At Kindling in July, chaplains and campus ministers decided on the following six courses to inaugurate our online learning community. To sign up, follow this link. Classes are free and open to all interested parties. You can sign-up for a course at any time before the month in which it begins. Please don’t hesitate to let others know about this opportunity!
All courses will follow this format:
Weeks One and Two, participants read the assigned materials.
Week Three, participants write and submit a two page reading response.
Week Four, class discussion on Moodle of questions raised by the response papers, moderated by the instructor. An hour long video conference will also be available for face-to-face discussion.
Intersections of Science and Religion
Course Instructor: John Maxwell Kerr
There are at least four ways of modeling the relationship between the sciences and religions. The generally-held view, that of endless conflict, is not even slightly historically valid but serves the interests of two groups one might meet on campus: fundamentalist Christians and scientific atheists. In a short course, almost all the focus must be on Christianity, with occasional side-glimpses at Islam and Judaism. The course will enable students to become familiar with the usual suspects’ arguments and also the resources with which to enter with some confidence into dialogue. The main topics will be current scientific understandings of evolution and the doctrines of creation; cosmology and theology; climate change, stewardship, and other environmental issues, and Christian thought in medical areas such as PTSD and moral injury, abortion, and embryonic stem cell research.
The Rev. John Maxwell Kerr is Episcopal Chaplain to the faculty, staff, and students at The College of William and Mary. He was one of the founders and second Warden of the Society of Ordained Scientists.
Doing More with Fewer Resources
Course Instructor: Gil W. Stafford
The topic of money confuses everything. In the twenty-first century, money impacts how we will live, move, and have our being in the world. There are very few concerns in our lives where we can avoid economic consequences. As Rowan Williams wrote, “Like (the work of our occupation), like family relationships, like the tensions of public political life, economic relations have something to say to us about how we see our humanity in the context of God’s actions.” When we, as a people of faith, entertain the weighty topics of life, we find ourselves in search for a theology of God’s economy. Our time together in this class will focus on discussing whether a theology of God’s abundance can be found within the ethic of scarcity.We will use Williams’ article, “Theology and Economics: Two Different Worlds?” and Marion Grau’s piece, “Elements of Renewal: Fourfold Wisdom,” along with one article recommended by each student, the three will form the platform for our dialogue.
The Rev. Dr. Gil Stafford is Vicar of St. Augustine’s Episcopal Parish and Chaplain for the Episcopal Campus Ministry at Arizona State University, Tempe. Gil has taught courses and led seminars on Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Anglican Spirituality including Evelyn Underhill, Celtic Spirituality, pilgrimage, leadership, and spiritual direction. His publications include works on higher education, leadership, and spirituality.
Building Communities that Garner Trust
Course Instructor: Andrea Bardelmeier
Does your model of community support the spirit of your mission? Together we will explore how transparency and truth support the right use of power and help garner trust in community. We will draw from the learnings of intentional communities and from the Christian spiritual disciplines of discernment and togetherness.
Andrea Bardelemeier served from 2012-2014 as the Community Facilitator for the Floral House Community. She also worked with several other Praxis Communities expressions that serve the world in the way of Christ such as contemplative prayer groups, yoga, Lydia’s House, and Praxis Podcasts. Her professional background is in neighborhood community organizing and college chaplaincy.
Sexual Misconduct and Social Justice
Course Instructors: Jordan Ware, Jocelynn Jurkovich-Hughes, and Robert Berra
Sexual misconduct on campus and in our society as a whole arises from patriarchy and rape culture. Rape culture devalues women and warps the minds and relationships of both women and men. The Church, rather than combating this sinful worldview, has perpetuated it by wrongly focusing on sexual sin as the primary sin one can commit, and laying at women’s feet the responsibility for avoiding this sin. Christian leaders on campus need to find ways to become a prophetic voice speaking out against patriarchy, misogyny, and rape culture, as well as pastorally supporting victims of harassment, abuse, and rape. This class will focus on understanding the prevalence of rape culture in our society, and explore methods for articulating a Christian witness that exposes it and calls participants in it to repentance.
The Rev. Jordan Haynie Ware is a Youth & Young Adult Minister in Texas, the Rev. Jocelynn Jurkovich-Hughes is the Campus Chaplain at The Belfry – the Lutheran Episcopal Campus Ministry at UC Davis, and the Rev. Robert Berra is the campus chaplain with Incarnation Campus Ministry at Arizona State University/Polytechnic. Together, the three of them administrate the blog All Faithful Can | Subvert the Patriarchy.
Sex and Relationships
Course Instructors: Lucas Mix and Karl Stevens
What role does God play in issues of sex and romance? How is my love as a Christian related to love in my relationships? Many students struggle to find the words for these conversations. Others don’t even see a connection. In this class, we will talk about the positive role campus ministries can play in helping students discover who they will love, how they will love, and what to do when love ends. We will also explore how to talk about the issues, in public and private, without being prudish or authoritarian. People in their late teens and twenties find questions of relationship to be among the most pressing and important. This course will equip ministry leaders with a variety of ethical models and concrete suggestions for entering into the conversation.
The Rev. Lucas Mix is a priest, author, and martial artist who is currently studying the definition of life in biology and theology at Harvard, and who authors the blog An Ecclesiastical Peculiar. The Rev. Karl Stevens is Missioner for Campus Ministry with the Diocese of Southern Ohio, and an artist who is currently working on an illuminated text of the Song of Songs.
The Relationship of the Church to the University
Course Instructor: Thomas E. Breidenthal
The culture of academia is changing rapidly, as administrators are pushed to adopt more corporate methods, campuses undergo vast building projects, a rising percentage of the student body falls outside of the residential, full-time model of traditional college education, and more and more classes are taught by adjunct professors who don’t have the benefits of the tenure system to support their research and teaching. Add to this the fact that the number of students who don’t claim any religious affiliation is increasing sharply, and Christian leaders on campus are left wondering how their ministries can continue to relate to a chaotic and sometimes hostile campus environment. Our time together in this class will focus on the spirituality of contemporary academia, and how the church can speak to that spirituality.
The Rt. Rev. Thomas E. Breidenthal served as the dean of Religious Life and of the Chapel at Princeton University. Before moving to Princeton, he served for nearly a decade as the John Henry Hobart Professor of Christian Ethics and Moral Theology at General Theological Seminary in New York City. He was a senior chaplain at Harvard School in California and an Episcopal Church Foundation Fellow in Oxford, England. He currently serves as the Bishop of Southern Ohio. His books include Sacred Unions: A New Guide to Life-Long Commitment, published in 2006, and Christian Households: The Sanctification of Nearness, published in 1997.
Click here to sign-up for classes!