Building Skills for Faith-Based Community Development

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October 13, 2017

2018 Professional Development Series

This academic year, the Center for Religious Wisdom & World Affairs will roll out three courses that aim to build skills for more effective faith-based responses to our most pressing social issues, like homelessness and the affordable housing crisis. These courses can be taken as a sequence or stand-alone, and will be available for both professional development and graduate credit.

  • Understanding Faith-Based Organizations & Community Development
    STMPD 9701/STML 5600 (Winter Quarter: Monday evenings, January 8th to March 19th

    This course will examine the legacy of faith-based social service provision and advocacy in the United States and the Pacific Northwest. Topics will include: First Amendment issues; the changing landscape of religion; shifts in social and urban policy; types of faith-based interventions; models of community development and human flourishing; and theologies of social engagement.
  • Surveying Faith-Based Responses to Homelessness
    STMPD 9702/STML 5910 (Spring Quarter: two weekends, April 14th-15th and May 12th-13th

    This course will survey faith-based initiatives to address homelessness and the affordable housing crisis in the Puget Sound region and a select number of other urban centers across the country and globe. Topics will include: determinants and demographics of homelessness; policy and stakeholder responses; assessment of faith-based interventions; and theologies of homelessness.
  • Best Practices Workshop on Faith-Based Interventions to End Homelessness
    STMPD 9703/ STMM 5910 (Summer Quarter: Two weekends in June and July, TBD)

    This course will invite participants to identify challenges for more effective faith-based responses to homelessness in the Puget Sound region; examine successful faith-based interventions in urban centers across the country and globe; and consider new and innovative initiatives. Issues could include: fostering interfaith & cross-sector partnerships; enhancing the recruitment, training and retention of volunteers; and articulating an interfaith theology of homelessness.

The three courses will draw on on-going research by Center scholars and the work of the Puget Sound Interfaith Network for Public Theology. Participants will have access to this cohort of theologians, social scientists, faith leaders and community partners through the University’s learning management system (Canvas), videoconferencing, guest lectures and the Center’s April 2018 symposium on homelessness and affordable housing.

“These courses will grapple with issues, concepts and strategies the religious leader or community partner can use when putting together a grant proposal, engaging City Hall, or rolling out a new initiative,” commented the director of the Center, Dr. Manuel Mejido.  “Each course will provide a space to problem-solve around how faith-based organizations and other community stakeholders might work better and more meaningfully together to tackle homelessness and related social problems.”

For more information, please visit the Building Skills for Faith-Based Community Development webpage, or contact: Hannah Hunthausen, Coordinator, Center for Religious Wisdom & World Affairs, (206) 296-6954, hunthauh@seattleu.edu.

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