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Contextual Theology and Immersion Program


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United lives its commitment to the historic Christian faith in an increasingly global context through a Methods and Immersion-trip curriculum in contextual theology for interreligious and intercultural learning. The coursework is required for MDiv students but greatly urged for all Masters-level students, their spouses, alumni/ae and friends of United. All MDiv students must therefore secure a current/valid passport as soon as their degree program begins.

  • Purpose

    The purpose of the Contextual Theology and Immersion Program at United Seminary is:

    To create in students a greater awareness of global Christianity, a sensitivity to interreligious complexities, and an understanding of shared, compassionate discipleship.

    To equip students with skills for recognizing and receiving diverse ways of thinking and living in other contexts, those with cultural and theological assumptions significantly different from their own.

    To invite students to reflect critically and collaboratively on the interdependence of  faith communities within God’s leading and to respond with compassion to the lives, needs, and faith of people in different parts of the world.

    To integrate the immersion trip experience into future effective ministry by recognizing the diverse nature of Christian community in the local parish and/or church context.


  • Requirements for Trips

    Students must secure a current, valid passport as soon as their degree program begins.

    Students must take WR601 Methods of Interreligious and Intercultural Encounter prior to participating in immersion trip.

    Students must complete any pre-trip readings prior to the departure date of the trip.

    Students must prepare for overseas travel, including researching information about TSA requirements, pertinent medical vaccinations, as well as procuring a neck-passport badge holder to keep the passport on one’s body at all times.

    The student should discuss trip timing with their advisor, but they may register for upcoming trips through the registrar’s office, signing up for WR602 Immersion Experience/Trip, naming the location-trip in which they hope to participate. Once students are aware of which trip they would like to take, they can register, even prior to the completion of it's prerequisite (WR601). Once the student registers for the WR602 Immersion Trip through the Registrar’s Office, s/he should await confirmation by Ginnene Peavie for the selected trip. Once confirmed, the student should proceed to the WR602 Moodle Shell with information and documents for preparation. This will be a first-come-first-serve process, at this point, with priority granted to those who have already completed WR601. Confirmation will then be sent to the student via e-mail by Ginnene Peavie. The student's specific trip is not assured until confirmed in this fashion.


  • Thoughts on Previous Trips

    “I saw faith and hope in people who experienced much suffering. And I felt their love and acceptance.”
    – Mick Dawes
    M.Div. 2008

    “My intercultural experience taught me a great deal about myself and the world around me. In a world of suffering, oppression, and poverty, there is hope for a tomorrow of peace and equality. My experience challenged me to make the realization of this hope central to my ministry.”
    – Justin Williams
    M.Div. candidate

  • Scheduled Trips

    Upcoming trips: 

    Israel - May 25th - June 3rd 
    Mozambique - June 2nd - June 13th 
    Turkey - January 2015 (dates tbd)

    Contact: gnpeavie@united.edu

    Itineraries and syllabi are tentative, subject to change upon current events or curricular needs as departure date nears.

    ISRAEL - May 25th - June 3rd 

    The Immersion Trip in the Holy Land, May 25 - June 3, 2014 will offer opportunity to explore scriptural lands—particularly sites in Galilee and Jerusalem—sites of contemporary Israel, and others in the complicated holiness of this land to those of the Abrahamic traditions Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Biblical archaeology, interreligious initiatives and the Israel-Palestinian conflict will shape preparations, visits, and shared practice. For the first time, leadership of this trip will be offered by someone from the Society of Biblical Studies and Dr. Dick Eslinger.