Academic Programs 


Summer 2009
Course Websites & Syllabi

Visit the following web pages for information on course meeting dates, faculty, and the syllabus.


Church Administration (AM-691) View Syllabus
Tuesdays and Thursdays, May 26 - June 25, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m

This course is designed to probe the ways church and ministries are a business. Topics covered will include techniques for managing and developing a budget, record-keeping, fundraising, supervision of staff, marketing and community relations. Anthony Bennett, Adjunct Professor of Arts of Ministry and Pastor, Mt. Aery Baptist Church of Bridgeport, CT


Building Abrahamic Partnerships (DI-650) View Syllabus
Sunday, May 31 – Sunday, June 7 (intensive schedule, includes all days and some evenings)

This eight-day intensive training program offers a practical foundation for mutual understanding and cooperation among Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Participants learn about the tenets and practices of the three faiths, study texts from their respective scriptures together, attend worship at a mosque, synagogue, and church, and acquire pastoral skills useful in interfaith ministry. Combining the academic and the experiential, the course includes ample time for socializing over meals and during breaks. Building on Hartford Seminary’s strengths as an interfaith, dialogical school of practical theology, this team-taught program is a resource for religious leaders who are grounded in their own traditions while open to the faith orientations of other communities. Due to the interfaith nature of this course, we aim for equal representation among each of the three Abrahamic traditions in admitting students to this course. Yehezkel Landau, Faculty Associate in Interfaith Relations and Co-founder, Open House, Ramle, Israel

Building Abrahamic Partnerships II (DI-651) View Syllabus
Sunday, June 21 – Friday, June 26 (intensive schedule, includes all days and some evenings)

This course is designed primarily for students who have taken the basic Building Abrahamic Partnerships course. It presumes a familiarity with the beliefs and practices of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam and some experience in interfaith dialogue. The focus is on developing practical skills for interfaith leadership, including: facilitating interreligious encounters; compassionate listening and nonbelligerent communication; joint study of sacred texts; designing interreligious worship; and spiritual resources for conflict transformation. Some evenings will be devoted to informal socializing and networking. Prerequisite: DI-650 Building Abrahamic Partnerships or permission of the instructor. Yehezkel Landau, Faculty Associate in Interfaith Relations and Co-founder, Open House, Ramle, Israel


Global Perspectives on Reproductive Justice (ET-628) NEW View Syllabus
Tuesdays and Thursdays, May 26 - June 25, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

This course will focus on non-Western religious traditions and their theological teachings as related to issues of reproductive justice. Topics covered will include contraception and abortion, as well as other issues related to family planning and the new reproductive technologies becoming increasingly available world-wide (in vitro fertilization, artificial insemination, sex selection, genetic testing, etc.) Faith traditions represented in the course will include an initial introduction to perspectives on these topics from Christianity and Islam, and then move to Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism. Heidi Gehman, Faculty Associate in Theology and Ethics


Religion and Liberal Democracy in Modern Societies* (HI-656) NEW View Syllabus
Monday, June 15 – Friday, June 19, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

This course examines questions related to the relationship between religion and liberal democracy in modern, pluralistic societies. The focus will be on the interplay between faith and public life, theological discourse and political discourse, and religious conceptions of the good versus the liberal emphasis on individual liberty and autonomy. We will also consider some contemporary legal arguments in the United States on issues ranging from prayer in public schools to the funding of faith-based groups to the legal recognition of same-sex marriage. There will be opportunities for Muslims to reflect on similar themes in the Islamic tradition. Brett Wilmot, Adjunct Professor of History, and Associate Director, Ethics Program, Villanova University


Megachurches* (RS-686) View Syllabus
Monday, June 8 – Friday, June 12, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Imagine a congregation where 10,000 people gather each week for worship, where church budgets are $15 million a year and where thousands of people volunteer for programs weekly. Welcome to the world of megachurches. The past forty years have seen a proliferation of these massive congregations throughout the nation. There are over 1300 of these congregations in the U.S., and while they are less than half a percent of all congregations, they attract more attention than all other religious communities in the nation combined. This course will look at the phenomenon to understand the common characteristics of megachurches, how they function, why they are attractive and what kind of person goes to them. We will uncover what lessons can be learned from them which can be used effectively by churches of all sizes and denominational traditions. Scott Thumma, Professor of Sociology of Religion


