Learning Journey 6 & 7 – Seattle, July 24-24 & Peninsula, July 26

Theological Education
By Mary Donovan Turner, Carl Patton Professor of Preaching at PSR
A classic definition of theological education comes from H. Richard Neibuhr’s The Purpose of the Church and Its Ministry:  A Provocative Interpretation of the American Church and Its Purpose and a Rethinking of the Aims of Theological Education  written in 1956. He states that the purpose of the church, and thus the intellectual activity that undergirds it,  can only have “the glory of God and the welfare of companions as its ends.”  In many ways over the past week we observed on learning journeys how different seminaries use different kinds of language and different curriculum to invite students to engage the welfare of those who share the earth with them.  As we think about the theological foundation for our work together, direction statements and core values, and as we search for the language that is right for our own context, interests and theological persuasions, I offer this list of words and phrases that surfaced in our conversations in Seattle and the South Bay….

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Learning Journey 2: UC Berkeley

You can watch a slideshow of the people and places we met on our second learning journey here. Our day showed us how much innovation and interesting work is already going on right around us, off “Holy Hill” on the UC campus, in areas that converge with PSR’s historic identity and future orientation: areas like ethically-informed social change work; critical thinking on culture, global citizenship, and the place of religious institutions; and the creative use of arts and technology to effect broader institutional change.

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Learning Journey 1: San Francisco Social Entrepreneurs and Innovators

Our first learning journey took us to a number of San Francisco sites and organizations who are on the cutting edge of non-profit work and socially-engaged graduate education. You can watch a slideshow here of the places and people we encountered along the way. We first visited the Hub, a collaborative work space (with an organic kitchen, espresso bar, and art gallery) that incubates social entrepreneurs and innovators invested in various kinds of humanitarian projects. While at the Hub, we met with Jay Oglivy, a founding member of the Presidio Graduate School that offers an innovative MBA focused on sustainability and social change. We spent lunch at Mission Pie chatting with co-owner Krystin Rubin, a social entrepreneur and sustainability-visionary who had training in comparative religions at NYU, as well as rabbinical school. We closed the day with an invigorating conversation with IKON, an emergent-church movement housed in the Hub, and Rosa Lee Harden, a GTU alumn and episcopal priest who co-founded the Hub, and Jarrod Shappell, an M.Div graduate who helps Rosa run SoCap, the largest global conference for emergent “Social Capital Markets” and social entrepreneurship.

Commission member Kathi McShane offers more detailed descriptions of our Hub experience below, and poses some of the questions we found ourselves entertaining as we left.
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