Graduate Theological Urban Studies

Graduate Theological Urban Studies at SCUPE

Scripture is the starting point for the Graduate Theological Urban Studies (GTUS) program. In particular, a biblical theology…

…of the powers serves as our lens for understanding the city. However, seminary students are also themselves immersed in the urban environment and engaged with those very powers. Here they learn to discern ministry in the city, frame social analysis and come to a deeper self-understanding.

At its very beginning, SCUPE developed the GTUS program in partnership with schools of theology to link traditional theological education, largely conducted in the classroom, with the concrete experience of ministry in urban communities.

The GTUS program helps seminary students deepen their understanding of what it means to work within urban realities and beyond the traditional church setting.


Graduate Theological Urban Studies

Admission to GTUS

To apply for the full spring or summer term program, students fill out a GTUS Application Form and mail it to the SCUPE office. This provides us with the information we need to identify the internship that best suits you and your situation. When you submit the application form, we also ask for an official transcript from the seminary you are enrolled in and a check for $50 (non-refundable application fee).

Recognize that your seminary must approve your enrollment in SCUPE. We ask for signatures from seminary representatives to confirm this. Note that all application and registration forms are available on seminary campuses in the registrar’s office.

The deadline for spring term registration is November 15. The deadline for summer registration is April 15. Late applicants must contact the SCUPE registrar to receive special instructions. Students are notified by letter of their acceptance into the program.

Individual Course Application

No admission process is required for students wishing to enroll in individual GTUS courses. See GTUS Registration for enrollment instructions and forms.

ACTS School Students

All GTUS offerings are listed in the catalog of the Association of Chicago Theological Schools and are available to students at ACTS schools through cross-registration. The application, registration and payment procedures for ACTS school students are the same as for member schools, but the student must first obtain permission from the seminary administration to participate in the GTUS program.

Students from other non-member schools

Seminary students from non-member schools from outside the Chicago area are welcome to inquire about integrating GTUS coursework into their graduate theological program. Special permission will need to be obtained from the student’s seminary to accredit the coursework and to facilitate payment of tuition.

Graduate Theological Urban Studies at SCUPEGTUS Registration

Admitted GTUS students register for their GTUS coursework at their seminary according to that school’s normal registration policies and procedures. This being the case, there is no SCUPE registration form for the GTUS spring or summer terms. SCUPE depends on the GTUS Application Form for student information. Contact the registrar at your seminary or SCUPE’s registrar with questions about registration.

Students wishing to enroll in individual GTUS courses instead of completing the full spring or summer term program register at their seminary according to that school’s registration policies and procedures. In addition the enrollee must print and complete the SCUPE Individual Course Registration Form and mail it so the SCUPE office: 200 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60601-5909.

All GTUS application and registration forms are available in the registrar’s office of your seminary.

Students may contact the SCUPE registrar at any time, (312) 626-1215 or dody@scupe.com, to find out whether a GTUS course is still open for registration.

Auditing GTUS courses

Students may audit GTUS courses for non-credit at a cost of $250 per course. Register for audits using the GTUS Individual Course Registration Form.

Paying for GTUS

Since GTUS functions as an adjunct department of urban ministry for SCUPE member seminaries, the cost of a GTUS course (three semester credit hours) is the same as the cost of an equivalent course at your seminary.

The student pays for the course at their seminary according to the institutions policies and procedures for tuition payment. SCUPE will bill your seminary for payment.

Students from non-members schools must first obtain permission from the seminary to facilitate the payment of tuition. SCUPE will bill the seminary for tuition for courses taken.


Holy Family Lutheran Church Chicago

GTUS Internship

Internship is the neighborhood classroom, where seminarians learn urban realities and issues through first-hand experience. It is where they develop critical and theological skills through integrating these experiences with academic theory and course content. Internship is a place where the student’s gifts and calling are tested, where specific professional skills are developed, and personal growth is facilitated through learning how to care and be cared for.

