Academic Programs 

Doctor of Ministry Colleague Seminar II       (DM-720)
Fall 2006

In pursuing further the training in congregational studies that began in the first year Colleague Seminar, we will explore ways of reflecting theologically on your congregation, or your ministry setting, and your practice of ministry within it.  This will involve examining both classic and constructive approaches to theology.  It will also involve paying close attention to personal experience and to the broader cultural environment as sources of theological insight. The culmination of this fall semester course will be a paper in which the students will work out a theology for ministry that genuinely reflects the manner in which they practice it.



Meeting Day, Time and Dates: 
D.Min. Schedule: Starts with retreat from Sunday, September 17 to Tuesday, September 19, followed by Mondays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on October 9, October 30, November 13, December 11

Kelton Cobb
Professor of Theology and Ethics

Contact Information:

(860) 509-9500



Course Syllabus


• to consider the practical effectiveness of embedded theologies
• to examine several current voices in 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, incarnation, atonement, religious community, and eschatology
• to assist the student in ascertaining and articulating the theology with which he/she does ministry


Charles Marsh, God’s Long Summer: Stories of Faith and Civil Rights
W. Paul Jones, Theological Worlds: Understanding the Alternative Rhythms of Christian Belief

Christian students will be reading:
James H. Evans, Jr., We Have Been Believers: An African-American Systematic Theology
Christopher Morse, Not Every Spirit: A Dogmatics of Christian Disbelief
Marjorie Suchocki, God-Christ-Church

A different set of readings will be determined for Jewish and Muslim students
Through the first two sessions (9/18, 10/9), the entire class will be reading the same texts. Beginning with the third session (10/30, and continuing through the end of the semester), assigned readings will be keyed to the student’s home tradition (broadly understood). A list of readings in Jewish and Islamic theologies has been compiled, and the professor will confer with students in these traditions to finalize their required readings. Beginning with the third session, some of the online and written assignments will also vary along these lines. Read instructions for each session closely.



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. Contributions to online discussions is another.

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 18.


To get into the class site, you will need to log in using your user name and password, which is the same as last year. The Blackboard login page can be found at

To enter the class site, connect to the Internet, open your browser, and surf to the login page at the above web address (URL). You should see a page with a large Bb and “Welcome to” Additionally you will see a button entitled “login.” Click that button. [note: you do not need to create an account—this has already been done] This will bring up a screen that asks you to enter your user name and password. Enter your user name and password and click “login.” IF all goes well, this should bring up a page entitled “My Blackboard,” where you will see a link to the course “D.Min. Colleague Seminar II” under “My Courses.” Clicking on this link should take you into the course site.

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

September 18: 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 9: Theological Worlds
Reading: Jones, Theological Worlds
Assignment due: Look in your files for a written statement of your religious beliefs at an earlier stage of your life, ideally at around the time you were elevated to becoming a recognized religious leader. Most ordained/recorded clergy have had to write personal confessions of faith as part of the process of being ordained. Others may have done it as part of their graduate theological training. Alternatively, dig out a sermon you preached early in your career in which you recall attempting to declare your fundamental beliefs. Read this in light of Theological Worlds and write a 1 page analysis of it, placing it in its world(s), and comment on the continuities/discontinuities with the world you most strongly inhabit today. Bring to class: 5 copies of your 1 page analysis.

• Post on course website by 9/26 the two “Theological Worlds” you scored highest in, and the one you scored lowest in.
• Post on course website by 10/3 one question raised by the Jones book. Enter electronic discussion with questions posted.

October 30: Theological Method
Christian Morse, Not Every Spirit, pp.1-112
Readings: Evans, We Have Been Believers, pp.1-52
Suchocki, God-Christ-Church, pp.1-48
Jewish and Islamic Readings—see custom schedule of readings
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 (Morse, Evans, Suchocki) you are most at home with, and explain why. Post on course website by 10/26. Jewish and Muslim students have a parallel assignment, itemizing resources as above, and, in light of this, identifying one of the authors you have read for this session as presenting the method you are most at home with and explain why.

• Post on course website by 10/24:
Christians: one question raised by the Evans book.
Muslims and Jews: one new insight you’ve gained about the way your own tradition seeks religious knowledge.
All: Enter electronic discussion with questions/insights posted.

November 13: God and Jesus Christ/God, Incarnation, and Atonement
Christian Morse, Not Every Spirit, pp.113-170, 198-224
Readings: Evans, We Have Been Believers, pp.53-98
Suchocki, God-Christ-Church, pp.49-125, 227-236
Jewish and Islamic Readings—see custom schedule of readings
Assignment due: In 3 pages, outline the lesson plan for a three session adult Sunday School/Sabbath School/Jumma class on one of the following: the doctrine of God, Jesus Christ, Incarnation, or Atonement. The content and tone of the lesson plan should stretch a bridge between this session’s readings and the capabilities of lay members of your religious community.

• Post on course website by 11/8:
Christians: one question raised by the Suchocki book.
Muslims and Jews: one new insight you’ve gained from your assigned readings about God, incarnation, or atonement.
All: Enter electronic discussion with questions/insights posted.
Also: Bring in 10 copies of your favorite hymn about either God or Jesus.

December 11: The Religious Community and Eschatology
Christian Morse, Not Every Spirit, pp.288-346
Readings: Evans, We Have Been Believers, pp.119-154
Suchocki, God-Christ-Church, pp.129-224
Jewish and Islamic Readings—see custom schedule of readings
Assignment due: By no later than December 7, post on the course website 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.

