Course Title: Theo 6332/Thought of Wendell Berry

Seminary: North Park Theological Seminary

Professor: Dr. John E. (Jay) Phelan

Dates: January 14- May 5, 2014

Description: Wendell Berry is one of our greatest cultural, political, and spiritual critics. His multi-faceted work has addressed the challenges of community, agriculture, politics, education, family, marriage, work, and worship in a culture given to acquisitiveness, waste, and ignorance. His critique of the church and Christians as frequent contributors to our problems must be heard. Throughout his work he manifests a love/hate relationship with the church and the Christian tradition that is finally hopeful and constructive. During our weeks together we will explore the major themes of Berry’s work. These themes constantly intersect and inform one another. We will read Berry’s essays, fiction, and poetry. We will engage in rich conversations about the corporate and personal challenges of his work.

Enrollment: Open enrollment for Association of Chicago Theological Schools. Contact your ACTS registrar for registration info.

Course Title: Food, Faith, and Justice: Holy Communion for the Whole Creation

Seminary: Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

Professor: Dr. Timothy Eberhart

Dates: May 19-23, 2014

Description: God’s call to participate in the abundant life of loving communion is given to us in the form of a meal invitation: “Take, eat (Matt. 26:26). “Taste and see that the Lord is good” (Ps. 34:8). But how are we to gather together in holy meals when the food we consume is bound up in the earth’s degradation and the exploitation of neighbors near and far? This course will integrate a critical theology of food and agriculture with practical encounters with the emerging holistic food economy (e.g. urban organic agriculture, community food cooperatives, ecological garden design) in the Chicago area.

Enrollment: Open enrollment for Association of Chicago Theological Schools. Contact your ACTS registrar for registration info.

Course Title: CHTH 558/Poverty and Restorative Earthkeeping

Seminary: George Fox Evangelical Seminary

Professors: Daniel L. Brunner and Cherice Bock

Dates: May 12-July 31, 2014; retreat held June 8-11

Description: This course immerses students during a three-day retreat in experiences that illustrate the integral relationships between earthkeeping, global systems, and issues such as racism, sexism, and classism. Students will encounter the tension between the devastating nature of these relationships and the potential and hope for restoration in the Creation.

Enrollment: George Fox is an ATS-accredited seminary; course is open for anyone who wishes to take it. Contact Dan Brunner for enrollment info.

Course Title: The Spirituality of Food, Field, and Table: A Retreat on the Art of Homecoming

Seminary: Wake Forest University School of Divinity

Professor: Fred Bahnson

Dates: June 16-20, 2014

Description: The course, location TBA, will feature experiential learning in the campus garden and surrounding area, with classes on biointensive gardening, permaculture, creating a community garden, and wild foods foraging. Afternoons will consist of lectures and discussion, engaging in both theological and scriptural reflection on the practices of field and table. After dinner a brief Vespers service of Psalms will conclude the day. Evenings are free to rest, read, or explore nearby Asheville.

Enrollment: For info, contact Fred Bahnson.

Course Title: The Future of Creation

Seminary: Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

Professors: Gayle Woloschak and Barbara Rossing

Dates: Spring 2014

Description: This interdisciplinary course, taught in collaboration with LSTC’s Zygon Center for Religion and Science,

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will prepare seminary students to offer informed and engaged leadership in response to environmental challenges for the future. The course includes a strong scientific component, with guest lecturers from the science faculties of Chicago-area universities and research centers. It also integrates theological responses to science—particularly climate change science– presented by theology and biblical professors from local seminaries, in order to help students make connections between the knowledge of science and faith traditions. Class discussions will prepare students to preach and teach on theology, ethics and ministry related to environmental issues, and to counsel parishioners. Community organizations will orient students to the collaborative network that will facilitate congregational action for environmental ministry.

Enrollment: Open enrollment for Association of Chicago Theological Schools. Contact your ACTS registrar for registration info.

Course Title: Dust to Dust: Ritual and Theology of Human Earthboundedness

Seminary: Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

Professor: Benjamin Stewart

Dates: Spring 2014

Description: Some Christian funeral practices embody unity with the earth (“earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust”), while others suggest a trajectory away from earth (“set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth,” toward “a heavenly home”). This course studies ritual practices at death as centrally embodying convictions about human relationship with the earth and with God. The course traces a number of themes toward their intersection at funeral rituals: theology of the cross, incarnation and embodiment, ecological theology, and liturgical theology. The course especially focuses on the emerging natural burial movement: placing it in historical context, analyzing it theologically, and equipping course members to be leaders in articulating and introducing its practices for the church and the wider community.

Enrollment: Open enrollment for Association of Chicago Theological Schools. Contact your ACTS registrar for registration info.