Summer Courses 2018

The Harrisonburg, Va. campus offers summer courses in May and June.

To take summer courses contact either the office of seminary admission 540-432-4257 or the registrar 540-432-4274

FS 502  Formation in God's Story II - Hybrid

Instructor: Lonnie Yoder
Schedule: on campus: May 14-18, Mon-Fri 1:30 – 4:30
Credits: 2

Formation in God’s Story II continues the exploration of and engagement with the biblical story. Students will engage in the practice of spiritual disciplines, develop a rhythm and rule of life that can bring a sense of wholeness and balance to the various parts of their life. They will continue to participate in the same small groups as they attend to their spiritual formation in the context of God’s story. Guidance will be offered as they develop a life purpose statement and discern vocational goals that give shape to the learning process and selection of a ministry track for the remainder of their seminary studies.

BVG 541 Biblical Foundations of Peace and Justice 

Instructor: Andrew Suderman
Schedule: May 24 – June 1,  Mon - Fri 8:30 a.m. -4:30 p.m.
Credits: 3

More than a study of a few select texts that deal with peacemaking, this course will explore and examine the various dimensions of peace in the Bible, with special attention to how the Bible as a whole functions as a foundation for peacemaking. The course will explore texts which reflect the everyday dimensions of wholeness, wellbeing, and security, as well as those which describe God’s attempts to make peace with rebellious humanity. A central figure in the biblical story of peace is Jesus, both as foundation of peace and as model for peacemaking. Texts and issues which present peacemakers with serious difficulties, such as the wars of Israel or the image of God as judge and warrior, will also be examined.

BVOT 642 Pentateuch

Instructor: Andrea Dalton Saner
Dates: May 14 - 25, Mon – Fri 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Credits: 3

The Torah, the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, is the subject of study (English text). The contents and theology of the Torah are the primary concern of this course. Literary forms and themes are discussed. The historical background and theories of composition are explored. Classroom time involves lectures, discussion and student presentations.

CM 613 Cross Cultural Experience

Instructor: David Evans
Schedule: May 11, 14, 21,  9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. 
Credits: 3

This seminar involves at least three weeks of immersion in a cultural setting distinctly different from one’s past experience. This includes interaction with religious, social, cultural, political, economic and commercial groups and their leaders. The basic goals of the seminar include becoming a learner at the feet of the people of this community, acknowledging that they alone know what their world is like. Approaches to learning in this seminar emphasize the methodology of “participant observation ” with careful attention to personal reactions and responses to one’s experiences through journaling and group reflection. Special attention is given to how the Christian gospel is communicated and expressed in that setting and how it engages the realities of that world. The particular characteristics and requirements of a given seminar vary depending on the particular setting and who is leading the seminar. The seminar does not assume other-than-English language capability, but learning the basics of another language is sometimes a part of what we learn through participant observation. Descriptions of specific cross-cultural seminars offered are circulated each year.

CM 653 Spirit World and the Global Church

Instructor: James Krabill
Dates: June 4 – 12 ,  Mon - Fri 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Credits: 3

This course will explore the biblical foundations of the spirit world and trace how these understandings have been both applied and challenged throughout the history of the Western Church. From there we will examine how the conversation is expanding as Western Christians encounter spiritual realities present in the rapidly growing churches of the global south (Africa, Asia and Latin America). Particular themes also treated will include: the Pentecostal appeal among struggling social classes, the language of “spiritual warfare” and peace theology, and case studies of North American congregations and church leaders dealing with difficult “hard cases” involving spiritual dimensions.

SMCL 512 Seminar in Youth Ministry

Instructor: Sarah Bixler
Schedule: May 14-25, Mon – Fri 1 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Credits: 3

Practicing ministry with youth is a theological endeavor. As such, this course will use theological vision in conversation with insights from cultural studies, sociology, psychology, and biology to guide our understanding of and response to adolescent Christian formation. We will also seek to be both critical and constructive in looking at race, gender, class, and consumption, and how they relate to and impact adolescents in the church’s ministry broadly construed.

