Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Religion Classes for Spring 2018

REL106 Exploring the Bible - Six sections (M,W, F, 10,11; T,Th, 9:25, 10:50,12:15) - core: Religion
There is a reason it is a best seller -- take this class and find out why for yourself.

REL107 Exploring World Religions - Six sections in a classroom (M,W, F, 10, 11, 12; T,Th,10:50, 12:15
and two sections online - core: Religion


REL 213 Life and Letters of Paul (M,W,F 11) 
An examination with Dr. Aune of the life of Saul/Paul, author of much of the New Testament and arguably the most important figure in Christianity after Jesus.  We make a careful study of relevant sections in the Book of Acts and the letters attributed to Paul, aided by useful secondary sources.  We consider not only theological and social concerns addressed by Paul but also the ways in which his teachings apply to the contemporary world.

REL214 Christian Formation & Life Calling (T,Th 1:40)
Dr. Dickson says: What matters? Sign up to figure it out. Seriously . . . if you are serious about your faith and wish to explore what it means to serve God faithfully then this class is for you.


REL 220 Taking Human Life - Two Sections (M,W, F 12 & 1)- core: Humanities
Dr. Hovey says: Is it ever okay to take human life? If so, under what conditions? Many of the hardest contemporary issues in society and for religious communities are related to these questions, whether suicide, euthanasia, abortion, capital punishment, or warfare. Join us for an exciting yet also serious course examining these ethical issues from philosophical and theological perspectives.

REL3SGI Legacy of Peter and Paul in Italy (M,W 3:05)
The deadline has passed to register to study with Dr. Aune and go to Italy for Spring Break - have a great time if you are going!

REL 340 Religion & The Civil Rights Movement in America - One Section (T, Th 10:50) - core: Humanities
Dr. Slade says: From the streets of Montgomery in 1954 to St Louis in 2015, churches and people of faith have been deeply involved in both sides of the civil rights movement in America. Using the tools of history, sociology and theology, this class will explore this recent chapter of American history. In addition to the movement of the 19650s and 60s, we will also look at the church-based racial reconciliation initiatives of the 90s and 00s. We will end with an examination of church's involvement in #BlackLivesMatter -- what has been dubbed by the press as the new civil rights movement, and mass incarceration "the New Jim Crow."

REL404  Seminar in Christian Theology: Atonement  One Section - (T-Th 12:15)
Dr. Hovey says: This semester's theme is the Doctrine of the Atonement: the meaning of the death of Christ. Does an innocent man's death appease an angry God? In what sense should Christ's death be considered a sacrifice? Is it a ransom? To whom? We will go in-depth into these and related debates in contemporary theological scholarship. Not to be missed!  This is one of the required theology seminars for Religion majors and both REL 106 and REL 208 are prerequisites.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Fall Lectures - Mending America

There is an exciting series of public lectures at Ashland University in September and October that all--in their own way--address the seemingly ever-widening divisions in our country. Please come along and become part of the solution.

Tuesday, September 12 - No More Enemies
Rescheduled due to Hurricane Irma
7:30pm, Trustees Room, Myers Convocation Center
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Using Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s quote, “My enemy is someone whose story I haven’t heard” as a touchstone, Dr. Susan Glisson and Charles Tucker, the co-founders of Sustainable Equity, will share stories of dialogue, understanding and trust within divided America. From a historic conviction in a cold civil rights case, passage and implementation of a statewide law requiring civil rights and human rights history curriculum in all Mississippi schools, to work with the City of New Orleans on Confederate monumentsand work with corporations such as Facebook, Glisson and Tucker have a diverse and substantial list of success stories of leading individuals and communities to examine their own attitudes and biases combined with the building of trust and respectful relationships.


Wednesday, September 13 - Welcome Table Workshop
Rescheduled due to Hurricane Irma
7:30pm, Trustees Room, Myers Convocation Center
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Discover more about the Welcome Table process developed by Dr. Susan Glisson in this interactive workshop which will introduce you to the tools and techniques used by the city of New Orleans and the state of South Carolina (among others) to help communities with deep racial and historical divisions. Learn more about this method of intentional dialogue that we can use in community building and in our daily lives. 
This event is part of the Symposium Against Indifference: Building Bridges through Dialogue.


