Twenty-two faculty members will teach the 2013-14 academic year, at the new diocesan School for Ministry. Some of the faculty are retired seminary professors, while others work in academic institutions based here in the area, and still others work in parish settings. As dean of studies, it has been a gift to sit with and hear the intellectual passions of such a richly talented group. Who knew that so many of the folks around us held doctoral and other advanced degrees and had a gift for teaching?
The School follows a team-teaching approach with each subject area taught by teams of three-to-five faculty members. This approach affords students the priceless opportunity to engage with a diversity of voices as they explore the terrain of any given academic discipline.
This year, Saturday classes are: Hebrew Bible 1, Preaching, Liturgics 1 and 2, The Vocation of the Deacon, New Testament 1, Pastoral Care, and Ecumenism and World Religions. Each semester is 14 weeks long and topics that will be covered include: finding your preaching voice, liturgy as formation, the New Testament in contemporary culture, trauma and spirituality, ecumenism and global mission, and Islam in the U.S. military.
Members of the diocese are welcome to register for courses, commit to 14 weeks of attendance on Saturdays, and read preparatory material ahead of class sessions. Unlike postulants, those who wish to attend a course as auditors do not need to complete final assessments, so no preaching to the peer group is required! If you are interested in registering for a class this Spring, please visit the website: www.sfmedsd.org.
Beyond Saturdays, during this inaugural year, the School for Ministry will offer other opportunities for learning open to the whole diocese. The larger vision for the School is that it might become a center for learning and growth not only for those who are preparing for ordained ministry, but for those already in ordained and lay leadership roles, as well as for those who would like to enhance their own theological breadth and depth of knowledge.
Our hope is that beyond this first year, the School will help us grow as a learning diocese as we discover and share the talents that each of us has to offer to the life and mission of the church.
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Jeff Pack, St. Paul’s Cathedral John Shelby Spong, the controversial, well-traveled, and now retired, Episcopal Bishop from New Jersey, once claimed his early spiritual search was simply a means to seeking security for his anxious and insecure soul. He would discover he was only partially correct, as he later wrote in his autobiography, “…I discovered […]