Past Courses

David Kling, M.Div.

Practical Chaplaincy: Three Concentric Circles of Ministry

Explores the unique role of the Chaplain in the three concentric circles of ministry: Family, Faith Formation and Ecumenical Community. First and foremost, the chaplain must be the spiritual minister and advisor of both his / her biological family and local faith family. Second, the chaplain must function in and minister to his / her faith formation. Third, the chaplain must function in and minister to the Ecumenical communities of faith, thus bringing spiritual relevance to the greater society. The Three Concentric Circles of a chaplain’s ministry are interrelated and interdependent; this course provides the tools to function effectively in …

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Anne Hill, D.Min., 
Dept. of Ministry, Advocacy & Leadership

Real World Pagan Ethics - A Rhizomes Course

What does it mean to be an ethical magical practitioner? How can you tell if a teacher or coven leader has good boundaries? When we step into leadership, how can we make sure we are doing right by our communities? This course is designed to help clarify our internal ethical code, and then apply it to the areas of Community, Service, Ritual, and Leadership. The poet and philosopher M.C. Richards wrote, “It takes a golden ear to be empty enough of itself to hear clearly.” We will approach the formation of healthy, rigorous ethics and boundaries in the spirit of …

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Ethics and Boundaries C5101

When we engage in professional Pagan ministry, we are not only practitioners of our craft, we are representatives of our religion. We are held radically responsible for our actions and their consequences by our deities, our communities, our world, and ourselves. We live and work in a society where actions we take as Pagans are viewed through the lens of a different set of assumptions than our own. We are scrutinized very carefully by those who are gatekeepers, who have a primary responsibility to protect and serve their constituencies. This course will examine ethics and boundaries relating to self, to …

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Christine-Hoff-Kraemer

Nature and Pagan Spirituality: Human/Animal Relationships N6270B

Instructors: Christine Kraemer, PhD & Barbara Davy, PhD Class meetings: Tuesdays, 9pm ET Prerequisites: None;  Introduction to Pagan Theology C5141 recommended. This course provides students with an opportunity to examine earth-centered spiritual perspectives and scholarship on human/nature relationships. In addition to a broad selection of readings on ecotheology, we will focus in on relationships between humans and animals, as well as on understandings of human beings as animals. Topics may include the commercialization of nature spirituality; sacred sites; differences between pantheistic and animistic theologies; hunting, meat eating, and animal sacrifice; and the role of animal spirits for Native peoples. In …

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The Druidic Past and Present T6405

Instructor: James Acken, PhD Class meetings: Tuesdays, 5:30-6:30pm ET optional Prerequisites: None; C5121 Contemporary Global Paganisms or T5940 Research and Writing for Pagan Scholarship recommended. Since the eighteenth century, druids and the heritage they represent have fascinated and inspired Western tradition, but this heritage is vexed by more than a thousand years of either absent or contradictory evidence.  This course reviews evidence from several disciplines and pertaining to the druids, analyzing the connections between what we believe we know of their reality to the extant evidence, but it will also look beyond the usual scholastic analyses to folk customs and traditional …

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Earth Congregations: Nature as Classroom and Sanctuary N6121/M6241

Instructor Chris Highland, M. Div. Class Meetings: None Prerequisites: None The open doorways of the natural cosmos reveal beauty and wisdom accessible to each person. Students will take a closer look at eco-village and green village concepts, as well as transformative possibilities for existing spiritual communities. For instance, what would happen if a church, temple, synagogue or mosque chose to turn their building into a community center addressing social issues in their town and held their spiritual gatherings in a more Pagan way, near trees, waterfalls and wildlife? What if people of many faiths and no faiths met in these …

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What do you mean I need outcomes? P6805

Research and evaluation basics for understanding why what you do “works.” Instructor: Tracy Wharton, PhD Class meetings: Tuesdays, 8 PM ET Introduction to research methods, statistical analysis, needs assessment, and program evaluation, including the importance of research in advancing the  counseling profession; research methods such as qualitative, quantitative, single case designs, action research, and outcome-based research; statistical methods used in conducting research and program evaluation; principles, models, and applications of needs assessment, program evaluation, and the use of findings to affect program modifications; the use of research to inform evidence-based practice; and ethical and culturally relevant strategies for interpreting and …

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Internship Supervision P6915

Instructor: Valerie Cole, PhD Class Meeting: To be decided by faculty and enrolled students Supervision group for advanced students who are currently or have previously completed counseling internships. Discussions will involve pagan-focused counseling problems and solutions. Students will be expected to bring case studies to class and to participate fully with the other students. Prerequisites: Advanced status and permission of instructor Fulfills 3 credit hours of community placement in Area IV of degree. Required Texts: No textbook, although articles may be assigned that are appropriate to the issues under review. Order Texts Here To Benefit CHS        Register Now

Public Ritual M5240

Instructor: Robert Patrick, M. Div. PhD Class Meetings: None This class explores the two dimensions represented by its title: what is ritual, and what does providing public ritual mean? Students will be asked to consider definitions and understandings of ritual from a variety of perspectives and challenged to consider when rituals that open the door to deep meaning should be other than public. In addition to philosophical, spiritual and social/cultural considerations, this course will also focus on the very practical aspects of designing and creating ritual that is effect as well as examining what makes a ritual effective for participants. Fulfills …

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Spiritual Autobiography M6340/N6705

Instructor: Class meetings: Exploration of the various processes of spiritual formation.  Students will read autobiographies of Pagan and other spiritual leaders and examine their own lives to develop narratives of their own spiritual development.  Class assignments will include response to and analysis of readings as well as creative writing exercises, culminating in the creation of a chapter from the student’s spiritual autobiography. Fulfills the Area I requirement for a course addressing spiritual formation and creativity. This class meets with the PCE course Pagan Spiritual Autobiography. Required Texts: Sanders, Maxine. Fire Child. Mandrake, 2007. ISBN: 1869928784 Monaghan, Patricia. Red Haired Girl …

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Sacred Egypt Sacred Science

An overview of the religious foundations and spiritual practices of ancient Egypt, from Pre-Dynastic times to the Graeco-Roman period. Material will be drawn from the language and literature of this oldest of civilizations, from texts and monuments, religious and secular. We will also study Egypt’s unique geography, art, and architectural canons, and how they supported a unique world view. Students will also learn how ancient Egyptians’ enigmatic approaches to life, death, and the afterlife were profoundly expressed in these forms and created the basis of what we know as sacred science. Instructor: Rosemary Clark Class meetings:no live meetings Recommended Texts: …

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Christine-Hoff-Kraemer

The Sacred Earth: Human/Animal Relationships

Instructors: Christine Kraemer, PhD & Barbara Davy, PhD Class meetings: Tuesdays, 9pm ET This course provides students with an opportunity to examine earth-centered spiritual perspectives and scholarship on human/nature relationships. In addition to a broad selection of readings on ecotheology, we will focus in on relationships between humans and animals, as well as on understandings of human beings as animals. Topics may include the commercialization of nature spirituality; sacred sites; differences between pantheistic and animistic theologies; hunting, meat eating, and animal sacrifice; and the role of animal spirits for Native peoples. In conversation with other writers, we will reflect on …

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Earth Congregations: Nature as Classroom and Sanctuary

Instructor Chris Highland, M. Div. Class Meetings: None The open doorways of the natural cosmos reveal beauty and wisdom accessible to each person. Students will take a closer look at eco-village and green village concepts, as well as transformative possibilities for existing spiritual communities. For instance, what would happen if a church, temple, synagogue or mosque chose to turn their building into a community center addressing social issues in their town and held their spiritual gatherings in a more Pagan way, near trees, waterfalls and wildlife? What if people of many faiths and no faiths met in these natural environments …

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Foundations of Germanic Spirituality: Tradition, Myth & Lore

Instructor: James Acken, PhD Class meetings: Contemporary Germanic paganism draws on an array of sources from medieval  literature to modern scholarship and traditional folklore to ethnographic  research. Through recorded presentations, primary documents, and weekly discussions all offered online, this course offers students the chance to explore these fascinating and involved topics while marking some of the often-vexing problematic issues of interpretation and cultural transmission. Required texts: TBA Order Texts Here To Benefit CHS        Register Now

Preventing Witch Wars: Managing Overlapping Roles in Pagan Communities

Instructor: Christine Kraemer, PhD No class meetings. Pagans love to create intimate community, and the same close-knit network of friends and lovers often does ritual, crisis counseling, and various kinds of business together. This intimacy can turn explosive, however, when we identify conflicts of interest between multiple roles too late. In this class, we will do risk assessments on various kinds of overlapping community roles and look at ethical guidelines for decision-making around multiple role relationships. Topics may include power differentials, projection, hot button issues, maintaining clear boundaries, peer consultation, and referral networks. Required Texts:  All materials will be provided electronically by instructor. Order …

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Sacred Nourishment

Instructor: Selina Rifkin, LMT, MS Class meetings: No meeting What we eat ties us to our planet, our environment and our communities.   The industrial food chain distances us from all of these things and plays havoc with our mental and physical well-being. Eating low on the industrial food chain connects us with spirit, creates community, and heals and nourishes both our bodies, and the Earth.  This class will describe the industrial foods chain, healthy models of food production, and how these interact with the traditional foods consumed by our ancestors and indigenous peoples. Required Texts: Prentice, Jessica, Full Moon Feast.  Chelsea Green (2006) ISBN: …

