This Week: August 27 - 31

Published: August 27, 2012


The joy of learning is as indispensable in study as breathing is in running. Where it is lacking there are no real students, but only poor caricatures of apprentices, who at the end of their apprenticeship, will not even have a trade. It is the part played by joy in our studies that makes them a preparation for the spiritual life, for desire directed toward God is the only power capable of raising the soul. . . .

–from Simone Weil, Reflections on the Right Use of School Studies with a View to the Love of God, 1942


Welcome, all new students!  Welcome back, returning students!

Each August, when my energies shift from summer activities toward another year of classrooms and learning, I am reminded of Simone Weil’s words about the “joy of learning.” Weil’s insights about school studies headlined my first web posting last year. Her words seem appropriate to begin 2012-2013 as well. After all, we have many things about which to be joyful at the outset of this new academic season, and I agree with Weil’s insight: The joy of learning is indispensable in study.

What aspects of 2012-2013 spark a sense of joy and excitement? We welcome this year 48 new students, the largest entering class in the history of our school. I am pleased to meet these new learners and am eager to hear their voices in our classrooms and hallways and ultimately in our communities. And speaking of hallways, our theological hallway conversations will now unfold in halls hallowed by a fresh coat of paint. Fresh paint and new students ignite for me joyful anticipation about the learning opportunities that await our community in 2012-2013.

Simone Weil scripted words in 1942 that inspire theological educators and ministry students 70 years later. Even as we take up the weightiness of this semester’s books — literally and figuratively –I hope that we can together turn our thoughts now and again to the joy of theological learning that initially set our feet on these journeys and that buoys our souls even when the burdens of study press upon us.

Please note the following as you pack your book bags and charge up your laptops for this semester of study:


>> New School of Divinity Bulletin

The Bulletin for 2012-2013 is now available here.


>> Dropping and Adding Courses

Students can “drop” courses through their WIN accounts. In order to “add” a course, students must complete an “add” form. The form is posted online under the heading “academic resources” and is also available from Susan Robinson, administrative assistant in the Office of the Academic Dean.

Last Day to Add Classes September 12
Last Day to Drop Classes October 3

Note: Students who drop courses or withdraw after classes begin may receive tuition refunds according to the Schedule of Adjustments Withdrawal (2012-2013 Bulletin, p. 9).

Students who were not able to enroll in their preferred courses during registration should attend the first class period of those courses since some shifts in enrollment will occur during the first week of classes. If seats have become available in courses, instructors will be able to add students to them.


>> Coffee Hour

The Office of the Academic Dean invites all students—new and returning—and faculty members to a “start-of-semester” coffee hour.

When:   Tuesday, August 28, 11a.m.

Where:  Lower Auditorium

Come to “meet and greet” and consult regarding registration, course schedules, academic calendar, etc.


 >> Labor Day

Wake Forest University faculty and students labor in the classroom on Labor Day. Yes, classes are in session on September 3, 2012.


>>Announcing Two Courses That Were Added This Summer

Two courses were added this summer to the fall course schedule and are open to all students. Returning students can add these courses by completing an “add” form.

  • SPI 790 Embodying the World’s Religions | Professor: Angela Yarber
    3 credit hours (core requirement: world religions)
  • Embodying the World’s Religions begins with the foundation that the major religions of   the world value embodiment.  Whether they are participating in Israeli folk dance,   whirling dervishes, Tai Chi, liturgical dance, or bharatanatyam, persons from differing faith traditions can find themselves on common ground when they move their bodies.  The course is a fusion of theory and praxis, enabling students to learn about the histories and theories surrounding embodiment through reading, lecture, discussion, and research, while also witnessing embodiment and dancing themselves.  We will concentrate on embodiment while learning about the five major world religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity). Utilizing Parker Palmer’s threefold goals of pedagogy, students will engage in the course material by knowingbeing, and doing.
  • MIN 790 The Church’s Care for the Sick | Professor: Susan Dunlap
    3 credit hours (general elective credit)
  • The church has always cared for the sick, whether through the healing arts, building hospitals, or tending to practical needs.  This course focuses on the congregation as the agent of care for the increasing numbers of people in our congregations who live with    illness.  Through memoir, ethnographic studies, and social scientific perspectives, we will explore the social, emotional, and cultural aspects of illness.  In particular, the course will look at congregational practices of care for the sick in African American, Latino, and Euro-American churches.  The course includes theological reflection on finitude, morality and illness, and faithful ecclesial practice


Blessings on the new academic year,

  Jill Crainshaw
  Associate Dean for Academic Affairs




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