Tuesday, September 19 - Can Science and the Bible Work Together? Christian Perspectives on Creation, Design, and Evolution.
7:00pm, Hugo Young Theatre
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Dr. Deborah Haarsma (Calvin College), who serves as president of the BioLogos Foundation, will speak as part of Ashland University’s second Faith and Society Lecture. BioLogos Foundation is a Christian advocacy group that aims to contribute to the discussion on the relationship between science and religion and emphasizes compatibility between science and Christian faith. 
Haarsma is an experienced research scientist. She has studied very large galaxies (at the centers of galaxy clusters), very young galaxies (undergoing rapid star formation in the early universe), and gravitational lenses (where space time is curved by a massive object). Her work uses data from several major telescopes, including the Very Large Array radio telescope in New Mexico, the Southern Astrophysical Research optical and infrared telescope in Cerro Pachon, Chile, and the Chandra X-ray Observatory in orbit around the earth.
Gifted in interpreting complex scientific topics for lay audiences, Dr. Haarsma often speaks to churches, colleges and schools about the relationships between science and Christian faith. She is author (along with her husband Loren Haarsma) of Origins: Christian Perspectives on Creation, Evolution, and Intelligent Design (2011, 2007), a book presenting the agreements and disagreements of Christians regarding the history of life and the universe. 


Tuesday, September 26 - Working for Women's Rights in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico
7:00pm Ridenour Room, Dauch School of Business
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Lydia Cordero Cabrera serves as General Director for Casa Amiga Centro de Crisis (Friendly House Crisis Center) in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. The Center offers hope to women and their children who live in violence daily providing a full range of services by professionals in psychology, social work, legal services, and women’s medicine. Lydia also participates in the Red Mesa de Mujeres Cuidad Juarez (Network table for those advocating women’s rights) and Movimiento de Mujeres (Women’s Movement). She has played a major role in creating the law enforcement protocol when dealing with cases of violence against women in Ciudad Juarez.
Cabrera is visiting Ashland as part of the International Peacemakers Program of the Presbyterian Church (USA).


Wednesday, October 4 - Interfaith Dialogue
7:30pm, Hawkins-Conard Student Center Auditorium
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In these times of anger, fear, and separation, Imam Jamal Rahman will talk about the six stages of Interfaith dialogue to help us move beyond polarization, share practices to open the heart and use humor to convey inconvenient truths about ourselves. A popular speaker on Islam, Sufi spirituality, and interfaith relations, Jamal, along with his Interfaith Amigos, has been featured in the New York Times, CBS News, BBC, and various NPR programs.
This event is part of the Symposium Against Indifference: Building Bridges through Dialogue.



Wednesday October 11 - The Virtues of a Christian Teacher
7:30pm, Miller Chapel
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In this second annual Rinehart Lecture in Practical Theology, Dr. Wesley Null (Baylor University) will address the questions: What virtues are most foundational to Christian teaching?  What about teacher educators and those who make decisions about teacher education curriculum?  What virtues should they uphold?
In his lecture, Dr. Null will draw upon his background as a K-12 teacher, teacher educator, educational historian, and university administrator to discuss these and related questions that are at the heart of private and public K-12 schools and universities today.

The Don Rinehart Lecture in Practical Theology

"The Virtues of a Christian Teacher"

Dr. Wesley Null


7:30 pm, Wednesday. Oct. 11, 2017, Miller Chapel

(Free and open to the public)


What virtues are most foundational to Christian teaching?  What about teacher educators and those who make decisions about teacher education curriculum?  What virtues should they uphold?

The College of Education and the Department of Religion at Ashland University are delighted to announce that Dr. Wesley Null, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Professor of Curriculum at Baylor University in Texas, is to give the second annual Don Rinehart Lecture in Practical Theology.
In his lecture, Dr. Null will draw upon his background as a K-12 teacher, teacher educator, educational historian, and university administrator to discuss these and related questions that are at the heart of private and public K-12 schools and universities today.

Dr. Wesley Null is the author of Curriculum: From Theory to Practice, 1st & 2nd eds. (2011, 2017 Rowman & Littlefield).  As a former middle school teacher and teacher educator, Dr. Null has worked closely with curriculum development and the preparation of future teachers. He draws on his love of history and philosophy as well as his deep Christian faith to explore the challenges educators face today. He works with schools and universities alike to focus on their sense of mission as they reimagine their curriculum and the impact they have within their communities.

Dr. Donna Breault, dean of the College of Education said, “I am thrilled that our Ashland community has the opportunity to learn from Dr. Null. Wes has been influential in K-12 and postsecondary institutions with his curriculum framework and with the many ways he draws lessons from history to inform educators today.”