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Introduction to Pagan Birth

Instructor: Sarah Whedon, PhD No class meetings Bringing a child into the world can be a disorienting, transformative, magical, terrifying, and joyful process.  We’ll frame the journey as a labyrinth walk, spiraling in through pregnancy, experiencing the revelation of birth at the center, and spiraling back out through the postpartum period.   We’ll focus on how to honor what is sacred in this birth journey.   Suitable for anybody involved in welcoming new babies into the world – clergy, parents, birth professionals, or godparents. Required texts:  No purchased text required. Readings will be posted in online classroom. Order Texts Here To …

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Creating Personal Ritual That Works

When consciously created and enacted, personal ritual can be transforming, linking the past, present, and future into a continuum that can be observed, felt, and learned from. By learning how to design ritual to mark our life passages we can “connect the dots”, to see patterns in what may have previously felt like a random series of events that have shaped our attitudes about life. This course will provide participants with insights and tools to engage in personally transformational ritual creation for themselves through a unique guided intuitive process that draws intuitive information forward. Instructor: Ruth Barrett Class Meetings: Tuesdays …

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Memoirs and Myths: Storytelling for Teaching, Performance, and Healing

The art of storytelling is not only part of our DNA, it connects us to ancient peoples and traditions. But each telling is unique to the teller and her audience and anchors them in time and place, for each story serves a different purpose. Storytelling can improve your teaching, and your rituals, and serve as a path to healing. Instructor: Selina Rifkin Class Meetings: Sundays 7 PM ET, week of Sep 9 through Oct 6 Required Readings: MacDonald, Margaret. 1993. The Storyteller’s Start-Up Book: Finding, Learning, Performing and Using Folktales. Little Rock, AK: August House. Pay to register now

Narrative Auto-Ethnography & Contemporary Paganism: An Artistic Experience

In addition to learning about and discussing the relevance of auto-ethnography within the study of contemporary Paganism, each student will create an artistic project from an autoethnographic space, actually participating in using this research methodology while creating a finished narrative work. There will be a variety of ways to accomplish this including, but not limited to: written or visual work, audio/ video pieces, photography/ performance or through a combination of approaches.  Artists and non-artists alike will be guided through a process that will result in an artistic experience that will deepen the internal discussion of what being Pagan means to …

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The Grail and the Spiritual Quest

Explore the Pagan origins and meaning of the Grail and how we can work with the symbolism of the Grail to take forward our spiritual journey. The Grail is a precious vessel that is an important symbol for Pagans, Christians and those of other faiths. It symbolizes our highest ideal and the culmination of our spiritual quest. The course will consist of a weekly group Skype session and individual work between sessions. Participants should be prepared to engage both intellectually and spiritually with this powerful symbol of transformation. Instructor: Vivianne Crowley Class Meetings: Sundays, 4 PM ET, week of Oct 7 …

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Creating Ritual With and For Others

For individuals providing spiritual service, assisting congregants, community members, or clients in the therapeutic process with designing personal rituals, can be a powerful and transformational tool. Student will learn how to “think” like a ritualist when assisting others in creating personalized rituals to initiate healing, deal with a life change already in process, or name and claim a change or transformation that has already occurred. Students will gain experience through a unique step-by step guide that will address their role as facilitator in supporting their client’s personal process of making meaning through ritual making. Instructor: Ruth Barrett Class Meetings: Tuesdays, …

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Creating Peace At Home: Conflict Resolution

Peace in the world begins in our homes with the people we have dedicated our lives and our hearts to. In this course, learn how to view emotional expression as signals that direct you towards deeper understanding around what is needed to create harmony. Learn the underlying motivations to every human action. Learn to establish and maintain boundaries with compassion. Create rituals in your home that deepen family bonds while cultivating emotional intelligence in everyone. Experience more love with your partner and your children, and build skills that will benefit your relationships in every aspect of life. Life can be …

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Science and Paganism

CANCELLED for Spring 2013 Semester.  Watch for this to be offered in the near future. Survey course introducing the scientific method and its relation to Pagan eclecticism; evolution vs. “creation science” vs “intelligent design” as exemplars for critical thinking, evaluating evidence, and healthy vs. pathological religious responses to new ideas; Big Bang cosmology as theory, fact, and creation myth: Consciousness, free will, and magick as variously illuminated by the study of quantum physics, neuroscience, and parapsychology, and basic concepts from anthropology and their application to the modern Pagan movement. In addition, we will look at current paleontological understanding of the …

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Pagan Apologetics I

Paganism, as a belief system, is most congruent with both current scientific advancements and the psyche of the human being as they are understood today. Archaeological and textual evidence will be examined that will suggest that paganism of whatever genre is the indigenous religion of human beings on planet earth. This course lays the foundations from early tribal belief systems to the establishment first pagan societies in the Mediterranean, Near East, Middle East, Orient and the Americas and explores some of the common beliefs across these societies. Instructors:  David Oringderff and Donald Larsen Class meetings: Thursdays 8:00 pm ET Prerequisite: …

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Soul Work

This course links theory and practice in personal spiritual growth, philosophy of formation and Pagan ministry in a way that is academically informed, honors the Earth and sentient life, and is communally relevant. This core course focuses on a holistic spirituality—nurturing body, mind and soul life, creating a dialogue between those practices of tradition, personal health and relationships, and the concerns of ministry. The spiritual quest is the work of the human person engaging the life force and the soul enlivening one’s life. This course places creativity at the center of what the spiritual quest means for each student as …

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Earth Advocacy

  Get the background necessary to be an effective advocate for sound environmental policies and for green living strategies. Studies will include the basics of ecology and related disciplines, rehabilitative methods such as permaculture, the social, emotional and spiritual cost of habitat destruction, and the fundamentals of community action.   A6655/T6210 Instructor: Deirdre Sommerlad-Rogers Class Meetings: no meetings Prerequisites: none Required Texts:  All readings will be made available through Moodle Fulfills: Fulfills the requirement for a course in Area III. Pay to Register Now 

Dreams in Spiritual Mentoring M5009/P5009

Instructor: Anne Hill, D. Div. Class Meetings: Wednesday 5 pm PT Prerequisites: None Dreams have played an important historic role in Pagan traditions as a reliable means of direct communication with the Gods, ancestors, and nature spirits, for healing, prophecy, and intercession. Our use of dreams today is heavily influenced by Jung and other modern thinkers, as well as traditional and shamanic ideas about dreams. The first part of this course highlights some of the ways human cultures have viewed and interpreted their dreams, and used them in a ritual or sacred context. The second part of the class concerns …

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Western Esotericism

Surveys the history and theology of Western esotericism and contemporary Paganism, including the Golden Dawn, Theosophy, Thelema, Wicca, and the flowering of contemporary Pagan traditions. We will consider the defining characteristics of esotericism, historical influences on the development of contemporary Pagan traditions, and current controversies in historical interpretation. T5560 Instructor: Jo Pearson Class Meetings: Thursdays, 3PM ET Prerequisites: None Required Reading: Hanegraff, Wouter. 2013. Western Esotericism: A guide for the perplexed.  London: Bloomsbury Academic Recommended Reading: Goodrick-Clarke, Nicholas. 2008. The Western Esoteric Traditions: A Historical Introduction. OUP USA Bogdan, Henrik. 2008. Western Esotericism and Rituals of Initiation. New York: SUNY Granholm, Kennet & …

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Introduction to Pagan Pastoral Counseling

Instructor: David Kling Class meetings: Monday 6 PM (ET) Class Description: Pastoral counseling is a unique form of counseling that uses spiritual resources as well as psychological understanding for healing and growth. In this course, we will explore the opportunities and limits of Pastoral Counseling from a Pagan point of view; however, the student will learn how to perform Pastoral Counseling to people of all faiths or no faith at all. We will trace the history of pastoral counseling as distinguished from psychotherapy, pastoral care, chaplaincy and spiritual guidance. We will address professional issues and develop a Pagan perspective to …

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Understanding Ritual Experience

Cultural systems around the world employ ritual for a score of reasons. This course uses a variety of articles from anthropological journals and books written with respect to emic understandings of the sacred and the use of ritual. We will also use video in our investigations. Students in this class are expected to look critically and closely at two major ritual types: Rites of Passage and Rites of Intensification. Through classic readings and new interpretations of rites in varying cultures, we will identify similarities and differences and look at the types of rites that are relied upon around the world. …

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Indigenous Religions and Cultures T6475/N6125

Instructor: Grant Potts, Ph.D. Class Meetings: None Prerequisites: None Although the status of contemporary Paganism as an indigenous religion is contested, many practitioners claim at least some resonance between their own spirituality and that of living indigenous traditions throughout the world. This course offers students of Pagan ministry a survey of indigenous traditions throughout the world. The course opens with an examination of the category of “indigenous” and then explores indigenous religion and spirituality in specific contexts. Although the course opens the question of what counts as “indigenous religion,” it will emphasize the diversity of practices and beliefs of peoples …

