Academic Programs

Writing

WR 101 Writing as Ministry

An introduction to the concept, aspects, and challenges of writing as public ministry both by reading those who have studied the field and by examining works of literature.  Topics to be explored may include the power of story to convey truth, story theology, the links between literary arts and religion, the relationship of creativity and spirituality, and the ethical ramifications of placing beauty in service of truth.
3 semester hours.

WR 220 Writing the Story

An introduction to, and practice in, the basic techniques used to write good stories, whether fiction or non-fiction.  Such techniques include, but are not limited to, development of spiritual and religious content, character, narrative structure, plot, conflict, point of view, setting, and theme.
3 semester hours.

WR 230 Writing Literary Non-Fiction

Study and practice of the ways creative writing techniques can enliven and empower prose writing, especially for ministry, with an emphasis on producing effective, thought-provoking, and informed essays.  Various types of literary nonfiction that may be explored are the personal essay, memoir, nature writing, travel writing, literary journalism, and cultural criticism.
3 semester hours.

WR 240 Public Theology

This course focuses on bringing faith and seminary education into critical engagement with culture and society.  It introduces students to theologies of public engagement but primarily offers them practice in several relevant genres.  These may include editorial writing, advocacy journalism, cultural criticism, reviews, interviews, and other means of taking seminary learning into the public square.
3 semester hours.

WR 250 Writing for God and God's People

This course offers practice in genres of writing that explore and express religious experience and the life of faith. It includes devotional and meditative writing, as well as writing intended to help individuals and communities with their own spiritual growth and development. We will consider writing as personal discipline and worship, as well as write to unpack religious texts, ideas, practices, disciplines and other aspects of the life of faith and spirit. The course has involved collaboration with Friends United Press and Quaker Life, a partnership that may continue. Students should expect to aim their writing toward religiously oriented audiences and publications (whether or not they publish).

3 semester hours.

WR 290-T  Topics for Writing in Ministry

The study of, practice in, and critique of a particular genre that is especially suitable for ministry. Topics will vary.
3 semester hours.

WR 380 Writing Seminar

Practice in all facets necessary for preparing a major writing project for the reading public (writing, revising, editing, market research, queries). Students will develop a “contract” of what they intend to accomplish by the end of the semester: goals, completed writing, and materials necessary for publishing that writing. Direction for the course is determined in part by students’ interests and needs as they work toward publication of their writing projects. Workshop format.
3 semester hours.
Prerequisite: WR 101 & any 200 level writing course.

WR 385 Writing for Publication

Development of a book-length project for publication. By the end of the semester, students will complete a first draft of a manuscript (at least 100 pages) as well as a book proposal. Since this is a seminary course, the kinds of projects which will fit best within a broad understanding of “religious writing” include: collections of essays on theological, biblical, or spiritual themes that fit well together; devotional meditations that can be used for public or private worship and may have a variety of forms; persuasive books addressing issues of peace and social justice or other significant concerns; creative Bible studies; autobiographical stories with which others can identify; parables or fictional pieces for adults, youth, or children; other appropriate works. Weekly conference with instructor may be required.
3 semester hours.
Prerequisite: WR 101 & any other 200 level writing course.

WR 400 Independent Study

Directed independent writing of a project that fits into a broad understanding of religious writing.
3 semester hours.
Prerequisite: two previous writing courses & permission of instructor.