• Post on course website by 12/5
Christians: one question raised by the Morse book.
Muslims and Jews: one new insight you’ve gained from the readings about the meaning of the religious community or about death and the afterlife.
All: Enter electronic discussion with questions/insights posted.
Also: Bring in 10 copies of your favorite hymn about death/eternal life.

January 18: Final Paper is due


Christian Theology
C. FitzSimons Allison, The Cruelty of Heresy: An Affirmation of Christian Orthodoxy, Morehouse, 1994.
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.
Martin B. Copenhaver, To Begin at the Beginning: An Introduction ot the Christian Faith, Pilgrim, 2002.
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.
Tikva Frymer-Kensky, et al., eds., Christianity in Jewish Terms, Westview Press, 2000.
B.A. Gerrish, Saving and Secular Faith: An Invitation to Systematic Theology, Fortress, 1999.
W. Clark Gilpin, A Preface to Theology, University of Chicago, 1996.
Justo González, Mañana: Christian Theology from a Hispanic Perspective, Abingdon, 1990.
Douglas John Hall, The Cross in Our Context, Fortress, 2003.
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.
Luke Timothy Johnson, The Creed: What Christians Believe and Why It Matters, Doubleday, 2003.
Serene Jones and Paul Lakeland, eds., Constructive Theology: A Contemporary Approach to Classic Themes: A Project of The Workgroup On Constructive Christian Theology, Fortress, 2005.
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, U. Notre Dame, 1992.
Paul Alan Laughlin, Remedial Christianity: What Every Believer Should Know about the Faith, but Probably Doesn’t, Polebridge Press, 2000.
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.
Alister E. McGrath, Theology: The Basics, Blackwell, 2004.
Daniel Migliore, Faith Seeking Understanding: An Introduction to Christian Theology, Eerdmans, 1991.
Douglas Otatti, Theology for Liberal Presbyterians And Other Endangered Species, Geneva, 2006.
Amy Plantinga Pauw and Serene Jones, eds., Feminist And Womanist Essays in Reformed Dogmatics, Westminster, 2006.
Donald Musser & Joseph Price, eds. A New Handbook of Christian Theology, Abingdon, 2003.
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.
Anthony Robinson, What’s Theology Got to Do with It? Convictions, Vitality, & the Church, Alban, 2006.
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.
Keith Ward, Christianity: A Short Introduction, Oneworld, 2000.

Jewish Theology
Eugene Borowitz, Renewing the Covenant: A Theology for the Postmodern Jew, Jewish Pub. Society, 1998.
Elliot Dorff, ed., Contemporary Jewish Theology: A Reader, Oxford, 1998.
Tikva Frymer-Kensky, et al., eds., Christianity in Jewish Terms, Westview Press, 2000.
Neil Gillman, Sacred Fragments: Recovering Theology for the Modern Jew, Jewish Pub. Society, 1990.
------------, The Death of Death: Resurrection and Immortality in Jewish Thought, Jewish Lights, 1997.
------------, The Way into Encountering God in Judaism, Jewish Lights, 2000.
Robert Goldy, The Emergence of Jewish Theology in America, Indiana University Press, 1990.
Arthur Green, Seek My Face, Speak My Name: A Contemporary Jewish Theology, Jason Aronson, 1992.
Abraham Heschel, Man Is Not Alone, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1951.
Louis Jacobs, A Jewish Theology, Behrman House, 1973.
------------, Judaism and Theology: Essays on the Jewish Religion, Vallentine Mitchell, 2005.
Mordecai Kaplan, The Meaning of God in Modern Jewish Religion, Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation, 1937.
Jon Levenson, The Death and Resurrection of the Beloved Son, Yale, 1993.
Jacob Neusner, ed., The Blackwell Companion to Judaism, Blackwell, 2003.
------------, God in the World, Trinity Press, 1997.
Judith Plaskow, Standing again at Sinai: Judaism from a Feminist Perspective, Harper, 1991.
Simcha Paul Raphael, Jewish Views of the Afterlife, Jason Aronson, 1996.
Michael Wyschogrod, The Body of Faith: Judaism as Corporeal Election, Seabury, 1983.

Islamic Theology
Charles Le Gai Eaton, Islam and the Destiny of Man, SUNY Press, 1986.
Farid Esack, Qur’an, Liberation and Pluralism, Oneworld, 1997.
Muhammad Abdel Haneef, Understanding the Qur’an: Themes and Styles, I.B. Tauris, 2001.
Muhammad Iqbal, The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, ed. M. Saeed Sheikh, Institute of Islamic Culture, 1996.
Murtaza Mutahhari, Fundamentals of Islamic Thought: God, Man and the Universe, Mizan Press, 1985.
Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Knowledge and the Sacred, SUNY Press, 1989.
Said Nursi, The Words: From the Risale-i Nur Collection, trans. Sükran Vahide, Sözler Publications, 1992.
Sayyid Qutb, Basic Principles of the Islamic Worldview, Islamic Publications International, 2006.
Fazlur Rahman, Major Themes of the Qur’an, Bibliotheca Islamica, 1994.
Jane Smith and Yvonne Haddad, The Islamic Understanding of Death and Resurrection, Oxford, 2002.
Mohamed Taher, ed. Encyclopaedic Survey of Islamic Culture, Vol. I, Islamic Theology, Anmol Publications, 1997.

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