Placement sites are typically urban churches, para-church agencies, or other community organizations. To be effective training laboratories, they must be places where:

  • Interns are assigned significant tasks and leadership roles
  • Competent and active supervision is provided
  • In-depth experiences with people facilitate the intern’s learning
  • Living expenses are provided, allowing the intern to focus on ministry and growth

How does the internship work?

  • Students schedule interviews with placement supervisor in advance of internship.
  • Final placements are determined by agreement and signed contract between placement supervisor and student intern.
  • SCUPE interns reside in the community where they minister, and commute downtown to classes (normally two days per week, except orientation intensive).
  • During fall or spring term, interns work at their placement sites 20 hours per week. During summer term, interns work 40 hours a week for half the number of weeks.
  • Written evaluations are requested at mid-term and at the conclusion of the semester.
  • Placement sites provide the intern with housing and a modest living stipend for the duration of the internship.

Sampling of SCUPE internship ministry sites:

Trinity Episcopal
Bethel New Life
Faith Community of Saint Sabina
Lawndale Community Church
“The House” Covenant Church
Erie Neighborhood House

To register for any of the below courses, please contact Dody Finch,
Registrar at the SCUPE office, (312) 626-1215, dody@scupe.com.

Spring 2014

SCUPE M 306:     The Art of Prophetic Preaching in the Urban Context
Freedom to preach in the spirit of the prophets requires preaching with the mind, body and spirit. Prophetic preaching in the city is an invitation to enter into the redemptive story of the gospel as it is evidenced in our urban world and requires not only a biblical and theological framework but also prophetic imagination, evidenced in a kind of playful energy that has the potential to both delight and shock the listener out of stuck thinking and stuck places while, at the same time, kindling and strengthening hope. We will apply the language and homiletic tools and resources of the arts, theater, and popular culture, to describe both the social context of urban life and the preached word.
Credit: 3 semester hours
Faculty: Dr. David Frenchak and Dr. Otis Moss III
Course Schedule: April 4-5, 11-12, 25-26 (Fridays 1-9pm; Saturdays 9am-5pm)
MS V. Preaching and Communication

SCUPE S-H 305:     Restoring Urban Communities
Field-based in one of the nationally renowned Christian community development organizations, this course introduces the principles and practices of congregational-based community development. It examines the relationship between biblical faith and community development practice through site visits to exceptional Chicago development models, and identifies the leadership competencies, organizing principles, skills and resources necessary for an asset-based approach to sustainable community building.
Credit: 3 semester hours.
Faculty: Dr. Mary Nelson
Course Schedule: May 2-3, 9-10, 16-17 (Fridays 1-9pm; Saturdays 9am-5pm)
RSS Religion and Society Studies

Summer 2014

SCUPE  M 305:     Dimensions and Dynamics of Urban Ministry
Organized as a sequence of city-wide experiential learning opportunities, the course introduces students to congregations and faith-based organizations that bring good news through prophetic ministry. Students have the opportunity to engage in dialogue with urban ministry leaders who offer vision, courage and hope. Course methodology includes contextual experience, theological reflection, social analysis and dialogue with significant church leaders and the instructor.
Credit: 3 semester hours
Faculty: Dr. Yvonne Delk
Course Schedule: June 2-6, 9-13 (Mondays to Fridays from 9am-5pm)
MS I Nature and Practice of Ministry

SCUPE M 402:    Interfaith Intensive: Christian Theology’s Encounter with the Urban Multi-Religious World
This course will survey the major developments of the last several decades within the theology of religions and the comparative approaches taken by different theological traditions inside Christianity. The fundamental questions we face are: What are Christians to make of the sheer fact of religious diversity? Are religious traditions independently efficacious means to one and the same goal, many paths to the same divine reality? Or is salvation only possible through the Word made Flesh in Jesus and through the Holy Spirit?  We will not only engage these questions on their own merit, but we will also ask whether they must be reformulated, and if so, how? Do the central loci within Christian theology have to be re-imagined in light of this growing religious diversity? These questions impinge on our foundational Christology, pneumatology, trinity, eschatology, missiology, etc.
Credit: 3 semester hours
Faculty: Dr. Paul Knitter; Rev. Dr. Shanta Premawardhana; and Rev. Dr. Charles Amjad-Ali
Course Schedule: June 2-7 (Monday to Saturday from 9am-5pm)
MS I Nature and Practice of Ministry

