about the ecumenical movement and its future as the subject of a written response and class presentation:
In addition to participation in class lecture and seminar-style discussion sessions, course requirements will include an exam, an analysis of a national- or international-level dialogue between the student's own denominational tradition and another Christian communion, a response to one of the books about the ecumenical movement and its future, and a proposal for practices of concrete ecumenical engagement that can be implemented in local church settings. The exam will be completed at the end of the week; the remaining writing assignments will be due later in the spring.

Gardner-Webb divinity students will register through the usual process. Students at other institutions wishing to arrange transfer credit should confer with their academic dean early in the process and contact Kheresa Harmon, Director of Admissions for the School of Divinity at Gardner-Webb, for information about application procedures for transient students (; 704-406-3205). Others interested in taking the course as non-degree students or registered auditors should contact Kheresa Harmon as well. Applications from prospective students for the course not currently enrolled at Gardner-Webb will need to be received by December 1, 2014.

1 comment:

  1. This is a topic of especial importance to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). I am spreading the word about this great opportunity!