Summer Courses 2016

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

To take summer courses contact either the 540-432-4257 or the 540-432-4274

On Campus Courses

Cross-Cultural Experience

Instructor: David Evans
Schedule: May 6,9, and 16; 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. each day
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.

Instructor: Andrea Dalton Saner
Schedule: May 10-27, 8:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Tuesday-Friday
Credits: 3

The book named for this prophet is studied for its themes, content and theology (English text). The study of the literary features of the book and its historical context(s) serve to sharpen the message and contribution of the prophet. Inductive study supplements and evaluates the mass of scholarship that has grown up around the study of this prophet.

Instructor: Nancy Kauffmann
Schedule: May 10-20, 1-4:30 p.m. (no Monday class)
Credits: 2 SH

This course examines two aspects of contemporary Mennonite reality. First, what the Mennonite Church has said and, especially, what it is currently saying about what it believes concerning the Christian faith; and second, how it structures itself in the light of those beliefs to carry out its ministry in the world. Focus will be on the expression of faith, its features and trends, in the last half century in the General Conference Mennonite church and the Mennonite Church, now integrated as Mennonite Church USA. Polity at the denominational, area conference and congregational levels will be studied with special interest in the emerging structures of the integration process. Particular attention will be given to polity and ethical guidelines for ministerial leadership.

United Methodist Doctrine

Instructor: David Evans
Schedule: May 17-27, Tuesday-Friday 1:00-4:30 p.m.
Credits: 2

Through selected official resources of the United Methodist Church, from contemporary scholarship in Wesleyan theology and United Methodist polity, from readings in ecclesiology, and from discussion of the ongoing practical life of the church, students will examine the ways in which United Methodists have organized themselves for mission in the world.

Spirit World and the Global Church

Instructor: James Krabill
Schedule: May 30-June 7, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Credits: 3 SH

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.

Sermon on the Mount: Peace, Justice and the Reign of God

Instructor: Mark Thiessen Nation
Schedule: May 30- June 7, Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Credits: 3 SH

The teachings of Jesus have reached across many centuries with a strong witness against violence: “Love your enemies.” People in many cultures have found the Sermon on the Mount foundational for understanding the core of Jesus’ ethical teaching and practice. The earliest Christians placed this instruction at the forefront of their witness on what it means to be Christian. Are we willing to be instructed in this way of Christ today, as the movement takes form in the third millennium? This course builds on the Old Testament Jewish backgrounds for Jesus’ teaching. Two further horizons are surveyed: the resonance with this core (Matthew 5-7) in other ethical instruction of the New Testament, and the strong echoes down through Christian history where this teaching has been translated into lived practices.

Summer Institute for Spiritual Formation

Instructors: Kevin Clark and Emily Peck-McClain
Schedule: June 13-24, 2016
Credits: 1-4 SH

The seminary also has summer course offerings during the Summer Institute for Spiritual Formation, the courses for this summer are:

Year 1: Spiritual Guidance in Life & Practice
1 Credit Hour
Instructor: Kevin Clark

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.

Years 2 & 3: Spiritual Directors Peer Group
1 Credit Hour
Instructor: tba

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.

Spiritual Direction II: Season of Impasse
2 Credit Hours
Instructor: Kevin Clark

In this course we will pay attention to the formational journey and stages of spiritual development, with an intentional focus on the experience of the “dark night” or “seasons of impasse”. The questions we will explore are: How do we companion others as they encounter and embrace the profound and transformative work of God in impasse experiences? What are the implications for the ministry of spiritual guidance during such periods of life —for the individual and the congregation? Lectures, guided readings, reflections on life experiences, and issues arising out of the practice of spiritual guidance provide the setting for mutual learning.

Worship I: Spiritually Formative Worship
2 Credit Hours
Instructor: Emily Peck-McClain

This course is about how to create and reflect on worship in congregations as intentionally spiritually formative. Topics will be in areas of worship theology, liturgy, communal spiritual formation, narrative nature of life, reading a congregational context, and tools for evaluating and reflecting on worship.

For more information, syllabi and the weekly schedule visit

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