SCUPE S-H 304:   Good News for the City: Building a Just Economy
This course will be held in conjunction with the Congress on Urban Ministry. It will explore the theme of economic justice as found in scripture and as articulated in the historical experience of the church and other faith traditions. This course will follow the presentations of the plenary speakers and workshops of the “SCUPE Congress on Urban Ministry: Together, Building a Just Economy,” noting the realities that face vulnerable populations today, and the ways that faith communions advocate for economic justice for all of earth’s creatures. Participants will be required to articulate in written and oral formats a theological grounding and practical strategies for the pursuit of economic justice in today’s world.
Credit: 3 semester hours
Faculty: Rev. Bill Wylie-Kellerman
Schedule:  June 23-26, 2014  (Times/TBA, accompanies Congress events and schedule)
Fees: Tuition includes Congress Registration.
*Location: Taught in Chicago in-conjunction with the national conference: the Congress of Urban Ministry.
MS I Nature and Practice of Ministry

Fall 2014

SCUPE S-H 307:     Eco-Justice: A Vision for a Sustainable City
The church has a significant role in developing a holistic vision for a sustainable city as an outworking of the concept of shalom, a just peace.  The course will evaluate the three components of sustainable community development: the three E’s of economics, environment and equity (or social justice).  Participants will explore the course topic via readings, panel discussions and site visits.  Students will have the option of developing a project or ministry proposal that explores a key issue such as energy policy, food production, environmental justice or pollution, and how these challenges relate to the central course themes.  Central to the course is the question, “What does it mean to be a sustainable urban community?”
Credit: 3 semester hours
Faculty: Dr. Clinton Stockwell; Pam and Lan Richert, Eco Justice Collaborative
Course Schedule: TBA (Fridays 1-9pm; Saturdays 9am-5pm)
RSS Religion in Society Studies

SCUPE S-H 303:     Public Issues in Urban Ministry
We will learn public theology by doing theology. Doing theology begins by identifying the theological issues that underlie urban culture, economy, politics and society.  The class will practice a process of theological reflection rooted in an interaction of biblical insight, as it relates to Christology, principalities and powers and social justice. Exercising prophetic imagination and using the city of Chicago as a learning laboratory the class will explore what it means to pursue and advance substantive Christian moral values in the midst of systemic injustice and secular society.
Credit: 3 semester hours
Faculty: Dr. David Frenchak
Course Schedule: TBA (Fridays 1-9pm; Saturdays 9am-5pm)
RSS Religion in Society Studies

SCUPE B-TH 303:     Public Theology and the City
Public theology in the city is an art form that brings the separate elements of diversity together in a way that images the kingdom of God on earth. Public theology, in contrast with private or individual theology, is a collaborative process best learned in the context of urban diversity where public concerns or issues are found. Together, in partnership with an urban church, the class will learn the basics of the art of doing public theology that leads to redemption and transformation of social sin.
Credit:
3 semester hours
Faculty:
Dr. David Frenchak
Course Schedule:
TBA (Fridays 1-9pm; Saturdays 9am-5pm)
*Location: Taught in context in Louisville, KY (in partnership with Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary)
TS III. Topics in Theology (Cross list MS I, RSS)

Winter 2015

SCUPE M 302:     Interfaith & Intercultual Ministry Intensive
The world has come to the city. Using the city as a global classroom, the two week intensive provides students with interfaith understandings, cultural competencies and practical theology for ministry in a multicultural and interfaith context. The course promotes respect and appreciation of world-views and value systems different from one’s own, offers anti-racism training, builds skills in movement and communication across both faith and cultural divides, and exposes students directly to a wide variety of ministries in diverse cultural settings.
Credit:  3 semester hours.
Faculty:  Dr. Shanta Premawardhana (with guest lecturer Dr. Eboo Patel)
Course Schedule: TBA (Mondays to Fridays from 9am-5pm)
MS I Nature and Practice of Ministry

