ABSW is a laboratory for building communities of Christian hope, justice and reconciliation.
Creative Church & Community
People become involved in churches when they feel a sense of authentic community and spiritual connection. They need to feel a sense of belonging. In this track of the curriculum students will be equipped to create authentic, diverse communities by addressing topics such as organizational change, church renewal, conflict resolution, congregational and communal care, spiritually grounded and ethical leadership, and more.
Spirituality & Resilience
The work of ministry is rewarding, but it’s also difficult. Leaders need to know how to cultivate deep resources for their spiritual, emotional, and professional well-being. They also need to know how to equip communities with these same kinds of resources. In this track of the curriculum students will learn to draw on scripture, history, prayer, communal practices, pastoral care, trauma studies, communication skills, the arts, and other valuable resources to support environments where they can flourish—and thereby help others flourish as well.
Justice & Reconciliation
Justice is love in action. Reconciliation is justice embodied. God’s love inspires this work. In this track of the curriculum, students will grapple with the justice demands of the gospel, develop strategies for long-term, engaged justice work: (verb) eco-justice and sustainability studies; learn to articulate their own public theologies: incorporate insights from the rich histories of social justice movements; become familiar with restorative justice, and grow in their confidence to address, through intersectional analysis, contemporary issues of injustice in local, national, and global contexts.
Social segregation is an insidious systemic problem that continues to cause deep and lasting conflict. As one of only a few multicultural theological schools in the United States, accredited by the Association of Theological Schools, ABSW is uniquely positioned to equip students in the border-crossing skills so desperately needed for healing work today. In this track of the curriculum students from diverse backgrounds will develop intercultural skills through praxis-oriented courses; self-directed, inventive projects; and innovative internship opportunities. Students will also gain valuable skills using digital resources for the common good, including podcasting, social media, and other emerging technologies.