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Academic Catalog

Academic Catalog 2023-24

M301INT Tools for Parish and Nonprofit Administration

Laboy (3 credits)

Regardless of the context in which they serve, whether in parish or community settings, religious professionals are expected to "do it all." Along with the call to provide moral, ethical, and pastoral leadership, we are also asked to meet the demand to manage and administer the organizations that we lead. Indeed, an Auburn Center study of new parish ministers found that they felt underprepared to meet the complex management skills of a congregation. Leaders of secular nonprofits are similarly rarely chosen primarily for their administrative skills. And yet, whether one is ordained as a minister or leads as a trained layperson, these are the skills that are necessary for the fulfillment of an organization's mission and vision.
Practical skills covered in the course include volunteer recruitment and supervision, personnel hiring and supervision, financial administration and budget preparation, building and property needs, culture changes, conflict negotiation through a pastoral lens and working with lay leaders. Because it is a key factor in determining the success of religious leadership, a significant portion of the course will be devoted to the theories and practices of fundraising in a faith-based context. 

The course will allow students to consider administrative practices as a means for dismantling white supremacy culture.

Required of MDiv students seeking UU ministerial fellowship.

M327INT Preaching as if You Mean It

Hergert (3 credits)

A great Harvard professor of homiletics once said that all ministers must face the hard question, “How far would you go to hear yourself preach?” If the answer is to be “A long way,” then the sermons we preach will need to be both worthy in their content and felicitous in their style. This intensive course will address both elements of preaching. It will help students clarify what fundamental message they want to preach and how to do so most effectively.

MDiv required course.

M405INT Topics in Worship and Liturgy

Rideout (3 credits)

This course will provide a framework for creating worship in a culture that is becoming more diverse and where organized religion is losing adherence. Students will consider how to create worship that is memorable, meaningful, and multi-cultural. This is a hands-on course.

MDiv required course.

M411INT Healthy Boundaries for Leaders

House (3 credits)

Healthy boundaries are key to healthy and ethical leadership. They are meant to create a safer and more liberative space within which we can freely lead. This course will prepare you to develop and articulate your professional ethic of ministry and/or leadership. We will cover the importance of boundaries, pastoral authority and power dynamics, sexual health and ethics, harassment and abuse prevention, and self-care.

MDiv and MAR required course.

M500 Advanced Methods in Leadership and Ministry

Lassiter (3 credits)

This course introduces students to advanced methods in leadership and ministry. Students will engage practical theology, practices of ministry, theological and sacred writings, and resources from cognate disciplines to bear on contemporary challenges in leadership and ministry. A particular emphasis is placed on writing and peer-to-peer review, theological reflection, and critical engagement. Course is limited to first-year DMin students.

M505 Spirituality for Social Change

House (3 credits)

What sources of inspiration, grounding, challenge, sparking, mending, and renewing inform our work in this contemporary moment of so many pressing urgencies? What spiritual practices do we need to enliven imagination, hone discernment, strengthen collaborations, orient activism, nourish physical and social bodies, deepen understandings of callings, sustain spirit, and encourage those who come after us? What frameworks of attention, action, and reflection equip leaders to pursue social change with courage, conviction, and curiosity?  

This course focuses on the human and spiritual development of faith leaders for social change. Students will develop a practice of personal spirituality and learn how to work through personal and professional challenges to effect social change leadership in faith contexts. 

DMin required course.

M520 Social Justice Leadership

House (3 credits)

This course focuses on theory and practice of social justice leadership attentive to the history of movement. Students will explore diverse contexts at the intersection of faith and social justice leadership, develop beginning proficiency in methods of social change such as emergent strategy, faith-based organizing, asset-based community development, and network theory, discern the role of media in effecting social change, and develop a richer understanding and personal grounding about the physical and spiritual resources needed to sustain social justice leaders, including themselves.  

DMin required course.

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