SCUPE S-H 304:     Urban Peacemaking in a Culture of Violence
This course on Urban Non-violence pursues and deepens the themes opened up by SCUPE’s Congress on Urban Ministry in March 2011. It will address peacemaking in its “full spectrum,” which is to say from direct action and intervention to restorative justice and conflict resolution. Certain skills, such as active listening, circle process, and non-violent practice will be introduced. The pedagogy of this course will involve an interplay between the biblical witness of gospel non-violence, narrative theology, and the experience of practitioners and students.
Credit: 3 semester hours
Faculty: Rev. Bill Wylie-Kellermann
Course Schedule: TBA (Monday to Saturday from 9am-5pm)
RSS Religion and Society Studies

SCUPE B-Th 302:     Urban Principalities and the Spirit of the City
Drawing from the ground-breaking theological work of Wink and Stringfellow on the biblical language of “principalities and powers”, this course examines the profound spiritual realities foundational to understanding and transforming the social, economic and political structures of our urban world.
Credit:  3 semester hours
Faculty: Rev. Bill Wylie-Kellermann
Course Schedule: TBA (Fridays 1-9pm; Saturdays 9am-5pm)
TS III. Topics in Theology (Cross list MS I, RSS)

SCUPE M 304:     Christology and Culture
Employing a narrative hermeneutic, this course explores Christology from a global, cultural and liberation perspective – and its significance for urban ministry.  The course cultivates an understanding and appreciation of the diversity of cultural images and models used to elaborate the meaning of Jesus throughout history. Through theological and historical analysis, students engage in an in-depth study of the meaning of Christ’s life-death-resurrection for his contemporaries, the early church and specifically for this present time in history.
Credit: 3 semester hours.
Faculty: Dr. Jim Perkinson
Course Schedule: TBA (Fridays 1-9pm; Saturdays 9am-5pm)
TS III. Topics in Theology (Cross list: NT III)

SCUPE B-Th 303:     Public Theology in the City
Public Theology is theology which deliberately seeks the welfare of the city. Accordingly, public theology often takes ‘the world’s agenda’, or parts of it, as its own agenda, and seeks to offer distinctive and constructive insights from the treasury of faith to help in the building of a decent society, the restraint of evil, the curbing of violence, community-building, and reconciliation in the public arena. It strives to offer distinctive, good news that transforms earthly society to the kingdom of God. Using a pedagogical process of theory, practice and reflection; we will learn public theology by doing it in the context of the church in community.
Credit: 3 semester hours
Faculty:  Dr. David Frenchak
Course Schedule: TBA, (Fridays 1-9pm; Saturdays 9am-5pm)
*Location: Taught in context at Rodman Street Missionary Baptist Church in Pittsburgh PA (in partnership with Pittsburgh Theological Seminary)
TS III. Topics in Theology (Cross list: MS I, RSS)

SCUPE B-TH 303:     Public Theology and the City
Public theology in the city is an art form that brings the separate elements of diversity together in a way that images the kingdom of God on earth. Public theology, in contrast with private or individual theology, is a collaborative process best learned in the context of urban diversity where public concerns or issues are found. Together, in partnership with an urban church, the class will learn the basics of the art of doing public theology that leads to redemption and transformation of social sin.
Credit:
3 semester hours
Faculty:
Dr. David Frenchak
Course Schedule:
TBA
*Location: Taught in context in Minnesota, in partnership with Luther Seminary)
TS III. Topics in Theology (Cross list MS I, RSS)

To register for any of the above courses, please contact Dody Finch,
Registrar at the SCUPE office, (312) 626-1215, dody@scupe.com.