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Group Theory & Dynamics

Designed to assist Group Leaders in understanding the stages of group development, the dynamics of member interactions and what makes a group succeed or fail. Through exercises, class interaction, readings and written assignments, students will learn to put various techniques to practical use in groups to which they already belong or plan to organize. With the development of these skills, the Group Leader will be better prepared to deal with group issues and lead more effective, cohesive and productive groups. Instructor:  Lilia Leshan Class Meetings: Wednesdays 6 pm ET Prerequisites: None Required Readings: Yalom, Irvin. The Theory and Practice of …

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Burning Man: Rethinking Ritual, Spirituality, and Culture

What does the Burning Man festival have to teach us about the nature of religion (Pagan and otherwise)? And what does this have to do with shifts in the contemporary American religious landscape? This course will critically examine the broad cultural and spiritual significance of Burning Man–an eclectic, seven-day celebration of art, fire, and community that takes place annually in Nevada’s Black Rock desert. We will interrogate the event’s dynamic history, culture, communities, traditions, rituals, and values in order to cultivate an expanded and diversified understanding of “religion.” In keeping with Burning Man’s participatory spirit, this course will culminate in …

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Introduction to Pagan Theology C5141

Theology—the study of Deity—calls us to make connections between reason and experience, between history and contemporary life, between our own traditions and practices and those of others. It is something we *do*—a practice by which we grow in deep understanding of our relationships with the divine and others, not a matter of mere theory. In this class, we will explore and refine our personal theologies through encounters with significant voices in Paganism, the Western occult tradition, and earth-centered and feminist Christianity/post-Christianity, as well as develop expertise with theological terminology. Students will leave prepared to engage in informed and intelligent theological …

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History of Alternative Healing in America T6281

Instructor: Sarah Whedon Class meetings: none Prerequisites: none Class Description: Many contemporary Pagans engage in alternative healing practices that have diverse cultural and historical roots. This course will use an interdisciplinary approach to discover the history, culture, and theology of alternative healing in America and consider such questions as: How did the dominant medical system gain supremacy in the U.S.? Why do people continue to choose alternative therapies? Which forms of alternative healing have overtly religious components? What do alternative healing systems teach about the relationship between mind, body, and spirit? What do they teach about sickness and healing? The course …

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Moral Advocacy: Overcoming the Divide A5300

Instructor: James Bianchi Class Meetings: Tuesday evenings 6:00 PM (ET) Class Description: We are a nation divided by disinformation. Such polarization is not sustainable if we have any hope of solving the serious problems that confront our people. In my despair, I reached out to the Cherry Hill Seminary Faculty, and it was suggested that I read the book that is the text for this class. It reveals how we can get there from here and how to reach people we thought we couldn’t. This class will cover some amazing new discoveries in psychology as well as the visual cues …

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Mysticism and Trance N6545

Instructor: Lynne Hume Class meetings: none Class description:  This course will investigate the phenomena associated with mysticism, trance and altered states of consciousness. Using a comparative, cross-cultural approach, students will investigate mysticism and trance from different religious/spiritual perspectives. We will explore whether pre-existing beliefs, mythology, ritual, ‘set’ and ‘setting’, influence experiences. Some questions for consideration and discussion will be: are there commonalities in the experiences that people have during a trance experience? How do individual or group experiences reflect their beliefs and cultural backgrounds? What tools or techniques do people use to enter a trance state? How might religious/spiritual experiences …

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Human Growth and Development Across the Lifespan P5105

A chronological overview of physical, cognitive, social and emotional development from conception through death. Theories and research examined with an emphasis on the application of these concepts and encouraging the students to draw connections and conclusions between the material and their own subjective experiences. Instructor: David Oringderff Class meetings: Tuesday 9:00 pm ET Required Readings: Feldman, Robert. 2010. Development Across the Lifespan, 6th Edition. Pearson Press. Prerequisite: none Fulfills: Required course for all PCC students. Area II course for other students. Pay to register now  

Sages and Crones: Ministry To and For Older People P6203

Instructor: Vivianne Crowley Class meetings: Sundays 4:00 pm ET – every other week Class description: Pagans have begun to develop rites of passage for older Pagans, particularly croning rituals for woman, but support for older Pagans to enable them to play an active role in the community will become an increasingly important issue. In this Master’s level course, you will become familiar with aging issues for the general population and how these may impact on Pagans and Paganism. The course will assist clergy in helping Pagans and Paganism to meet the challenge of old age and to develop models of …

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Introduction to Advocacy

Instructor: Deirdre Sommerlad-Rogers Class Meetings: None Prerequisites: None Class Description: Approaching the judicial system a labyrinth, students will learn its legal, historical, ethical and theological underpinnings, the basic components of the judicial system (players , forums and sources of law), define legal terms, vocabulary and jargon of the system, consider the rules which govern civil and criminal procedure, and define the role of spirituality, ritual and magic. Offers students information to navigate the system as generalists, identify and isolate a vulnerability or a justice denied, access appropriate resources, and determine when a given task is beyond the expertise or role …

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Crones and Sages: Ministry To and For Older People

Instructor: Vivianne Crowley Class meetings: Sundays 4 pm ET – every other week Class description: The age profile of the Pagan community is rapidly evolving as those who became active Pagans in the 1970s reach the last third of life. In response to aging, Pagans have begun to develop rites of passage for older Pagans, particularly croning rituals for woman, but support for older Pagans to enable them to play an active role in the community will become an increasingly important issue. This course will assist clergy in helping Pagans and Paganism to meet the challenge of old age and …

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Indigenous Traditions of the Sacred

Explore the landscapes that form the Indigenous cultures of North America. From the booming economies of the Great Lakes, buffalo hunters of the Plains tribes and the Western coastal cultures to the shamanic cultures of the far north and boreal forests.  Learn the meaning of what is sacred to Indigenous peoples, including the issue of cultural appropriation. Instructor: Leta Houle Class meetings: Sundays, 8 PM ET, week of Nov 4 through Dec 1 Required Readings: Deloria Jr., Vine. 2006. The World We Used to Live In. Golden, CO: Fulcrum Publishing Pay to register now

Religion and the Law Post 9/11

Class Description: Receive an overview of our legal structure and learn how find the law you need online. Learn how the First Amendment protects us from government assault and interference, and if the Patriot Act affects this. You will understand what freedom of speech and assembly means. You will know how to confront discrimination in housing, employment and in child custody conflicts. Students will be trained to counsel Conscientious Objectors. Our free “public access,” right to television will be explored. You will also receive instruction on the best way to volunteer to assist Pagans who are incarcerated. With this knowledge, …

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Science and Paganism

Survey course introducing the scientific method and its relation to Pagan eclecticism; evolution vs. “creation science” vs “intelligent design” as exemplars for critical thinking, evaluating evidence, and healthy vs. pathological religious responses to new ideas; Big Bang cosmology as theory, fact, and creation myth: Consciousness, free will, and magick as variously illuminated by the study of quantum physics, neuroscience, and parapsychology, and basic concepts from anthropology and their application to the modern Pagan movement. In addition, we will look at current paleontological understanding of the Earth’s history and the speculative Gaia hypothesis, with discussion of these ideas’ relationship to the …

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Religion and the Law Post 9/11

Receive an overview of our legal structure and learn how find the law you need online. Learn how the First Amendment protects us from government assault and interference, and if the Patriot Act affects this. You will understand what freedom of speech and assembly means. You will know how to confront discrimination in housing, employment and in child custody conflicts. Students will be trained to counsel Conscientious Objectors. Our free “public access,” right to television will be explored. You will also receive instruction on the best way to volunteer to assist Pagans who are incarcerated. With this knowledge, you can …

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Toward an Engaged Pagan Spirituality

The “spirituality of engagement” is considered by many spiritual teachers and socially conscious activists to be the great sacred work of our time. A question they invite us to consider is this: How does one actually live this life of engaged spirituality here and now? This practical class will explore relevant questions, along with current teachings, understandings, and practices on the topic of engaged spirituality. Through use of examples from a variety of spiritual traditions, we will work to define not only our own personal engaged spirituality, but also that of an engaged Pagan spirituality. Instructor: Hayden Reynolds Class Meetings: …

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Teaching Pagan Traditions

Teaching strategies in contemporary Pagan traditions include classrooms, workshops, coven and small group training, one-on-one apprenticeships, distance study, and more. These strategies provide wildly different experiences for both teachers and students. Not only do the styles have distinct advantages and disadvantages for conveying specific skills, but the ethical pitfalls and boundary issues of the different relationships vary. In this class, we will explore five models of teaching, learn about pedagogical techniques, consider the ethical obligations of teaching relationships, and discuss how to evaluate potential students and teachers. Instructor:  Christine Kraemer Class meetings:  None Required Readings: Materials will be provided electronically …

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Pagan Elders and Ancestors: Starhawk

Starhawk is best known for writing The Spiral Dance and co-founding the Reclaiming tradition of Witchcraft, but what don’t you know about Starhawk? Her ideas have changed over the decades and the focus of her work has shifted. Her contributions span the gamut from composing ritual chants that have come to be known as traditional to blending magical practice with anti-globalization activism to teaching the practical skills of permaculture. In this course we’ll sample Starhawk’s writing from the 1970s to the 21st century, asking what changes her work has wrought in herself and in Pagan communities. Instructor:  Sarah Whedon Class …

