Are we just automatons, living out the pre-ordained will of God? Or are our lives a collaboration with God as we work together to be the hands and feet of Jesus in the world?
Based on the United Methodist Theologian and Philosopher John B. Cobb, Jr.’s “definitive book on the nature of God,” this course provides a lay person’s introduction to Process-Relational theology, a theological school of thought that emphasizes free will and has broad appeal with the Wesleyan tradition.
Process Theology is a movement with deep United Methodist roots. However, just as the United Methodist Church is a “big tent”, there are many variations of process theology within our denomination and around the world. In this course, Dr. Joshua Reichard, a scholar who has synthesized charismatic theology with process theology, will explore the “relational” side of process theology. The instructor holds an orthodox perspective of the Christian faith and looks at process-relational theology both critically and with appreciation, especially for its emphasis on relationships. In this course, we will work our way through Dr. Cobb’s vision God as proclaimed in the ministry of Jesus and how that vision of God can help us become forces of positive transformation in the world guided by persuasive love.
This course is designed as a continuing education course for certified lay ministers, and clergy. Students are required to have access to a copy of Jesus’ Abba: The God Who Has Not Failed by John Cobb.
This course is eligible for 1.0 CEU.
This course is approved in the East Ohio conference for continuing CLM credit; if you are not in the East Ohio conference, please check with your conference leadership before enrolling to ensure that they will approve this course for continuing CLM education credit.
About the Instructor
Dr. Joshua Reichard is a Certified Lay Minister and the congregational Lay Leader at Trinity United Methodist Church in Youngstown, OH. Joshua is the Vice President and Assistant Superintendent of Valley Christian Schools, a multicultural, urban, K-12 Christian school system with more than 700 students. Joshua earned a PhD in Human and Social Studies (Religion and Theology) from the University of the Western Cape in South Africa, a DPhil in Religion and Society Studies from Oxford Graduate School, and an EdS in Educational Leadership from Liberty University. Joshua also completed certification in Online Teaching and Learning at United Theological Seminary. He serves as an adjunct faculty member of several higher education institutions. Joshua has served as a missionary, educator, and leader in various contexts of Christian service, as well as a technology consultant and entrepreneur. He is an interdisciplinary scholar with an extensive publishing record in peer-reviewed academic journals including the Wesleyan Theological Journal, American Journal of Theology and Philosophy, Process Studies, Religious Education, among others.
Past Students Said…
“The materials were excellent. The assignments where relevant and the interchange between the students was very good.”
“This was a very interesting course. I think it provides a good space to understand and dialogue about new and challenging perspectives on faith.”
“This course for me was a little challenging. I learned quite a bit and hope to us it in my everyday life and with my community.”
“I learned how to communicate better with God and to share this in the community. If we all work together we can have a better understanding of God and use it in our everyday lives.”
“This course challenged me to really embrace God as Daddy (Abba) and to help others do the same.”
“I liked the pointed questions set out by the leader that required some serious contemplation for response.”