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Seminary Academics

A cohort 15 to 20 students completes this 15-credit program together in just over two years.

Program Schedule

Summer Intensive 1 Summer Intensive 2 Summer Intensive 3
Cohort Beginning in 2012 Completed Completed August 11-15, 2014
Cohort Beginning in 2013 Completed August 11-15, 2014 August 10-14, 2015
Cohort Beginning in 2014 August 11-15, 2014 August 10-14, 2015 August 15-19, 2016
No new cohort beginning in 2015
Cohort Beginning in 2016 August 15-19, 2016 August 2017 August 2018


Curriculum Requirements

Students in the certificate program will invest approximately 110 hours of work in addition to the summer intensive course. Following each summer intensive, final projects and reading will be completed from home during the fall semester. Online coursework for the next class will begin in January.

Year 1—Foundations for Urban Ministry

  • In-person summer intensive 1: Foundations for Urban Ministry (3 hours)
  • Online course: Spiritual Formation in the Urban Context (3 hours)

Year 2—Urban Spirituality and Leadership

  • In-person summer intensive 2: Journey to Mosaic (3 hours)
  • Online course: Urban Ministry Leadership (3 hours)

Year 3—The Practice of Urban Ministry

  • In-person summer intensive 3: The Practice of Urban Ministry (3 hours)

Course Descriptions

The complexity of the urban context requires theological depth and the ability to formulate and contextually apply a relevant and robust urban biblical theology. In this course, we will engage in the process of social/cultural analysis to understand the nature and context of urban ministry. Through biblical analysis, spiritual reflection, and communal discernment we will move toward a theology of urban ministry that will provide the foundation for impactful engagement with complex urban systems.

Our life with God is often referred to as a journey. Participants will be encouraged to reflect upon their formation history and celebrate their unique spiritual journey in the urban context. We will also look at a variety of spiritual practices that are invitations to a deeper sense of God's presence in one's interior life and in the world. For many in urban ministry there is a tendency to choose "busyness" over "fullness". Historical spiritual practices of the Church can guide us into a richer faith journey and fuller life rather than simple busyness. The intent of the course is practical, experiential, and formational. Included in the course will be both a teaching component and formation group sessions.

This course incorporates readings, films, conversations, interaction with individuals, and a pilgrimage to major sites of racial significance in Chicago and the broader American context. The focus is on cross-cultural and cross-racial relationship dynamics leading to a greater cultural intelligence on racial and cultural issues in the church. The course will explore the biblical, theological, sociological, political, cultural, and psychological dimensions of the struggle for racial justice and its contemporary implications for ministry.

This course will explore a variety of approaches and methodologies to the healthy practice of urban ministry. We will emphasize practical ministry skills and ministry practices that reflect our social, cultural, and historical analysis as well as our biblical, and theological reflection. We will give particular attention to the practices of pastoral care, congregational health, and the development of beloved communities of faith as approaches to the church's role in the spiritual and social transformation of the urban context. This course will seek to integrate on-site practices of the participants into the course discussion.

This course examines the role of leadership in developing healthy urban ministries and congregations. Key elements such as a theology of leadership, systems thinking, leadership style, team development, and change management will be considered as they relate to leadership in the urban context. Effective leadership combines valid theories, accurate knowledge, critical values, relevant skills, and practical experience. The course initiates the journey toward a life-long process of leadership development and effectiveness.