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VDS Concentrations:

Spirituality and Social Activism

See concentration video HERE.

The Spirituality and Activism concentration gives students interdisciplinary knowledge for integrating spirituality with vocations of activism. Students will be exposed to the historical and contemporary contexts in which spirituality and activism have helped generate movements for justice in the academy, religious communities, and society.

Learning Goals:

  • Reflect ethically, biblically, and pastorally on the practice of activism in light of spirituality

  • Understanding and practice? of spirituality as an integral aspect for sustained commitment to social activism

  • Developing capacity in creating public spaces for the integration of spirituality in activism

Current Steering Committee: Phillis Sheppard (Convener), Emilie M. Townes , Herbert Marbury , Forrest Harris 


Required Courses:

At least one of the following: 

  • Warrior Chants and Unquiet Spirits ( Townes

  • Vexations: Religion and Politics in the Black Community ( Townes )

  • Spirituality and Activism ( Sheppard )

  • Liberation and Spirituality ( Harris )


Additional Requirements: None. 


Praxis Options: 

Students may: 

  • Choose an additional Field Education option. 

  • Develop VDS specific Forums on Spirituality and Social Activism as part of the assignment/work of a course. Prior approval by the Convener and professor required.  

  • Develop an independent course whereby their final assignment is a public activism project that includes a spirituality component.


Course Projections:

Fall 2020:

7127 SFT Liberation Ethics 

7068 BMM Vocation: Composing a Life 


Spring 2021:

5220 Joranko Social Action in the City 

6571 Marbury African American Hermeneutics II 

7080 Sheppard Spirituality and Social Activism 

7120 Snarr Modern Christian Political Thought