Through theological reflection, critical inquiry, and ministry formation, the School of Divinity encourages students to explore diverse religious, cultural, and ethnic perspectives within both national and international contexts. All students are required to complete one Cross-Cultural Connections course. Each course includes a required travel component. The application is located at the bottom of this page.
Travel dates: Spring Break 2019
Leader: Dr. Meredith Doster
Cost: $975. With scholarship, student cost is $682 and out of pocket expenses.
I Love to Tell the Story: Appalachia on Our Minds explores Appalachia as home to a variety of religious subcultures that enjoy and endure a significant role in the American imaginary. Built around a 10-day immersion experience in western North Carolina, this course engages the intersection of Appalachia’s lived religions and their representation across a variety of media. Foregrounding various constructions of Appalachia, as well as competing investments in the region’s renowned religious exceptionalism, this travel seminar critically considers the stories we love to tell about the places we inhabit, imagine, and in which we worship and serve. An examination of the politics of place-making in relation to our understanding of self and others, this travel seminar considers Appalachia as portal through which interlocking processes of regional and religious identity formation take shape.
Travel Dates: December 26, 2018 – January 9, 2019
Leader: Dr. Neal Walls
Cost: $2,100 plus airfare. With scholarship, student cost is $1,470 plus airfare.
The Religions of Egypt: Ancient, Medieval, and Modern introduces the rich religious heritage of Egyptian civilization, from its Pharaonic origins, through centuries of Christian majorities, to its current Islamic identity. By traveling to the Arab Republic of Egypt, students will directly experience Muslim culture as the context in which minority Christian communities practice their faith. The class will visit numerous Pharaonic, Christian, Muslim, and (historically) Jewish places of worship in the greater Cairo area and in Egypt’s stunning archeological sites at the southern environs of Luxor. We will witness the grandeur of Islamic civilization in Cairo’s medieval mosques and modern monuments. We will discuss the tumultuous history of Jews in Egypt while touring Cairo’s historic Ben Ezra Synagogue. We will examine Christian monasticism in the place of its origin at the Wadi Natrun. Site visits to numerous Christian churches, including All Saints Anglican Church (with its Sudanese refugee congregation), will expose students to a diversity of contemporary Christian practices in Egypt.
The class is divided into a one-credit fall reading course (HIS 594A), and a two-credit spring course (HIS 594B), with travel over winter break (currently set for December 26 through January 9).
Travel Dates: Spring Break 2019
Leaders: Drs. Shonda Jones and Kevin Jung
Course Fees: $1,382 plus airfare. With scholarship, student cost is $967 plus airfare.
Korea: Conflicts, Reconciliation and Peace-Making will be a faculty-led travel course which confronts the problem of conflict resolution and peace-making in a country marred by Japanese colonial rule and torn by the Korean war. Focusing on some recent events in Korean history, this course will critically examine common sources of national and international conflicts, forms of dehumanization and oppression, processes of political regeneration, and the role of the church in the work of reconciliation and peace-making. We will explore various approaches to conflict resolution and peacebuilding through readings, case studies, and visiting relevant locations. In particular, we will consider theological grounds for forgiveness and peacemaking.
Travel Dates: Summer 2019
Leaders: Dr. Derek Hicks
Course Fees: TBA
This course will be an intensive Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) immersion experience for seminary or divinity/theological school students who wish to engage and cultivate necessary prophetic voices with communities on the margins of theological education—in particular, those communities contending against systemic injustices perpetuating the intersectionalities of racist and economic struggles that directly impact children and youth. We study, “How do we construct narratives of learning and justice ministries at the center of our theological training?” We also explore, “What is our theological voice in the public square; what are the possible roles of public theology?” This course will include contextual learning and research in forming public leaders to facilitate collective organizing/re-organizing of churches as justice-making communities to extend beyond the immediate concerns of philanthropy.
This course will take place during the summer. Dates and details will be arranged.
Travel Dates: June 9 – 16, 2018
Leaders: Dr. John Senior and Frank Dew
Course Fees: With scholarship, student cost is $535.50 plus tuition ($375).
Using Washington, D.C. as a laboratory, this course explores different forms of Christian public witness in American public and political life. Models of public witness considered in the course include intentional Christian community, broad-based community organizing, servant leadership, asset-based community development, congregationally affiliated non-profit ministries, national denominational representation in Washington, federal government partnerships with faith-based communities, and global mission organizations. The course examines the theological commitments, social ethics, missional visions, organizational structures, and practical methodologies that give each model its distinctive shape and that create both opportunities for and challenges to the work of public witness. The course pays particular attention to the ways that faith-based organizations in Washington engage the problem of gentrification.