The School of Theology. Sewanee: The University of the South

Advanced Degrees Program

June 1–19, 2015

The Advanced Degrees Program at The School of Theology is a summer program designed to increase professional knowledge in the practice of ministry for clergy. Classes build the relationship between the practice of ministry and biblical, historical, and theological studies by combining learning in community with a cycle of daily prayer and worship in the Anglican tradition. Please see the 2014-15 catalog for degree details.

  • Doctor of Ministry
  • Doctor of Ministry in Preaching
  • Doctor of Ministry in Liturgy
  • Masters of Sacred Theology
  • Masters of Sacred Theology in Anglican Studies

2015 Summer Courses

Most students will register for two (2) of the following courses this summer:

"Liturgy and Moral Imagination"

Don Saliers
Saliers will examine some of the major rites of the Book of Common Prayer and ecumenical sources asking the question: In what ways does liturgy both shape and express life of a congregation in the moral life? Sources such as Rowan Williams, Iris Murdoch, Madeline L'Engle, and Stanley Hauerwas will come into play. Considerations will also be given to the role of musical settings of prayer.

Saliers will give a public lecture on June 9, 7 p.m., in the School's Hargrove Audotorium in Hamilton Hall. The general public is invited. This lecture is made possible by the Jones lecture Fund.

"Jesus, Paul, and Preaching"

Amy-Jill Levine and Bill Brosend
The homiletical task is to proclaim the good news. That is what Jesus and Paul did. But how did they do so? What were the contexts in which they did so, and how can we best understand their contexts and proclamation, and apply them to our own contexts? New Testament and homiletics scholars Levine and Brosend join to explore and share their understandings of how Jesus and Paul proclaimed the good news in their Second Temple contexts, and lead participants in imagining how to proclaim the good news today.

"Origen, Spiritual Exegesis, and the Roots of Universal Salvation"

Charles M. Stang
This course will focus on the life and writings of the third-century Christian writer, Origen of Alexandria, widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential theologians of early Christianity. He pioneered a practice of scriptural interpretation that sought to bring to the surface successive layers of spiritual meaning. This practice, sometimes called “allegorical” interpretation, was both wildly influential and controversial (and it remains so today). Origen is also (in)famous for defending universal salvation, that is, the conviction that all of creation will eventually be saved at the end of time—an event he calls the apokatastasis or “restoration of all things.” He thought of our salvation as a pedagogical process, in which our embodied sojourn on earth serves to rehabilitate our fallen minds. Our reading of Origen will be with an eye to retrieving his theology for contemporary use, both his practice of spiritual exegesis (for preaching and bible study) and his controversial conviction in universal salvation.

"Enough: Limits and the Old Testament"

Rebecca Wright
In this course, we will use three biblical “lenses” to look at both other biblical passages and some contemporary issues, especially matters having to do with scarcity and the environment. Genesis 3 tells the story of humans’ first disobedience, our refusal to accept a God-given limit. Genesis 4 shows one outcome when brothers are unable to get along. 2 Samuel 11 is a paradigmatic account of entitlement and some of its entailments. We will move from the biblical text to its reception to its use(s) within the church today.  Class members will be responsible for reading and participating in lively conversation. The major graded work will be something practical that will be of use in one’s home setting.

“Fearless Dialogues: Caring for Marginalized Populations”

Gregory C. Ellison II
“Hope” has become a catch-all term in public media, a buzz word in political commentary, and a common theme in theological discourse. However, developing and maintaining a hopeful disposition may prove challenging for stigmatized populations who feel muted and invisible and for the caregivers who seek to aid them. This course garners “expert” wisdom from therapeutic conversations as case studies and from scholars with distinct disciplinary perspectives who have variously considered the nature and power of human hope. This course aims: to equip caregivers in more adequately responding to the primary threats to hope that contribute to feelings of muteness and invisibility; to assist caregivers in identifying and creating adaptive survival strategies that can lead unacknowledged populations to envision more hopeful and generative futures; and, to enhance the caregiver’s skills of self-criticism and self-care to defray the effects of countertransference that can endanger the caregiver’s hope. Young African American men will serve as the primary lens through which to investigate the problem of threatened hope, muteness, and invisibility. However, care for other unacknowledged groups including, but not limited to, the imprisoned, the homeless, and the elderly will be discussed. Visit Ellison's website, "Fearless Dialogues" for more information.

"Ritualizing Relationships"

James F. Turrell and Melissa M. Hartley
This course considers ways in which the church ritualizes relationships between persons, looking principally at the marriage liturgies and their cognates, official and unofficial. Students will begin by examining foundational issues in gender and sexuality. Students will examine the historical evolution of the marriage rites and ancillary marriage practices, before examining emerging frontiers in the ritualizing of relationships. The purpose of this inquiry is to enable students to assess critically the marriage rites of the 1979 prayer book and the growing number of blessing rites for other sorts of relationships, as well as to understand the historical development of marriage rites.

The Advanced Degrees Program schedule may be found here.

The petition to graduate may be downloaded here.

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