Intensive Focused Learning (IFL) Courses – Spring 2021

Intensive Focused Learning (IFL) Courses:
Intensive Focused Learning Courses (IFLs) are one-two day courses on a specific topic.  IFLs are a great way to introduce yourself to theological education, to do continuing education, or to enrich yourself and stretch your horizons.  IFLs are available for you to audit at half the cost of tuition (or for a quarter of the price is you are age 65 +). Current Eden students enroll as part of course registration.

Audit fee: $292.50
Audit fee, ages 65 and above: $146.25

Simple application required.  No application fee.

Contact [email protected]
Deadline, TBA

Urban Chaplaincy
February 6, 13, 20, 27 (9:00-11:00)
Instructors: Rev. Dr. Danielle J. Buhuro & Rev. Dr. Sonja B. Williams

Urban Chaplaincy seeks to help students gain useful spiritual strategies and interventions for caring for persons in urban settings who seems most impacted by economic disparities. In addition to gaining an enhanced pastoral competence skill set, students gain further self-awareness about their own unique pastoral strengths and growing edges.

The class will meet for a total of four two-hour sessions.

This course requires the completion of one project in the field with Live Free STL, or a combined total of 8 hours.  Students will earn a Certificate of Urban Chaplaincy at the conclusion of this course.

The Walker Leadership Institute is offering a certificate in Urban Chaplaincy to help students and practitioners in urban ministry leadership gain useful spiritual strategies and interventions for caring for persons in urban settings who are most impacted by economic disparities. In addition to gaining an enhanced pastoral competence skill set, students gain further self-awareness about their own unique pastoral strengths and growing edges. The class will meet for a total of four two-hour sessions. Each session will feature a thought-provoking lecture on a particular topic, along with lively class discussions and energetic class activities. Walker Institute Registration here.

Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs
March 12 (1:00-4:30) and April 21 (1:00 pm –  4:30)
Instructor: Paul Vasile

Take a whirlwind survey of congregational song traditions –  from 9th century plainchant to contemporary Christian music – and become better acquainted with the rich collection of music in our hymnals and songbooks. We’ll sing our way through the centuries, delving into musical, theological and practical dimensions of each tradition. And we’ll reflect on ways to integrate music more intentionally into preaching and worship planning.

This IFL meets together at the times above.  Additional teaching and learning will take place on the Brightspace Learning Management Platform before and after the class dates.

Just Peace Theologies
April 16 (8:30-12:00) and April 30 (8:30-12:00)
Instructor: Mary Schaller Blaufuss

This course will explore the emergence, content and implications of “Just Peace” theologies.  Attention will be given to contexts of congregational life, social transformation, and the shape of leadership.  Special emphasis will highlight faith-based service and activism, theologies in the midst of war and conflict, immigration and international relationships.

This IFL meets together at the times above.  Additional teaching and learning will take place on the Brightspace Learning Management Platform before and after the class dates.

Womanist Biblical Interpretation
March 19 (2:00-5:30) and April 16 (2:00-5:30)
Instructor: Rev. Dr. Raquel Lettsome

This course will provide an overview of Womanist Biblical Interpretation including its development and differentiation from feminist and black liberation theology and an identification of its key features.  Students in this course will examine the work of an Old Testament Womanist scholar and a New Testament Womanist scholar and create womanist interpretations of their own.

This IFL meets together at the times above.  Additional teaching and learning will take place on the Brightspace Learning Management Platform before and after the class dates.

Using Images to Stimulate Spiritual Formation
March 5 (8:30-12:00) and April 9 (8:30-12:00)
Instructor: Tina Newberry

“When the Soul wants to experience something, she throws out an image in front of her and then steps into it.” – Meister Eckhart

Images capture where we are on our spiritual journey. These images arise from within our bodies, our relationships, our environment, our memories, our study of sacred texts, our dreams and meditations, our worship, or even from an unsolicited flash seen within the inner eye.

This course guides students to broaden their definition and understanding of images as naturally occurring artifacts relating to spiritual imagination and formation. Students are encouraged to honor the sacredness of their and other seekers’ images as well as learn how to discern if an image serves as a snapshot of present reality and/or a guide and/or as a symbol to invite seekers into an ever expanding, formative relationship with Divine mystery.

This IFL meets together at the times above.  Additional teaching and learning will take place on the Brightspace Learning Management Platform before and after the class dates.

The Intersections of Race & Caste in South Asia and North America
April 9 (4:00-7:30) and April 16 (4:00-7:30)
Instructors: Rev. Dr. Damayanthi Niles & Rev. Dr. Dietra Wise Baker

The purpose of this class is to look at how caste functions in South Asia and its parallels while attending to issues of race dynamics in North America. We will use the book Caste by Isabel Wilkerson as a foundation to examine her argument and explore the parallels between these two contexts around caste, religion, and race. Finally, we will attend to the liberation movements afoot in these contexts for those assigned historically to the lowest caste.

This IFL meets together at the times above.  Additional teaching and learning will take place on the Brightspace Learning Management Platform before and after the class dates.

Black Lives Matter and the Legacy of Martin Luther King
Fridays, February 12-April 9 (12:00-2:00)
Instructor: Rev. Osagyefo Sekou

This course argues that BLM is a rejection of the popular myth of King and the Civil Rights movement and an extension of the tradition of black radical politics.  A careful re-reading of Martin Luther King offers both a corrective to a mythological narrative and sets the stage for critical assessment of the social movement afoot in the United States. Specifically, there are four pillars of Martin Luther King Jr. philosophy—democratic socialism, transnational anti-imperialism, militant nonviolent civil disobedience and black prophetic Christianity. Black Lives Matter holds true to these discursive principles and extends them to offer a queer analysis and expansive space of spirituality.  The role of art and artists—in the respective movements—will be Utilizing memoir, polling data, interviews, archival research, and first person reportage, this course  takes up the similarities, contradictions, and shared aims of the Dr. King, the Civil Rights movement, and the still unfolding Movement for Black Lives.

This IFL meets together at the times above.  Additional teaching and learning will take place on the Brightspace Learning Management Platform before and after the class dates.