What Does it Mean to be UCC? United Church of Christ History, Polity, and Theology
A Damascus Project course
The United Church of Christ has always been an eclectic mix of theologies, traditions and practices woven together by Jesus’ prayer that “all may be one.” (John 17:21) This course features a survey of the diverse European and American churches that are woven into the fabric of the UCC. It will include an exploration of, shared and diverse theological viewpoints, and the covenantal polity (form of governance) in the UCC. There will be readings, conversations, and brief written papers in this ten-week online course, with face-to-face retreats at the beginning and end of the course.
Course instructor: Rev. Clyde Steckel is a retired Professor of Theology at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, where he taught pastoral care and counseling, ministry courses, and the history and polity of the United Church of Christ. He also served as academic dean at United. He holds degrees from Butler University, Chicago Theological Seminary, and the University of Chicago Divinity School. Steckel has served as a hospital chaplain, parish minister and college chaplain in Illinois, and also as a campus minister at the University of Minnesota before joining the seminary faculty. After retiring from United, he served interim parish and conference ministries. Currently he is a docent at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. The author of many articles and book chapters, his book, New Ecclesiology and Polity: United Church of Christ was published in 2009. His new book, published in 2017, is Finding the Church, a Personal Memoir. Clyde was married to Eleanor Todd, deceased. He has three sons and five grandchildren.
Course Logisitics: This is a 10-week course that begins and ends with in-person retreats on Friday and Saturday, September 14-15 and November 15-16. We will begin at 7 pm on Friday and end at 3 pm on Saturday on both weekends. Participants will be responsible for lodging and meals on these weekends. We will be meeting in Eau Claire, Wis. on both of these weekends. In between these in-person weekends participants will engage material using an online learning platform called Moodle.
Course fees and materials: $500.00 plus materials and lodging and food for in-person retreats. Information regarding required course materials will be provided in August.
There will be a Learner Orientation session for all Damascus Project learners on Wednesday, August 21 at 7:00 pm. This orientation will provide an overview of the project, an opportunity for instructors to engage the participants for their course and answer questions and an orientation to using the Moodle platform.