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Religious Curriculum

Theoretical and practical


The aim of all courses is to foster self-consciousness in an individual’s response to the world in which he or she lives. The necessity for a comprehensive context to the human struggle led to the creation of a series of theological and cultural courses, known as the Basic Curriculum, which was presented in the Global Academy. Each course usually has five sessions with a lecture and seminar or workshop in each.  Team teaching is the method of presentation with a strong emphasis on group participation.


or Religious Studies I


Religious Studies I focuses on the basic spirit questions in the post-modern world: problems of authentic self-understanding, decision­ making, vocational significance, human relations and creative participation in civiliza­tion. The intent of the course is to study the shifts that occurred in the 20th century and enable participants to think through who they are and how they can involve themselves in the present age. (Note: 1972 records indicate that 400,000 people in North America had participated in RS-I and 3,000 outside North America.). See RSI/PLC page for talks and seminars.


Theoretical Courses



A study in the theology of the Christian Church fathers in the milieus of their eras. Writings by church leaders who responded to changing times are scrutinized for their Christian thought which sustained community during the ancient, medieval and modern periods. The course is to expose the timelessness of the Word in historical metaphors and to dramatize the faithful response of the Church. It intends to elicit the decision to live in radical dialogue with the theological wisdom and the revolutionary engagement of the early Church. The original outlines for each lecture are here.

Outlines and overview of the four lectures (for printing)

17th- 19th Centuries:  Wesley lecture notes (for printing)


Seminar:  “The Spirit of Bondage and of Adoption” by John Wesley and seminar notes (for printing) and additional notes (for printing).

An Introduction to the Thought of John Wesley




14th – 16th Centuries:  Luther outline and notes (for printing) and additional notes (for printing)


Seminar:  “A Treatise on Christian Liberty” by Martin Luther and lesson plans (for printing)






10th – 13th Centuries:  Aquinas lecture notes (for printing) and handwritten notes (for printing) and 4×4 (for printing)


Seminar:  “On the Laws” by Thomas Aquinas and lesson plans (for printing).  Backup paper “Thomas Aquinas and Scholasticism” (an excerpt by Beasch and Neibuhr)



2nd – 9th Centuries:  Augustine lecture (for printing) and 4×4


Seminar:  “The Two Cities” by St. Augustine and lesson plans (for printing)

An Introduction to the Thought of St. Augustine

Lecture 5:  Historical Christianity

Paper:  “The Nature of Sin“, Walter Rauschenbusch


A study of the witness of the Word in history made by the early Christian community. The perspectives that John, the Synoptic writers and Paul present toward the event of Jesus Christ are examined, together with the basic cultural heritage of Greek, Hebraic and Gnostic lifestyles. Rational Objective: To deepen the contemporary grounding of the gospel through exposing the radicality of the early Christian writings. Existential Aim: To appraise 20th-century Gnosticism and stoicism and to beckon participants to the joyous abandonment of life in the Word. The original outlines for the four lectures are here.

Seminar: “Dialog and Encounter” by Gealy


“The Event and the Story” by John Knox

Seminar: “Fourth Gospel: Prolog” by Hoskyns

Seminar: “Death and Resurrection” by Hobbs

Seminar: “Faith” by Rudolph Bultmann



A study of the understanding of God as known to the people of Israel. The life stance taken in the wisdom writings, the prophetic pronounce­ments and the covenant law of the Old Testament are probed in the context of the historical background of the ancient world. Rational Objective: To grasp the covenant of the faithful people with God acting in history and to understand the characteristics of an obedient response. Existential Aim: To be seized by the radical demand of obedience to God. The original outlines of the four lectures are here.

Seminar:  “Exodus and Covenant” by Anderson

Seminar: “Fear and Fascination” by Terrien

Seminar: “Israels Charismatic Leaders” by Eichrodt

Seminar:  “Myth: In the Beginnings” by Napier



Practical Courses


Through an analysis of the new image of the Church as mission in history, the interrelatedness of the parish, local congregation, and cadre are examined in depth. Practical models are forged in workshops on witnessing and justing love, worship, study and enabling discipline. The intent is to  bring clarity to the ultimate purpose of the Church, i.e., to increase love of God, neighbor and self. The original outlines of the four lectures are here.







Lecture: “New Image of the Church” Robert Fishel, Fall 1968

Lecture Outline 1973 (for printing)

Lecture outlines 1970, 1973 (for printing)

Seminar:  “Purpose of the Church” by H.R. Niebuhr

Seminar plans, 1973 (for printing)

Backup paper: “Church in Culture”, H. B. Sissel

Workshop worksheet, ITI

Intellectual life lectures, 1973 (for printing)

Study Life lecture outline, 1973

Study workshop worksheet, Summer 1973

Discipline Lecture outline and Frank Hilliard (for printing)

Seminar:  “Community” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer


Disciplined Life Workshop, September 1973

Pilot Project: Experimenting with Structures and Dynamics of Local Church, Fall 1963 (for printing)

Paper:  Shaull, M. Richard, “Life and Mission of the Church”



An analysis of the people of God in history as they are manifested in Protestantism, Catholicism, Judaism, nationalism, communism and humanism. Papers explore issues and dilemmas of spirit leaders in the universal human community. Rational Objective: To understand how religions can work on the issues facing the universal people of God. Existential Aim: To struggle with the problems of sociologically organizing the people of God. The original outlines of the four lectures are here.

Protestant lecture notes (for printing) and additional notes (for printing)


Christ and the World” paper by World Council of Churches and workshop (for printing), 1969; chart and lesson plan, 1972

Seminar: “The People of God” by Walter M. Abbott and chart and notes, 1969

Seminar: “Israel: The Uniqueness of Jewish History” by Arnold Jacob Wolf and seminar notes (for printing)

Quasi-Faith Talk by Ted Farrar, 1982

Various 4x4s and notes ( for printing and printing)

Seminar: “Marxism and Christianity” by Milan Machovec with chart and notes (for printing); chart and notes, 1972




Initially called World Religious, the original outlines of the four lectures are here.  The Ur Images course is about analyzing and celebrating the profound response to life viewed through the primal images and depth experiences of the different people of the Earth. The word “UR” comes from the mythology surrounding a city in ancient Sumer known for its cultural diversity. This course is about modes of standing before the awe that are beyond race, religion, and cultural forms. Ur Images is out to share a method for analyzing profound consciousness, and build images that form a basis fo future mythology.


Lecture: African Culture, by Joe Slicker, GRA’67 and 4×4


Seminar:  “African Road to Socialism” by Senghor


Other resources:

Lecture:  Latin American Culture, by Gene Marshall, GRA’67 and ITI Script,.  

          Lecture 4×4 ITI, 1975  (printing)


Seminar:  “Mexican Masks” by Octavio Paz


Additional Resources:

Lecture: Eastern CultureITI script and and talk 4×4 outline (talk 4×4 for printing)


Seminar:  “The Chinese” by Wilfred C. Smith and seminar script (‘academy, 1983)


Other resources:

Indian Lecture by David McClesky

The Brown Ur Lecture from ITI and 4×4 talk (for printing)

Hindu Lecture (for printing) and script (for printing) – another format:  Hinduism, Summer 1974


Seminar:  “The Religion of Man” by R. Tagore with seminar plan (for printing)


Other talks and resources:

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