LF Course Descriptions

LF 550 – Biblical and Vocational Foundations of the Teaching Ministry

In this course, we seek an understanding of the teaching ministry of the church: asking what name we use to designate this ministry, discerning what its purpose is, and connecting it to its biblical and vocational foundations.

Prerequisite:  None
Credit:  0.5
Instructor:  Dr. Narola McFayden


LF 551 – Congregation as Context

“Faith formation is nurtured by the whole life of a congregation, the gathered community of faithful people. . . . Everything that happens in a congregation is part of the process of faith formation” (Diane E. Shallue, p. 4). This course draws upon materials from the field of congregational studies to prepare students to understand the context, culture, and theology of a particular congregation in light of driving forces affecting faith formation in congregations in the United States.

Prerequisite:  None
Credit:  0.5
Instructor:  Dr. Narola McFayden


LF 552 – Cultural Shifts Impacting the Teaching of Faith

The culture around us is changing bringing new opportunities for us to teach faith. The church must find ways to be the church in these changing times. In this course we will examine three cultural shifts: digital age, the rise of the SBNR/Nones, and religious pluralism. We will conclude by reconsidering faith formation in light of these cultural shifts.

Prerequisite:  None
Credit:  0.5
Instructor:  Dr. Narola McFayden


LF 553 – Stages of Faith

The theme that unites this course is that different people experience, understand, and live their faith in different ways. We begin by reflecting on the faith development theories of John Westerhoff and James Fowler, which help us understand developmentally how people may experience faith at different times in their lives. Then we look at John Roberto’s work for in the Faith Formation 2020 project, where he identifies eight forces that influence faith formation in our time and four scenarios for faith formation in the church in the coming decades. Finally, we encounter Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, which challenges us to do faith formation in such a way as to meet people in their various learning styles.

Prerequisite:  None
Credit:  0.5
Instructor:  Dr. Narola McFayden


LF 570 – Children’s Ministry in the Church 

This course explores the complexity, necessity and purpose of children’s ministries within the church. We will identify some of the historical strategies for children’s ministries and explore how these have impacted the direction of current curricula and methods. Students will explore their own contexts to recognize historical strains, cultural changes, and the current needs of children and their families within their own congregational settings.

Prerequisite:  None
Credit:  0.5
Instructor:  Dr. Dawn Alitz


LF 572 – Teaching the Bible

In this course we examine a time-honored and common practice of faith formation in congregations: Bible study. We consider why congregations engage in Bible study and what conditions need to be present in order to help children, youth, and adults learn best. We also explore a variety of methods that can be used to design a Bible study, as well as strategies to help people engage the Bible in their prayer lives.

Prerequisite:  None
Credit:  0.5
Instructor: Dr. Tamar Wasoian


LF 574 – Youth Ministry in the Small Church

A perceived weakness of small churches is their lack of programming for youth. This course will explore current trends in religious education which suggest that small churches are fertile ground to do small-scale youth ministries which have big impacts.

Prerequisite:  None
Credit:  0.5
Instructor: Dr. Christopher Rodkey


LF 575 – Engaging Learners Through Story and Discussions

This course explores two particularly effective methods for engaging learners in the teaching ministry of the church: story and discussion. We begin from the biblical and historical foundations for narrative-based teaching and then consider current research about adult learners that supports the use of these pedagogical methods. We identify characteristics that make a learning space conducive to personal sharing and constructive conversation and ponder how to create such a space. Throughout the course, students will engage in multiple forms of story-sharing and discussion that are adaptable for varied use in faith communities.

Prerequisite:  None
Credit:  0.5
Instructor: Dr. Tamar Wasoian


LF 576 – Christian Education in the Black Church

This course will offer a glimpse into the history, function and relevance of Christian Education in the Black Church. Attention will be given to the role of story-linking, culture, and education as a means of freedom. Approaches to engaging this community in manners that are respectful, thoughtful and life-giving will be considered.

Prerequisite:  None
Credit:  1.0
Instructor: Dr. Christine Hooper


LF 577 – Special Topics in Youth Ministry: Baptism and Confirmation

This is an advanced course in faith formation, specifically focused upon issues of the pastoral practice of baptism and confirmation with teens.

Prerequisite:  None
Credit:  0.5
Instructor: Dr. Christopher Rodkey


LF 578 – The Art of Youth Ministry: An Introduction

This course is an introduction to youth ministry.  Emphases for this introduction will include locating youth ministry within larger ecclesiological and theological contexts and developing tools for youth ministries that are helpful in a variety of ministry contexts and situations.

Prerequisite:  None
Credit:  0.5
Instructor: Dr. Christopher Rodkey


LF 579 – Faith Formation in Adolescent Women

In this course, we begin by considering the context of adolescent women, naming developmental issues faced by young women and common cultural narratives about girlhood identity to which they are exposed. We then examine themes that arise in research about the faith lives of adolescent women and consider what this research implies for ministry with adolescent women. Finally, we look closely at methods used in religious education with adolescent women to support their faith formation, including girlfriend theology groups and transformative prayer practices.

Prerequisite:  None
Credit:  0.5
Instructor: Dr. Claire Bischoff


LF 580 – Post-Christendom Youth Ministry

With the rise of secularism and the displacement of the church from a privileged location in the public square, our assumptions and starting points for ministry with youth must also shift to proclaim the Gospel within the context of a new frontier. This course will introduce theological modes of interpreting emerging youth and millennial culture and explore new and changing perspectives on teaching, worship, community, and boundaries for youth ministry. As a result of this course, students will be able to articulate the concept of post-Christendom ministry and both theorize and plan a ministerial practice targeted at youth.

Prerequisite:  None
Credit:  0.5
Instructor: Dr. Christopher Rodkey


LF 581 – NEW 500-LEVEL LF ELECTIVE

TBA

Prerequisite:  None
Credit:  0.5
Instructor: Dr. Tamar Wasoian


LF 590 – Competency Exercise

*Please refer to section 7.1.6-7.1.8 of the Student Handbook*

Prerequisite:  Completion of all other LF 500 level work
Credit:  0.5
Instructor: Dr. Claire Bischoff


LF 670 – Liberative Pedagogies and Practices

In this class, we begin with theological, anthropological questions: who are we as human beings and why (and from what) do we need liberation? We then ask how our educational ministry can contribute to human liberation through the pedagogical (teaching) practices we utilize. We begin our search for answers where the movement of liberative and critical pedagogies began, with Brazilian educator Paulo Freire’s foundational text Pedagogy of the Oppressed. We then look at how followers of Freire, in the worlds of secular and religious education, have used his work to undergird a variety of pedagogies designed to promote critical thought and critical action, including narrative, aesthetic, and embodied pedagogies. We then conclude by returning to a theological question: what role does our faith and relationship with God play in liberative pedagogies? As a partial answer to this question, we consider the practice of discernment as a way to connect with God’s will and to join in    partnership with God in transforming all life for the reign of God.

Prerequisite:  Successfully completed one competency exercise and a minimum of 60% of LF 500 level work
Credit:  2.0
Instructor:  Dr. Claire Bischoff


LF 671 – Eyes to See, Ears to Hear:  Understanding the Cultures that Shape the Lives of Congregations

TBA

Prerequisite:  Successfully completed one competency exercise and a minimum of 60% of LF 500 level work
Credit:  2.0
Instructor:  Dr. Claire Bischoff


 

♦ Updated 6/28/16