ED2: Racism



This course analyzes institutionalized racism and proposes a series of frameworks from within Christian Education for engaging and dismantling racism, and for supporting intercultural congregational learning. Here is a print version of the syllabus, but you should make sure to sign into MyLutherNet for the rest of the course materials. There are also additional resources for the course available online.

Course Objectives

  1. To understand the impact of racism in particular institutions and begin to explore dismantling racism strategies

  2. To introduce students to the literature of dismantling racism, connecting it to challenges within religious communities

  3. To provide a context in which students develop and nurture respect for the diverse ways in which adults (especially themselves!) learn

  4. To provide a context in which students critically reflect upon educational leadership, and their own role in facilitating such

  5. To nurture a learning community in which students can engage and reflect upon their own teaching and learning practices

  6. To nurture leadership in education for communities of faith more broadly

Course Requirements

Attend and participate in the entire “Living into Christ’s New Creation: Confronting Racism” workshop to be held at Luther Seminary on Friday evening Jan. 23rd, and at a local church on Saturday and Sunday, January 24-25, 2015. Please note that you must be present for the entire workshop, which meets beginning at 6 pm on Friday until 9 pm at Luther Seminary, then again on Saturday and Sunday from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm at a local church. We publish these dates well in advance because we realize that meeting on a weekend can pose logistical challenges.

Read and complete prior to the weekend workshop:

Deanna Thompson’s essay “Calling a thing what it is: A Lutheran approach to whiteness”

Mary Hess’s essay “White Christian educators and unlearning racism: Can we find a way?”

Ali MIchael and Eleanora Bartoli’s “What white children need to know about race

(the essays are on e-reserve in MyLutherNet)

The Cross and the Lynching Tree, James Cone (Orbis, 2011).

Difficult Conversations by Stone, Patton, Heen and Fisher (Penguin, 2000).

In addition to the reading, there are a number of short writing exercises that are explained at our course site at MyLutherNet. Please complete these PRIOR to the weekend workshop. They include playing with the “parable of the polygons.”

Following the weekend workshop, choose ONE book from the Racial Justice Collaborative bibliography, and write a review of no more than three pages, in which you engage at least the following questions: (1) In what ways does this book support, and in what ways contest, the ideas and practices we engaged in the weekend workshop? (2) What would you identify as the author(s) primary theological stance? (3) How would you imagine this book serving as a resource within a religious education context? I am very happy to help you make this book choice, and would welcome an individual conversation of discernment around it. This essay is due February 9th.

Finally, complete the following by February 9th:

Review where you stand currently in relation to completing the Luther program outcomes for your degree. Choose one, or at most two, of the competencies which you believe the ideas and practices of the weekend workshop helped you to engage. Figure out a way to further integrate the readings and the workshop of this class through some form of demonstration of that competency. For instance, you might write a 3-4 page reflection paper based on the workshop, or develop a learning unit for a specific context, or design the outline of a retreat for a youth group, or participate in further training of some sort, etc.

Christian Education and Dismantling Racism