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History of Wicca and Paganism T5565

History of Wicca and Paganism surveys the history and development of Wicca and Paganism, tracing roots from the late nineteenth century to the present day. First, we’ll concentrate on historical development, challenging and evaluating popular histories linking modern witchcraft to those persecuted as witches in early-modern Europe, the Salem witch trials, and those linking modern Paganism with the paganisms of the classical ancient world. This will enable students to both critique perceptions of the past and to understand the various ways in which the historical narratives are used by contemporary practitioners. Then we’ll consider themes in the development of Wicca …

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Introduction to Homiletics: The Art and Craft of Sacred Speech

Pagan clergy, as all clergy, are called to speak to, for and about the religious community. An exploration of authentic preaching as a ministry of exhortation, encouragement, teaching and working with energies always present in ritual, we aim to cultivate these ministries and the individual gifts of the preacher. Emphasis is placed on identity, presence, as well as the power of story within narrative and non-narrative preaching. Explore the preparation and delivery of messages in sacred context and the understanding of what it means to speak and proclaim truth from an authentic sense of the community’s values that inspires, edifies, …

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Research and Writing for Pagan Scholarship

In order to succeed at graduate-level work, students must be able to effectively analyze texts, make rational arguments about them using textual and other evidence, differentiate between personal and academic voice, use proper citation practices, and be familiar with academic standards of evidence. Students will gain an introduction to Pagan Studies, and questions confronting that field, and will learn tools for conducting research. Additionally, the course covers conventions of academic essay-writing and prepares students to engage in a mature and sophisticated fashion with theological and religious studies texts which will guide them in a research project ending with a final …

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Goddess: Prehistory to Present T5xxx

Description: From at least the Neolithic, Goddess has been represented across continents through symbol and form. Through art and artifact, we will examine her history and co-create meaning for today, learning from the cultures of Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Europe lost pieces of our own story. We will also engage in relevant discussions concerning myth and language, bringing ourselves current in the academic discourse around women’s roles and Goddess’ power. Instructor:  Chandra Alexandre Class Meetings: no meeting Prerequisites: None Required Reading: Baring, Anne & Cashford, Jules. 1991/1993. The Myth of the Goddess: Evolution of an image. London: Penguin. …

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Leadership I A5560

Some choose the role of leader and some lead out of necessity. Moving beyond “being in charge” to real leadership requires personal reflection and development, strong communications skills, knowledge of advocacy, problem solving and bridge-building, and the willingness and ability to develop the leadership potential in others. Students learn to set goals, inspire and involve others, develop collaboration, and serve as positive role models. Instructor: David Kling, M.Div. Class Meetings: Mondays 8 pm ET Prerequisites: None Fulfills: Required for all M.Div students in MAL and TRH, as well as for students seeking a Certificate in Leadership or a Certificate in …

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Beyond Bake Sales to Real Fundraising

Pagans in today’s society are hard at work building the resources that will make their traditions sustainable for years to come, and that takes funding. Beyond Bake Sales to Real Fundraising is designed to open up a topic that is mysterious and frightening to many, and for others, fulfilling or even fun. All fundraising comes back to some basic concepts about relationships. Learn to understand one of the greatest taboos in western society and in so doing lose your fear of fundraising. Students will have the opportunity to design and get feedback on their own project. The instructor has many years …

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Goddess & God: Archetypes in Arthurian Legend

This course will explore the feminine and masculine archetypes revealed in the tales of King Arthur, with particular attention to how these archetypes manifest in our own lives. Are you Guenevere? Morgaine of the Fairies? Morgaine’s mother Igraine? Viviane, High Priestess and Lady of the Lake? Perhaps you are Lancelot, Elaine, or Arthur himself. Discover and explore your own inner Camelot in this fascinating 4-week course. Instructor: Valentine McKay-Riddell Class Meetings: Sundays 8PM ET (Foundations Summer Two runs from the week of June 17 through July 14 (note this class will hold its first meeting on June 16) Required Readings: …

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Paganism 101

You may have heard of Wicca, but do you know what Druids do? How about Asatru? And what the heck is Discordianism? Paganism 101 will give you an overview of different ways of being Pagan, and help you avoid some of the controversies and pitfalls of this young/ancient religion. Learn about the major branches of the traditions, participate in rousing discussions, and meet fellow seekers. This class is appropriate for the non-pagan, the beginner, or simply the curious. Instructor: Selina Rifkin Class Meetings: Sunday 7:00 pm ET  (Foundations Summer Three runs from the week of July 15 through Aug 11) …

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Research and Writing for Pagan Scholarship

The emerging interdisciplinary field of Pagan Studies requires specific tools in order to conduct academic research. Additionally, the course will cover conventions of academic essay-writing. In order to succeed at graduate-level work, students must be able to effectively analyze texts, make rational arguments about them using textual and other evidence, differentiate between personal and academic voice, use proper citation practices, and be familiar with academic standards of evidence. This class will prepare students to engage in a mature and sophisticated fashion with theological and religious studies texts and guide them in a research project ending with a final paper. T5940 …

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2016 Academic Intensive in Columbia SC April 1-3

The president of the American Academy of Religion has called climate change “the greatest moral issue of our time,” the former head of US Naval Pacific Fleet calls it the greatest threat we face in the Pacific, and 47 nations have national plans to prepare for it. The USA is not one of them. How are religions addressing the threat of climate change?  This classroom component will examine that question; held online as well as onsite at our symposium with the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC.   Professor: Wendy Griffin, Ph.D. Required Reading: Taylor, Bron.   2010. Dark Green …

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Cross-Cultural Rites

A critical examination of two major ritual types: Rites of Passage and Rites of Intensification. Through classic readings and new interpretations of rites around the globe in Anthropology, we will identify similarities and differences. Students will also create their own ritual complete with an anthropological analysis of the rite. Instructor: Christina Beard-Moose Class meetings: no meetings Required readings: Tedlock, Barbara. 2005. The Woman in the Shaman’s Body: Reclaiming the Feminine in Religion and Medicine. NYC: Random House Grimes, Ronald L. 2002. Deeply Into the Bone. Berkley: University of California Press Gennep, Arnold Van. 1960. The Rites of Passage. Chicago: University of …

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Counseling Skills and Therapeutic Interventions

Students learn counseling skills including development of basic rapport, active listening and effective use of questions.  Psychotherapeutic interventions for specific populations and to address a variety of psychological issues are explored. Students begin to practice counseling skills with each other and with nonclinical populations. Instructor: Valerie Cole Class meetings: Wednesday 7 PM ET Required Readings:  Martin, David G. 2011. Counseling and Therapy Skills. Waveland Press: Long Grove, IL Prerequisite: P6101, Survey of Counseling Theories or consent of instructor. Required course for the M.Div. in Pastoral Counseling and Chaplaincy with a Counseling Major and for the MA in counseling. It counts as …

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Introduction to Advocacy

Introduction to Advocacy will challenge students to identify those values in their own traditions which call for engagement, and to craft for themselves a working statement of spiritual engagement based on their own practices and cultural contexts. This course will introduce students to advocacy work for diverse populations through social, legal and community network. Students will explore different methodologies of advocacy and effective advocacy implementation. The work that students accomplish in this course will inform their work in many of their other courses and may be used as the foundation for the MAL Master’s Praxis and Thesis. Instructor: Deirdre Rogers Class …

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Leadership II - Conscious Leadership for Turbulent Times

Continuation of learning and work begun in Leadership I, serving as a “practicum” in which the learning experiences in theory gained in Leadership I will be put to use in the community leadership project chosen by each student in consultation with the professor. Instructor: Valentine McKay-Riddle Class Meetings: Tuesdays 8 PM ET Required readings: Wheatley, Margaret J. 2006. Leadership and the New Science. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers. Starhawk. 2011. The Empowerment Manual: A Guide for Collaborative Groups. New Society Publishers. In addition to these texts, relevant readings will be chosen by each student according to individual research topic. Prerequisites:  Leadership I …

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Transpersonal Genealogy I

  In this first of three classes, explore the exciting new field of Transpersonal Genealogy: defined as (a) feeling called or pulled to research a particular ancestor, (b) feeling guided by that ancestor in one’s research, and (c) how the lived experience of that ancestor impacts the psycho-spiritual development of the researcher. Share stories of your own experience(s) with Transpersonal Genealogy, and discuss how it has impacted your life. This course combines experiential learning with engaging lecture, thought-provoking video, and conscientious discussion of class postings. Instructor: Kristin N. Rivers Class Meetings: TBD by students and instructor, Fall 1 session Readings: …

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Why Magickal Thinking Isn't Crazy

Overview of evidence, particularly modern scientific evidence, for accepting some forms of magick as efficacious techniques, including an introduction to basic principles of science and scientific reasoning. Instructor: York Dobyns Meetings: Friday 8 PM ET, Fall 1 session Required readings: Will be provided online Pay to register now

