Topics in Ministry: SU 190
Section 01: Introducing the Poverty Initiative: Building a Movement to End Poverty
Friday, September 28, 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Instructor: Adam Barnes
The course will introduce students to the history and core strategies, concepts, and practices of the Poverty Initiative, and will cover the history that guides and grounds the work of the Poverty Initiative, including: Dr. Martin Luther King’s Poor People’s campaign, The National Union of the Homeless, Myles Horton and the Highlander Center, and more. We will study the strategic concepts that inform the work of the Poverty Initiative: leadership of the poor, unity across traditional lines of division, and the role of religion in building a social movement. We will look at the organizing work of the Poverty Initiative, represented by our Poverty Scholars network – individuals and poor-led groups organizing around frontline social issues across the country and world, coming together to function as part of a larger movement.
Section 02: Grant Writing
Friday, October 19, 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Instructor: Will Critzman
An intensive one-day workshop on the institutional fundraising process from foundation and government prospecting, research, cultivation and solicitation through to grants management and financial reporting. By the end of the day, students will know how to identify and seek out fundraising opportunities for their organizations and programs. Students will gain practical experience in grant writing, building project budgets, and making the pitch. This section will be offered for audit only.
Section 03: Prophetic Ministry in the Era of Mass Incarceration
Friday, October 26, 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Instructor: Rev. Vivian Nixon
The ministry of the church must be both pastoral and prophetic. This course seeks to understand the biblical mandate to address the spiritual and physical well being of people in and after prison, as well as the mandate to address social justice concerns like social advocacy, and speaking truth to power when unjust policies and practices disparately impact and marginalize particular communities.
Section 04: The 21st Century Parish: Living the Dash Between the Nitty and the Gritty – Part 1
Thursday, November 1, 7:00-9:00 p.m., & Friday, November 2, 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Instructor: Rev. Donna Schaper
This is a course in practical parish theology for the 21st century. The student will leave the course knowing how to do the basics of an average pastor’s average week: the bulletin; the parish calling; hospital visitation; staff management; and budget and stewardship campaigns. You will know how to do them well, from a deeply centered place. The course will cover the Associate Senior and Solo Pastor’s Roles in these areas.
Section 05: Interfaith Families: The Changing Faces of Ministry
Friday, November 9, 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Instructor: Sheila Gordon
Today, nearly 40% of all U.S. families are comprised of different religious traditions. Dr. Gordon will lead an interactive introduction to the issues faced by dual tradition families. These issues – spiritual, theological, marital, parental, educational, and communal — have major implications for religious leaders both in pastoral work and in building congregations. The course will situate the issues in their historical and theological contexts while drawing on the Interfaith Community’s 25 years of experience in building a comprehensive curriculum about both Judaism and Christianity for families who want to nurture both traditions. Since 2003, UTS and JTS faculty and students have been instrumental in conceiving and teaching the curriculum.
Section 06: Skill -Building Workshop: Facilitating Community Collaboration
Friday, November 16, 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Instructors: Ruth Wooden and Alison Kadlec of Public Agenda
Religious leaders, especially those working in urban areas, are in a unique position to provide crucial leadership to help bring diverse and often competing segments of the community together to address difficult shared problems, such as abortion, alternative to sentencing to prison, public school reform and land use. But often the contentious political and cultural environment in which religious leaders and their congregations operate makes this a difficult task. This course will cover new approaches to public engagement and offer well-tested techniques and a model for effective dialogue in order to facilitate social change. Principles for effective engagement and collaborative dialogue, as well as case study, role play, facilitated dialogue will be offered.
For more information on Public Agenda, see: www.publicagenda.org.
Section 07: Responding to Domestic Violence in Communities of Faith
Fridays, November 30 & December 7, 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Instructor: Sally MacNichol
An intensive course for clergy, lay leaders and seminarians to learn about the complex dynamics of intimate partner abuse, and its effects on individuals, families, and communities. You will learn about intervention strategies: practices and resources needed to help keep victims/survivors safe, and abusers accountable. The course explores approaches to the challenging pastoral, theological and spiritual issues that abuse and violence in the family raise.
