Contextual Theology and Immersion Program
United lives its commitment to the historic Christian faith in an increasingly global context through a curriculum in contextual theology for interreligious and intercultural learning. The coursework is required for Master of Divinity (MDiv) students but greatly urged for all Master’s-level students. One highlight of the program is an Immersion Trip Experience to one of several locations outside of the United States and Canada. Previous immersion trips have included travel to Israel/Palestine, Cuba, and South Africa. Immersion trips are generally conducted during early January and August/September and are also open to spouses, alumni/ae and friends of United. All MDiv students must therefore secure a current/valid passport as soon as their degree program begins.
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
“The Israel trip (2023) created a tectonic shift in the way I see the Bible. When you tour these ancient places [and] see where and how Biblical people lived, [you realize] the stories we learned aren’t just stories. I want to help people see that God is real, Jesus is real, and that we live our best life with God.”
— Karen Moore, MDiv Student