Transpersonal Genealogy II

Please consider joining this class as we reach beyond our own lives and current generation by researching our family trees. We will focus on finding (often challenging to research) female ancestors, learn ways of scaling brick walls in our research, and explore how the lives of our ancestors continue to affect us today. This course will combine experiential learning with engaging lecture, thought-provoking video, and conscientious discussion of each others’ postings. Instructor: Kristin N. Rivers, Ph.D. Class Meetings: TBD by students and instructor, Fall 3 session Climb Your Family Tree: Explore the Genealogy Resource Guide including great, free genealogy research …

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The Space Between the Columns: Classical Greek Religion for Today

Introduces students to Classical Greek religion, its mythology and practices, with underlying interest in reconstructing or reconfiguring these traditions for today. We will cover Greek myths, polis cults, mystery traditions, myth-ritual interpretive theory, magic, and gender. Students may request additional topics, such as theurgy or queer religion, based on their interests. Instructor: Michelle Mueller Class meetings: Wednesdays 8:45 ET, Fall 2 session Required Readings: Burkert, Walter. 1985. Greek Religion. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Pay to register now

Sacred Time and a Calendar of Days

Throughout the year, Nature reflects times of transition – birth, growth, senescence, and decay. These have been honored in both past and present with observances of solemnity, joy, and festival. We will examine the timekeeping traditions in the Lunar and Solar calendars from many past civilizations and how they have morphed into modern holidays that embody these transitions. Other celestial phenomena will be reviewed, including eclipses and planetary “convergences,” and how they have been interpreted religiously and culturally. Sacred days, cultural calendars (Islamic, Jewish, Orthodox, Chinese), planetary hours and daily prayer times are included. Instructor: Rosemary Clark Class Meetings: no …

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Transpersonal Genealogy III

In this third of three classes, explore the value of connecting with and honoring our ancestors through learning about their lives. Look beyond traditional genealogy’s focus on names, dates, and places to our ancestors’ lived experience. Explore Shamanic Journeying, Wiccan ritual, and create your own way of connecting with your ancestors. Reflect on how such connection impacts your life now. This course combines experiential learning with engaging lecture, thought-provoking video, and conscientious discussion of class postings. Instructor: Kristin N. Rivers Class Meetings: TBD by students and instructor,  Fall session 3 Required Readings: Michael Harner. 2013. Cave and Cosmos: Shamanic encounters …

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Magical Language

We all know that words are magical— and that some words are more magical than others. This class will help you uncover the difference and build confidence and control in your relationship with your inner spellcaster. We will focus on the basic tools of rhythm, word-music and sensuous imagery, with writing exercises targeted for each. Special attention will be paid to the challenging but essential skill of rhythmic writing. Students should come prepared for reading aloud, for careful listening, and for courageous revision, in order to tie your words with the cycles and rhythms of earth and to write chants …

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Research Design and Methodology

Introduction to research methods, statistical analysis, needs assessment, and program evaluation, including the importance of research in advancing the counseling profession; research methods such as qualitative, quantitative, single-case designs, action research, and outcome-based research; statistical methods used in conducting research and program evaluation; principles, models, and applications of needs assessment, program evaluation, and the use of findings to effect program modifications; the use of research to inform evidence-based practice; and ethical and culturally relevant strategies for interpreting and reporting the results of research and/or program evaluation studies. APA style is required in papers. Instructor: Kristin N. Rivers, Ph.D. Class Meetings: …

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Heathenry: Altered states and non-human people T6808

Heathenry can be seen as a development of North European and Eurasian understandings of the relationships between humans, place, and other-than-human people or wights of land, rivers, houses, gardens and so forth. The focus in this course is on Britain and North Europe, though the worldview shares much with accounts of indigenous animist religions elsewhere. We will discuss the re-emergence of seidr, its descriptions in lore and historic and present-day performance, and we will investigate understandings of “ancestors” conceptualized as those who have involved themselves with that landscape on which today’s practitioners now dwell. Instructor: Jenny Blain Class Meetings: none …

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Leading a Spiritually-Centered Enterprise A6310

Leading a spiritually-centered enterprise requires practical applications of and skill in management, marketing, and finance. A minefield of rules and regulations come into play the moment one decides to begin: licenses and permits, zoning restrictions, tax and employee regulations. In this course, we will look at taking vision to reality, tackling the nuts and bolts of creating a goal-oriented organization that is successful and solvent. Students will learn the basics of business planning, financial management, marketing, and how to research regulatory requirements and develop strategies for compliance. We will also investigate intellectual property laws, types of insurance, and sources and …

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Mediation for Peace M/A6570

The art of mediation involves getting people, or the entities they represent, to resolve a dispute by mutual agreement. The skills are generic. They apply equally well to political disputes as they do to relationship disputes. Exciting new findings in moral psychology reveal the delicate interplay between emotion and reason: providing powerful tools for truly understanding those with differing views. You will be among the first to learn how to use these exciting new discoveries in the art of bridging that which divides us. Instructor: James Bianchi Class Meetings: Thursday 9 pm ET Required Reading: Haidt, Jonathan. 2012. The Righteous …

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Introduction to Pagan Theology (non-master's section)

Theology—the study of Deity—calls us to make connections between reason and experience, history and contemporary life, our own traditions and practices and those of others. It is something we *do*—a practice by which we grow in deep understanding of our relationships with the divine and others, not a matter of mere theory. Students will explore and refine personal theologies through encounters with significant voices in Paganism, the Western occult tradition, earth-centered and feminist Christianity/post-Christianity, as well as develop expertise with theological terminology. Some chats may be led by guest lecturers or students. If 3 or fewer students are enrolled, the …

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Mediation for Peace M/A6570 (non-master's section)

The art of mediation involves getting people, or the entities they represent, to resolve a dispute by mutual agreement. The skills are generic. They apply equally well to political disputes as they do to relationship disputes. Exciting new findings in moral psychology reveal the delicate interplay between emotion and reason: providing powerful tools for truly understanding those with differing views. You will be among the first to learn how to use these exciting new discoveries in the art of bridging that which divides us. Instructor: James Bianchi, J.D. Class Meetings: Thursday 9 pm ET Required Reading: Haidt, Jonathan. 2012. The …

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Sacred Nourishment

Sacred Nourishment: How What We Eat Connects Us to the Earth and Our Ancestors What we eat ties us to our planet, our environment and our communities. Sustainability means eating low on the industrial food chain, but sustainable eating also connects us with spirit, creates community, and heals and nourishes our bodies, and the Earth. Learn about sustainable models of food production, and how these interact with the traditional foods consumed by our ancestors. Taught by the writer of the Pagan Kosher series. Instructor: Selina Rifkin Class Meetings: Sunday 7:00 pm ET– Spring 1, Jan 14-Feb 10 Required Readings: Prentice, …

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Just Talk With Them! Animal Communication for Pagans

Beliefs and practices of human-animal communication in various Pagan traditions (including indigenous spiritual traditions). Students learn various cultural attitudes towards the role of animals in Pagan spiritual practice, develop new respect for the teachings of our non-human friends, and find their own animal allies on whom they can call for help with any challenge. Pagan cultures addressed include Celtic, Native American, and Asian. Instructor: Valentine McKay-Riddell Class Meetings: Wednesdays 8 PM ET; Spring 2, Feb 11-Mar10 Required Readings: Andrews, Ted. 2003. Animal Speak. St. Paul MN: Lewellyn Publications Recommended Reading: McKay-Riddell, Valentine. 2014. The River Goddess & Other Stories. Santa …

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Sacred Choices

What can Pagans contribute to the current political debates over choice and reverence for life? In this short course we’ll learn about the distinctions among reproductive health, rights, and justice; relate reproductive justice to respect for our spirituality, sexuality, diversity, life, and freedom; and gain strategies for reproductive justice advocacy. Instructor: Sarah Whedon Class meetings: none (all discussions in online classroom forums)  – Spring 2, Feb 11-Mar 10 Required Readings: Readings will be provided in the Moodle classroom. Pay to register now       Click and complete if this is your first CHS course  

Leading Like Water - A Rhizomes Course

Most of us were taught to lead and relate to others using the prevailing model, one that can create pain and confusion for individuals and promulgate abuse throughout society at all levels. “Leading Like Water” blends the ancient wisdom of The Tao with the powers of the little-known Queen Archetype. This revolutionary take on leadership is natural, powerful, and benefits all. “Leading Like Water” is for everyone, whether a public “leader” or not. This relationship shift enhances lives both personally and professionally, making families more joyful and careers more successful. Students completing the course are empowered to lead “for the …

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Honoring Our Beloved Dead

Honoring Our Beloved Dead: The Why and How of Building an Ancestor Practice When we’re down and out, we can count on our beloved dead to protect us, comfort us, and give us advice. Who has your back? Whether you know for sure you need help or you just want to make a connection, this class will help you determine which of your ancestors to address, who counts as an ancestor, and how to get their attention. And it is not only those of our bloodline, but those that cared for us, those that have gone before that we admire, …

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Introduction to Transpersonal Psychology: A Pagan View