Section 01: The 21st Century Parish: Living the Dash Between the Nitty and the Gritty – Part 2
Thursday, February 7, 7:00-9:00 p.m., & Friday, February 8, 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Instructor: Rev. Donna Schaper
This course is a guide to funerals, baptisms, weddings, staff, board, your own ministry as a job, raising money and handling discontents. Students will explore the roles of Associate, Senior and Solo Pastors who want to understand their careers from the perspective of their own theology. Personal and Personnel issues will be discussed, such as salary negotiations, how long to stay, how to excel at being “Second Banana,” and how to supervise associates. You will also learn how to preach well if infrequently, how to manage the congregational president or moderator, and what to do with parish “discontents.” (Students do not have to take Part 1 of this course in order to register for Part 2.)
Section 02: Who Do They Think You Are? Marketing and Communications for Faith-Based Organizations
Friday, April 5th, 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Instructor: Wade Bennett
Current and future leaders of faith-based organizations must have a firm grasp of effective communications practices that organizations need to remain vital and relevant. This course outlines specific steps to create and execute successful communications strategies to achieve this goal. The course also examines six core techniques to develop, implement and analyze communications strategies to achieve this goal. The course also examines six core techniques to develop, implement and analyze communications and marketing efforts that establish awareness, engage constituents and build brand loyalty. By the end of the course, students will be equipped to utilize both strategic and tactical communications tools to meet the goals of non-profit and faith-based institutions.
Section 03: The Politics of Food
Date TBA, 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Instructors: Piper Dumont of Edible Churchyard & Adam Barnes of the Poverty Initiative
How can we understand “food justice” and its globalized impact while making it relevant to our local context? We will be study how the globalized economy of food is adversely impacting the labor and health of our communities at home. We will look at the industrial food system, its effects around the world and consider challenges to that system. We will focus on the many ways that diverse religious communities can draw on their traditions to help conceive and work toward an alternative system and what many are doing already. The class will look at the struggles of farm workers in Florida, restaurant workers in New York, and rural communities in Brazil and India to consider an alternative politics of food.
Section 04: Fundraising for Religious Professionals
Instructor: Donaldson Hill
Date and Time TBA
Competence in fundraising and stewardship ministry is a critical success factor for congregational leaders. This course explores the theological and technical dimensions of fundraising, and equips leaders for engaging members of congregations through case development, cultivation and solicitation of financial resources.
Section 05: Religion and Empire: A Poverty Initiative Conference
Date and Time TBA
Students enrolled will participate in the sessions and activities of a conference held in early spring at Union. Students will also be part of preliminary study and planning with the Poverty Initiative as we lead up to the conference. Those enrolled for credit are required to submit a reflection paper at the end of the conference.
Section 06: Reframing Organizations
Date TBA, 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Instructor: Su Yon Pak
Using Lee Bolman and Terrence Deal’s four-frame model, this course will explore organization and leadership. Through reframing, the participants will be given the tools to understand and lead organizations that can be complicated, ambiguous and unpredictable. The four frames: the structural frame, the human resource frame, the political frame and the symbolic frame will be the central focus for understanding both organization and leadership. Case studies will be used to practice reframing and to foster multi-frame thinking.
Section 07: Material Remains: Learning Garbage to Know the World
Friday, April 26 & Saturday, April 27, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Instructor: Robin Nagle
We live in an age of prodigious waste, in myriad forms. The systems that deal with it are efficient enough to keep it out of sight, more or less, but such invisibility also keeps it outside our attention and thus outside our concern. This course considers archaeological and cultural legacies of garbage in the contemporary world while exploring logistical questions about its genesis and management. It includes a visit to a Sanitation facility, and a potential optional Freegan tour.