Leadership Ministry in Schools

REL848
Fall 2016
MW 1:30pm - 2:50pm
Area: 
Area IV, Area V
Professor: 
Permission Not Required
No Limit to Enrollment
Course Description: 

This course seeks to help prepare students of all denominations for leadership positions in schools.  It begins with an analysis of “where young people are today,” and in particular the existential/spiritual questions they are often asking, even without realizing they are asking.  Teaching about religion in secular schools – both public and independent – is briefly considered.  Then the course turns its attention to schools with some sort of religious orientation.  After studying the heritage and tradition of such schools, we consider the issues involved in leading them today.   The roles of the school head, the chaplain (whether ordained or lay), the religion teacher, and the student are considered.   Many aspects of school life are explored, including the pedagogical, pastoral, and liturgical.  The difficulties and delights of educational ministry and leadership are identified and discussed.  Naturally, issues of race, class, gender, and sexuality arise. Through required field trips, we consider the particular problems and opportunities involved in inner city schools and parish day schools.  In addition to the required readings, use is made of role plays, simulations, and case studies.  Guest practitioners from various schools visit and speak to the class.  Students conduct extensive interviews with a person ministering in primary and secondary education (chosen by them, in consultation with the instructor), about whom they write a lengthy paper.  Each student is required to make some sort of oral presentation appropriate to the position of the person she has written about. 

Background Expected: 

No previous courses are expected.

Course Requirements: 

Students are expected to master the reading (both books and articles).  The principal requirement is a paper of approximately 20 pages on a practicing leader in educational ministry.  Students must also make a simulated statement such as that leader might need to make regarding some difficult incident: the expulsion of a student for cheating, for example. They must also undertake two field trips and make presentations about them. 

Basis of Evaluation: 

The requirements are evaluated approximately as follows: paper 67%, simulated statement 18%, field trip report 5%, class participation revealing mastery of the reading 10%.