Transpersonal psychology seeks to reconnect Spirit with Psyche in the practice of Psychology.  It embraces the full range of human experiences and is over 40 years old. This course explores its roots- and the theory, development, and future applications of this humanistic approach to human psychology from a Pagan perspective.We will learn to apply TP principles in our personal spiritual practice, our daily lives, and our work in the world.   P6204 Instructor: Valentine McKay-Riddell Class Meetings: Thursdays 8 PM ET Prerequisites: None Required Reading: Walsh, R. & Vaughan, F. (Eds) 1993.  Paths beyond ego:  The transpersonal vision. New York: Jeremy …

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Psychopathology: Creativity, Madness, and Pagan Spirit

Psychopathology is explored from a spiritual/Pagan perspective. Students learn diagnosis as it is currently applied and spiritual/Pagan approaches to diagnosis and alternative states of consciousness. Course code P5104 Instructor: David L. Oringderff, Ph.D. Class meetings: Thursdays 7 pm ET Prerequisite: None Required text: American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing, 2013. Recommended text: Scotton, B.W., A.B. Chinen and J.R. Battista. Textbook of Transpersonal Psychiatry and Psychology. New York: Basic Books 1996 Fulfills: This is a required course for students in the Pastoral Counseling Program in the 2014 catalog and counts as …

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Family Systems/Systems Theory

One of the ways we can help our counselees uncover more of their own sacred stories is to provide a different, or more inclusive, perspective. Using a Systems Theory model, this course explores how our formal, or informal, chosen or given, families and relationships cast both light and shadow to make a whole icon of being. We experiment with a series of lenses and structures to expand our perceptions in societal, social and personal contexts. Students examine the ethics, theology, theory and practice of interactions with individuals, groups and systems. Course code P5107 Instructor: David Oliver Kling, M.Div. Class meetings: Mondays 8 pm …

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Beginner's Guide to Shapeshifting

For many people around the world and throughout history, the ability to change one’s form at will is a reality. Explore this ancient and cross-cultural phenomenon from both anthropological and spiritual perspectives. Students build an understanding of the processes and reasons for different kinds of shapeshifting (its pleasures, perils, and functions), and greater familiarity with how shapeshifting can become a powerful spiritual and personal practice. Instructor: Jessamine Dana, Ph.D. Class meetings: Tuesday 6 pm ET, Insights Summer Three session, week of July 8 to week of August 4 Required reading: no books required Pay to register now

World Religions from a Pagan Perspective

For nearly two millennia, Paganism has been excluded from the theological roundtable. In the 20th century, the Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have come to acknowledge at least the existence, if not validity, of the Dharmic faiths of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. This course will examine the theologies and practices of the major world religions from a Pagan perspective. Broadly speaking, the fundamental spiritual options are Abrahamic, Dharmic, secular and Pagan. We want to ask: How do they differ from one another, what is a Pagan perspective and what does Paganism offer to the world’s theological/spiritual forum that …

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Paganism and the Body

Contemporary Pagans widely affirm the sacredness of the body and of sexuality. Students will engage theological and ethical writings around gender, sexuality, and the body from Pagan and allied perspectives. Special attention will be given to Pagan understandings of same-sex relationships, BDSM, polyamory, transgender, and other marginalized expressions of gender and sexuality. Students will develop their own theologies of the body in a context that takes both personal liberation and social justice into account. Students will also consider the challenges and joys of ministering to a diverse Pagan community and emerge better equipped to counsel their communities in ethical responsibilities …

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We Are Gaia Walking

Instructor: Wendy Griffin Class Meetings: Wednesdays 9 PM ET, beginning week of May 18 Class Description: The head of the American Academy of Religion calls climate change the greatest moral crisis of our times. The Chief of the US Navy’s Pacific Command has said it is the single greatest security threat facing us. Sometimes the problem seems so overwhelming and so impossible to stop that we turn our attention to more manageable things. But the devastating results that are forecast don’t have to be our future. This class will explore the dynamics of climate change, the potential danger of it, …

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Introduction to Social Justice

Social justice is the movement towards a more socially just world through the actions of a group of individuals working together to achieve its goals.. It will introduce students to key thinkers, ideas and activists, as well as debates on topics such as poverty, racism, colonization, and the rights of indigenous peoples. Finally, it will examine various social movements that have led to changes in society and the skills needed to work for social change. Instructor: Deirdre Sommerlad-Rogers, Ph.D. Class Meetings: None Prerequisites: None Required Texts: Dana D. Eilers. 2009. Pagans and the Law. Career Press. Fulfills: The Area 3 …

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Introduction to Interfaith

Pagans have been involved as leaders at local, national, and international levels of interfaith, from the Parliament of World Religions to local discussion groups. This introduction to interfaith presents approaches, best practices, and organizational structures of the interfaith movement. Students will examine the core values and process for engaging at each level of interfaith activity. Instructor: David Kling, M.Div. Class meetings: Mondays, 7 PM ET Required Reading: Prothero, Stephen. 2010. God Is Not One: The eight rival religions that run the world. New York: HarperOne. Patel, Eboo, and Patrice Brodeur, eds. 2006. Building the Interfaith Youth Movement: Beyond Dialogue to …

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Sacred Relics of Our Pagan Past

Pagan religious artifacts can be found in museums across the world from a variety of cultures and spiritual understandings. The intersection these objects have with the world of Fine Art will be explored in this class. A variety of museum collections will be accessed, looking at holdings that are of particular interest to Pagans, with a focus on the role the museum has played in preserving and developing contemporary Pagan art. Students will be required to visit a museum (or other similar space) to interact with an artifact in person and write an experiential essay after doing so culture. Instructor: …

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Healing the Spirit of Place

Together we will explore our intimate connection with our Mother Earth. We’ll discover some of the wounds that Gaia has suffered, why and how they’ve occurred, the ways in which we might support Her healing process, and methods of teaching this information to others. As part of this process, we’ll learn specific energy healing techniques for water, earth, air, and fire (our star, the Sun). We’ll come to understand the language of local plants, animals, and insects, and learn how to communicate with them. Finally we’ll learn how to make flower and crystal remedies and how to use them for …

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Sacred Cycles II: The Way of the Earthbound Witch

Integral to our spirituality is the practice of reclaiming our lower selves. The series will focus on the relationship we have with our Mother Earth, especially through our partnership with growing herbs, flowers and more. Tending a plant from seed to harvest, then offering the Earth back Her ancestors through their ashes, is an olden practice. It brings our bodies back into communion with the dirt we stand upon and heals us mind, body and soul.  As a family trad witch, I will be bringing my own tradition to the table that incorporates both Cherokee and the Irish Celtic methodologies …

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Building a Community With Teenagers and Young Adults

More Pagans are raising their children and teens in their religious tradition. How can we, as mentors, instruct them that is different from our own traditional faith-based upbringing and provide them an opportunity to become excited about the possibilities as future Pagan leaders? This Insights course throws aside the traditional Sunday school model, and dives into an exploration of leadership building and spiritual awakening for our young people. This course will help participants find ways to develop curricula and activities from goal setting to logistics for a day program, week-long, or year-long/ongoing endeavor. Discussions will include modeling of best practices. …

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Sacred Cycles III: The Way of the Earthbound Witch

Integral to our spirituality is the practice of of reclaiming our bodies as part of a sacred cycle. In the last class of the series, which may be taken in sequence or independently, we will discuss the sacred process of harvesting. Specifically, we will explore the nature of harvest: ways in which we honor, process and become a part of the cycle. In doing so, we will come full circle in the primal examination of our bodies and their relationship to Mother Earth. Tending a plant from seed to harvest, then offering the Earth back Her ancestors through their ashes, …

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Developing a Pagan Program for Children

Many workshops and activities at festivals and conferences are presented for adults, but not much is scheduled for the younger generations who are growing up Pagan. This Insights course will look at the possibilities available for children’s activity facilitation on a budget that is friendly for everyone. Topics branch out beyond the typical craft projects to include a more in-depth, but lighthearted educational component that supplements the kids’ spiritual upbringing. Discussions and online reading assignments will include modeling of best practices. Instructor: Margo Wolf Class Meetings: Wednesdays 8 PM ET, week of  Apr 6 – week of May 3 Prerequisites: None …

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Sacred Cycles I: The Way of the Earthbound Witch

Integral to our spirituality is the practice of reclaiming our lower physical selves. The class will focus on the relationship we have with our Mother Earth, especially through our partnership with growing herbs, flowers and more. Tending a plant from seed to harvest, then offering the Earth back Her ancestors through their ashes, is an olden practice. It brings our bodies back into communion with the dirt we stand upon and heals us, mind, body and soul.  We will discuss our relationship to the Spring cycle: working the ground, tending seed and nurturing ourselves through that connection. Instructor:  Katharyn Privett-Duren, …

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Secrets of Effigy Mounds

Explore the effigy mounds in the Midwestern United States made by Native People (approximately between 350-1300 CE).  Although we will take a quick look at the mounds in the Ohio region made by the Hopewellian people, our focus will be on the mounds made in the southwest Wisconsin area and bordering states such as Effigy Mounds National Monument in Iowa.  We will also focus on the Four Lakes region of Madison, Wisconsin, which is the capital of the state of Wisconsin and seen as the Mound Builder’s capital as well. Instructor: Alison Beyer Class Meetings: No live meetings, April 4 …

