Course Memo

This fully online, asynchronous course assists you in establishing and integrating observational skills and tools of critical theological reflection for the purpose of discerning the socio/political, historical, liturgical, and theological “cultures” of your assigned congregations. You will observe and analyze a selected congregation (of a tradition other than your own) at its worship in order to identify the particular cultural and contextual dynamics operative within the congregations. You will also engage in ethnographic fieldwork in order to reflect on the congregation’s “cultures” and “ecologies,” as defined in assigned texts. Guiding your observations and theological reflections are questions like:
• how worship space is organized and utilized;
• how the worshipping community integrates itself into the contexts in which it is located;
• what worship means to both clergy and lay members in these communities; and
• how worship embodies and expresses a particular community’s understanding of who God is and how God works in the world.
Central to the course is conducting fieldwork and your preparation of an in-depth congregational study of your selected congregation, using either PowerPoint or Prezi. [20 max enrollment]