My seminary has changed to a different schedule this year, so everyone is taking at least 12 hours in the fall semester. I am catching up on my practical theology requirements since I transferred to the dual (MDiv/MA in Christian Education) later in my seminary education. I’m taking 13 hours. Here are my courses this fall:
Using the Arts in Christian Formation
This class is taught by one of my favorite PhD students, and it looks like it’s going to be fun. It’s a combination of reading, reflection, discussion, lecture, and experiential learning. We are looking at the history of using the arts in different Christian traditions, analyzing theological issues at stake, and each person will be leading the class in an “aesthetic encounter.” I’m not sure what that’s going to look like, but it’s going to be audience participant heavy.
Introduction to Christian Education and Formation
An introduction to Christian education and formation that focuses on the Word, baptism, and communion to help us understand how we help foster lifelong discipleship as church leaders. (This is the one class that hasn’t met yet, but this is what the syllabus says.)
Philosophy of Education
Looking at a range of philosophical understandings of education we are going to reflect theologically and develop a statement of our own philosophy of education. Looks like we’ll be walking through some philosophers chronologically. Yes! Historical development!
Ethics and the Problem of Evil
An interesting course where we’ll be focusing on how we as Christians act given evil in the world. We’ll also be asking the questions of “why” and “how,” but it is an ethics course at its heart. At the end we’ll be doing creative responses to evil that still witnesses to God. The professor suggests writing a requiem. I bet he thinks no one will take up that challenge. Challenge accepted!
Word and Act in Christian Worship: Service of the Word
This is a lab course where we’ll be practicing many of the elements for Sunday services as well as asking the always interesting question “Why do we do this in worship?” I’ve already taken this course’s sister course that covers the sacraments, weddings, and funerals; so I know what to expect.
Altogether it’s a heavily EF (education and formation) semester, but most of the readings look interesting and the ethics course will keep me on my toes. Now I need to go and start filling in my giant calendar of assignments to help keep me on track.