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The Salem Witches: Fact and Fiction

Instructor: Angela Farmer Class Meetings: none, four weeks beginning the week of July 27 Class Description: The more students learn about The Witch Hunts of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the more they can appreciate our Pagan heritage and the events early American witches lived through. This short course briefly explores the events leading to The Salem Witch Trials and then reflects on some “fictionalized” texts representing those events (literature, film, television, etc.). From the wild depictions of Tituba to the dreadful outcomes for those accused, many tourist attractions, movies, and television shows misrepresent the history of the Salem Witch Trials. …

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Sexuality, Culture & Religion P/M 6700

Sexuality, Culture & Religion will examine human sexuality in the context of culture and religion in an academic and unbiased format. Beyond the boundaries of our dominant culture, there are beliefs, customs and practices that, to us, may appear taboo, offensive or even illegal. Within the culture that spawned those beliefs, customs and practices, they constitute the social norm. Students aspiring to minister in specialized and multicultural settings must be aware of and sensitive to the diversity human sexuality and experience Fulfills: This is a required course for students in PCC with a special emphasis in Military Chaplaincy. It counts …

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Introduction to Military Chaplaincy ST 8001

Introduction to Military Chaplaincy introduces the student to the Military Chaplaincies, and highlights the unique roll that the chaplain fills within the Armed Forces. This mission, duties and responsibilities of the chaplain will covered in detail. The Department of Defense Instructions and the regulations covering Chaplain Activities for each service will be introduced and surveyed. Fulfills: This is a required course for students in PCC with a special emphasis in Military Chaplaincy. It counts as an Area II Stackable course for all other students (1 credit hour). Instructor: David Oringderff, Ph.D. and Donald Larsen, M.Div. Class meetings: Thursdays 9:00 PM …

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Introduction to Social Justice

There is no greater challenge for spiritual leaders in this century than social justice. Its controversies rage in our politics, our social media and our personal relationships. In this course students will examine several key social justice issues, including those affecting race, class, economic disparity, the differently abled, LGBTQI persons, women and reproductive issues, religious freedom and immigrants. Students will complete assigned readings, write reflection papers, and familiarize themselves with how current social justice problems affect them as Pagans and spiritual leaders. Because social justice demands action, students will choose a current issue on which to take action as a …

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Voices of Gaia

If Gaia could speak, what would she be telling us? As Pagans, it could be argued that we have a unique bond with Her, with the anima mundi, the spirits of place, the wind, water, fire and air. Through learning to listen, through journaling, reading, watching videos, and focused discussion, together we will discover these voices and weave them into a script that Cherry Hill’s Artist-in-Residence Lauren Raine will use as inspiration for a new mask and possible future performance. Instructor: Wendy Griffin, Ph.D. Class Meetings: Wednesday, 9PM ET, runs Sept 7 – Oct 11 Required Readings: will be provided …

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The Secret of Sacred Places

Regardless of where you live, The Secret of Sacred Places will encourage you to explore ideas of sacredness of place. Particularly, it asks whether ‘sacredness’ is something that human-people confer or inscribe in a ‘sacred site’, or whether sacredness is an attribute of all land (and sea), though more recognized in some places than others. If we look at the ancient monuments of Britain, why are they where they are? (There are very many of them!) How may today’s Pagans regard such places, and how regard the ‘ancestors’ who seem to have recognized particular qualities, divinities, spirits and marked this …

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Pagan Consent Culture

For many Pagans, sexuality and the body are sacred. This conviction makes the reality of sexual abuse in our communities doubly painful. Increasingly, Pagans realize that good consent practices must be embraced by communities, not just individuals — and consent is about more than sexuality. Consent culture begins with the idea of sovereignty, with recognizing our right to control our bodies and selves in all areas of life. This class will define consent culture in a Pagan context, examine Pagan theological resources for building consent culture, explore strategies for normalizing seeking consent to touch, give recommendations for safeguarding policies at …

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Spiritual Sketchpad Journey

In Spiritual Sketchpad Journey students will create tangible representations of their thoughts & ideas using an artist’s sketchpad. With weekly exercises leading students on a journey with their spiritual selves, this class is useful to people of all artistic abilities (from beginner to advanced). The focus will be on using the language of art & metaphor to facilitate this inner dialogue rather than creating finished works for critique.. Instructor: Ali Beyer Class Meetings: no live meetings, runs Oct 11 – Nov 8 Required Readings: Although there is no required text, a variety of readings and screenings will be provided and …

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Scribe, Philosopher, Mystic: Approaches to Religion

Scribe, Philosopher, Mystic: Approaches to Religion examines three core approaches to our religious practice, from the philosophical to the mystical. Each week we will explore a different approach to a spiritual practice, including its advantages and disadvantages. In the final week we will explore the concept of transition from one approach to another. Instructor: Scott Mohnkern Class Meetings: no live meetings, runs Oct 11 – Nov 8 Required Readings: will be provided electronically Register:

Living the Fifth Sacred Thing

As we continue to see the devastation caused by environmental impropriety and the push towards religious extremism in our political climate, the events from the beloved novel The Fifth Sacred Thing, by Starhawk, become closer to fact than fiction. We will examine the book not just for its literary elements, but the lessons we can learn that might prevent us from making the same mistakes as our fictional counterparts. Students are encouraged to read the book before the start of the class so that we can begin immediately with the work. Instructor: Margot Wolfe, Ph.D. Class Meetings: Tuesdays 8PM ET, …

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Becoming Women: First Bloods Rituals for Girls

A girl’s transition into womanhood is experienced and acknowledged by her family and community in diverse ways. Messages about womanhood are conveyed through how this passage is treated and/or ritualized. A girl will internalize attitudes or beliefs about themselves, their bodies, and sexuality, based on how others respond (or don’t respond) to this life cycle experience. These attitudes may influence her future, affecting her behavior, actions, expectations, and choices. We will examine menstruation experiences and rituals of contemporary women cross culturally, and learn about ways that menstruation can be acknowledged, powerfully celebrated, and made sacred. Instructor: Ruth Barrett Class Meetings: …

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Magickal Thinking Doesn’t Mean You’re Crazy

An introduction to the scientific evidence supporting the view that magickal techniques are effective and valid methods for achieving real-world goals. Instructor: York Dobyns, Ph.D. Class Meetings: Fridays 7PM ET, runs Nov 16 – Dec 13 Required Readings: will be provided electronically Register:

Mindfulness & Contemplative Practice for Pagans

The many benefits of mindfulness practice are widely discussed today, including in corporations and schools. Whether aiding in mental focus, for productivity or helping with stress, these are postmodern terms for ancient philosophies and practices. Practicing mindfulness and emanating compassion — related contemplative paths — are key teachings at the heart of all the world’s great wisdom traditions. They are also keys to greater interconnection and oneness with Nature and our fellow beings. Contemplative practice includes meditation and guided visualization. This class provides an introduction to mindfulness, to sitting meditation and also offers opportunities for guided visualization. Students will be …

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War, Ethics and Religion ST 8003

War, Ethics and Religion examines the philosophic and religious approaches to “ethical” prosecution of declared or undeclared wars and armed military engagements. It also explores the moral discord that individuals engaged in armed conflict may experience before, during and after the events. Fulfills: This is a 5 week required course for students pursuing either a Master’s of Divinity in Military Chaplaincy or a Master’s Certificate in Military Chaplaincy. It counts as an Area II Stackable course for all other students (1 credit hour). Instructor: David Oringderff, Ph.D. Class meetings: Wednesdays, 9:00 PM ET, Jan 18 – Feb 21 Required Reading: …

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The Experience of War ST 8004

The Experience of War examines the general experience of engaging in war and the variety of experiences of individuals during and after the engagement. It will also explore the effects on contemporary service members that are caused by recurring deployments to combat zones Fulfills: This is a 5 week required course for students pursuing either a Master’s of Divinity in Military Chaplaincy or a Master’s Certificate in Military Chaplaincy. It counts as an Area II Stackable course for all other students (1 credit hour). Instructor: Carol Kirk, M.Div., MSN Class meetings: Wednesdays, 9:00 PM ET, Feb 22 – Mar 27 …

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Synchronicity and Divination

Class Description:  Synchronicity and Divination is designed to help you understand a transpersonal vision of synchronicity and divination, to gain practical experience in responding to synchronicities and employing divination while using a common divination tool, to learn to divine from within yourself, and to be able to incorporate synchronicity and divination into your ministry. This course is not designed to be a comprehensive survey of all divination methods, but it will give you an understanding of what all systems have in common by way of synchronicity and their transpersonal reality. This understanding should allow you to respond to synchronicity or …

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Communicating for Collaborative Win-Wins: Conflict Resolution

Essential foundations for establishing mutual compassionate understanding– the grounds upon which co-creative win/wins can be made. Based on the work of Dr. Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication™ and The Virtues Project™ you will learn how to facilitate productive dialogue in any community or personal setting. This is one of the five Rhizomes classes. Additional readings will be provided online by the instructor. Instructor: Katrina Vaillancourt Class meetings: Tuesdays, 8 pm ET, February 29 through March 27 Required Readings: Marshall B. Rosenberg. 2005. Speak Peace in a World of Conflict. Pay to Register Now