The Qur’ân and Its Place in Muslim Life and Society* (SC-621) View Syllabus
Monday, June 22 – Friday, June 26, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

As the sacred scripture of Islam, The Qur’ân has primary authority in the way Muslims understand their faith. This course will examine Islamic concepts of the Qur’ân as divine revelation and guidance. Major Qur’ânic themes will be studied in English translation, with reference to classical and contemporary Muslim commentaries. Attention will be paid to ways in which the Qur’ân functions as sacred scripture in Muslim history and contemporary life, examples of which will include Muslim communities in the United States. Ingrid Mattson, Professor of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations

The Bible and the Habits of the Soul: Psychological Perspectives on Scripture (SC-660) View Syllabus
Mondays and Wednesdays, May 27 – June 29, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

This course is an introduction to psychological studies of scripture, focusing on the contribution of the life and thought of C.G. Jung, but including the contributions of other fields of psychology. The course also will consider the psychological aspects of the newer forms of criticism (e.g. feminist, liberationist, ideological, and contextual/cultural criticism) to our understanding of the Bible and its therapeutic as well as pathogenic effects in the lives of its readers, past and present. Wayne Rollins, Adjunct Professor of Scripture


Are We All Bound for Heaven?: Christian Theologies of Other Religions (TH-635) View Syllabus
Monday, June 8 – Friday, June 12, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

How ought Christians assess the validity of other religions? What do Christians say are the consequences for accepting or rejecting Christian claims to truth? Will heaven be populated by Christians only? This course begins with a brief survey of interreligious beliefs about the final destiny of human beings. Next, students critically examine Christian inclusivist, exclusivist, pluralist, and hybrid theologies of “other” religions. Finally, students weigh the implications of these various theologies for contemporary Christian missions. Ed Waggoner, Adjunct Professor at Hartford Seminary and Sacred Heart University


Rituals and Responsibilities of Muslim Leaders in America* (WS-601) View Syllabus
Monday, June 15 – Friday, June 19, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

This course is designed for Muslim leaders, including Imams and chaplains, who are serving American Muslim communities. The course examines Muslim leaders’ role and responsibilities as well as the proper application and performance of some important areas of Islamic ritual law. Emphasis is on practical application of the law and much of the course is taught in workshop format. Muhammad Nur Abdullah, Adjunct Professor of Islamic Studies and Imam of The Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis

Islamic Spirituality* (WS-639) View Syllabus
Monday, June 8 – Friday, June 12, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

This course explores Islamic spirituality by going through mystical interpretations of both the Qur’ân and sayings of the Prophet. We will also look at the development of Islamic spiritual thought and practices in history. The course will remain anchored by focusing on important personalities in the mystical tradition of Islam through their literature and poetry. Yahya Michot, Professor of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations

Paradoxology: Spirituality in a Quantum Universe* (WS-641) View Syllabus
Monday, June 22 – Friday, June 26, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

How do we live in a world of chaos, where everything is in flux, and still remain rooted in that which is everlasting? When we are attuned to the song of the universe, when cosmic rhythms resonate within us, shaping who we are and are becoming, we are saint in the making, mystic on the move, experiencing more often and in many more ways the synchronous presence of God-with-us in our everyday lives. Miriam Therese Winter, Professor of Liturgy, Worship and Spirituality and Director, Women’s Leadership Institute

Dreams as a Resource for Ministry (WS-697) NEW View Syllabus
Monday, June 15 – Friday, June 19, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

This course will examine the various traditions, both secular and sacred of dream interpretation. Students will understand the significance of dreams and how they connect to daily living consciously and subliminally. The integration of psychological, biblical, theological, and folk wisdom will foster an environment where spiritual perspectives on dream interpretation will flourish. The deeper exploration of dreams is made possible as participants explore their own experience with dreams while seeking deeper level truths. Ultimately, students will be enabled to interpret (in whole or part) dreams and to use this knowledge as a resource within their ministry context. Benjamin K. Watts, Faculty Associate in the Arts of Ministry and Senior Pastor, Shiloh Baptist Church, New London



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