MLK Drum Major for Justice Self-Study Course
Certificate in Public Theology, $449. Available September 14, 2020.
Dr. King said, “It may well be that we will have to repent in this generation, not merely for the vitriolic words and the violent actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence and indifference of the good people who sit around and say ‘wait on time.’" In light of this belief, some people of faith will want to engage in Christian reflection, speech, proclamation, and action publicly in pursuit of a more just society for all.
Drum Major for Justice is a certificate program in public theology. The purpose of Drum Major for Justice is to equip pastors, laypeople, activists, and others to find their voice, collaborate with others, and engage the Church’s theology and practice in arenas beyond its four walls in pursuit of justice and societal transformation.
Upon completion of the course, learners will be able to:
1. Apply biblical and theological insight to real-world situations or problems.
2. Analyze congregational or other local cultures to more effectively serve those cultures.
3. Apply theories of mass media communication to the Church’s theology and proclamation.
4. Embody the Church's theology through ethical action.
Drum Major for Justice is entirely self-paced. Feel free to engage the learning activities on your own time and pace. Some learners will advance through the learning activities quickly, others at a more moderate pace probably in the eight to nine-month range start to finish. We encourage everyone to complete the program in no more than 12 months from the start date, barring unforeseen circumstances.
As a competency-based course, Drum Major for Justice is ungraded. There is no grading system. Instead, learners interact with the course content as long as it takes for them to demonstrate competency to our instructional team via the activities built into the course.
In light of the pandemic and the civil unrest in the U.S., the course is being updated. REGISTRATION WILL REOPEN ON MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2020. The price for the course is $449.00 plus the cost of books (acquired on your own).
For those who register but cannot actually do the course, full refunds will be granted up to 60 days after the date of registration. Please submit your refund request in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org. AFTER 60 DAYS, NO REFUNDS WILL BE GRANTED--except under extenuating circumstances. Again, submit your request in writing to email@example.com.
This certificate program is organized into distinct units. The first is an orientation to Canvas Learning Management System, our online classroom. Please take your time with this unit, particularly if you have never taken an online class before or if you are uncomfortable with technology. An expert will be available to assist you within a 24-hour window if you need help. Access to the core content of this program will be granted only after you have completed the Canvas LMS orientation unit. The other units include readings, videos, and activities carefully curated to support your development as a public theologian. For your own benefit, please do not circumvent or short-change any of the learning activities.
Signs and Symbols in Christian Art by George Ferguson (Oxford University Press, 1961)
Christ and Culture by H. Richard Niebuhr (Harper and Row, Reprint 1975)
America’s Religious Wars: The Embattled Heart of Our Public Life by Kathleen Sands (Yale University Press, 2019)
The Divided Mind of the Black Church by Raphael Warnock (NYU Press, 2013)
The Third Reconstruction: Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics, and the Rise of a New Justice Movement by William Barber (Beacon Press, 2016)
Return to Justice by Soong-Chan Rah and Gary Vanderpol (Brazos Press, 2016)
Doing Theology in the Age of Trump by Jeffrey W. Robbins and Clayton Crockett (Cascade Books, 2018)
Effective Organizing for Congregational Renewal by Michael Gecan (ACTA Publications, 2008)
All JCSTS' programs are based on an honor system. Individuals are expected to exhibit integrity, character, respectfulness, and cooperation as they work through the various learning activities. Offensive behavior, misuse of technology, or other egregious activity will not be tolerated and may result in expulsion from the course.
Upon satisfactory completion of all units, learners will be awarded the Certificate in Public Theology.
The mission of Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary is to advance communities of faith, justice, and compassion through innovation in theological education. We're excited you've decided to join the JCSTS community! Learn well, serve well, AND TELL YOUR FRIENDS!