Academic Programs 

D.Min. Colleague Seminar II   (DM-720)
Fall 2003

The purpose of the Colleague Seminar is to explore the reflective practice of ministry in an atmosphere of personal and professional sharing and to produce a set of analytical and theological papers as background to the Ministry Project. The goal of the second year Colleague Seminar is to develop a clearer theological consciousness about ministry and to deepen the student’s understanding in the arts of ministerial leadership and practice. Required of second-year D.Min. students. Successful completion of D.Min. Colleague Seminar I is a prerequisite for enrollment in this course.

Meeting Day, Time and Dates: 
D.Min. Mondays, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. 9/14-16 (retreat); 10/6; 10/27; 11/17; 12/8

Kelton Cobb

Professor of Theology and Ethics

Contact Information:
(860) 509-9513

Course Syllabus
Class web site


Aims of Course:

  • to consider the practical effectiveness of embedded theologies

  • to examine several current voices in Christian theology that both recover and question traditions

  • to become reacquainted with the method and elastic qualities of systematic theology

  • to gain new familiarity with the themes of God, Jesus Christ, Church, and Eschatology

  • to assist the student in ascertaining and articulating the theology with which he/she does ministry

Course Texts:

James H. Evans, Jr., We Have Been Believers: An African-American Systematic Theology

Justo González, Christian Thought Revisited: Three Types of Theology

Charles Marsh, God’s Long Summer: Stories of Faith and Civil Rights

Christopher Morse, Not Every Spirit: A Dogmatics of Christian Disbelief

Marjorie Suchocki, God-Christ-Church

Course Requirements and Grading

The final grade for this course will be on a Pass-Fail system.  The grade is based primarily on the final paper, but also on consistently thoughtful work on the shorter class assignments and readings.  Students are expected to participate in class in ways that show careful, thorough preparation and a conscious effort to learn with and from others.  Attendance at all sessions is one measure of this.

The final paper will be on “A Theology for Practicing Ministry,” or, more specifically, “My Ministry as I Make Sense of It with the Aid of Theological Motif X.”  Details about this will be provided later.  The final paper is due January 16.


Note: The readings indicated for each class date are to be read for that class.

September 14:   Embedded Theologies and the Moral Life

Reading:  Marsh, God’s Long Summer: Stories of Faith and Civil Rights

Assignment due:  Write five theological profiles, ½ page each, describing the concept of God found in each of the five figures presented in God’s Long Summer.

October 6:   Types of Theology

Reading:  González, Christian Thought Revisited: Three Types of Theology

Assignment due:   Bring to class: 1) 9 copies of your denomination’s central “creedal statement,” or its functional equivalent.  Write a 1 page analysis of it in terms of Gonzalez’s 3 types of theology.

October 27:   Theological Method

Reading:  Morse, Not Every Spirit, pp.1-112
Evans, We Have Been Believers, pp.1-52
Suchocki, God-Christ-Church, pp.1-48

Assignment due:  Write a 2 page account itemizing what resources (in general terms, e.g., scripture, prayer, newspaper, friends, etc.) you draw on to prepare one of your better sermons, and, in light of this, identify which of the methods of the 3 authors you are most at home with, and explain why.

November 17:   God and Jesus Christ

Reading:  Morse, Not Every Spirit, pp.113-170, 198-224
Evans, pp.53-98
Suchocki, God-Christ-Church, pp.49-125

Assignment due:  In 3 pages, outline the lesson plan for a three session adult Sunday School class on either the doctrine of God or Jesus Christ.  The content and tone of the lesson plan should stretch a bridge between this session’s readings and the capabilities of your parishioners.

Also:  Bring in 9 copies of your favorite hymn about Jesus.

December 8:   The Church and Eschatology   

Reading:  Morse, Not Every Spirit, pp.288-346
Evans, pp.119-154
Suchocki, God-Christ-Church, pp.129-236

Assignment due:  By no later than December 3, email to professor and everyone in the class a 1 page outline of your final paper, identifying the key theological motif (e.g. God, creation, sin, christology, ecclesiology, eschatology, etc.) which you will be using to clarify what guides you in your practice of ministry, & indicating your particular angle on this motif.  Attach to it a 1/2-page working bibliography.  Each student will then be asked to respond to another student’s outline.

Also:  Bring in 9 copies of your favorite hymn about the Church.

