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This course of study is a contextually relevant, interdisciplinary group of courses that prepares the student for ministry in the life of the Black Church. It takes seriously the history, theology, and biblical interpretation unique to the Black Church that privileges the experiences of African Americans in their struggle for liberation and social justice in secular and sacred spaces. It seeks both to understand and transform the historic place of the Black Church in an ongoing struggle for identity and dignity of a people whose humanity has been rendered invisible. The larger goal is that some students will be inspired to seek further graduate studies in this field of study, but that all students will return to their communities of faith better prepared to help alter the existential plight of their people.
This course will present an overview of issues, concepts, events, heritage, as well as customs that have evolved to comprise a general African American worldview. The course will outline and explore the elements of Black culture that are expressed in the social institutions of Church and Family. The unifying cultural themes will be discussed as functional and central to personal identity and emotional equilibrium. Implications for pastoral care and worship will be discussed.
September 7-8, 14-15 (Fridays-Saturdays 6 pm to 9 pm; 8 am to 4 pm) – Crystal Walker, D.Min.
This course introduces students to the critical study and interpretation of the New Testament. The course focuses students on hearing the New Testament. The course focuses students on hearing the New Testament writings as pastoral responses shaped by and addressing first-century socio-historical settings. It includes exploration of their theological and narrative content, exposure to diverse interpretive approaches, and examination of literary, historical and cultural issues relevant to their interpretation.
Sept 22 & 29; Oct 5, 13, 27; Nov 3, 17 (Saturdays 9 am to 12 Noon) – Timothy Crow, Ph.D.
This course will examine the historical roots of hermeneutical ideologies and methodologies that have ignored and/or denied the influence of people of African descent in the Bible and upon the Bible. More basically, the course will examine the de-Africanization of the Bible, address this phenomenon by re- Africanizing the Bible and illustrate how the peculiar perspective and development of an African American hermeneutic contributes a fresh and needed insight for the Christian church in regards to biblical interpretation.
Sept 6, 13, Oct 11, 18, 25, Nov 1, 8 (Thursdays 6 pm to 9 pm) – Dr. William Myers, Ph.D.
This course examines and interprets the history of the Black Church, including the seven historic American Black denominations: the African Methodist Episcopal Church; the African Methodist Episcopal Church; the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church; the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church; the National Baptist Convention, U.S.A., Incorporated; the National Baptist Convention; and the Church of God in Christ. The role of the Black Church in the Black community will be emphasized along with the contributions to and distinctives within American Protestantism that the black church offers.
Jan 10, 24, Feb 7, 21, March 7, 28, April 7, 25 (Thursdays 6pm to 9pm) – A. G. Miller, Ph.D.
This course examines the development of the discipline of Black Theology in America since 1960. Focus will highlight the works of the founder of Black Theology, James Cone, the early voices such as J. Deotis Roberts and Gayraud Wilmore, as well as other evolving contemporary voices, such as Dwight Hopkins, Jacquelyn Grant, Kelly Brown Douglas, and Delores Williams. An historical perspective of the richness of the Black theological tradition will also be offered with references to the works of W.E.B. DuBois, Benjamin E. Mays, Howard Thurman and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Jan 12, 26, Feb 9, 21, March 9, 30, April 13, 27 (Saturdays 9 am to 12 Noon) – A. G. Miller, Ph.D.
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To apply to the Certificate in Black Church Studies program, you need to submit: