LF Course Descriptions

LF 550 – Biblical and Vocational Foundations of the Teaching Ministry

This course rests on the premise that one of the crucial tasks of those called to be pastors and/or educators is to teach in the church. In this course, we seek an understanding of the teaching ministry as we explore the purpose, context, content, and process of teaching, drawing on biblical and vocational foundations of teaching.

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 nature of faith in the scripture. Then we look at faith development theories of James Fowler and John Westerhoff, which help us understand developmentally how people may experience faith at different times in their lives. We then look at some best practices in faith formation to see what we might learn about growing in faith.

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


LF 570 – Children’s Ministry in the Church 

This course explores aspects of age appropriate teaching and learning ministry with children in the 21st century. These changing times bring new challenges to already existing understandings of ministry with children. This course highlights these challenges and places ministry with children in the sphere of home and community as well as the church.

Participants will be reflecting on their own learning memories to draw parallels and learn about the importance of learning in the early years. In the first lesson, the class will be exploring age specific learning habits and faith formation of children. Learning in family and community will be discussed through the second and third lessons. Learners will be encouraged to explore worshiping together as a new approach to the education ministry of the church and ways to make inclusivity for all ages possible in their own ministry context.

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


LF 571 – Youth Culture and Faith Formation

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:  Faculty


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: Faculty


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: Faculty


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 – Holistic Education

Holistic education looks into human being in its mind, body, soul and community dimensions, within the context of time and history, in relation to the divine.  This course explores aspects of fullness of life for humanity, integrity of creation and all manifestations of the wholeness God wills for us. Students will be doing this through exploring practices that make them whole and reflect on how to make wholeness possible in their vocation. We will be experimenting with physical/mental mediation to integrate body, mind and spirit. By keeping journal reflections on these experiences, students will discuss aspects of ministry that require wholeness and Holiness. After reading on the theme from diverse sources and combining their own experience, as a final project, the students will plan a holistic ministry project to implement in their own ministry.

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


LF 582 – The Spirituality of Public Spaces

This course explores the public aspect of spirituality as it takes place as a public expression in a public space. The inspirations for this class are the early images from Tahrir square in Cairo, Egypt where Christian demonstrators formed human chain around Muslims praying the Friday salat (prayers) and Muslims forming human chains protecting Christians on Sundays, to the most recent images of clergy from various denominations and faith backgrounds walking hand-in-hand to confront the hate rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. These images are exhibits of redefined and reformed understanding of spirituality.

Since the ‘Arab Spring’, Ferguson, and Charlottesville communities of faith are redefining their faithfulness by being out in the streets . Traditional understanding of spirituality is challenged by bringing it out from the sanctuary and putting it out in plain sight. Spirituality is no longer a private affair between the creator and the individual creation, but it is what is seen, felt, and called to live out in the context of the community that is in labor for a change.

Participants will be reflecting on their own understanding and experience of spirituality to draw parallels and learn about the public aspect of living out spiritual expressions of faith. Throughout the class, the learners will be exploring about how this new understanding of public faith is an opportunity to challenge and inform their teaching in their ministry contexts.

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


LF 583 – Adult Spirituality

This course explores aspects of age appropriate teaching and learning ministry with adults. Moving through life spans brings new challenges to already existing realities of life. This course highlights these challenges and places ministry with adults in the sphere of home and community as well as the church.

In the first part of this class, we will be reflecting on the work of James W. Fowler and learn about faith formation in adulthood. We will be reflecting on vocation, grace, and the journey of being and becoming. In the second part, we will be learning from Linda J. Vogel about her vision of education that answers the age appropriate needs of the adult learners and practical road map to achieve such vision.

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


LF 584 – Feminist Pedagogy

TBA

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


LF 587 – The Art of Youth Ministry:  An Introduction

TBA

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


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. Narola McFayden


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:  Faculty


LF 671 – Christian Adaptation of Spiritual Practices

After reviewing ways that churches in other times and places have adapted spiritual practices, students will develop “healthy change guidelines” to collaborate with church members to:

  1. Evaluate how well their current spiritual practices “fit” with their current mission and with the norms and models in:
  2. The Bible,
  3. Their network of churches,
  4. The cultures around their ministry context – so that they can:
  5. Discern which current practices should remain as is, or be modified, or be dropped – and then:
  6. Agree how to experiment with envisioned changes so that everyone who so desires can:
  7. Help plan the experiment
  8. Evaluate its effects, and

Decide on the next steps for corporate growth in Christ.

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


 

♦ Updated 7/26/17