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Course Description Masters Level
McCormick Theological Seminary
Course Number and Title: B/Med 409 Religious Leadership for an Ecological Age
Faculty: Theodore Hiebert and Clare Butterfield
Term: Fall Semester 2010
This course will provide religious leaders with the biblical and theological basis for honoring and caring for creation and practical skills to lead communities to reconnect with their environment, to live more sustainable lives, and to heal the earth and its communities.
The aim of this course is to give future church leaders the ability to walk into a new place knowing what to do, where to start, and why it’s important to care for the earth. The course will therefore integrate biblical and theological perspectives on creation, with a basic scientific knowledge of the state of the world, ways to influence public policy, and ways to improve personal and institutional practices.
Masters Program Learning Outcomes
The learning outcomes established for each degree program are below. The ones that are underlined are those addressed by the course above. Because a course may be taken by students in any masters degree program, outcomes in more than one degree program may be addressed by this course.
M.Div. Learning Outcomes
MTS Learning Outcomes
MA in Discipleship Development Learning Outcomes
MA in Urban Ministry Learning Outcomes
Primary Texts (and ISBN numbers)
The majority of the readings for this course are taken from periodical articles and chapters of books and will be posted on the class website. In addition to these readings, the following books should be purchased:
Steward Brand, Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto (New York, NY: Viking, 2009) ISBN 978-0-670-02121-5
Michael Brower and Warren Leon, The Consumer’s Guide to Effective Environmental Choices: Practical Advice from the Union of Concerned Scientists (New York, NY: Three Rivers Press, 1999) ISBN 0-609-80281-X
Michael Pollan, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (New York, NY: Penguin Books, 2006) ISBN 978-0-14-303858-0
In addition to these required books, a number of readings will be taken from two other books which we would recommend:
Barbara R. Rossing, The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation (New York, NY: Basic Books, 2004) ISBN 978-0-8133-9156-4
Theodore Hiebert, The Yahwist’s Landscape: Nature and Religion in Early Israel (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Fortress, 2008; orig. 1996) ISBN 978-0-8006-6305-6
Approximate amount of work per week students can expect (reading, writing, etc.)
Reading for the course will average about 100 pages/week.
Course Assignments and Projects
Brief biblical analyses most weeks.
Short research and writing projects most weeks.
A concluding integrative project, making use of previous work in the course, of 15 pages.
A theological and practical portfolio including the above assignments and projects.