SMCL 561 Ministering in Times of Trauma

Instructor: Mary Thiessen Nation
Dates: May 29  - June 2,  Tues. -Sat. 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Credits: 2

Traumatic life experiences come in many forms, touch multiple networks of relationships and systems, and call for a complex set of responses. The church must be equipped to respond. This course examines the physiological, psychological, spiritual and social impact of trauma. It explores how the Christian narrative/community with its transforming practices of truth-telling, forgiveness, reconciliation, restorative justice and peacebuilding can lead to the shalom of God’s present and coming kingdom, both within the church, and through the church, to the larger world. Pastors, church leaders, missionaries, counselors and others who seek to become agents of trauma healing will examine a healing path that integrates theology, spiritual practices and counseling skills.

SMFE 601 Clinical Pastoral Education

Instructor: Penny Driediger
Schedule: May 29 – Aug 3,  Mon - Fri 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Credits: 6

Clinical Pastoral Education is professional education for ministry. The learning process includes group seminars and the practice of ministry in an institutional or congregational setting with the guidance of an ACPECertified Educator. From encounters with persons in need, and the feedback from peers and educators, students develop new awareness of themselves as persons and of the needs of those to whom they minister. From reflection on specific human situations utilizing the resources of theology and the science of human functioning students expand their understanding of ministry. In addition to the practice of ministry program components include the writing of verbatims, lectures, reading, journaling, individual supervision and the interpersonal experience of a group of peers in a common learning experience.


Summer Institute for Spiritual Formation

* FS 532 Spiritual Direction II: Congregational Discernment

Instructor: Kevin Clark
Schedule: June 18-29, Mon - Fri 1 p.m.  -  4 p.m.
Credits: 2

The kingdom of God —as seen within the biblical text and especially within the life and practice of Jesus—will offer us a graced place to stand as we discern what we bring to the spiritual discipline and art of discernment within congregational life and practice. Lectures, discussions, and prayerful reflection will assist us in discerning our root systems, our understandings of God, how we recognize God’s voice, how we discern gifts and callings, the climate for decision-making, how we reflect on our discerning, and how we live in faithful response to the gospel in all of life—within and beyond the congregation in this post-modern age.

* FS 543 Spiritual Guidance in Life and Practice

Instructor: Kevin Clark
Schedule: June 18-29, Mon - Fri 8:30 a.m.  – 12 p.m.
Credits: 1

Grounded in the understanding that God in Jesus Christ is inviting us to be reconciled- to God, to ourselves, to each other, and to God’s creation- this course is designed to offer learning in three areas: a biblical foundation and historical overview of spiritual formation; an understanding of spiritual discernment; and learning the practice of spiritual guidance.

* FS 613 Home Based Practicum

Instructor: Kevin Clark and Sandy Wenger
Schedule: Yearlong practicum
Credits: 1

Students engage in 50 hours of practice in leading spiritual direction or formation at home between August and May. Three practicums, one after each summer, are required to complete a certificate. Students will receive individual guidance from faculty based on their project.

* FS 663 Spiritual Direction Peer Group

Instructor: Sandy Wenger w/ Kevin Clark
Schedule: June 18-29, Mon - Fri 8:30 a.m.  – 12 p.m.  
Credits: 1

This class offers guidance for depth listening, reflection, spiritual discernment, and discovery in our journey as emerging spiritual directors. We will be engaging in spiritual direction conversations, and in-depth listening to verbatim.

* FS 723 723 Prayer Practices in Worship

Instructor: Amy Fetterman
Schedule: June 18-29, Mon - Fri 1 p.m.  -  4 p.m.
Credits: 2

Prayer is the core of worship for many traditions and yet not all congregations engage in a rich prayer life. Too often prayer becomes a utilitarian function and the faith community misses out on the rich relationship with the Holy it can bring. This course will help students (re)engage corporate and individual innovative prayer practices rooted in tradition. Participants will develop their own theology of prayer and worship as they explore expressions of prayer in the context of the 21st century North American church.

This course meets the worship course requirement for ordination in elder or deacon track for the United Methodist Church. 

* FS 758 Oasis

In place of coursework, Oasis offers intentional Sabbath and space for pastors and church leaders. They may use Oasis time for soul care and reflection, accompanied by one-on-one guidance in spiritual reading, discernment, and spiritual direction as desired, or by doing a directed study focusing on a spiritual formation subject area of personal or ministry interest. They may also sit in on classes, worship and other parts of the Summer Institute for Spiritual Formation.  Learn more about Oasis.

* These courses are part of the Summer Institute Spiritual Formation (SISF). All students are invited to be part of the SISF. All students in SISF will be charged a $60 fee for snacks and retreat day

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