Unitarian Universalist Ecclesiology, Ministry, and Polity

REL691
Fall 2017
Th 1:30-3:20pm
Area: 
Area II
Permission Not Required
No Limit to Enrollment
Course Description: 

This course is designed for students preparing for ministerial fellowship with the Unitarian Universalist Association.  We will consider issues arising from UUA national, regional, and local church ecclesiology.  Employing books from the Ministerial Fellowship Committee (MFC) reading list, and others, we will discuss the practice of ministry in a congregation along with issues of congregational polity and governance.  We will discuss UU practices in worship, rites of passage, membership, ministerial authority, lay leadership, ministerial search and settlement, congregational finances, ethics, social justice, and growth strategies.  

 

Background Expected: 

Students are expected to be active members of a Unitarian Universalist congregation and seeking status as a UU ministerial aspirant.  They will be encouraged to become student members of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association (UUMA) under the new guidelines provided by the MFC for those considering UU ministry.

Course Requirements: 

Wayne Arnason and Kathleen Rolenz, Worship That Works (2008) 164 pages.

John Buehrens and Rebecca Parker, A House of Hope (2010) 59 pages.

Wayne Clark, Beyond Fundraising (2007) 158 pages.

Dan Hotchkiss, Governance and Ministry (2016) 224 pages.

Jacqui James and Mark Morrison-Reed co-editors, Voices from the Margins (2012) 108 pages.

William Kondrath, Facing Feelings in Faith Communities (2013) 156 pages.

A Documentary History of Unitarian Universalism, Volumes One and Two (2017), 296 pages.

John Gibb Millspaugh, editor, A People So Bold (2010) 110 pages.  This anthology adds many previously under represented voices to this dialogue on theology and ministry for UU’s.

Paul Rasor, Faith without Certainty (2005) 187 pages.

Jim Sherblom, Spiritual Audacity (to be published September 2017), 82 pages.

Unitarian Universalist Pocket Guide (2012) 88 pages.  This latest version of the UU pocket guide adds previously under represented voices to our articulation of our faith.

UUA Commission on Appraisal, interdependence, renewing congregational polity (1997) 173 pages (available online www.uua.org).

UUA Commission on Appraisal, belonging, the meaning of membership (2001) 112 pages (available online www.uua.org).

UUA Commission on Appraisal: engaging our theological diversity (2005) 158 pages (available online  HYPERLINK “http://www.uua.org” www.uua.org).
UUA Commission on Appraisal: class action, the struggle with class in Unitarian Universalism (217) 115 pages.
Erik Walker Wikstrom, Serving with Grace (2010) 83 pages.

Each student will be required to develop, in consultation with the instructor, a project in a particular topic in the best practices of UU ministry, reported in a course paper of 10-15 pages.  
Project and paper topic proposals to be submitted by October 5, and approved by October 12, and completed and submitted by Thursday, November 30.

Grades will be based 50% on the project/paper, 15% on a short paper on UU anti-racist, anti-oppression polity, 10% on a worship outline for an appropriately inclusive worship service, and 25% on course participation, including appearing in class regularly with evidence of having assimilated the assigned readings, and fully prepared and able to discuss the topic for the day with intellectual curiosity, perceptive listening, and insightful speaking.   

Any papers or final projects that are turned in late are not eligible for Honors and will receive no comments.  Students who miss more than one class, or are late to class more than two of the twelve classes, will have their overall grade reduced by 5% for each missed or arriving late to class, unless previously approved by the instructor.

 

Basis of Evaluation: 

Honors = Exemplary work.  All class participation demonstrates thorough preparation, intellectual curiosity, perceptive listening, and insightful speaking.  A superior understanding of the material is shown in all class discussions.  The final paper or project shows an important aspect of UU ecclesiology, the nature of ministry and our particular polity, through interesting original work presented with ministerial sensitivity and superior theological reflection.

Honors - = Excellent work.  Most class participation demonstrates thorough preparation, intellectual curiosity, perceptive listening, and insightful speaking.  A superior understanding of the material is shown in most class discussions.  The final paper or project shows an important aspect of UU ecclesiology, the nature of ministry, and our particular polity, through interesting original work presented with ministerial sensitivity and superior theological reflection.

High Pass + = Very good work.  Class participation regularly demonstrates thorough preparation, intellectual curiosity, perceptive listening, and insightful speaking.  A solid understanding of the material is shown in most class discussions.  The final paper or project shows an important aspect of UU ecclesiology, the nature of ministry, and our particular polity, through interesting original work presented with ministerial sensitivity and theological reflection.

High Pass = Good work.  Regular class participation demonstrates thorough preparation, intellectual curiosity, appropriate listening, and frequent articulate speaking.  Class discussions show a solid understanding of the material.  The final paper or project reflects some important aspect of UU ecclesiology, the nature of ministry, and our particular polity presented with appropriate ministerial sensitivity and theological reflection.

High Pass - = Satisfactory work.  Regular class participation demonstrates preparation and attentiveness to the material.  Class discussions show engagement with the topic.  The final paper or project reflects an important aspect of UU ecclesiology, the nature of ministry, and our particular polity presented clearly with sensitivity and reflection.

Low Pass = marginally passable work that meets the bare minimum for credit.  A student at risk for a low pass grade would receive no credit if they then also missed a class or came late to class.