GTUS Faculty

  • Dr. Yvonne V. Delk, Founding Director — Center for African American Theological Studies (Chicago), former Executive Director — Community Renewal Society (Chicago), D.Min. New York Theological Seminary
  • Dr. David Frenchak, President Emeritus — SCUPE; D.Min. Andover-Newton Theological Seminary
  • Dr. Charles Amjad-Ali, Academic Dean — SCUPE
  • Dr. Otis Moss III, Pastor — Trinity United Church of Christ (Chicago); D.Min. Chicago Theological Seminary
  • Dr. Mary Nelson, Founding President — Bethel New Life (Chicago)
  • Dr. Jim Perkinson, Lecturer in Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences — Ecumenical Theological Seminary (Detroit)
  • Dr. Shanta Premawardhana, President — SCUPE, Ph.D. Northwestern University
  • Dr. Clinton Stockwell, Executive Director — Chicago Semester
  • Rev. Bill Wylie-Kellermann, Pastor-in-Charge — St. Peter’s Episcopal Church (Detroit)

Register for the 2014 Congress on Urban Ministry

Go to the E-Giving Online Transaction System

What you will find at the 2014 Congress On Urban Ministry:

Renowned Speakers who will challenge, transform, and inspire the way you think about economic justice in our communities.

Engaging Worship that merges prophetic preaching with scripture and song that will fill you.

Inspiring Sacred Text Study that will reframe your thinking about the economic justice issues in communities and networks within your religious tradition and beyond.

50+ Workshops and Seminars guided by leaders will give you the skills, tools and motivation to turn inspiration into action in your community.

A Call to Action declaring with one voice urban leaders, clergy, and theologians to build just economies in our congregations & communities at home and abroad.

Support SCUPE

Go to the E-Giving Online Transaction System

Up-Coming Classes

Transformación urbana desde los márgenes (ALTE)
Rev. Dr. Zaki L. Zaki
April 25-26, May 2-3, 16-17, 23-24
(viernes 6pm - 10pm y sábados 8:30am - 4pm)

Womanist Theology (CAATS)
Dr. Joanne Terrell
Independent Study

Restoring Urban Communities (GTUS)
Dr. Mary Nelson
May 2-3, 9-10, 16-17
(Fridays 1-9pm; Saturdays 9am-5pm)

La justicia social en el contexto latino (ALTE)
Dr. Richard F. Morrisroe
May 30-31, June 13-14, 27-28, July 11-12
(viernes 6pm - 10pm y sábados 8:30am - 4pm)

Dimensions and Dynamics of Urban Ministry (GTUS course page)
Dr. Yvonne Delk
June 2-6, 9-13
(Mondays to Fridays from 9am-5pm)

Interfaith Intensive: Christian Theology’s Encounter with the Urban Multi-Religious World (GTUS course page)
Dr. Paul Knitter; Rev. Dr. Shanta Premawardhana; and Rev. Dr. Charles Amjad-Ali
June 2-7
(Monday to Saturday from 9am-5pm)

Good News for the City: Together Building A Just Economy (GTUS)
Rev. Bill Wylie-Kellermann
June 23-26
*Location: Taught in conjunction with the national conference: the Congress of Urban Ministry. Fees include event registration.

Perspectiva teológica de la Inmigración (ALTE)
Rev. Dr. Eliseo Pérez-Álvarez
July 18-19, August 1-2, 15-16, 29-30
(viernes 6pm - 10pm y sábados 8:30am - 4pm)

Eco-Justice: A Vision for a Sustainable City (GTUS)
Dr. Clinton Stockwell; Pam and Lan Richert of the Eco Justice Collaborative
Fall 2014 - TBA
(Fridays 1-9pm; Saturdays 9am-5pm)

Desarrollo económico en la comunidad latina (ALTE)
Dr. Shirley Pulgar-Hughes & Dr. Timothy R. Eberhart
TBA (September - October)
(viernes 6pm - 10pm y sábados 8:30am - 4pm)

Public Issues In Urban Ministry (GTUS course page)
Rev. Dr. Dave Frenchak
Fall 2014 - TBA
(Fridays 1-9pm; Saturdays 9am-5pm)

Cuidado Pastoral en la Comuniad Latin@ (ALTE)
Dr. Daniel S. Schipani
Sept 5-6, Oct. 3-4 & 31, Nov. 1 & 14-15
(viernes 6pm - 10pm y sábados 8:30am - 4pm)