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In January 2010, we formed the SCU/JST Academic Integration Council with faculty from both campuses. In addition to the Provost, members of the Council include Kevin Burke, S.J., and Bruce Lescher, the executive dean and associate dean, respectively, of JST, and Atom Yee and Greg Corning, the dean and an associate dean, respectively, of the College of Arts and Sciences on the Santa Clara campus. The Department of Religious Studies resides in the College, and its chair, Paul Crowley, S.J., also serves on the Council as do faculty representatives from the Department of Religious Studies and from JST. The faculty representatives from the Berkeley campus are Lisa Fullam and Jerome Baggett. The faculty representatives from the Santa Clara campus are Gary Macy, Kristen Heyer, David Pleins, and William Dohar.
The Council meets every three weeks and is charged with strategic academic planning and building the infrastructure to implement plans for an effective academic integration, both short-term and long-term. The videoconferencing that became available in May 2010 will greatly facilitate our meetings and conversations as we move forward. Key points from our meetings to date are summarized below.
With regard to programmatic infrastructure, we appointed William (Bill) Dohar to assist JST with the development and implementation of alternative delivery models for the Master of Theological Studies (MTS) program. The Graduate Programs in Theology and Ministry Initiative, headed by Bill, Bruce Lescher and Kevin Burke, has been meeting to develop alternative delivery classes and programs at JST with the aim of increasing enrollments among non-degree students and in the MTS degree program. The strategy is to develop an attractive menu of course options for part-time students, which JST named Theology after Hours, scheduled for implementation in Fall 2010, with evening courses and weekend intensives. JST hopes to add additional January inter-session and summer-session options for 2011. JST also is examining ways to take its offerings to parishes, dioceses, and other learning sites away from Berkeley, with the goal of launching some pilot programs that pick up on these possibilities.
In the meantime, JST has chosen five key classes (Spirituality and the Religious Quest, History of Christian Spirituality, Introduction to Theology, Interreligious Dialogue, and Prophets) to help pilot “Theology after Hours.” JST hopes to attract Bay Area working professionals seeking graduate degrees in theological studies (i.e., high school teachers and directors of religious education, among others) and new students interested, at least primarily, in theological exploration and enrichment. JST anticipates that some of the “new students” will want to take more than one or two classes and pursue the MTS or possibly another JST degree or a certificate.
Go back to Provost Updates.