Introduction to Fundraising

Instructor: Holli S. Emore Class Meetings: 8 pm (ET) Mondays Philanthropy is a bedrock of American democracy, providing a balance between a purely corporate or a purely socialist state. But not only is it key to our survival, it’s a joy to give! Pagan groups and organizations are emerging from half a century or more of conflicted emotions about money, crippling growth or even sustainability. And yet, many potential donors say that they wonder why they are not asked to support the causes they believe in. Fundraising is not about selling things for profit, or harassing people you don’t know. …

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Pagan Elders and Ancestors: Maxine Sanders

Instructor: Class Meetings: Class Description: This Foundations course will focus on the life, teachings, and contributions of Maxine Sanders, to the growth of Wicca around the world. Students will read texts and internet works about and by Maxine, as well as focus on the specific contributions Maxine made to the growth of Wicca and Neo-Paganism. Required Readings: Sanders, Maxine. 2007. Fire Child: The Life and Magick of Maxine Sanders. Mandrake of  Oxford. Pay to Register Now

Contemporary Global Paganisms

This survey course will introduce students to the wide variety of Paganisms being practiced around the world. We will challenge scholarly definitions of Paganism and our own personal ones by attempting to trace common threads between many disparate traditions. Students will familiarize themselves with both popular and scholarly descriptions of contemporary Paganisms, then explore the Internet and their local communities to gain first-hand experience with traditions not their own. In these encounters, we will deal with issues of cultural appropriation versus appropriate cultural borrowing and consider Paganism’s position as a consciously (re)constructed, combinative religious path. A final project will allow …

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Introduction to Northern European Pagan Traditions

Instructor: Scott Mohnkern, J.D>. Class Meetings: Individuals labeling themselves “Heathens” have largely separated themselves from the rest of the Pagan community and have established their own religious and social practices. This course provides an introduction to the ethics and philosophy of those following the Northern European paths commonly referred to as Heathenism. Students will learn about why this has occurred, study the unique values of the Heathen community, and emerge better prepared to handle diversity in a ministerial context. Additional electronic resources will be provided in the classroom. Required Reading: Stead, Lewis, Reavenbok. Mohnkern, Scott, Hanging from the Tree: Living …

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Basic Shamanism I: The Self

Class Description: Shamanic practice as a catalyst for personal responsibility, healing inner conflict and conflicts with others is the starting point for anyone aspiring to do shamanic work. Experiential exercises such as shamanic journey provide the student with personal information and tools to address the following issues: *Core issues, challenges, strengths, etc. *Forgiveness of self and others *Energy management for self and others *Spiritual sources (Where do you turn for strength and guidance?) Instructor: Valentine McKay-Riddell Class Meetings: Wednesdays 9 pm ET, Jan 25 through Feb 21 Required Readings: Cajete, Greg. 2000. Secrets of Native Science: Natural laws of interdependence. …

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Pagan Ancestors and Elders: Victor and Cora Anderson

Instructor: Christine Kraemer, Ph.D. Class Meetings: None Victor and Cora Anderson were the founders of the Anderson Feri (or Faery) tradition, an American witchcraft tradition famous for its ecstatic practices and its queer-friendly theology. Despite its small size, Feri has had a tremendous impact on the Pagan movement through well-known figures such as Gwydion Pendderwen (a musician and teacher who helped develop the modern genre of Pagan music), Alison Harlow (co-founder of Covenant of the Goddess), theologian and activist Starhawk, teacher and writer T. Thorn Coyle, teacher and writer Macha Nightmare, and many others too numerous to list here. In …

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Synchronicity and Divination

Instructor: Angela Farmer Class Meetings: Class Description: This course is designed to help you understand a transpersonal vision of synchronicity and divination, to gain practical experience in responding to synchronicities and employing divination while using a common divination tool, to learn to divine from within yourself, and to be able to incorporate synchronicity and divination into your ministry. This course is not designed to be a comprehensive survey of all divination methods, but it will give you an understanding of what all systems have in common by way of synchronicity and their transpersonal reality. This understanding should allow you to …

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Basic Shamanism II: Communication with Others

Class Description: Once we’ve learned how to identify our own strengths, weaknesses, challenges, and triumphs, we are ready to reach out to others. Communication with others is the shaman’s stock in trade. Indeed, it is her or his sole purpose and responsibility to serve as intermediary between humans and non-human others—including not only animals but trees and plants, stones, mountains, rivers and oceans, the elements (earth, air, fire, water), and Spirit. The ability to walk in many worlds perfectly qualifies the shaman for this task, and the training is guided by empathy and the wish to help. In Basic Shamanism …

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Call of the Dark Mother: A Pagan Overview of Death and Dying

Instructor: Jennifer Bennett Class Meetings: What does being Pagan bring to issues of death and dying? How can Pagans navigate the funeral industry for those they are called to serve and/or themselves? Briefly touching on topics of looking at our own deaths, kinds of deaths, funeral/rituals and grief. Hopefully, this class will spark each student’s interest to delve more deeply into each topic or those of particular interest to them. Required Readings: Harris, Mark, Grave Matters: A Journey Through the Modern Funeral Industry to a Natural Way of Burial, Scribner (reprint) 2008, 9781416564041. Pay to Register Now

Composing Effective Eulogies and Obituaries

Instructor: M.Macha NightMare Class meetings: Class Description: As we age, we lose more of our loved ones to death. As we grow as a Pagan presence, more of us are called upon to officiate at funerals and memorials. Writing and delivering informative, moving eulogies enhances the experience of the mourners. Writing effective, informative obituaries honors our departed loved ones and shares a bit of their essence with the world. In this course we will learn to write eloquent obituaries and eulogies, and to help others do so, in service to our communities. Pay to Register Now

Basic Shamanism III: Community Service

Class Description: In Basic Shamanism I: Self, we discovered our personal strengths and weaknesses. We met our allies and learned to work with them as we faced our challenges and celebrated our triumphs. Then, in Basic Shamanism II: Communication with Others, we learned how to reach out with empathy to the human and non-human beings who share our journey. In Basic Shamanism III we will take the learning we’ve acquired into our communities—our local communities and the larger communities of our country and our world. Using tools and techniques drawn from Hawaiian, Native American, and contemporary shamanism, we will discover …

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Pagan Spiritual Autobiography

Instructor: Daryl Morazzini Class Meetings: Sundays, 6:00 ET, Foundations Session Three, Nov 5 – Dec 2 Class Description: This class will be an exploration in both reading Spiritual Autobiography and writing a Spiritual Autobiography. Students will read two Pagan Spiritual Autobiographical works and construct their own blog, using creative nonfiction writing techniques, to explore their own spiritual paths. Required Readings: Monaghan, Patricia. 2004. The Red Haired Girl from the Bog. New World Library. Pay to Register Now 

2012 Conferences

Two Outstanding Opportunities You’ve studied your tradition, led circles, and volunteered at events. Now you are ready for the next stage of your growth. Gather with other local Pagan leaders and experienced facilitators to share experiences and encounter tools and techniques that help to nourish Pagan community.  How can Pagan groups make a place for themselves in interfaith situations where Pagans are unknown or little-understood? What ethical issues arise from teaching religious and magical material in a classroom environment versus in an intimate working group? How do leaders manage multiple role relationships in a close-knit community? What structures are needed …

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Effective Web Site Development for Pagan Organizations

Develop a strategic plan for the development of a web site for a pagan organization. This includes deciding key decisions regarding site navigation, software applications that will be used for the development of the site, and implementation of the strategic plan with the assistance of individuals with the necessary technical knowledge. The expectation is that at the completion of this course, the student will have the necessary professional skills to help any Pagan organization develop a web presence. Instructor: Class Meetings:   Required Readings:  No required text books, readings will be posted in online classroom Pay to Register Now 

Eastern European Pagan Traditions

Eastern European Paganism typically receives little attention in the West. This unfortunate gap in our knowledge is countered in this course, which is a comprehensive overview of studies, scholarly works and current dynamics related to history, geography and heritage of the Eastern European Pagan Traditions in Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Poland, Slovak Republic, Czech Republic, Russia and republics of former Yugoslavia. We focus on beliefs, rituals, worship, ethics and community, symbolism, ultimate reality and divine beings, dying and death, afterlife and salvation. Finally, we will examine elements of shamanism and Paganism in Eastern European Paganism, including an introduction to the unique …

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Kids, Gods, & Guardians: Spiritual Guidance for Pagan Family Ministry

Prepares Pagan leaders to engage with young people on a spiritual level. It is important that Pagan communities include age-appropriate activities and resources for all involved. This class offers strategies for Pagan ministry as students consider ways to serve children, youth, and young adults with successful, thoughtful ministry, including appropriate bridging ceremonies and programs. Areas of Pagan youth ministry include raising children Pagan, youth programming at Pagan festivals, coming of age ceremonies, and campus ministry. Instructor:  Michelle Mueller Class meetings: Required Readings:  Starhawk, Diane Baker, and Anne Hill. Circle Round: Raising Children in Goddess Traditions. Bantam Books, 1998 Pay to …

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