Carol Jacobson—Teaching

Christian Education in the Parish, ED-2020
This course provides a basic orientation to Christian educational ministries in a parish setting. We focus our attention upon significant contexts and theological themes for Christian education, pedagogical theories and strategies for teaching and learning effectively, and the mutually correlative relationship between Christian education and daily life. Throughout the course we consider questions such as: Why does the church engage in a function called “Christian education?” Who is Christian education “for”? What are the appropriate “contents” of a Christian education? How do people of all ages learn? What gets in the way of learning? What makes for an effective teacher? How does participation in Christian education impact the ways in which we understand the vocation of ministry—both our own and that of a Christian community?
Reading Congregations, FT-8227
This course is intended to introduce first year M.Div. students to the practice of establishing and integrating observational skills and tools of critical theological reflection for the purpose of discerning the socio/political, historical, liturgical, and theological “cultures” of selected congregations. We observe and analyze a variety of congregations at Sunday worship in order to begin to understand the particular cultures and dynamics operative within these congregations. We will focus our observations and theological reflections upon the regular worship of selected communities in order to identify and reflect upon:
  • how worship space is organized and utilized in these communities;
  • how the worshiping community integrates itself into the contexts in which it is located;
  • what worship means to both clergy and lay members in these communities; and
  • how worship embodies and expresses a particular community’s understanding of who God is and how God works in the world.
In addition, we begin to articulate and reflect upon our own theologies and pieties about worship, contextualization, the life of faith and discipleship, and the meanings of these for the vocations of ministry. Central to the course are the development of effective observational and reflective skills; written summaries of site observations with theological/sociological reflections about these observations; and the selection of each student’s future teaching parish site (Lutherans only) in consultation with the professor and the Office of Contextual Education.