Summer Academy Class Descriptions

Our 2015 Summer Academy will be held July 13 through 17

MORNING CLASSES  Monday through Friday, from 9:00 am - 12:15 pm

Spiritual Sustainability - Rev. Dr. David M. Mellott

Do you know Christians who find it difficult to grow spiritually? Being spiritually alert and alive is a challenge in every age. There are no shortcuts. Understanding what is happening to us spiritually takes patience, discipline, self-awareness, and grace. Spiritual struggles can manifest themselves in a variety of ways, including emotional and physical exhaustion, confusion from simplistic conceptions of the spiritual life, temptations, over stimulation, or even invitations to draw closer to God. This class will explore these challenges and some ways in which others, past and present, have responded to them so that course participants will be better prepared to discern the difference among these trials and respond to them.

Creating LGBT Inclusive Congregations - Dr. Julia O'Brien, Dr. Jamie Washington

This class helps leaders and members of congregations become more hospitable to persons of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities. It provides education about these identities (including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, asexual, intersex, and questioning); addresses the “what about the Bible?” question in conversation with current studies on the world(s) of the Bible; allows us to hear how LGBT persons experience church; and considers what our preaching, educational programs, and rituals of marriage communicate to others. This course welcomes not only those who seek to begin a welcoming church process but also those who are officially “open” and wish to take the next steps toward inclusion.

Beyond Recycling: The Church and the Moral Urgency of Creating an Environmentally Sustainable Future - Mary Gaut

Climate change, pollution, and resource depletion are all symptoms of a planet in crisis. And most everyone agrees that God has given the human creature unique responsibilities as stewards of God’s creation. Yet, too often congregations reduce this covenant responsibility to a program (recycling), an event (celebrate Earth Sunday), or a nod to how important this issue is but lacking the creativity to resolve to encourage a biblically faithful and morally robust witness. In this course we will consider creation care in the broader context of biblical and moral frameworks, the urgency of rethinking the many dimensions of stewardship, and rooting an environmentally responsible identity into the life of the congregation and its members. 

Baptist History and Theology - Dr. Daphne Wiggins

It is said, “Baptists multiply by dividing.” Why are there so many variations of Baptists? What gave rise to the Baptists? Why do they immerse for baptism? Where is the continuity of American Baptist denominations with their English fore parents? Here’s your opportunity to study the origins, significant movements, persons, and theological distinctions of Baptist life with an emphasis on the North American context.

AFTERNOON WORKSHOPS, 4 days: Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri. from 3:00 - 5:00 pm  Note that there are no workshops on Wednesday.

Co-creating Liturgical Art - Diane Brandt

Imagine expressing a sermon without using words. What color, texture, or image would you use? Participants will have the opportunity to co-create liturgical art by praying and playing scriptural texts. Student’s work will be used to enhance worship in Santee Chapel during the week. The paint will be flying! No artistic ability needed. Just an open heart.

Yoga and Faith Formation -  Jennifer Hess Biemiller

This workshop explores how body and spirit are intertwined in faith formation. Participants will discover how yoga facilitates spiritual and physical harmony within the Christian context. We will focus on self-awareness, self-discovery, self-realization, and the implications for spiritual growth.

EVENING CLASSES Monday through Friday from 6:30 - 8:30 pm

Eating the Bible - Dr. Greg Carey

Eve takes the fruit, Israel gathers manna, Jesus feeds the crowds, Pharisees invite Jesus to eat, and Paul dines with Gentiles, and Revelation’s tree of life bears twelve kinds of fruit. Basic to survival and pleasure alike, eating also provides a primary space for social interaction. This course explores eating as a primary topic in biblical traditions, attending to ancient material cultures and social mores, as we explore how biblical models might inform contemporary discipleship.

The Other Greatest Generation: Custodians of Human Rights and Architects of Social Justice  - Dr. Larry Covin

The designation, Greatest Generation, has often been used to describe the brave soldiers of the World War II era. But while these brave patriots were abroad fighting for freedom and democracy around the world, a nonmilitant army emerged within the United States to ensure freedom, democracy, human rights and social justice at home. This course will examine the contribution of seven key figures in the civil rights movement: Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; Reverend Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.; Viola Gregg Liuzzo; The Honorable Thurgood Marshall; Bayard Rustin; A. Philip Randolph; and Diane Nash.

Leaving Scar City for the Land of Abundance: Integrating Faith and Money - Curt Ackley

The Church steps up boldly to speak about many challenging issues, but we often back away when it comes to money. Money, possessions, and giving are mentioned in scriptures more frequently than almost any other subject, yet in our discomfort we often avoid those teachings. Developing a faithful approach to money will enable us to achieve a healthier framework for ministry. The goal of this class is to gain understanding and tools to create financial wellness in our faith communities, beginning with the personal and moving to congregational and societal circumstances. By developing a scriptural framework for these topics, we can move away from fears of scarcity into the freedom of living in abundance.

Baptist Polity - Dr. Daphne Wiggins

What is the difference between an ordinance and a sacrament? How do local congregations relate to the national denominational bodies? What is the process for a local ordination rather than a regional one? This course will orient students to the current structures and practices of Baptist denominations, with a particular emphasis on American Baptist Churches in the USA. Attention will also be given to ordination and placement processes.

See something that entices your interest, sparks your curiosity, or excites those synaptic connections? Stay tuned for registration information or contact Dr. Larry Covin,