January 16:
  Final Paper is due

Bibliography of Recent and Important Works Relevant to Course:

Karl Barth, Credo, Scribner’s, 1962.
Karl Barth, Dogmatics in Outline, Harper, 1959.
Marcus Borg, The God We Never Knew, Harper, 1997.
Sharon Peebles Burch, Collective Absolute Presuppositions: Tectonic Plates for Churches, Peter Lang, 1999.
John Calvin, Calvin’s Institutes: A New Compend, ed. by Hught T. Kerr, W/JKP, 1989.
Denise Carmody, Christian Feminist Theology, Beacon, 1995.
Ellen Charry, By the Renewing of Your Minds: The Pastoral Function of Christian Doctrine, Oxford, 1997.
John B.Cobb, Jr., Becoming a Thinking Christian, Abingdon, 1993.
James Cone, God of the Oppressed, Harper, 1975.
Noel Erskine, Decolonizing Theology: A Caribbean Perspective, Africa World Press, 1998.
Robert Evans and Thomas Parker, Christian Theology: A Case Study Approach, Harper, 1976.
Gabriel Fackre, The Christian Story: A Narrative Interpretation of Basic Christian Doctrine, vol. 1, 3rd edition, Eerdmans, 1996.
B.A. Gerrish, Saving and Secular Faith: An Invitation to Systematic Theology, Fortress, 1999.
W. Clark Gilpin, A Preface to Theology
Justo González, Mañana: Christian Theology from a Hispanic Perspective, Abingdon, 1990.
Peter Hodgson, Christian Faith: A Brief Introduction, W/JKP, 2001.
Peter Hodgson and Robert King, Christian Theology: An Introduction to Its Traditions and Tasks, Fortress, 1982.
Peter Hodgson and Robert King, Readings in Christian Theology, Fortress, 1985.
Elizabeth Johnson, She Who Is: The Mystery of God in Feminist Theological Discourse, Crossroad, 1993.
W. Paul Jones, Theological Worlds: Understanding the Alternative Rhythms of Christian Belief, Abingdon, 1989
Catherine Mowry LaCugna, ed., Freeing Theology: The Essentials of Theology in Feminist Perspective, Harper, 1993.
Nicholas Lash, Believing Three Ways in One God: A Reading of the Apostles’ Creed, University of Notre Dame Press, 1992.
Jung Young Lee, Marginality: The Key to Multicultural Theology, Fortress, 1995.
John Leith, Creeds of the Churches, W/JKP, 1982.
Ann Loades, ed., Feminist Theology: A Reader, W/JKP, 1990.
John MacQuarrie, Principles of Christian Theology, Scribner’s, 1977.
Sara Maitland, A Big-Enough God: A Feminist’s Search for a Joyful Theology, Riverhead Books, 1995.
Daniel Migliore, Faith Seeking Understanding: An Introduction to Christian Theology, Eerdmans, 1991.
Donald Musser and Joseph Price, eds.  A New Handbook of Christian Theology, Abingdon, 1992.
Ted Peters, God—The World’s Future: Systematic Theology for a Postmodern Era, Fortress, 2000.
Karl Rahner, Foundations of Christian Faith:  Introduction to the Idea of Christianity, Crossroad, 1976.
J. Deotis Roberts, Liberation and Reconciliation: A Black Theology, Westminster, 1971.
Susan Ross, Extravagant Affections: A Feminist Sacramental Theology, Continuum, 1998.
Rosemary R. Ruether, Sexism and God-Talk, Beacon, 1983.
Roger Shinn and Daniel Day Williams, We Believe: An Interpretation of the United Church Statement of Faith, United Church Press, 1966.
Jon Sobrino and Ignacio Ellacuría, eds., Systematic Theology: Perspectives from Liberation Theology, Orbis, 1996.
Dorothy Sölle, Thinking about God: An Introduction to Theology, Trinity, 1990.
Howard Stone and James Duke, How to Think Theologically, Fortress, 1996.
Marjorie Hewitt Suchocki, God-Christ-Church: A Practical Guide to Process Theology, Crossroad, 1993.
Kathryn Tanner, Jesus, Humanity and the Trinity: A Brief Systematic Theology, Fortress, 2001.
Paul Tillich, Systematic Theology (vols.1-3), University of Chicago, 1951.



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