The Don Rinehart Lecture in Practical Theology is an annual endowed public lecture honoring the memory and continuing the work of Dr. Don Rinehart who, in his 46 years of teaching at Ashland, inspired generations of students. Dr. Peter Slade, chair of the Religion Department said “We are delighted that Dr. Null agreed to give the Rinehart Lecture. The way he integrates his faith and vocation as a Christian educator chimes with Don Rinehart’s legacy here at Ashland.”  

Monday, April 3, 2017

'Last' Lecture for the Graduating Class.

The Religion Department at Ashland University will celebrate its graduating seniors, induct new members into Theta Alpha Kappa (the religion honors society) and close out the year with a final lecture by long-time Ashland Theological Seminary Professor Dr. Paul W. Chilcote on Wednesday, April 19, at 7 p.m. in AU’s Miller Chapel at the corner of King Road and College Avenue.
The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is titled “Deep, Abiding Connection to God.” This is the third annual 'last lecture', which is an invitation for a speaker to address the graduating class of Religion majors as if it were their last time to do so. 
“We are excited that Dr. Paul Chilcote will be giving the lecture this year,” said Peter Slade, the chair of the religion department. “Dr. Chilcote has a lifetime of wisdom gained teaching theology and spirituality in Zimbabwe in Africa as well as at seminaries in this country.”
Chilcote is professor of Historical Theology & Wesleyan Studies at Ashland Theological Seminary. He is the author of more than 20 books, including A Faith That Sings, The Works of John Wesley, vol. 13; John & Charles Wesley; Making Disciples in a World Parish; Praying in the Wesleyan Spirit; Early Methodist Spirituality; The Study of Evangelism, and Recapturing the Wesleys’ Vision
Chilcote and his wife, Janet, have been active members of the Ashland community for many years. This summer, the Chilcotes will leave Ashland as Paul takes a position at Asbury Theological Seminary in Orlando, Fla. “This really is the last opportunity for many of us to hear Dr. Chilcote lecture and we hope many people from the community will come out,” Slade said.
Chilcote has been involved in theological education on three continents, having taught at Wesley College (England), St. Paul’s United Theological College (Kenya), the Methodist Theological School (Ohio), Duke Divinity School (North Carolina), and having helped launch two new institutions – Africa University (Zimbabwe) and Asbury Theological Seminary (Florida). 

Religion Courses for Fall 2017

REL106 Exploring the Bible - Six sections (M,W, F, 10,11, 1, 2; T,Th, 9:25, 10:50) - core: Religion
There is a reason it is a best seller -- take this class and find out why for yourself.

REL107 Exploring World Religions - Six sections in a classroom (M,W, F, 11, 1; T,Th,10:50, 12:15
and two sections online - core: Religion

REL109 Exploring Christian Ethics - Two sections (M,W,F, 12 & 1 - N.B. the 12 o'clock class is an honors section) with Dr. Hovey.
Start thinking about the BIG ISSUES--immigration, homosexuality, justice, war, abortion, love-- in this essential class for sentient beings.


REL208 Exploring Christian Theology (T,Th: 12:15) with Dr. Hovey
An introduction to central doctrines of the Christian faith that is both respectful of classic theological traditions and open to the new voices and emphases of recent theologies.  A required course for religion majors and one of the best ways to start loving God with your mind at AU.

REL231 History of Christianity to the Reformation (T,Th 10:50-12:05) with Dr. Slade
The title says it all -- this class has it all: martyrs, crusaders, saints, sinners, heretics, monks, witches, the Black Death . . . and a strange race of people from distant lands which are in all ways like humans but have the heads of dogs.
This course fulfills the religion major history requirement. (It also counts as core historical reasoning if you started at AU before fall 2016)

REL305 Advanced New Testament: Gospels - (T, Th, 1:40) with Dr. Aune
Do you want to learn more about the life of Jesus while asking critical questions raised by recent scholarship in Biblical studies? In this course we focus on the four Gospels individually (focusing on the distinctive themes, occasion, and purpose of the writings) and then alongside one another as we consider their historical reliability for studying the life of Jesus. 
Fulfills the upper-level Biblical studies requirement for the Religion major.

REL341 World Christianity, Culture, and Mission - (T,Th, 1:40) with Dr. Dickson
Dr. Dickson recently spent a semester in Kenya working with local church leaders, and she will have just been in Peru and Israel; she will have a wealth of knowledge, ideas, and enthusiasm to share. Don't miss this class.

497 Thesis Seminar - (M, W, 3-4:20) with Dr. Dickson
Write a 30-page thesis in one semester on a (religious) subject of your choice. This is a required class for religion majors BUT it is also a great elective for everyone else.