GTS Fall 2013 Courses: Dangerous Christians, Wondering, Wandering, and a Mystery


The General Theological Seminary is now accepting registrations for Fall 2013 courses and especially welcomes General Learners to become part of the Seminary community. Students may pursue compelling and relevant topics, such as the mystery of Jesus' mission today as the Messiah, bold and dangerous Christian leadership, medieval wandering, the use of digital media in spiritual guidance, the wonder of Jesus' parables, and the design of churches for common prayer. The opportunities include courses taught by new faculty, early evening courses, and the Seminary's first course to be offered only online. To learn about Fall 2013 courses and to register, click here.

General Learners are students who are not pursuing a formal degree and who take courses to learn more about their faith, enhance their ministry or prayer, or delve into a theological topic. They include alumni/ae, faith leaders seeking ministerial development, people discerning new calls to ministry, people discovering a religious commitment, young and young-at-heart wishing to try graduate-level studies, and individuals seeking spiritual growth through learning.

Evening Courses: General Seminary is expanding its early evening program this fall to welcome more students who must work during the day.

On Monday evenings, in Professor Clair McPherson's Wandering for the Love of God: Early Medieval Spirituality, students will wander through prayers, meditations, saints' lives, sermons, drawings, poems, and historical writings from the early medieval period, when "the life of meditation and prayer was actively sought by everyone from cowherds to queens."

In "Dangerous" Christians: The Role of Church Leadership in Society also on Monday evenings, students will consider the lives of Christians who have challenged the societal and ecclesiastical status quo. Taught by the Rev. Canon C. K. Robertson, Canon to the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, the course will aim to nurture bold leaders for the Church today. "Christian change agents see what others miss," he noted," and are not afraid to ask what God would have them do."

Reading from both classic and contemporary sources, students in the Wednesday evening course Jesus Christ: Mystery, Mission and Messiah will explore the mystery of Jesus' mission as the Messiah. The Church is invited into ongoing discovery of Jesus as the Christ and the Messiah's work in the world, explained the Seminary's new Systematic Theology Professor, Joshua Davis.

Courses in the Digital Age: This Fall General Seminary is continuing to expand its use of digital technology and social media for both pedagogy and course content.

Professor Deirdre Good's Parables: Inviting Wonder about God will be offered only online. Students will gain a scholarly introduction to the content, characteristics and language of Jesus' parables and explore ways parables serve as analogies and as resources for nurturing spiritual life. All students, whether distance learners and those simply desiring flexible "class" time, will complete readings, view online materials, and participate in online discussions when their weekly schedules permit. The course also will include several "live" sessions with Professor Good, with days and times to be decided by the participants.

Can digital technology and social media be used for the spiritual life? In Adjunct Professor Lindsay Boyer's Spiritual Companionship and Digital Media on Wednesday mornings, students will explore the use of digital media for spiritual practice and individual and group spiritual guidance. Traditional practices and ministries for being present to one another will be experienced in digital contexts such as the internet, social media, and Skype. Students will also reflect on ways in which digital media can endanger spiritual values and ask whether spiritual leaders might be called to take a prophetic role in guiding others in their use of digital media.

A Three-Day Preaching Course: For students who live beyond commuting distance yet really wish to study on the Close, the Seminary is also offering a three-day course, August 29-31, 2013, just as the Fall term is beginning, on the Spirituality of Preaching. Students will experience the ministry of proclamation as a means through which God, in the power of the Holy Spirit, forms and transforms both preachers and those who listen. Taught by the Rev. Dr. Jonathan Linman, who currently ministers as the Assistant to the Bishop for Formation in the Metropolitan New York Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the course is appropriate not only for clergy and seminarians, but also for lay leaders who wish to gain tools for deriving greater spiritual benefit from sermons.

To learn more about all of the Fall 2013 courses, and to submit any questions about a course or other aspects of studying at General Seminary, click here.