Civil Rights Through Christian Eyes, Theology and Domestic Violence, and Next-Level Preaching

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  • March 5-17, 2018 – Online
    IP 579: Civil Rights Movement Through the Eyes of Christian Participants
    Instructor: Bruce Breeding, Adjunct Professor of Church History
    This course is a brief overview of the American Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. It will focus on the experiences of those in leadership who self-identified as Christians. We will use their lives as examples of how our ministry today can shape and mold the lives of our parishioners and our congregations
  • April 9-21, 2018 – Online
    IF 587: Theology and Domestic Violence
    Instructor: Dr. Emily Askew, Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology
    Think about this: if 1 out of every 3 women in your church and 1 out of every 4 men had cancer, what would the church’s response be? Now think about the fact that these statistics represent the number of women and men who live in relationships characterized by domestic violence, yet the church has been largely silent on this issue. Pastors are not trained in seminary to deal with the issues surrounding domestic violence, so they simply don’t speak about it from the pulpit. More often, we are tempted to keep our hands off other peoples’ relationships and marriages because they are ‘private,’ but domestic violence is an epidemic that thrives in silence. The less we name it, the more it festers and too often kills. In this course I will teach you how to break this silence and let the church be a place of honesty and healing for men and women living with domestic violence. You will learn how Scripture and theology have been misused to keep people in abusive relationships and how it can be revisioned to help people make difficult decisions about how to deal with abuse. We will ask hard questions about the concepts of covenant, forgiveness, grace and love. You will learn the varieties of ways domestic violence is legally interpreted, beyond getting physically beaten. You will learn about the cycle of abuse that keeps men and women going back into abusive relationships. You will learn about the effects of the opioid epidemic on domestic violence cases and learn to help parents who are being abused by opioid addicted adult children. You will learn how you can help the perpetrators of domestic violence who are also your congregants. It is my hope that by the end of our class, you will feel more confident teaching and preaching about domestic violence in your church, and thus help many people who now suffer silently break the chains of denial, shame and guilt and begin to live the life of thriving God wills for us all.
  • June 22-25, 2018 – On Campus
    LW 676 Next Level Preaching: Rooted and Reaching
    Instructor: Dr. Leah Schade, Assistant Professor of Preaching and Worship
    Sharpen and expand your skills for preaching to take your sermons to the next level. We will learn ways to deepen the scriptural and theological roots of our preaching, while creatively using story, imagery, and form to connect with listeners in their context. Drawing on lessons from a diverse range of “teachers,” such as stand-up comedians, jazz musicians, and story-tellers, we will practice techniques for preaching in ways that engage the listener, create a powerful experience of God’s justice and grace, and compel us to live the gospel in the world.