Course credit: 4 credits Class time: Fri 3: 00-6pm, Sat civic engagement field exercise Location Instructors

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DUS: Cross-Cultural Urban Integration Seminar: NWC410
Street Psalms” Listening to the Poetry of the City
Spring 2015
Course credit: 4 credits
Class time: Fri 3:00-6pm, Sat civic engagement field exercise
Location Instructors:

Denver Urban Semester Dr. Jeff Johnsen

Denver Urban House Greg Fuchs, TA

1453 Downing St 303-928-9526

Denver, Co. 80218

“Cities are a mirror of our societies, a part of our economy, and an element of our environment. But above all else they are a measure of our ability to live with each other. When we examine our cities we examine ourselves.” J.R.Short, The Urban Order, An Introduction to Cities, Culture and Power.

“The city puts you in proximity to people who think differently than you do, so you must think differently.”

Tim Keller

Seminar Overview:
In 1900, eight percent of the world’s population lived in cities. By 2000, that number had surpassed 50 percent! As we consider the impact of urbanism, we realize that urbanization represents a spectacular challenge to leadership – civic, social and spiritual – in our day. This Seminar is designed to offer students tools for understanding global urbanization, its local expression in Denver, Colorado, and analytical tools to help leaders develop healthy, reflective, and effective responses.
In addition, since urban culture prioritizes busy and productive lifestyles, this course will help students establish a different approach to leadership. Students will be invited to develop a new holistic sense of self through reflective practices as well as exercises helping to bring self-understanding and self-awareness and the ultimate invitation to transformative grace. Our hope is that through this Seminar, DUS will develop leaders who have a true sense of self, become aware of God’s transformative invitation, and become leaders who value “being” instead of “doing.”
Seminar Objectives:

  • Learn new perspectives in reading cities, neighborhoods, diverse people groups and social systems that comprise the city.

  • Begin to discern the “soul” of a city – the symbols and stories that provide meaning and encourage community.

  • Understand the importance of the city in scripture and Christian theology.

  • Explain causes and consequences of America’s unique urban challenge and develop Christian Community Development principles as they do work in underserved and under resourced neighborhoods.

  • Discover how God has created us and given us unique personalities to be part of His greater purpose for humanity.

  • Understand the importance of how honest inner work directly influences leadership.

  • Learn the biblical theology of rest, renewal and Sabbath and its importance in their lives.

  • Recognize important elements in one’s life that both hinder and maintain a balanced life.

  • Review, process and present key events that shaped our spiritual journey.

  • Study the six historical Christian faith traditions and how understanding the similarities and differences will break down barriers.

Required Books:

  • Lupton, Robert D., Compassion, justice, and the Christian life: rethinking ministry to the poor. (San Francisco: Harper-Collins 2007)

  • Muller W., Sabbath: Restoring the Sacred Rhythm of Rest: (New York: Bantam Books 2000).

  • Benner, David G. The Gift of Being Yourself, (Illinois: Intervarsity Press 2004).

Recommended Books:

  • Perkins, John M., With justice for all. (Ventura, CA: Regal Books 2011)

  • Rohr & Ebert. The Enneagram, a Christian Perspective. (New York: Crossroads Pub., 2004).

  • Smith J. A Spiritual Formation “Renovare” Workbook. (HarperCollins Publishing, 1993).

Recommended Films:

  • Mother Teresa, 2006 Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

  • Les Miserable, 1998 Columbia Pictures

  • Luther, 2003 Independent Film


Web Resources:

  • Enneagram , RHETI test, Enneagram self-awareness discovery profile

  • Spiritual Gift:

Methods and Procedures:

  • Students will be encouraged to participate in class discussions each week as they encounter neighborhood social issues.

  • Students will keep a journal, writing one entry per week reflecting on their weekly integration seminar practice spiritual discipline, personal experiences of working with the poor and underserved, and thoughts on living and working in the city.

  • Students will be invited to practice spiritual exercises throughout the semester.

  • Students will be invited to develop and share their spiritual autobiography during their mid-semester Mtn. retreat.

  • Students will develop the ability to read a neighborhood through an asset-based-community development perspective. Students will choose one of the neighborhoods in downtown Denver and learn the history, understand its culture, meet the people that bring leadership, spend time asset mapping, inventory its strengths, come up with some possible ideas to provide hope to the neighborhood, and in groups of 2 give a 20 minute presentation.

Assignments & Grading
Streams of faith paper and presentation (faith traditions) 20 pts.

Spiritual Autobiography paper and presentation 20 pts.

Final 20 pts.

Class attendance & discussion 20 pts.

Journals (due at beginning of class Monday mornings) 20 pts.


100 pts.

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